So much TV means that every series tries to outdo every other series in one way or another, which means things can get really weird fast. That also means some absolutely prize-worthy moments in the Rush-to-Emmy season can go unnoticed. Don’t worry that you missed out on the best of the best or the weirdest of the weird because we’ve sifted through thousands of hours of TV shows and hundreds of series to bring to your attention just a few of the incidents, scenes and unusual moments, from which we suspect will not receive any actual awards other than the purely fictional Envy Awards 2023!
SHOCK THE OLD AWARD
“George & Tammy” (Paramount+)
Electroconvulsive therapy has been used on at least two shows, which turned out to be an unwanted, painful treatment that puts women in their place. In “Yellowjackets,” Lottie’s (Courtney Eaton) face contorted as she thrashed while tied to a bed during treatment; In “George & Tammy,” Jessica Chastain’s Tammy Wynette also underwent a forced ECT session — while she was there pregnant.
Most needed cosmetic tool
“The Diplomat” (Netflix)
Amidst the intrigue, explosions and jaded sex scenes of The Diplomat, it’s not until episode 7 that a true hero emerges: a hairbrush left by an aide on the desk of the eternally disheveled Ambassador Kate Wyler (Keri Russell). Russell’s locks have been talked about a lot over the years, so it’s unfortunate to bother her again (especially since she’s gorgeous in Diplomat). But the decision to give Kate aggressively straight, greasy, and unkempt hair makes her a lot less presentable. It might suit her character (she’s smart but leads a messed-up personal life), but… mind the audience, producers: You’ve already taken the pleasure out of Rufus Sewell’s curly locks with a quick cut. We – and Russell – deserve better.
EPIC BATTLE OF THE YEAR
Dream (Tom Sturridge) took on Lucifer (Gwendoline Christie) — and their edged weapons were wits, not devices. When so many fights on television (and movies) “prove” the rulership of blade and bullet, it was both subversive and refreshing to see these two creatures engage in open battle with words. Lucifer initially seemed to defeat the brooding hero Dream – until he asked, “What kills hope?” The question left Lucifer unanswered, giving Dream the win (and his much-missed helmet). Still, we suspect this fight isn’t over yet; Lucifer will likely want a rematch in Season 2.
MAXIMUM GROSS-OUT AWARD
“The Peripheral” (Prime Video)
These days TV makers seem most interested in a race to the finish line for the most heartbreaking scenes of all time, and thanks to incredible advances in makeup and CGI, it’s not uncommon to find yourself having to put down your snack in the middle of a favorite episode. From the tampon discussion the future King and Queen of England Charles (Dominic West) and Camilla (Emerald Fennell) had on The Crown (Netflix) to Viserys’ (Paddy Considine) ongoing skin disease treatments ( and the slow death) in “House of”. “The Dragon” (Max) there is no orifice or viscous substance that is not allowed in storytelling these days. Still Extraction of an eyeball on “The Peripheral” including a close-up of the optic nerve offered us a feast for the eyes in the truest sense of the word. We see you, “Peripheral,” but somehow we wish we hadn’t seen that scene.
Iconic line reading of the year
Jennifer Coolidge, “The White Lotus” (Max)
We’ll miss Tanya (Coolidge) on The White Lotus, who, despite her narcissistic tendencies, didn’t deserve her fate – an ignominious fall from a boat into the sea. But we loved her, thanks to Coolidge’s incredible performance – and even more so than in her penultimate scenes, because she proved to be a master weapon-handler when threatened. But what Coolidge might earn her second Emmy for the role is entirely up to her cri de coeur shortly before her death: “Please, these gays, they want to murder me!” In the end, it was not the “gays” who got her, but Tanya herself, but this line was a pure boss kiss.
SHORT LIVING GLORY
The Cockroach at the Met Gala
Technically, the Met Arts Gala, held each year in New York City, isn’t exactly that TV, but celebrity antics and their wild, gorgeous outfits are widely reported on TV. That’s why it’s important to commemorate one of the night’s most memorable goal breakers, a star who just happened to be who he was and asked no questions, who sped down the red carpet with no regard for others — and was promptly crushed by an unknown guest. But even before that final, final breath, the cockroach that crawled the Met’s red carpet in May was a real blast.