More relevant than the Emmys, more family-friendly than the MTV Music Awards, and way more democratic than the Oscars (which are decided by blood rituals involving boiling champagne and little golden dolls), the 31st annual People’s Choice Awards have opened up their polls.
The only entertainment awards ceremony decided entirely by consumers — except for the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, Nickleodeon’s Kid Choice Awards, the ‘My VH1 Awards,’ etc — the People’s Choice Awards remain the last chance for some media personalities to ever get their hands on a trophy, legally, and you can help.
It doesn’t require registration, proof of residency, or even a postage stamp. This year, for the first time ever, all the Peoples Choice winners will be decided from votes tallied from the Web site, and there’s no way that can’t be accurate.
Categories will be voted on in two rounds. Here is the first set of categories, along with my own endorsements. They’re in no way mandatory, you can always vote for whomever you wish. You’ll just be wrong.
Favorite Female Movie Star – Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Julia Roberts, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon
All of them have been in movies I’ve liked, and all of them have been in movies I’ve thrown things at. Sometimes these were the same movies. But, for making me believe that she’d really kill people if she came to Daytona Beach, and because Christina Ricci isn’t on the list, I’m going with Charlize Theron.
Favorite Male Movie Star – George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington
The Deppmeister, no question. He’s good-looking, he’s funny, he’s weird, and he makes my wife swoon faster than even expensive jewelry, which is a real money-saver for me.
Favorite Female Action Movie Star – Kate Beckinsale, Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, Keira Knightley, Uma Thurman
Couldn’t they just fight it out on stage, possibly in a manner that involves salad dressing? Well, the first three candidates were in action movies that got more laughs than thrills. Keira picked Orlando Bloom instead of Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean” and shoddy judgment like that doesn’t deserve an award, so I’ll give Uma the nod.
Favorite Male Action Movie Star – Matt Damon, Hugh Jackman, Tobey Maguire, Viggo Mortensen, Will Smith
A tougher call, but I’ll pick Viggo Mortensen for a wide range of carefully researched reasons which mostly boil down to the fact that I really like saying “Viggo.” Viggo! Viggo! Viggo!
Favorite Leading Lady – Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Garner, Natalie Portman, Kate Winslet, Renee Zellweger
Gotta be Drew. No one else is as goofy or unpredictable without being on serious medications. Viggo!
Favorite Leading Man – Zach Braff, Jim Carrey, Colin Farrell, Jude Law, Brad Pitt
An interesting choice, since it leaves out just about everyone I would have thought of. I’ll choose Jim Carrey just because it’s so much fun to watch the confusion on the audience’s faces. “Who? The ‘Ace Ventura’ guy?”
Favorite New TV Comedy — “Complete Savages,” “Entourage,” “Father of the Pride,” “Joey,” “Quintuplets”
Pixar fanboy though I am, I’m still throwing this to “Quintuplets” because I miss “Andy Richter Controls the Universe.” Hey, my rules.
Favorite New TV Drama — “Boston Legal,” “CSI: NY,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Jack and Bobby,” “Lost”
While they all have their points, according to people that actually watch them, I’d go with “Desperate Housewives” as the next evolution of “Sex and the City.” I’m hoping this trend continues so that in twenty years or so we’ll have an hour-long drama about four hot nursing home residents called “Senior Delinquents.”
Favorite TV Comedy — “Arrested Development,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Scrubs,” “That ’70s Show,” “Will & Grace”
Because it accurate reflects the experiences, pitfalls, and wonders of my own high school dating experience, I’m going with “Will & Grace.” Wait, I meant “That 70’s Show.” I think.
Favorite TV Drama — “Alias,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Gilmore Girls,” “The O.C.,” “Sopranos”
“Alias” has intrigue and excitement, “CSI” has cool and disgusting situations, “Gilmore Girls” has… Gilmore girls, and the other shows are pretty good as well. But I’ll pick “CSI” because they have a spin-off comic book and the others don’t. Nyah.
Favorite Female TV Star – Jennifer Garner, Lauren Graham, Marg Helgenberger, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally
Providing the voice of Arlene in the movie “Garfield” almost lost her my vote, but I’ll stick with Debra Messing and hope she comes to her senses.
Favorite Male TV Star – Jason Bateman, Zach Braff, Matthew Fox, Matt Le Blanc, James Spader
Since Michael Rosenbaum and John Glover of “Smallville” are not on this list, I must assume ballot tampering and backroom fixing, and so I abstain in this category.
Favorite Late Night Talk Show Host – Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart. Why, are there others?
Favorite Daytime Talk Show Host – Tony Danza, Ellen DeGeneres, Dr. Phil McGraw, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, Oprah Winfrey
Don’t get to watch a lot of daytime television so this will be a process of elimination. Dr. Phil, Regis, and Oprah creep me out, I keep expecting to see Tony Danza in a cab somewhere, and that leaves Ellen.
Favorite Reality Show / Competition — “The Amazing Race,” “American Idol,” “The Apprentice,” “Survivor,” “Last Comic Standing”
I couldn’t make myself watch any of these shows for more than 10 minutes at a time, even with vice clamps. But, for creating legions of fans that are willing to fist-fight each other over the office water cooler and thus lightening my work day, I’ll pick “American Idol.”
Favorite Reality Show / Makeover — “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Pimp My Ride,” “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” “Trading Spaces,” “What Not to Wear”
My son would pick “Pimp My Ride” without question, but as he’s 12 the only thing he could get pimped out would be his desk chair. Instead I’ll pick “Queer Eye.”
Favorite Reality Show / Other — “Airline,” “Newlyweds,” “The Real World,” “The Surreal Life,” “Wife Swap”
Yeesh. All excuses to pop in a DVD of a better show, or turn on the Weather Channel. But in the tradition of “lesser evil” elections everywhere I’ll close my eyes and pick “The Real World” because I don’t want “Wife Swap” to get any positive recognition, ever.
Favorite Group – Evanescence, Maroon 5, No Doubt, OutKast, U2
Many of these groups have songs I like, but I’m voting for U2 because Bono was the only politically active personality who didn’t call and wake me up during the presidential election.
Favorite Female Singer – Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan
This was more difficult for me since I like several of these excellent and talented artists, so I’ll use more rarified criteria. Based on a quick Google image search, I’m voting for Norah Jones.
Favorite Male Singer – Eminem, Josh Groban, John Mayer, Prince, Usher
Weird Al being conspicuously absent, I’m picking John Meyer if only because he has no outstanding scandals I know of and I can understand his lyrics without subtitles.
Favorite Remake — “Carwash” Christina Aguilera/Missy Elliot/Lil’ Kim, “First Cut is the Deepest” Sheryl Crow, “It’s My Life” No Doubt, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” Antonio Banderas & Eddie Murphy, “Take My Breath Away” Jessica Simpson
A cat and a donkey stealing a song from Ricky Martin? How can you beat that?
Favorite Combined Forces – Christina Aguilera / Missy Elliot / Lil’ Kim “Carwash”, Black Eyed Peas / Justin Timberlake “Where is the Love”, Norah Jones / Dolly Parton “The Grass is Blue”, Lil’ John / Usher “Yeah!”, Britney Spears / Madonna “Me Against the Music”
Finally, Britney and Madonna get this in a landslide thanks to the sheer honesty involved in putting themselves on one side and “music” on the other.
So get on over to www.pcavote.com and cast your votes. The entire entertainment industry is waiting for you.