AfterElton readers know what’s Hot in Hollywood. We’re a community of voracious yet discerning pop culture consumers, so when it comes to TV, movies, web series and celebrities… tourniquet be damned, our finger is on the bloody pulse! This year in our first annual Hot in Hollywood poll our readers cast over 800,000 votes (yes, you read that correctly) crowning winners in 21 different categories, everything from Favorite Movie Beefcake to Guilty TV Pleasure to Child Actor We Don’t Hate.
There were some tight races (Favorite Web Series, Favorite TV Beefcake and Greatest TV Villain) and a couple gimmes (Teen Wolf obviously had a lock on Favorite TV Sidekick), but the big surprise was how evenly distributed the love was. No single TV or film project took home more than one or two awards.
All in all, it was an impressive launch for the first annual Hot in Hollywood Awards, and our heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated. And now, without further ado, our 2012 winners…
Chris Colfer defines the term “pitch perfect” playing Kurt Hummel on Glee. We shared his heartbreak at Blaine’s infidelity and cheered during his New York Academy of Dramatic Arts auditions. Throughout it all, Chris remained just so gosh darn cute.
What was he doing when not working on Glee? Typical twenty-something stuff like writing The Land of Stories, a bestselling book for young adults. Crafting the upcoming movie Struck By Lightning’s script and starring in it. Being generally amazing.
Oh, and winning this award.
It’s easy to see why Jessica Lange won Favorite TV Actress. Let’s imagine what her day planner must look like:
8:00am: Awakened by my alarm clock, which consists of several rainbow finches specially trained to gently serenade me out of slumber.
9:00am: Begin filming American Horror Story: Asylum. Break to drink tea while sharing laughs with James Cromwell and Chloe Sevigny. Talk of how despite terrifying audiences on screen, we’re actually incredibly sweet people in real life.
5:00pm: Smile at random strangers, because it’s a nice thing to do.
6:00pm: Receive a call from UNICEF, thanking me for being their Goodwill Ambassador. Feel inner peace when remembering I’ve met Hillary Clinton.
7:00pm: Take some potentially award winning photographs simply because I love art.
9:00pm: Meditate on how wonderful it is to be Jessica Lange.
One of the most welcome new TV series this year is The New Normal. Each week the Ryan Murphy production chronicles another chapter in the lives of two gay men, their surrogate, her overbearing grandmother, and her 9-year-old daughter Shania played by Bebe Wood. Watching shows featuring poorly cast child stars is enjoyable as viewing an autopsy. Remember young Wil Wheaton’s maligned role playing Wesley Crusher, the magical pubescent elf on Star Trek: The Next Generation? Luckily for The New Normal, Bebe can actually act.
Shania had us by the second episode, when she busted out that spot on Little Edie impersonation. Clearly, young Ms. Wood is a pro. The New Normal isn’t her first acting gig; she has experience working with well-known television talent: Tina Fey on 30 Rock and Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Veep to name a few. While most kids her age are performing in school plays, she’s sharing screen time with Liz Lemon.
Shania Clemmons is clearly the young star’s breakout role, and the fact that she can hold her own against her amazing adult castmates makes you think this girl is in for a long and storied career. We certainly can’t wait to see it.
The world of television is filled with great sidekicks. For every Batman, there’s a Robin. For every Kirk, a Spock. For every Scott McCall, a Stiles Stilinski.
Wait. What the hell is a Stiles?
Stiles Stilinski, played by actor Dylan O’Brien, is the fidgety best friend of teen wolf Scott McCall. He may be Teen Wolf’s comic relief, but don’t underestimate his central role on the series. He’s smart, sarcastic, quick-witted, and vulnerable. That last one doesn’t seem like a positive character trait in a universe of alpha wolves and sadistic werehunters, but Stiles makes it work. He’s stuck with a group of supernatural superhumans, while being supernormal. Still, he’s brave and determined as any of them, and we see that instead of his vulnerability. Despite human shortcomings, Stiles is always around to help Scott out with whatever he needs, and that’s the mark of a true sidekick.
If you asked Stiles though, he’d tell you he’d rather be Batman every once in a while.
There aren’t many villains who strike fear into hero hearts with just a name—but Moriarty is definitely one of them. The bad guy going up against Sherlock Holmes since 1891 is nothing short of cunning, confident, and totally off his rocker.
Perhaps the reincarnation best capturing these traits is Andrew Scott’s BAFTA-winning (basically an Emmy with a British accent), IT-guy-but-really-a-criminal-mastermind version of Jim Moriarty who goes to any lengths just to discredit his nemesis, Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch). Scott’s Moriarty is the perfect villain: he appears completely unhinged, able to swing from calm and collected to loud and frenzied in barely the blink of an eye. Psychiatrists would need new sections in the DSM to classify everything going on with this guy. What makes him so frightening (and dare we say sexy) is his complete disregard for civility—or, more accurately, anything other than his own desire for chaos.
Everyone has that one show they love to watch and yet are hesitant to cop to it around their more highbrow acquaintances. We have no doubt that Teen Wolf fits that bill for some of its audience. Okay, any Teen Wolf fans past, say, 30.
But the show (based on the classic ’80s movie of the same title) has lots of fans in every age group. It has all the essentials for satisfying escapist television: a gorgeous cast (Tyler Hoechlin, Colton Haynes, Crystal Reed and Holland Roden), riveting villains (Mama Argent was a hoot!), great acting (Dylan O’Brien is a true pleasure to watch), and briskly-paced storylines with actual character development.
So let go of the guilt. If you haven’t come out of the closet yet as a Teen Wolf fan, it’s time to come clean.
Dame Maggie Smith (just saying her name makes us hungry for tea and crumpets) is one of the star players on ITV’s period drama, Downton Abbey. As Violet Crawley, Countess of Grantham, she provides the show with sharp wit and perfect poise—and watching her do hilariously prim yet deeply cutting verbal battle with the less well-mannered around her is one of the most reliable joys of the series. It makes us all long for a time when etiquette could be used for a weapon. Pray God this indomitable character returns for Downtown’s fourth season. Here’s a taste of the Countess in action throwing turn of the century shade. ….
We would post more photos of your Favorite TV Beefcake Alex O’Laughlin shirtless, but that doesn’t seem fair—how could anyone focus on the rest of their day with something like that distracting them?
Born in Australia, O’Loughlin’s abs only began acting in 2003. His strong, toned forearms starred in several films and tv shows, including August Rush, Moonlight, Criminal Minds, and The Back-Up Plan. His perfectly sculpted thighs’ most recent casting on the rebooted CBS crime series Hawaii Five-0 as Steve McGarrett is the perfect role for fans to appreciate him. O’Loughlin is the tall, dark, and handsome type, and the show’s frequent beachside filming provides ample opportunity to see this gorgeous creature in various states of undress. Jack Lord never looked so good.
What makes Drag Race special are its byproducts, kind of like NASA’s 60s space race. It’s given us performers like gender terrorist Sharon Needles, and the fun spin off Drag U. Extending humor, camp and glamor beyond TV screens lets RuPaul’s Drag Race cross this finish line in first place.
What started out 8 years ago as a show about two brothers looking for their missing father has come a long, long way. The Road So Far: demons, psychic powers, trips to hell, angels, more demons, leviathans, trips to purgatory, and death. Lots and lots of death. Also Death, who is actually a character much loved by the fans.
Supernatural is more than a Sci-Fi/Fantasy series, as any of its loyal fanbase can tell you. It can double as a Sci-Fi/Comedy (as showcased in episodes such as “Mystery Spot” or the recent “Hunteri Heroici”) or even triple as a Sci-Fi/Drama (like in “All Hell Breaks Loose Parts 1 & 2” or “Swan Song”—oh, hell, any of the season finales fall into this category).
We would, of course, be remiss if we didn’t mention one of the other reasons we love Supernatural: the cast! Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins and new addition Ty Olsson (Vampire Benny) all are devilishly hard to resist.
Seriously though, Glee’s fourth season is killing it. Expanding its setting outside Mckinley High into New York, introducing fresh faces like Jacob Artist (Jake Puckerman), Becca Tobin (Kitty) and Glee Project alums Blake Jenner (Ryder) and Alex Newell (Unique) and guest appearances from Kate Hudson and Drag Race contestant Shangela keeps this series moving in new directions.
There have been countless incarnations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick John Watson—big budget films starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, the detective-as-doctor tv show House with Hugh Laurie, and even an interpretation featuring Joan Watson (CBS’ Elementary with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu).
Probably the best-done and most-loved version is the BBC’s simply titled Sherlock, with Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular genius and Martin Freeman as his John Watson. Set in modern-day London with an all-star cast perfectly suited to their characters, this retelling of several classic Sherlock Holmes tales (most notably “The Reichenbach Fall” from The Final Problem) accurately documents what life would be like for Sherlock in the present.
The only problem with Sherlock? There’s not enough of it. Its first two seasons together amount to only six aired episodes, and series 3 (another paltry three episodes) doesn’t even begin shooting until next year. Best stock up on some nicotine patches—the long wait will obviously be a three-patch-problem. If you haven’t watched this show yet, catch up via Netflix, Amazon or iTunes!
Being different in America is tough, but fortunately, things are changing. “Normal” doesn’t have one set definition anymore, a fact made crystal clear in Ryan Murphy’s latest comedy The New Normal. Set in California, the show centers around a gay couple who want nothing more than to have a child of their own. Finding a surrogate mother proves rough, until Goldie Clemmons agrees to carry their child. She may not wear the pants in this family, but does provide the genes. Okay, bad joke. Apologies.
The result is a funny, heartwarming program showing audiences “normal” can mean anything. Maybe it’s a nuclear family with a mom, dad, and children. Could be a gay couple, their personal assistant, and surrogate whose daughter and grandmother tag along. Ellen Barkin’s Jane is an especially fun character disagreeing with Goldie about everything except booze and right-wing politics. Lord knows a Republican living in New Normal’s household probably needs a gin and tonic or twelve every now and then.
The show strives to convey tolerance and acceptance. If it can get more people seeing that “normal” is different for everyone, then it really deserves to be your favorite new series.
Bow before queen of queens RuPaul. Her shempire encompasses hit shows RuPaul’s Drag Race and Drag U. Musical anthems like “Glamazon” claim dancefloors as territory in her massive dominion. When the great and powerful RuPaul graces us in male form, lesser men rend their garments saddened they’ll never look that good in a suit. Ru is the drag world’s sun, leaving competition standing in the shade. Look on her works, ye mighty, and despair.
To hear Andrew Garfield tell it, he always wanted to star in The Amazing Spider-Man. “The character lives out my — and every skinny boy’s fantasy.”
After watching the gorgeously lanky Garfield sling his web this past summer… we have a few skinny boy fantasies of our own. We’re so jealous of his on and offscreen girlfriend Emma Stone!
The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen is the perfect antidote to Twilight’s mostly inert and helpless Bella. Here was a teen female heroine who actually kicked ass!
It takes a special actress to pull that off, but Jennifer Lawrence (previously nominated for an Oscar for Winter’s Bone) hit the bullseye, and no surprise that our readers gave her the Hot in Hollywood nod for Favorite Movie Actress.
Lawrence was strong, confident, perfectly capturing the character that fans of the books had come to love. She was believably hesitant around Josh Hutcherson (Peeta), truly seeming to have no idea of “the effect she can have.” She made you believe she was a deadly shot as an archer (a skill the actress diligently studied for the role). And her Katniss was gutwrenchingly crushed at the death of her young companion in the Games, 12-year-old Rue.
But the neatest trick? Spinning around in that CGI flame dress with aplomb. You keep on twirling, girl. We can’t wait to see you in the sequel, Catching Fire, out next year.
There are villains we love to hate—Voldemort from Harry Potter, Jim Moriarty from BBC’s Sherlock, Lucifer from Supernatural. There’s also evildoers like The Avenger’s Loki who really tug on your heartstrings and make you feel for them. Now, we’re not talking about the 100% irrevocably evil Loki from the comic. Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of Loki makes him hard to hate. Sure, he may skewer us with that… scepter (get your mind out of the gutter!), but he’s just so darn handsome. Besides, having that goody two shoes Thor as an older brother would make anyone crazy.
Magic Mike was a revolutionary movie. Outside of gay porn, what other film has offered an uninhibited and dare we say healthy celebration of the beautiful male form? The main cast—all men, all gorgeous—was a smorgasboard of beefcake: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, and, of course, Matt Bomer.
Bomer had a relatively minor part in the film, but his memorable naughty Ken doll striptease made an outsized contribution… and his full, bum-baring performance included on the Magic Mike DVD is the very definition of “Bonus Material”!
Marvel’s Avengers was a guaranteed success no matter how we looked at it. Besides the powerhouse of talent behind the camera (Joss Whedon as writer/director with Jon Favreau as an executive producer), the cast onscreen was phenomenal. With Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, and Samuel L. Jackson all reprising their roles from previous films as the titular Avengers, and Mark Ruffalo taking over as Hulk, Marvel and Disney created a superhero movie that was the perfect formula of kickass and funny, blending action with humor seamlessly, and making the audience feel like this bunch of people (and gods and…that big…green thing) could be real, and more importantly, could really save us.
As long as you don’t get on Dr. Banner’s bad side, that is.
No award in our Hot in Hollywood poll was more hotly contested than that of “Favorite Web Series.” Over 235,000 votes were cast in this category alone, the vast majority of them going to just two nominees: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a clever modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in video blog format… and Where the Bears Are, a hirsute comedy whodunit set in L.A.’s Silver Lake neighborhood.
In the end, Lizzie Bennet grabbed the prize with over 133,000 votes, but Where the Bears Are had such an impressive runner up showing (115,000 votes) that we simply had to recognize this fine series as well. Make sure and check them both out!