The BUZZ Random Awards Of The 2015

awards_2015

2015 is over and you’ve probably had about enough of “Best/Worst” lists as you have of turkey and trailers for Sherlock. So here at BUZZ we’re giving you an alternate, shamelessly partisan and unapologetically cherrypicking look back the year that was in cult entertainment…




 

SEPPUKU OF THE YEAR

The season finale of Defiance becomes a series finale for Defiance

Defiance_finale

Usually when a show reaches its season finale and there’s been no news about the next season, fans are desperate to hear about a renewal. You’d have thought BUZZ would be the same with Defiance. We loved Defiance. Okay, it was a bit cheap-looking at times, but it was also witty, shock-packed, constantly fun and more than a little bit kinky. But after the season three finale, we didn’t want it to come back. Because it was a beautiful ending. And a sad ending. And a very pretty ending with an awe-inspiring journey through a kaleidoscope universe that rated as one of the best small-screen special FX sequences of the year. And, most crucially, a prefect ending. To come back from that and produce a fourth season would have been downright crass.


 

 

MINDFULNESS AID OF THE YEAR

The Clangers

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Mindfulness was the new meditation in 2015, and the new version of The Clangers was the perfect accompaniment for an “awareness-focussing” session. It was like having an acid trip without the nasty side effects.


 

FIBBER OF THE YEAR

The Doctor, Doctor Who

 

doctor_who_9x11_heaven_sent_diamond_wall

Okay, in any normal awards we’d be giving Peter Capaldi “Performance Of The Year” for his virtual one-man show in the phenomenal “Heaven Sent”. But this was almost eclipsed by a big porky – or at least lie by omission – in the next episode, “Hell Bent”. When Clara asks how long he was in the Confession Dial she’s told 4.5 billion years. Which is technically correct, except that new copies of the Doctor were being repeatedly teleported into the Dial, each one only living in there for appeared to a few weeks at most. So surely for the final “copy” of the Doctor his sacrifice was about as long as waiting for your order to arrive from IKEA.


 

 

DULLEST VILLAIN OF THE YEAR

Dark Swan in Once Upon A Time

Once_upon_a_time_s05e01_the_dark_swan_dark_emma

Season four of Once Upon A Time ended on a tantalising note, with the show’s main heroine, Emma Swan, succumbing to the Dark One’s powers to become Dark Swan. Wow! We assumed we were going to see Emma as evil and twisted and revengey and fun as all the previous wicked Queens. This was going to rock! Instead she spent most of the half-season looking like a sulky teenager dressed in a designer bin liner, with the depths of her evil reaching about as low as fibbing a bit here and there. Admittedly, later in the season we did learn there was a reason she’d only gone slightly bad, but that still left viewers with a string of episodes in which the apparent big bad was about as exciting as waiting at traffic lights. When Hook became the Dark One instead, he showed how evil should be done… then  they cured him after one and a half episodes…


 

 

SERVICES TO THE PROMOTION OF SUBTITLES AWARD

The Returned & Blake Ritson in Da Vinci’s Demons

subtitles

Not everybody likes reading what they watch but some films and shows do their best to convert us, and they’re not always foreign. We have joint winners here… French oddity The Returned season two wins for being totally inscrutable and yet totally unmissable, showing The Leftovers how weird should be done. Blake Ritson wins for mumbling his way through season three of Da Vinci’s Demons, making subtitles a necessity if you want to follow what’s going on.


 

 

PEAKING TOO EARLY AWARD

Person Of Interest “If-Then-Else”

Person of Interest - Episode 4.11 - If-Then-Else - Promotional Photos

The ever-brilliant Person Of Interest pretty much blew its chances in any “Best Episode Of 2015” list by delivering the simply brilliant “If-Then-Else” –  clever twist on the Groundhog Day scenario which had a very nasty sting in its tale – on 6 January! It seems so long ago most TV journos think it must have been broadcast in the year before! Don’t just take our word for how amazing it is: on IMDB it currently has a score of 9.9/10 with nearly 6,000 votes.


 

 

MOST MUTILATED SUBPLOT OF THE YEAR

Thor has a trippy bath in Age Of Ultron

Thor_bath

Much has been made of the “shopping list” nature of the Avengers sequel, with Joss Whedon required to set up various other future films as well as tell his own story. The film certainly had a choppy feel and there was a lot of chopping going on in the editing suite. Thor’s bizarre “visions in the bath” scene was the remnant of a much more ambitious and extensive sequence that didn’t go down well with test audiences. The problem is, what we’re left with doesn’t make a whole load of sense…


 

 

CRAPPEST CHARACTER OF THE YEAR

Zach in The Strain

The-Strain-S02E08-Intruders-02

Choosing a child character for this award might seem a cheap shot but honestly, if you’ve seen The Strain you know this is well-deserved and not just the usual “kid can’t act” scenario. The writers are fully to blame here, not the guy who plays Zach, Max Charles. This kid has been living in a world of really scuzzy vampires – aka, strigoi – for some time now. He’s seen what they do. He knows what they are. He’s completely aware of their nature. But he spends every episode whining that his mum – who was “turned” in season one – can be cured. It’s bad enough when he’s just sulking but he gets worse at the end of the season: he watches his undead mum kill the woman who’s been caring for him for months, then willingly walks off hand-in-hand with his mum. It’s not shocking; it’s just downright unbelievable. Presumably his dad, Eph, will spend most of season three trying to rescue him, but honestly, you feel like telling Eph, “Mate… don’t bother.”


 

 

MOST SHAMEFUL CLICKBAIT OF THE YEAR

Jonathan Jones, tit-head

Terry Pratchett

So, a professional journalist writes a column in which he admits he’s never read a Pratchett book then goes on to dismiss them all as potboilers, claiming that “a middlebrow cult of the popular is holding literature to ransom” and that reading Pratchett cannot enrich your life in way that reading Günter Grass or  Gabriel García Márquez can. It would be bad enough if Jones were merely being a literary snob but to make claims like that when he’s not even read the books…? Isn’t that just the kind of thing internet trolls do? Please do not Google his column. He isn’t worth your contempt.


 

 

MOST UNLIKELY REHABILITATION OF A DEAD CAREER

Christian Slater in Mr Robot

Robot3

Mr Robot was the sleeper hit of the year, a show that arrived with little fanfare but which created an instant buzz and cult following. It featured an unreliable narrator – the neurotic, paranoid hacker Elliot Alderson, played with scary conviction by the hypnotically twitchy Rami Malek – who fed the audience his shamelessly skewed side of the story; a story of cyber espionage, corporate politics and ruthless ambition. At the centre of it all was the mysterious Mr Robot, apparently the ringleader of a group of hackers determined to bring down EvilCorp (Alderson’s name for them, so we never learn their real name). We say apparently because there’s a lot more – and less – to him than that, and we’re not going spoil things for latecomers. What we can say is that Christian Slater is absolutely brilliant in the role, a manic force of nature.


 

 

BUZZ PHRASE OF THE YEAR

The Martian, for turning “science” into a verb

the-martian

Not since Frankie Goes To Hollywood sang “Laser beam your love to me” has pop culture so effortlessly turned a noun into a verb. After Mark Watney (Matt Damon) uttered the line: “I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this,” in the trailer for The Martian, suddenly people were “sciencing” all over the place. TV panel shows and Radio 4’s Infinite Monkey Cage were early adopters.


 

 

LESS COULD BE MORE OF THE YEAR

All streamed original shows being two episodes too long

nazi-america-the-man-in-the-high-castle

Daredevil, The Man In the High Castle, Jessica Jones and Con Man were all great shows but they all got a bit saggy about three-quarters of the way through. Would we have thought any less of them if they’d been two episodes shorter? It’d make binge-watch weekends a little less crammed too. It’s not like we’re paying by the episode, so the streaming services would be saving money, surely?


 

 

IRRITATINGLY BAD THING IN AN OTHERWISE BRILLIANT SHOW OF THE YEAR

The fight scenes in Jessica Jones

Jessica_jones_fight

Talking of Jessica Jones, the only real disappointment in this otherwise excellent new series was how dated and unexciting the fight scenes looked especially after Daredevil had redefined small-screen punch-ups just months earlier. Jessica Jones favoured the fast-cutting and people-flying-across-the-room approach of the mid-noughties. Jessica’s jumping FX were pretty naff too so it’s a good job the writing and acting was dazzling enough that you didn’t really care about these lapses.


 

 

VILLAIN OF THE YEAR

Kilgrave in Jessica Jones

Kilgrave-insults-Jones-flashback

Yeah, yeah, we’ll move on from Jessica Jones in a minute, but it’s difficult to heap too much praise on this superb show. David Tennant was breathtaking good as the mesmerising Kilgrave. While other Marvel villains want to rule the world/galaxy/universe here was a guy whose trigger for his villainy was an inability to take no for an answer. This time, indeed, it was personal.


 

 

SUPPORTING ACTOR OF THE YEAR

Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max Fury Road

You know where we’re coming from.


 

 

THINLY DISGUISED REMAKE OF THE YEAR

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Star_wars_the_force_awakens_millennium_falcon

Narrowly beating Jurassic World.


 

 

TV FIGHT SCENE OF THE YEAR

Into The Badlands, take your pic

Into The Badlands

For most of the year it looked like the series-defining one-shot corridor fight in Daredevil was going to walk away with this one. But then post-apocalyptic masterpiece Into The Badlands redefined small-screen fisticuffs.


 

 

BIG TEASES OF THE YEAR

The writers of The Walking Dead for Glenn’s “death”

the_walking_dead_glenns_death

There’s maintaining tension and there’s a joke wearing a little bit thin. Glenn’s supposed “death” took over half a season to resolve, and while it was a very good half-season (this was the best The Walking Dead had been in a while) the Glenn question started to get in the way of actually being allowed to enjoy the show.


 

 

THE “YES WE CAN KEEP ON TOPPING THAT” OF THE YEAR AWARD

Game Of Thrones, “Hardhome”

Hardhome

They threw us a curveball this year by making episode eight the big battle one instead of episode nine. Then they gave us a battle that looked like it cost an entire season of Doctor Who. Bloody brutal two.


 

 

The Mary Whitehouse Commemorative Award For Too Scary Family Entertainment

Jekyll & Hyde

Jekyll-and-Hide-episode-2-to-be-even-scarier

From The Mirror in October: “ITV are being investigated by Ofcom after their drama series Jekyll & Hyde attracted more than 700 complaints… The programme’s first episode featured scenes of murder, torture and an assortment of gruesome monsters.” All of which instantly made 99% of kids 100% more interested in watching it. This was like the glory days of Tom Baker’s Doctor Who all over again!


 

 

MOST CASUAL ACTION HEROES OF THE YEAR

The Tracy Brothers, Thunderbirds Are Go

THUNDERBIRDS_ARE_GO_17

Whenever a new distress call comes in what do the Tracy boys do? Rush into action? Nope. They all sit around on their circular sofa calmly discussing their approach to this latest emergency. If they’re really concerned they may even lean forward a bit. No adventure may be embarked upon until it’s been throughly talked through first. Level-headed and sensible? Maybe. But haven’t they heard of hands-free communication?


 

 

OPTIMIST OF THE YEAR

Josh Trank, director Fantastic Four

fantastic-four-banner

As turkey-of-the-year Fantastic Four slouched into cinemas to a cacophony of derisive reviews, disgraced director Josh Trank tried to convince everyone via Twitter that a good film was in there somewhere: “A year ago I had a fantastic version of this. And it would’ve received great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s reality though.” No one believed him.


 

 

MOST INTELLIGENT SCI-FI FILM OF THE YEAR

Ex Machina

Ex-Machina-2

Nothing silly to say about this one. Just… if you haven’t seen it yet, make it a New Year’s resolution to see it. It’ll be a long while before Hollywood has anything better to say about AI.


 

 

BUTTER WOULDN’T MELT OF THE YEAR

The Flash

 

flash_of_two_worlds_s02e02_pretty_FX2

The Flash always seems so wholesome, but we’re beginning to think some of its “oo-er, missus” moments (and there are a lot of them) may not be quite so innocent. Surely a line like, “Took me a lot longer to learn how to toss lightning, believe me,” can’t be accidental…?


 

 

QUESTION YOU NEVER WANT TO BE ASKED IN THE PUB OF THE YEAR

“So, what happens in Terminator Genisys?”

Terminator_genisys

The only real answer is to sob quietly…


 

BIGGEST LOSS OF THE YEAR

Gravity Falls

Gravity Falls

Aside from all the real great losses of the year, that is (and we’re not going to be crass enough to suggest that one sad passing is more of a loss than another, so see here for our tribute to all the cult heroes we said goodbye to in 2015). But out of the shows that aired their last, it was a shame to see Gravity Falls go gently into the night. Then again, it was at the behest of the show’s creator, so at least it’s going out on top.


 

 

BEST-LOOKING NEW ANIME OF THE YEAR

Death Parade

death-parade

Okay, technically Madhouse’s Death Parade wasn’t new (it started life as a short film called Death Billiards in 2013) but the TV series proper only started in 2015. And as a couple of contributors to this site said, we have to award it something. So it could have won Most Underrated Anime, or Most Smartly Dressed Anime or Most High Concept Anime (recently deceased people play death games in supernatural bars, with reincarnation for the winner and banishment to the void for the loser). Whatever the hell we wanted to give it, basically.


 

 

MOST SURPRISING GIMMICK FOR A TV COP OF THE YEAR

Sean Bean in The Frankenstein Chronicles

frankenstein_chronicles_1

We’ve had alcoholic TV cops. OCD TV cops. Disabled TV cops. Druggie TV cops. Overweight TV cops. But we think Sean Bean’s Marlott in The Frankenstein Chronicles is the first syphilitic-and-hallucinating-from-his-mercury-treatment TV cop.


 

 

 

What awards would you give out for 2015?


 

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