Saturday, November 2, 2013

THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT:  We're nearing year-end, and it's time to start speculating about who will be EW's Entertainer of The Year.  If I were guessing at this point?  Sandra Bullock becomes the first two-time winner courtesy of the strong critical and box office performance of both The Heat and Gravity.  There are a bunch of folks who I'm pretty confident will make the list, but I can't see them coming in at the top spot, including:
  • Macklemore--11 weeks with a number 1 single (split between "Thrift Shop" and "Can't Hold Us") plus "Same Love" becoming a political anthem.  In music, Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus also potentially come into play.
  • Melissa McCarthy--The Heat + Identity Thief + Mike and Molly might push her over Bullock if Mike and Mollywere a bigger hit.
  • A bunch of TV casts--Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Big Bang Theory, and Duck Dynasty.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch--5 major movies, at least two of which (12 Years A Slave and August: Osage County) look to be big Oscar players, plus Sherlock.  The very model of someone who's in the 9-12 sphere on the EW list.
  • Tom Hanks--After some bombs, comes roaring back with Lucky Guy, Saving Mr. Banks, and Captain Phillips
  • Veronica Roth--The Divergent books are huge sellers (all 3 are on the Amazon 100 right now), and she brought the trilogy to an (apparently divisive) close this year.
Am I missing an obvious choice?


  1. Jordan3:21 PM

    Biggest pop culture moments of the year: the Red Wedding and Miley Cyrus. Does Jennifer Lawrence get some consideration? Starts the year with the Oscar and between now and the end of the year the new Hunger Games movie will be huge and the David O. Russell film should get a lot of critical attention.

  2. victoria3:32 PM

    I am going to guess Bryan Cranston (possibly with Aaron Paul) for #1.

  3. The thing is that while Breaking Bad had a huge ratings uptick this season, it's not a general ratings sensation. Indeed, with the exception of the finale, every episode of Duck Dynasty has outrated every episode of Breaking Bad (and every episode of Walking Dead has outrated every episode of Breaking Bad).

  4. bill.5:53 PM


  5. Adam B.7:08 PM

    My first guess, before flipping below the mobile fold, was Sandra Bullock, so I'm on the same page with Matt. Jennifer Lawrence would not be wrong.

  6. The thing with Lawrence is that Catching Fire is a sure thing, at least commercially, but American Hustle is basically unseen at this point and a somewhat questionable commercial prospect.

  7. I'm totally biased, but Vince Gilligan. Ratings or no ratings, Gilligan stuck that landing so well (sorry, Randy), showing that you can indeed have a long-range plan and make it work.

  8. I fully expect "Breaking Bad" to be on the list (and it will be cast or cast + Gilligan), but I doubt it'll be Gilligan alone for two reasons--not just the somewhat nicheness of the show, but also the fact that a Vince Gilligan cover doesn't sell magazines. The only non-performer to ever win is J.K. Rowling.

    (FWIW, the breakdown over the years? 2 music, 1 writing, 1 film director, 3 talk show hosts, 5 "cast of TV show," 1 animated character, 10 film actors (2 of which won in years in which they directed themselves in a role during the year)).

  9. KCosmo10:49 AM

    Too soon for Veronica Roth. But commenting just to note that YES, the ending is divisive. I am personally highly divided. Hmph. I like Sandra Bullock. Any chance they would do both Bullock and McCarthy? A bit of a cop-out, but a not unpredictable one -- blah blah blah, women in breaking-out-of-the-box roles ...

  10. Randy2:18 PM

    Long-range plan? HE DIDN'T HAVE A LONG-RANGE PLAN. Vince said so himself - when he introduced the big gun in the flashforward in "Live Free Or Die", he had NO IDEA what he was going to do with it. In hindsight, he would have been much better off without it - the writers painted themselves into a corner one too many times, and couldn't figure out a satisfying resolution to this one.
    (It's still a great, great show - but yes, its reputation will suffer from having a rather weak final few episodes.)

  11. Oh, Roth won't win, but I expect she'll be on the long list. Another possibility? Netflix--all of its original programming launched this year.

  12. Randy2:37 PM

    For me, the clear choice is Sandra Bullock. I know she was their pick four years ago, but her 2013 is even more impressive and significant than her 2009 was. In this particularly dreadful summer of male-driven movies, THE HEAT was a rare bright spot - an R-rated action comedy with original characters and two female leads? In this Hollywood climate, it's almost shocking that this actually got made in the first place.
    And then there's GRAVITY. You may have seen me rave about this on twitter, but it really is one of the greatest movies I've ever seen. As incredible as Alfonso Cuaron's direction is (and the direction is truly incredible, possibly a game-changer for major Hollywood filmmakers), it's Bullock's astonishing performance that grounds the movie. Bullock in the final shot of the movie is one of the most majestic, downright mythic, things I've ever seen on a movie screen.
    And to think that she's had this incredible, extraordinary year when she's almost 50 - that's GOT to be encouraging, no?

  13. isaac_spaceman4:30 PM

    My money would be on obvious choice Miley Cyrus, who has been ubiquitous for reasons both good and bad, who has hit records and mass-cultural resonance and memes and all that stuff. Plus, I don't know what sells magazines these days, but I'm fairly certain that whatever it is, it belongs more to the 20-year-old scandal-magneteer than to people two or three times her age starring in art-house or prestige projects (or the guy a little older than her starring in art-house or prestige projects). It's important to remember that the fake title of "Entertainer of the Year," unlike arguably merit-based industry awards like the Oscars and the Emmys, is an artifice designed for the singular purpose of selling copies of Entertainment Weekly. I think the only way that Cyrus would not get the award this year is if EW thought that it could sell more records by implying that it was doing something outrageous by not giving it to Cyrus, thereby getting both the mag-buying dollars of the winner's fans plus the enraged ad-clicking eyeballs of the Cyrus contingent who will click through to hate-read the article inevitably entitled "WHY IT WASN'T MILEY."

  14. isaac_spaceman4:34 PM

    The Red Wedding was not the biggest pop culture moment of 2013. It was a smallish but non-trivial pop culture moment of 2000, and also, in slightly different form (i.e., as the Black Feast), a nominee for the biggest non-pop-cultural moment of 1440.

  15. Jordan9:00 PM

    Wait, did you read the books? Aw man, that's amazing! I've never met anyone who's read the books before, because they never point out that they knew what was going to happen every time something big happens on the show. I'm so wrong, it clearly wasn't a giant pop culture event the dominated twitter and my facebook newsfeed and conversations at work and on the train and waiting in line to get food, because a comparatively small amount of people read a book a dozen years ago. What was I thinking?

  16. Except that (and I say this as your friend) you are one of the very few people who views it that way. :) Also, there's a big difference between "has a long-range plan" and "knows how every little thing will play out." He had the broad strokes. And he filled them in really well.

  17. isaac_spaceman5:27 PM

    Hey, thanks for reminding me why I mostly stopped posting around here.