2023 Film & Television 2nd Quarter Polls
Not sure what to watch on those rainy Sundays? Or those late Wednesday nights? Here are my awards for excellence in film and television for the second quarter (April-June) of 2023! Circuit Artwork If we hand out awards for sports, why not movies & television? With the second quarter of 2023 in the books, it’s time to look back at the best movies, shows & performances of the last three months! (Important to note that these are my favorites, not what I think are necessarily the best; that’s what my Oscars posts are for). For films & tv, the number of noms in each category will be half or half rounded up if there is an odd number… So this quarter, the film categories will have 11 nominations and the tv categories will have 5. * Disclaimer: The Bear & Grey’s Anatomy both dropped their new seasons on streaming the last week of June, but I decided to push them to Q3. There was too much to watch to cram everything in, plus they just kinda feel like summer shows, don’t they? * DoubleDisclaimer : Obviously I couldn’t watch every movie and show, so if you don’t see your favorite from the 2nd quarter here I do apologize. Here are the lists of films & shows from the 2nd quarter of 2023 that I watched and therefore eligible for award consideration: Films: 22 Shows: 13 Air Animal Control s1 Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret Beef s1 Asteroid City The Citadel s1 The Boogeyman City on Fire s1 The Covenant The Flash s9 Elemental Fubar s1 Fast X The Idol s1 Flamin’ Hot Jury Duty s1 The Flash Love and Death s1 Ghosted Rise of the Pink Ladies s1 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Succession s4 Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny Ted Lasso s3 The Little Mermaid White House Plumbers s1 No Hard Feelings Peter Pan and Wendy Power Rangers: Once and Always Renfield Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse Still Super Mario Bros. Movie Transformers: Rise of the Beasts White Men Can’t Jump Now to the awards! (Each category has five nominees, winners in bold ) Favorite Cameo (1 scene, Actor & Actress Combined) Anthony Mackie as Grandson of Sam (Ghosted) Charles Martinet as Giuseppe (Super Mario Bros.) Dwayne The Rock Johnson as Luke Hobbs (Fast X) Gal Gadot as Gisele (Fast X) Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman (The Flash) George Clooney as Bruce Wayne (The Flash) Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood (Dial of Destiny) Margot Robbie as Actress/Wife (Asteroid City) Nicholas Cage as Superman (The Flash) Peggy Lu as Mrs. Chen (Across the Spiderverse) Sebastian Stan as God (Ghosted) WOW what a miserable category this was in quarter 2. None of these were particularly fun or story-driven cameos, with the exception of Karen Allen in Dial of Destiny, and of course the winner Charles Martinet! The voice of Mario that you’ve heard in the games for years and years got to be in the Super Mario Bros. Movie as Mario’s dad and I loved it! Was the character memorable? Not particularly. But the sentimental value there was tough to beat, not even by Gal Gadot and her endless stream of pointless appearances. Favorite Performance By A Supporting Actress in Film Awkwafina as Scuttle (The Little Mermaid) Brie Larson as Tess (Fast X) Kathy Bates as Sylvia Simon (Are You There God?) Laura Harrier as Tatiana (White Men Can’t Jump) Maya Hawke as June (Asteroid City) Melissa McCarthy as Ursula (The Little Mermaid) Pom Klementieff as Mantis (Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3) Rachel McAdams as Barbara Simon (Are You There God) Sasha Calle as Supergirl (The Flash) Vivien Lyra-Blair as Sawyer Harper (The Boogeyman) Zoe Saldana as Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3) Oscars, anyone? Rachel McAdams was brilliant in Are You There God? And deserves, at the very least, an Oscar nom. Feels a little weird to have our favorite Mean Girl playing a mom, but oh well. Sasha Calle also gave a really strong supporting turn in Flash, and if she was kept on in the new universe as SueprGirl I wouldn’t be upset. And then we had Awkwafina as Scuttle. Some people liked the character, others hated it. I liked it! And that’s the scuttle. Favorite Performance By A Supporting Actor in Film Ben Affleck as Phil Knight (Air) Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon (Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3) Charlie Day as Luigi (Super Mario Bros.) Dar Salim as Ahmed (The Covenant) David Dastmalchian as Lester Billings (The Boogeyman) Jack Black as Bowser (Super Mario Bros.) Jason Bateman as Rob Strasser (Air) Jason Momoa as Dante Reyes (Fast X) John Cena as Jakob Torretto (Fast X) Matthew Borderick as Laird Becker (No Hard Feelings) Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong (Super Mario Bros.) Supporting Actor was a much deeper field in Q2 than Supporting Actress. All the Mario boys really brought it, Jack Black in particular with his star-turn as Bowser and his hit-single, Peaches. Cooper, Affleck & Dasmalchian also really crushed it! Had Dasmlachian been in Boogeyman just a liiiiiitle bit more, he could have competed for the win. Unfortunately, the scene you see in the trailer is really all you get. But of course the winner has to be Momoa. He brought something so wildly unique to a Fast franchise that is starting to run out of gas (if you’ve heard that joke before, take a shot). He was phenomenal, from licking blood off of knives to giving pedicures to dead people. The BEST performance of his career! Favorite Performance By A Lead Actress in Film Abby Ryder-Fortson as Margaret Simon (Are You There God?) Awkwafina as Rebecca (Renfield) Ever Anderson as Wendy Darling (Peter Pan & Wendy) Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy/Spider-Gwen (Across the Spiderverse) Halle Bailey as Ariel (The Little Mermaid) Jennifer Lawrence as Maddie Barker (No Hard Feelings) Karen Gillan as Nebula (Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3) Leah Lewis as Ember (Elemental) Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Helena Shaw (Dial of Destiny) Sophie Thatcher as Sadie Harper (The Boogeyman) Viola Davis as Deloris Jordan (Air) Now THIS was an Oscars performance! She’ll likely be up for Supporting instead of Lead, but I do not care. She was head and shoulders above the rest of the field here, the BEST part of the BEST movie of 2023 (so far… Looking at you Oppenheimer). Not to mention, this is her second Lead Actress win here at the Circuit Awards (2022 Q3- The Woman King ). Way to go! Phoebe Waller-Bridge was quite good in Dial of Destiny despite what you may have heard on Twitter from the Duck Dynasty fan club account. Do I want her to be the next Indiana Jones? No. Is it because she’s a woman? No. It’s because I just don’t care about this franchise! But she was great. And Halle Bailey man. She’s got some fucking PIPES!!! She turned what was probably my 4th favorite song in the original into by far my favorite in the live-action version with Part of Your World. That scene in the trailer when she comes up on the rock for the crescendo and the waves are crashing around her and she’s BELTING… chills. Favorite Performance By A Lead Actor in Film Andrew Barth-Feldman as Percy (No Hard Feelings) Anthony Ramos as Noah Diaz (Transformers: Rise of the Beasts) Chris Pratt Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3) Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash (The Flash) Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones (Indiana Jones & the Dial of Destiny) Jake Gyllenhal as Master Sergeant John Kinley (The Covenant) Jesse Garcia as Richard Montanez (Flamin’ Hot) Matt Damon as Sonny Vaccaro (Air) Nicholas Hoult as Renfield (Renfield) Shameik Moore as Miles Morales (Across the Spiderverse) Vin Diesel as Dominic Torretto (Fast X) Andrew Barth-Feldman is a future star, you heard it here first. Chris Pratt brought it in Guardians 3 with some fantastic emotional and comedic work. Gyllenhal made me like a war movie. And Ezra Miller was GREAT in The Flash (I DO NOT CARE about what is going on in their personal life because it doesn’t impact me at all, nor does it impact you. My relationship with Ezra is ON A SCREEN, as is yours. Remember that). BUT there can only be one winner, and it happens to be another Air member in Matt Damon! Giving arguably the best performance of his career, I would be surprised not to see him land an Oscar nom for this role. That sales pitch man… he even got ME hyped for Jordan! Favorite Movie Scene of the 2nd Quarter Counter-Earth (Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3) Escaping Spider HQ (Across the Spiderverse) Hiking Through the Desert (The Covenant) Maneater (No Hard Feelings) Mario vs. Donkey Kong (Super Mario Bros.) Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid) Returning the Tomatoes (The Flash) Sales Pitch (Air) Saving Rocket (Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3) Street Racing (Fast X) Therapy Session (The Boogeyman) Some really good scenes in Q2; Sales Pitch, Maneater and Escaping Spider HQ were all reallyyyyyy fantastic scenes that highlighted those great films. But in the end, Saving Rocket could just not be toppled. When he’s in the Platform 9 ¾ afterlife place ( Harry Potter reference for those lost) and his friends are telling him about how they’ve been flying and he asks if he can come too… and they tell him of course. But not yet…. Jesus FUCK I was UGLY-CRYING in the theater! And then seeing Peter realize his best friend was alive… excuse me while I wipe off my keyboard here. Amazing scene, one of the most emotionally taxing in the entire MCU. Favorite Film Air The Boogeyman The Covenant Fast X The Flash Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 No Hard Feelings Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse Still Super Mario Bros. Movie Transformers: Rise of the Beasts I broke my rule! Last quarter I said only scripted things could be eligible for awards but dammit Still was just too good! Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies of all-time, and seeing a childhood hero tell his life story was really great. Check it out on Apple if you haven’t! Air is the best movie I’ve seen in 2023. This movie is fantastic and deserves a Best Picture nomination. Being in Maine, anytime a Stephen King movie comes out I’ll stan for it. The Boogeyman was no IT: Chapter I, but it was certainly one of my favorite 11 movies this quarter. The Covenant (that’s Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant, to be clear) had me skeptical going in, but ended up one of my favorite war movies. Fast X was fun. Was it great? Was it a top-5 Fast movie? Did John Cena’s character really die? Of course the answer to all these is no. But it was a fun… wait for it… ride. The Flash was a really good movie and shame on you for not going to see it because of factors other than “is the movie good or not”! Visually it was pretty rough, but the story was fantastic. It is easily either the best or second best DCEU movie, depending on where you stand with Wonder Woman, and it deserved a lot better than its box office run. Rated-R comedies are back, baby! Between Bros last year and No Hard Feelings this summer, maybe the raunchy comedy is finally back. This is a fun movie, highly recommend! Across the Spiderverse is just awesome. I still like the first one a smidge better, but this was a fantastic sequel and set up an epic conclusion for the trilogy capper next year. Super Mario Bros. was just so much fun! The story wasn’t overly riveting, but visually it was stunning and it was just a good time hanging out in the world. And somehow, they made me like a Transformers movie! I could actually tell the transformers apart, which was a nice change of pace. Too bad they couldn’t help themselves with that ending though… this franchise had potential! But of course, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 wins Favorite Film of Quarter 2. This was one of the best MCU movies ever; it had great action (the hallway fight!), great emotion (saving Rocket) and great comedy (get in the fucking car). Such a beautiful sendoff to our favorite loveable losers. This franchise will be missed, but our memories with them will never fade. Thank you James Gunn for giving us such a moving and heartwarming story! Now don’t fuck Superman up please. Movie Studio of the 2nd Quarter Disney! They’ve taken it on the chin at the box office this year, but they did pump out a lot of good stuff this quarter. Obviously they made my favorite film in Guardians 3, but also had The Little Mermaid and The Boogeyman for my nominated movies, plus Dial of Destiny & Elemental, which were both close to making the cut. This is less a win based on quality, but more on quantity. Film Scoreboard: Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3- 8 (2) Fast X- 8 (1) The Flash- 7 Air- 6 (2) Super Mario Bros.- 6 (1) The Boogeyman- 5 No Hard Feelings- 5 Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse- 5 The Covenant- 4 The Little Mermaid- 4 Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret- 3 (1) Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny- 3 Asteroid City- 2 Ghosted- 2 Renfield- 2 Transformers: Rise of the Beasts- 2 Elemental- 1 Flamin’ Hot- 1 Peter Pan & Wendy- 1 Still- 1 White Men Can’t Jump- 1 Favorite Guest Appearance (1 episode, Actor & Actress Combined) Abraham Atso as high Roller (Rise of the Pink Ladies) Brian Keane as Jacob (City on Fire) Matteo van der Grijn as Stranger (Ted Lasso) Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen (The Flash) Teddy Sears as Zoom (The Flash) Timothy E. Goodwin as The Plumber (Jury Duty) Tom Cavanagh as Eobard Thawne (The Flash) Much like its counterpart on the movie front, this category was miserable (Q3 will be better on the shoulders of The Bear alone). The Flash was able to rack up a few nominees and a win in that final episode, but for the rest of these nominees… you’re lucky to be here. Favorite Performance By A Supporting Actress in Television Alexandra Doke as Sewer Girl (City on Fire) Ari Notartomaso as Cynthia (Rise of the Pink Ladies) Cheyenne Isabel-Wells as Olivia (Rise of the Pink Ladies) Fortune Feimster as Roo (Fubar) Grace Palmer as Victoria Sands (Animal Control) Rachel Sennott as Leia (The Idol) Tricia Fukuhara as Nancy (Rise of the Pink Ladies) This might as well be a category specifically for the Pink Ladies! Taking home three nominations and a win is an impressive haul, but a deserved one. Isabel-Wells had the best character arc in that show, and I thought her storyline was really great. I’m sad to see that show get canceled (and removed from Paramount+ already… wtf Paramount!) but I’m hopeful that a number of the cast will get some more opportunities! And shoutout to former Supporting Actress in Film Circuit Award winner Rachel Sennott for getting nominated here for the most divisive show in the history of television. Favorite Performance By A Supporting Actor in Television Alexander Skarsgard as Lukas Matsson (Succession) Brett Goldstein as Roy Kent (Ted Lasso) James Marsden as James Marsden (Jury Duty) John Cameron Mitchell as Amory Gould (City on Fire) Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy (Succession) Matthew Macfayden as Tom Wambsgans (Succession) Phil Dunster as Jamie Tartt (Ted Lasso) I’m honestly impressed I was able to hold myself to 5 of the 7 nominees from Succession and Ted Lasso (The Emmy’s certainly weren’t!), but I couldn’t in good faith leave Marsden off the list. If you haven’t watched Jury Duty, what are you doing with your life! John Cameron Mitchell was terrifying in City on Fire , and I really hope to see him in more things. His presence on screen was chilling to the bone. Well done! But let’s face it, this was a two-show race. Roy Kent and Jamie Tartt went from rivals to best friends in season 3 of Ted Lasso, and both delivered phenomenal performances. And I have to give a shoutout to our new WayStar RoyCo CEO Matthew Macfayden, but the clear standout in this category was Kieran Culkin (yes I know he was nominated and might win Lead Actor at the Emmy’s, but to me a show has one lead and one lead only, and Jeremy Strong is clearly the lead of this show). Caulking had a number of brilliant scenes, from the mountaintop to the boardroom, and deserves the win. Favorite Performance By A Lead Actress in Television Ali Wong as Amy Lau (Beef) Elizabeth Olsen as Candy Montgomery (Love and Death) Lily Rose-Depp as Jocelyn (The Idol) Marisa Davila as Jane (Rise of the Pink Ladies) Monica Barbaro as Emma Brunner (Fubar) Priyanka Chopra-Jones (The Citadel) Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy (Succession) There were 6 really strong nominees in this category. And then Chopra-Jones also got nominated. Ali Wong, Marisa Davila, Monica Barbaro and Sarah Snook were all awesome this quarter and all would have had a shot at winning in Q1. And there was Lily Rose-Depp, who starred in the much-talked about The Idol. A lot of people haaaaaated this show, thought it was too sexual (as if they’ve never seen or had sex before) and accused the showrunners of being pigs who exploited their stars (despite the cast coming out and saying there were no issues with anything that happened on set). Everybody has to find something to be mad at, right? Personally, I loved episode 1. Liked episode 2. Episode 3 started to get a little sideways. Hated episode 4. Loved the first 45 minutes of episode 5 and then absolutely hated the final 15 minutes. What a ride! Ultimately the show didn’t work for me, but it had NOTHING to do with the sex stuff. And Depp was incredible; she is a future star! But ultimately the winner had to be Olsen. I didn’t overly enjoy watching Love and Death, but she was incredible in it and continued to prove why she’s one of the best actresses on the planet. Also, this is her second Circuit Award win! She took home Lead Actress in Q2 of 2022 for Multiverse of Madness. Impressive! Favorite Performance By A Lead Actor in Television Arnold Schwarzenegger as Luke Brunner (Fubar) Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/Flash (The Flash) Jason Sudekis as Ted Lasso (Ted Lasso) Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy (Succession) Richard Madden as Mason Kane (The Citadel) Steven Yeun as Danny Cho (Beef) Woody Harrelson as E. Howard Hunt (White House Plumbers) Yeun, Strong and Schwarzenegger all gave solid performances this quarter (felt like Strong was a little underused, no? He didn’t really unleash until the finale, but it felt a little late). Harrelson, Madden and Gustin are here simply to round out the category. Sudekis is the clear winner here. This final season of Ted Lasso was by far the most emotional of the series, and a lot of that was due to what Sudekis was doing in the role. His comedy shined as always, but the way he was able to break my heart with his son at the pub, or in the locker room of his final game… damn. This was an easy choice. Congratulations, coach! Favorite 2nd Quarter Television Episode America Decides (Succession season 4 episode 8) Connor’s Wedding (Succession season 4 episode 3) Field Trip (Jury Duty season 1 episode 5) Kill List (Succession season 4 episode 5) The Strings That Bind Us (Ted Lasso season 3 episode 7) Sunflowers (Ted Lasso season 3 episode 6) We’ll Never Have Paris (Ted Lasso season 3 episode 8) Much like Supporting Actor, this was a two-show race with Jury Duty sneaking in a nom. Field Trip was a phenomenal episode, where the jury not only had some fun at the crime scene but also got into some shenanigans at a local Applebee's. If that didn’t sell it, I’m not sure what would. Ted Lasso put forth 3 incredible episodes this season; the one where the team fixes up Sam’s restaurant because that’s what the situation needed from them. The one where they travel to Amsterdam for a night out. And the one where Ted takes his son to a local pub and sings Hey Jude with him (I’m still crying). The best of that bunch would have to be Sunflowers, episode 6 when they have a night out (or in, for most of the team) in Amsterdam. Having been to Amsterdam I can tell you, anything is more fun than sitting in a hotel lobby. Succession, however, had three pantheon episodes this season. Episode 3, Connor’s Wedding, is what most people said was one of the best hours of television of all-time. And Episode 8, America Decides, was a phenomenal episode that offered some horrifying insight into how this country works. But I went with Episode 5, Kill List. Our favorite dysfunctional American royal family takes a field trip to Europe to coddle an eccentric billionaire. I’m in! We get Culkin on the mountain, Cousin Greg and the Quad Squad, and Lukas Mattson and the Blood Factory. In my eyes, this was the best hour of television of the quarter. Favorite Show Beef season 1 City on Fire season 1 Fubar season 1 Jury Duty season 1 Rise of the Pink Ladies season 1 Succession season 4 Ted Lasso season 3 Beef was a slow burn for me. My interest in the show and characters grew with each episode, culminating in a highly stress-induced penultimate episode. The finale I actually disliked quite a bit, but the journey to get there was more than enough to get a nomination. City on Fire I really quite enjoyed beginning to end. I was stunned to see so many people disliking it; I thought the tension grew with each episode, and the murder mystery aspect of it really worked for me. Y’all are crazy! *In Arnold Voice* FUUUUUBAAAAHHHHH!!! I can’t believe I liked this show. I thought for sure I would hate it, but I loved it! By the end, it had me cheering when they announced a season 2. Unbelievable! Jury Duty was another great surprise hit! A much much much better version of The Rehearsal, this show really provided the laughs that one is looking for in a mockumentary show. James Marsden was brilliant in this, and the even the only guy in the whole show that wasn’t an actor and didn’t know he was on a show was funny! Give it a shot, it’s a quick binge and you will feel better about the world when you’re done. Rise of the Pink Ladies is a show I really enjoyed, and apparently I was the only one! I thought the musical numbers were really strong, and I had a good time with these characters. It’s a shame they won’t get to continue! Ted Lasso was awesome this season. It was by far the most emotional of the series, it continued to be top-tier comedy, and it gave us phenomenal endings for all these characters (except for Nate… he should have been the head coach! And fuck you Apple for making me root for Nate!!!). Save for the bizarre Zava storyline, this season was air-tight. Unfortunately coach Lasso was going up against one of the greatest teams of all-time in WayStar RoyCo. Succession elevated into the pantheon of greatest shows ever made. And even though my guy Cousin Grer didn’t ascend the piss-mad throne, this show still delivered in every way possible this season and is unquestionably the best show of 2023 to this point. And probably will continue to be that at every point. Streamer of the 2nd Quarter Apple+! This really came down to Apple, Netflix and HBOMax (or MAX, since apparently having the best brand in the history of television in your name was a bad thing… I will continue to say HBOMax until the end of time. Deal with it). Unfortunately for HBOMax, The Idol and Love and Death crumbled under the weight of having to keep up with Succession. Netflix had two strong offerings with Beef and *in Arnold Voice* FUUUUUBAAAAHHHHH . But Apple had my second favorite show of the quarter with Ted Lasso, and another really strong contender in City on Fire . Those two were just enough to grab the belt! Television Scoreboard: Succession- 9 (3) Ted Lasso- 8 (1) Rise of the Pink Ladies- 6 (1) The Flash- 4 (1) City on Fire- 4 Fubar- 4 Jury Duty- 4 Beef- 3 The Citadel- 2 The Idol- 2 Love and Death- 1 (1) Animal Control- 1 White House Plumbers- 1 There you have it! The Film & Television Awards for the 2nd Quarter of 2023! Make sure to check back in at the beginning of October to check out who will take home some hardware for the 3rd quarter!