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Random Notes from Last Night’s People’s Choice Awards

Photo: Kaley Cuoco at the People's Choice Awards

Here are some random thoughts from last night’s People’s Choice Awards. (Did you watch? I kept checking my Twitter feed, and it was almost as if no one was watching.)

The evening opened with a prerecorded scene from the set of The Big Bang Theory, which utterly confused my mother. It was sweetly contrived, but as soon as Kaley Cuoco bounded onstage, the energy seemed to fizzle.

I am not too sure Kaley Cuoco was the best pick to host. Oh, sure, she was game for the job. She was animated, perky (almost shrill), and yet somehow totally charmless.

There was a “comedic” bit where Kaley found Neil Patrick Harris in the audience, already mic’d and flanked by two showgirls—he is practically a career awards-ceremony host, after all, and he always likes to begin the evening with a musical number—and Kaley yanked at his dress shirt, revealing a blue sequined vest. “I knew it!” she said something like. “A breakaway tuxedo!”

NPH protested, then prepared to lapse into song anyway, while Kaley shouted for security. As NPH was physically dragged away I found myself thinking “Awww,” because I kind of did hope for a musical number. And as I slowly realized I would not get to hear a musical number, I found myself, like, really disappointed.

The first winner of the night was Emma Stone. She tripped on her way up the stairs—she wasn’t even wearing a dress! She was wearing slacks!—and she made the sweetest little “argh” face. I thought this was a very auspicious beginning to the show. I said to my mom, “Emma Stone! First trip of the night! Right out of the gate!” and my mother said, “Who’s Emma Stone?”

Emma Stone treated her win seriously and sincerely, although she was a little rambling. Still, I wish many other winners had followed her lead.

Sharon Osbourne co-presented the award for “Favorite Talk Show,” while her own show, “The Talk,” was not even nominated. Awkward.

Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell presented the award for Best Comedy Actress to Lea Michele. Lea proceeded to deliver her acceptance speech in a wittle baby voice. It was the weirdest.

Nina Dobrev won for Best Drama Actress and, during her speech, thanked “Vampire Diaries” fans for writing her in as a nominee and raising a big stink on her behalf. This was the first it dawned on me that the People’s Choice Awards are not quite a popularity contest; rather, tiny fanatical factions of the Internet stack the online voting polls until their pick invariably wins. (I voted this year, yet Green Lantern won Best Superhero Movie anyway. I’ll never vote again.)

Adam Sandler’s acceptance speech made for the show’s first genuinely funny moments. It seemed like the show didn’t give Sandler a time limit, either, which was wise.

Chloe Moretz won for “Favorite under 25.” Harry Potter fans must have haphazardly split their votes among the other four nominees—Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Tom Felton—so that Chloe ended up with the majority vote. I know I voted for her, though! And I was really rooting for her—till she opened her mouth.

The entire night was really sloppy on the whole, though, and I got the feeling few of the actors had any respect for the awards ceremony at all. Why bother with it? Why even air it?

The other highlights were the acceptance speeches from Nathan Fillion and Morgan Freeman. Fillion won for his role on “Castle,” and his speech was sincere, smart, and wry, all in the right doses. At his speech’s conclusion, he held up the (tacky) trophy and said, “To the fans, let this giant crystalized tear of victory be a symbol of your excellent taste.” (Most importantly, though, Fillion’s speech was prepared. Thanks for respecting our time, Fillion.)

Morgan Freeman beat the likes of Brad Pitt and George Clooney for “Icon.” He also prepared the gist of his speech in advance, and it was very gracious and nice. Freeman’s speech:

“When I found out I’d been nominated for the first-ever People’s Choice Movie Icon award, I decided to look up ‘icon.’ So, here’s what I found: The first definition says an icon is a tiny picture on a computer screen that represents a file. Well!

“The second definition says, an icon is an image of someone who is saintly. The third definition says an icon is someone representative of something. All right. So, if I represent something, here’s what I hope it is: To all of you who were kind enough to vote for me, I hope I represent a working actor who is so incredibly proud to be in this business, humbled and honored to be mentioned in the same company as my fellow nominees, and forever grateful for this honor. Thank you so much.”

Also: Had Katy Perry attended, she would’ve lugged six trophies home, you guys. Six!

(Photograph of Cuoco via The Envelope.)

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