Rectify for Best TV Drama and Clayne Crawford for Best Supporting Actor, TV — I cannot stress this enough: Rectify — wrapping up its final season — is the best drama on television right now, and Clayne Crawford is turning in a staggering performance this year. Rectify could have booted The Crown or This Is Us (a lovely show, but not awards worthy), while Clayne Crawford should have bumped John Travolta’s performance in The People vs. O.J., a show with a lot of stand-out performances, but Travolta’s was not necessarily among them.
Better Things for Best Comedy, TV — The Pamela Adlon parenting comedy had a terrific freshman season — it’s like a more hopeful Louie without any of the baggage of that series — and would have been a more suitable nominee than the entertaining but blithe Mozart in the Jungle.
Better Call Saul for Best Drama and Rhea Seehorn for Best Supporting Actress — I really enjoy This Is Us, but it is completely inexplicable that any show nominated this year (save for maybe Game of Thrones) got a nod over Better Call Saul, while Seehorn — as Kim Wexler — was the MVP of the series and should have merited a Best Supporting Actress nod over either Mandy Moore or Chrissy Metz in This Is Us.
Ruth Negga as Best Actress in Preacher — The Best Actress category was tough this year, but I’d edge Negga’s performance over Winona Ryder in Stranger Things, which was a whole lot of overacting, whether it was an intentional nod to the 80s or not.
Fleabag for Best Comedy — I love Black-ish, but it has not been a particularly strong season (and that season premiere/Disney advert was shameful). Netflix’s Fleabag, on the other hand, is right up there with Better Things for the best new show of the year, and the sexiest, most perverse show about grief ever.
Nice Guys for Best Comedy, Movie — Florence Foster Jenkins was a delight, but not particularly memorable, while Shane Black’s Nice Guys was one of the best, most underappreciated movies of the year.
Chris Pine in Hell or High Water for Best Actor — Nudge Andrew Garfield, who was OK in Hacksaw Ridge, although he sounded like a British guy doing a parody of a bad Southern accent. Pine, meanwhile, was absolute gold, delivering a incredible performance in what may be my favorite movie of the year.
Arrival for Best Picture — Any number of films could have beaten out Hacksaw Ridge, which really was a mediocre war film (in spite of the well-shot gore), but Arrival was the loveliest, coolest, smartest and most hopeful film of 2016.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping for Best Comedy — As comedies go, Popstar was the funniest movie of the year, and presumably more deserving than 20th Century Women (I would have also accepted Hunt for Wilderpeople).
Neel Sethi for Best Supporting Actor, Comedy or Musical, for The Jungle Book — I have no idea what Jonah Hill was doing in this category for the completely bro-gettable War Dogs. I like him, and he can be very good, but this was not a memorable performance. Neel Sethi, however, was pure, natural delight as Mowgli in The Jungle Book and one of the year’s best acting finds (bonus points for being a first-time actor at that age working on a green screen the entire film).