Announcing the Winners of the The 2017 Peely Awards for the Worst in Pop Culture

Oh, do these days come and go so swiftly. After two weeks of nominations, votes, repeated suggestions, and irritating reminders, the 2017 Peely’s have come to an end. From book to film to game to song, now shall the worst of this year’s pop culture rise from the ocean of detritus to bask in the light of mockery.

Compared to the treasure trove of 2016, this year was lighter, at least on the film front. We got bonkers films so tonally wonky the New York Times could erroneously call it a Republican policy expert, failed blockbusters up the wazoo, and a 9/11 movie that put all its dramatic weight on Charlie Sheen, but we didn’t have the wall to wall silliness of last year’s Peely’s. Fortunately, the expanded range of media – thank Merve on that one – led to other fields picking up some of the slack. A fantastic year for video games was rivaled by some truly embarrassing works, while Steven Seagal and Convicted Felon Dinesh D’Souza competed for making the most asinine rightwing crank of a book. Shows that were morally, intellectually, or artistically offensive like The Good DoctorCandy Crush, or Wisdom of the Crowd stunk up our televisions – or, at least our ad space. And just in general, as always there was some incredible ways of dumbness going on.

But look; as much as this is about bad stuff, and making fun of bad stuff, this is also about us as a community. From the AV Club to The Dissolve, from The Tolerability Index to The Avocado, celebrating and enjoying the worst of the worst can be more than just nastily throwing rotten fruit from afar. It can be brilliant, compelling, well considered, and endearing. I am unbelievably thankful for the hundreds of comments and votes; the participation of the community gives me succor and gratitude.

Now, having said all that, here are the winners in bold, along with the top five (or so) rival nominees for each category. I’ve hidden them in spoiler tags for ease of reading; initially I was going to separate tags, but that was…too difficult. Also, for image related categories, only the winning image will be uploaded; the others, however, will get links. In addition, some nominations were accidentally of things that were released or happened last year; those are not counted.

[spoiler title=WINNERS]

1. Best Worst Knockoff of a Pre-Existing Property or Work (Wolfman Jew)

  • Alien Convergence, for Alien: Covenant (9)
  • Geo-Disaster for GeoStorm, for some reason (7)
  • Beauty and the Beast (5)
  • Young Sheldon (4)
  • Yooka-Laylee (3)

2. The Louis C.K. on Parks And Recreation Memorial Award For Ruining Something In Retrospect (Robert Maitland, Architect)

  • T.J. Miller, Silicon Valley (19)
  • Jeffrey Tambor, Arrested Development and The Larry Sanders Show (15)
  • Louie CK. Louie (14)
  • George Takei (12)
  • Al Franken, moral authority (11)

3. Worst Character Name (Lovely Bones)

  • Harry Hole, The Snowman (38)
  • Amitjyoti “Amy” Ferrier, Tacoma

4. Most Egregious Male Gaze (gwahir)

  • Justice League, Wonder Woman butt shots and redesigning the Amazon’s armor (16)
  • Baby Driver (5)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (3)
  • Twin Peaks, Gordon and Albert tilting their heads as Tammy walks away (2)
  • Gamers!, The interstitial and episode-ending screens (1)

5. Most Tone-Deaf Depiction of a Minority (Shit-Master Slūtface)

  • Ghost in the Shell for its decision to not only controversially whitewash the main character of one of the most famous animes ever, but to double down/desperately try to ameliorate by revealing ScarJo had an Asian woman’s brain all along (27)
  • Michelle Rodriguez as a horrifying collection of transphobic panic, stereotypes, and cisgender cluelessness, The Assignment (9)
  • Casting an Italian actress as Latina on Supergirl (5)
  • Hainly Abrams, the trans woman who immediately deadnames herself, Mass Effect Andromeda (5)
  • The Good Doctor (2)
  • Elle Fanning with horrific wigs as teenage trans man Ray in 3 Generations / formerly About Ray (2)
  • Orcs, Bright (2)

6. Worst Poster (Lysiuj)

  • I am Wrath (29)

I Am Wrath poster

7. Worst Trailer (Lysiuj)

8. Worst Political Message in a Piece of Media (Merve)

  • Wisdom of the Crowd, in which the Entourage guy crowdsources Reddit as a better way to solve crimes (13)
  • 12 Strong, Like every war movie trailer but with… horses (5)
  • Dark horse, because I very much liked the show otherwise, but the pro-gun control Senator in The Punisher (3)
  • Gun control is certainly a thing, isn’t it?, Arrow (2)
  • Nuclear bombs are only bad when other people drop them, Wolfenstein II

9. Most Shameless Form of Product Placement, Content Marketing, Branding, or Other Kind of Corporate Synergy (Wolfman Jew)

  • Marvel Comics’ cross-promotion with Defense Contractor Northrop Grumman (31)
  • Kinja destroying the AV Club and uglying up The Onion (29)
  • That “Woke” Kylie Jenner Pepsi ad (9)
  • Candy Crush the TV show (3)
  • Disqus’ blog post portraying The Avocado‘s departure to WordPress as a Disqus success story (1)
  • Yakuza 0 including actual modern Japanese adult actresses as characters and in collectible videos, despite the fact that most of them weren’t even alive at the time the game takes place (1)
  • The daily “deals” (plural) clogging up my AV Club RSS feed (1)

10. Least Believable Academic / Scientist (Shit-Master Slūtface)

  • Marky Mark (14)
  • Anybody playing an educator in those awful God’s Not Dead movies (4)
  • Matt Passmore as forensic pathologist and doctor Logan Nelson in Jigsaw (3)
  • Anyone in Geostorm (3)

11. Most On Its Face Corrupt Action Done in the Entertainment Industry (Wolfman Jew)

  • Disney barring the Los Angeles Times from attending press screenings of its films because the Times wrote about Disney’s relationship with Anaheim and it wasn’t particularly flattering (36)
  • EA making absurdly onerous, extreme demands on Star Wars Battlefront IIplayers that encourages spending real world money to play as characters you like and get access to better gear than other players (17)
  • Every thing related to Harvey Weinstein (8)
  • Disney buying Fox (8)
  • Spotify gaming their own system by creating fake artists and playlists (4)

12. Biggest Waste of Talent (Coolhand Fluke)

  • Idris Elba, Matthew McConaghey, and others, The Dark Tower (18)
  • Pottersville: Michael Shannon, Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks, Judy Greer, Ian McShane, and Tom Lennon for a movie about furries ‘n’ Bigfoot (13)
  • The Snowman (11)
  • The Circle (11)
  • Sarah Paulson, The Post (3)

13. Worst Single Image of a Work in 2017 (Lovely Bones)

  • Justice League (36)

superman chin

14. Worst Protagonist of 2017 (Wolfman Jew)

  • Tom Cruise in The Mummy, a war criminal at the start who stumbles through a series of events over which he has zero control and makes zero decisions, then leaves after a contrived self sacrifice. He makes no jokes, has no character and exists solely to exist (27)
  • Danny Rand, a.k.a. “the worst Iron Fist ever” (10)
  • Henry in The Book of Henry (6)
  • Halle Berry in Kidnap (4)
  • Constantine “Connie” Nikas from Good Time (2)

15. Worst Antagonist of 2017 (Wolfman Jew)

  • Sebastian Gorka, various properties (17)
  • The snowman-themed, chicken guillotine-wielding serial killer from The Snowman (11)
  • Savitar, The Flash (3)
  • Thomas Lennon as Brock, Pottersville (3)
  • Lab-Coat A.K.A Zander Rice, Logan (2)

16. Worst Casting (kajigger desu)

  • Dane DeHaan in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (11)
  • Ewan McGregor in Beauty and the Beast (5)
  • Aziz Ansari’s parents, Master of None (1)
  • JonTron, A Hat in Time (1)
  • Emma Watson, Beauty and the Beast
  • Julianne Moore, Suburbicon
  • Brina Palencina, English dub of Sakura Quest

17. The “Just Why?” Award (SilentSpy)

  • The Way Of The Shadow Wolves: The Deep State And The Hijacking Of America, by Steven Seagal and Tom Morrissey, foreword by Joe Arpaio (11)
  • Every script decision on The Dark Tower (5)
  • The CGI in Beauty and the Beast (4)
  • Pottersville (3)
  • The predatory gay stereotype characters, Persona 5 (3)

18. Worst Fan Behavior (Lysiuj)

  • The great Szechuan crisis of Rick and Morty‘s worst fans (47)
  • Angry, misogynist Mass Effect: Andromeda fans sending death threats to female BioWare staff members who they blamed for the game’s poor animations (24)
  • DC fans who can’t accept that the DCEA is as bad as everyone else is saying it is (22)
  • Star Wars fans harassing people who liked The Last Jedi (21)
  • Doctor Who fans objecting to a woman being cast as their shape-changing, time traveling, immortal alien

19. Poorest Exploitation of Nostalgia (Wolfman Jew)

  • 9/11 (the movie) (17)
  • The Ready Player One trailer (14)
  • The Trump Administration (14)
  • CHiPS (5)
  • Bubsy: the Woollies Strike Back (4)

20. Worst Line of Dialogue in a Terrible Work (Wolfman Jew)

  • “Fairy lives don’t matter today.” – Will Smith, Bright (32)
  • “Back home, I was filling test tubes in some dead-end lab. People knew me as Stephen. But that was never who I was. I knew what I could do. And I knew who I wanted to do it as. ‘Hainly Abrams, Andromeda explorer.’ That’s me. Feels good. Feels right.”—Hainly Abrams, Mass Effect: Andromeda (10)
  • “You thought you had to become Bigfoot to save this town, but you’ve saved it a long time ago just by being you.”—Judy Greer, Pottersvlle (10)
  • Ezra Miller’s extended riff about brunch in Justice League (5)
  • “None of this is good, Vector. That’s why it’s called ‘war'” – Knuckles, Sonic Forces (3)
  • “Everything I am is because of you.”—A tearful Belle (Emma Watson) to Maurice (Kevin Kline) in Beauty and the Beast (3)

21. Worst Line of Dialogue in an Otherwise Good Work (Wolfman Jew)

  • “You newer models are happy scraping the shit…because you’ve never seen a miracle.”—Blade Runner 2049 (9)
  • “Where did the crystal critters go?”—Star Wars: The Last Jedi (8)
  • “Are you hallucinating from an overdose?” -Sae Niijima, Persona 5 (1)

22. Worst Song Cover (Welcome to Tiny Train World)

  • The hideous remix of “We’re Not Gonna Take It” that plays over the Wolfenstein II credits (8)
  • The song from the Pepsi MAX “Try a New Tradition this Christmas” ad (5)
  • That Werewolves of London cover that popped up in an ad (2)
  • Was that really maudlin cover of Robyn’s Dancing on My Own by some rando dude this year? (2)
  • Whoever did “Hallelujah” this year

23. Worst Monologue or Soliloquy (Shit-Master Slūtface)

  • Halle Berry in Kidnap pschying herself up to try and take on her son’s kidnappers by repeatedly saying “Oh baby, oh god, please, etc” (9)
  • Steppenwolf describing why he needs the Mother Boxes in Justice League (2)
  • Sigrun hitting Grace and going on a rant about how she’s not a Nazi, Wolfenstein II

24. Most Infuriating Level, Boss Fight, Sequence, or Moment in a Video Game (Wolfman Jew)

  • Persona 5, the mouse dungeon (4)
  • The final boss fight in Yooka-Laylee (3)
  • The High Road, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (1)
  • The Ant-Eye virus segment, West of Loathing (1)
  • The part when you’re knee deep into one of Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s mindlessly boring sandboxes and just want to go back to Breath of the Wild (1)
  • The mine cart levels, Yooka-Laylee (1)

25. The Heroes Memorial Award for Series that Cratered the Hardest (Wes Lawson)

  • The Netflix Marvel series (not counting Punisher) for going from “hey, it’s like legit good TV!” with the first Daredevil season to “Ninjas again” by Defenders (20)
  • Colin Trevorrow’s career, going from making a massive Jurassic Park reboot to being kicked off Star Wars thanks to The Book of Henry (15)
  • Universal’s planned “Dark Universe” (15)
  • Mass Effect (13)
  • Scandal (2)

26. Worst Career Decision (Wolfman Jew)

  • Michael Fassbender (17)
  • Colin Trevorrow for The Book of Henry (9)
  • Naomi Watts, GÿpsyThe Book of Henry, and 3 Generations (7)
  • Ben Affleck as Batman, again (6)
  • Pewdiepie, Making shitty Nazi jokes and dropping the n-word on a stream (1)

27. Most Hilariously Wrongheaded Attempt at Gravitas (Wolfman Jew)

  • NFL owners attempting to co-opt the whole “police brutality protests leads to many dumb Trump hot takes” and make it about the president vs football (14)
  • The bloated, time-killing race subplot of Suburbicon (10)
  • The Last Face for having Javier Bardem fall in love with Charlize Theron’s feet amid the backdrop of trying to heal people during a war crime spree in Africa (8)
  • Stay! Stay! Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: Now your job is to rescue the girls you’ve been romantically pursuing and help them defect from North Korea

28. Most Unnecessary Sequel (PRIVILEGED)

  • Daddy’s Home 2 (16)
  • Transformers: The Last Knight (15)
  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle (8)
  • Smurfs: The Lost Village (5)
  • Underworld: Blood Wars (2)

29. Most Bone-Headed Plot Twist (Wolfman Jew)

  • Henry setting up a rube Goldberg device to show is mom that killing is wrong right before she shoots that guy, The Book of Henry (14)
  • The attempt to explain whitewashing in Ghost in the Shell (10)
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda having an quest that leads you to discovering that a main character in the backstory was murdered, only to abruptly end it right afterwards instead of continuing the investigation (8)
  • [CAN’T USE SPOILER TAGS, SO HERE’S A LINK]Beauty and the Beast (6)
  • Tom Lennon’s Australian character on Pottersville actually being American, and later, revealed as a weirdly mean-spirited Jewish caricature (5)

30. Worst Thing the Avocado Watched in Rabbit in Full This Year (Wolfman Jew)

  • Mummy Maniac (7)
  • The Snowman (3)
  • Guns of El Chupacabra (2)
  • Caligula (1)

31. Worst Design for an Original Sonic the Hedgehog Character (DO NOT STEAL) Created This Year (Merve)

  • Steve Buscemi in 30 Rock the Hedgehog, Sonic Forces (13)

32. Hottest Pop Cultural Take (QHarp! The Herald Angels Sing) DOUBLE WINNER!

33. Most Embarrassing Career Repositioning/Rebranding Attempt (Zero)

  • Kevin Spacey coming out as gay to deflect from Anthony Rapp’s accusation against him (40)
  • Taylor Swift trying to be hard or what ever she is trying to do (19)
  • Anthony Scaramucci’s weird, crypto-Holocaust denial entertainment feed (14)
  • Woke Katy Perry (10)
  • Louise Mensch from “drug-addled ex-Tory MP and romance novelist” to “groundbreaking #Resistance figure (10)

34. Worst Hair Styling Choice (Shit-Master Slūtface)

  • Medusa on Marvel’s Inhumans (18)
  • Superman’s Nonstache on Justice League (13)
  • Man buns (13)
  • The President, various shows (9)
  • Crystal on Marvel’s Inhumans (3)

35. Worst Title for an Eric Roberts Movie Released in 2017 (Wolfman Jew)

  • Las Vegas Vietnam: the Movie (18)
  • You’re Gonna Miss Me (3)
  • After School Special (3)
  • Beyond Brotherhood (2)
  • Ayla: The Daughter of War (1)
  • The Best Thanksgiving Ever (1)

36. Worst Album of 2017

  • The Chainsmokers, Memories…Do Not Open (16)
  • Witness – Katy Perry (6)
  • Chris Brown’s new album, “the title of which I’m not gonna bother to look up” (6)
  • Songs of Experience – U2 (2)
  • Big Sean, Double or Nothing (2)

37. Worst Book of 2017

  • The Way Of The Shadow Wolves: The Deep State And The Hijacking Of America, by Steven Seagal and Tom Morrissey, foreword by Joe Arpaio (24)
  • The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left, Convicted Felon Dinesh D’Souza (23)
  • The Girls, Emma Cline (3)

38. Worst Video Game of 2017

  • Star Wars Battlefront II (9)
  • Road Rage for the PS4 (7)
  • Yooka-Laylee (6)
  • Mass Effect:Andromeda (3)
  • Stay! Stay! Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (1)

39. Worst Television Series of 2017

  • The Good Doctor (19)
  • The Big Bang Theory (16)
  • Iron Fist (7)
  • Enter new CBS show here (7)
  • Young Sheldon (5)

40. Worst Film of 2017

  • The Emoji Movie (25)
  • The Book of Henry (10)
  • Bright (9)
  • Pottersville (6)
  • Geostorm (5)
  • The Bye-Bye Man (5)[/spoiler]