To fill in Emmy gaps, Envy Awards salute ‘Mindy,’ Jon Snow and more

The Envelope’s 2015 Envy Awards

Illustration by Johanna Goodman.

(Johanna Goodman / For the Los Angeles Times)

The Emmy Awards cover a lot of territory each year in honoring the best and brightest. But they just can’t get to everyone and everything that happened on TV in any given season that deserves to win a prize. That’s where we come in. So without further ado, the categories we think ought to exist and the winners who should not go overlooked this season: the 2015 Envy Awards.

Most surprising unfired first-act gun

“The Mindy Project”

Just as you can’t show a gun in the first act without having fired it by the end, no one should be able to read a secret diary without being outed for it by the third act. Yet not only was Danny never caught for reading Mindy’s diary — much less accidentally ruining it and having to have it re-created by master forger Jeremy — in “Diary of a Mad Indian Woman,” the betrayal of trust was never revealed by the time the show was canceled by Fox! Hulu, you know where you need to begin.



Best use of an instrument to tell a one-note joke

“Two and a Half Men”

The piano that fell on “Charlie Sheen’s” character in the series finale. Hell hath no fury like a show runner scorned.


Least-likely survivor of the zombie apocalypse

Owl sculpture, “The Walking Dead”

What was up with that strange sculpture in the planned community Alexandria that got vandalized and banged up a whole heck of a lot of times? Who has time in the middle of a zombie apocalypse to make art in the first place … but then to make an owl sculpture? How random is that?

Costume designer’s quietest cry for help

John Oliver and Mikaela Wohl, “Last Week Tonight”

Host Oliver and costume designer Wohl are both hard-working and hilarious. But Wohl’s creative energies are clearly being overwhelmed by crafting such amazing costumes as Jeff the Diseased Lung in a Cowboy Hat and a Russian Space Sex Gecko — because the ball has clearly been dropped on dressing Oliver. It’s almost silly by now how many checked tops he’s been decked out in. Could Brooks Brothers do an intervention?

Most beautiful anachronistic cover

Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”


One of the best surprises in the series came early in the season, when Lange’s freak show owner took the stage in a blue suit and tie and sang David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?,” a song from 1971 that felt fresh and original and totally appropriate under the show’s 1952 big tent.

Story most likely to drive viewers into denial

Jon Snow, “Game of Thrones”

“What is dead may never die, but rises again harder and stronger.” That’s what George R.R. Martin wrote in his “Song of Ice and Fire” books, and it gave us hope. But now we have HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo saying, “Dead is dead is dead is dead. He be dead.” La la la, our fingers are in our ears. We can’t hear him.

Least realistic attempt at reform

Tom Keen, “The Blacklist”

It’s gone now, but the first thing Tom should have done after declaring he would no longer be an undercover assassin for hire was to get the SS tattoo he’d had emblazoned on his neck removed. Hard to imagine an employer taking his many skills seriously with that thing still in place.

Sexiest near-dead love scene


Dorian and Lily, “Penny Dreadful”

She’s on the verge of dying of consumption (but no worries, she’ll be back in reanimated form); he’s got his soul trapped in a painting and can’t die. Best line from their somehow inevitable sex scene is Dorian’s: “I’ve never [had sex with] a dying creature before. Do you feel things more deeply, I wonder?”

Line of the year

Viola Davis, “How to Get Away With Murder”

“Why is your penis on a dead girl’s phone?” Just try and come back from that one.

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