Your hostess this year is someone I can't believe I haven't "hired" to do this before. You noticed her in Firefly and loved her in Mad Men... Give it up for the absurdly beautiful and talented Christina Hendricks, everyone! It's not like we're paying her anything else to give out imaginary awards.
The Marvel Super Heroes Podcast (Diabolu Frank, Illegal Machine and Mr. Fixit). A hilarious dynamic between three old friends, good information on lesser-known characters, and fast and funky editing that avoids the longueurs many other podcasts suffer from, the MSH Podcast has been great to date, with no sign of that letting up.
Unnecessary role-playing product of 2014 - Cubicle 7 went above and beyond the call of duty this year by providing gamers who had gotten their only slightly misprinted Second Doctor Sourcebook (for DWAITAS) with a new copy free of charge. I got mine in the mail this month, and hadn't even asked for it. That misprint? The Doctor Who logo that's supposed to show up on the spines of each book when side by side on your shelf wasn't in the right position. Now I have an extra 2nd Doc book to give away. I'm sure I'll find an entertaining way to do that at some point.
Best board game of 2014 - Ghost Stories (Repos Productions). This year, I discovered the joys of co-op board games, and it all started with this Hong Kong Kung Fu Horror-themed game where your Shaolin monks go up against hopping vampires, demons and zombies who try to overwhelm your village, heralding the arrival of one of several incarnations of Wu-Feng, the big bad daddy demon (takes me all my strength not to call him Aku). Played several times, even won a couple times, but damn, Ghost Stories will really beat you up. No mercy. And that's what's great about difficult co-op games, they make your few victories all the sweeter.
Most watched You-Tube video of 2014 - Are there stats available on my account? I have a feeling it's "Doctor Who at the Proms 2013 The Rings of Akhaten" though. I'm not a big You-Tube watcher, but sometimes I'll find a vid I want to listen to or watch every day, or several times a day, or on a bloody loop. The live rendition of the waking song from Doctor Who's The Rings of Akhaten was that video this year. Matt Smith's speech has since become iconic, and been dramatically read by other Doctors at conventions. It's that Proms' own Doomsday.
Best cat actor of 2014 - Saw a lot of great cat actors on the silver screen this year, which is always surprising since cats are notoriously unwilling to do what directors ask of them. The best is(are) still the one(s) who play(s) Ulysses in Inside Llewyn Davis. Beautiful animal, gets a lot of screen time, and gives the film its whole meaning. The feline actors were apparently all pains in the ass, even biting the star, and perhaps consequently, they don't get an onscreen credit. Which is why I can't tell you their names. Shame. (Does someone know?)
Best robot actor of 2014 - A tight race this year, with Big Hero 6's Baymax finishing a close second to Interstellar's TARS. Baymax the inflatable medical care robot is super charming and cute, but he has a lot more to work with that Nolan's Monolith-bot. TARS is just a slab of metal, but he's full of surprises and comedy.
Best non-robotic object actor of 2014 - If you haven't seen Rubber, it's a postmodern horror flick that stars a rubber tire with psychokinetic powers. After you've read these words, you're unlikely to believe me when I say you start to care about this object within minutes of its "awakening", but it's true. Roll on up to your preferred film market to see for yourself!
And we're done! My thanks again to Ms. Hendricks for fake-pre-taping the gala and I'll see you in a year's time for more of the same!