HOLLYWOOD—Well, it was expected to be a fun and exciting awards show, but amid the Writers Guild of America impending strike, the 2023 MTV Movie and TV Awards were a mess. First, the ceremony lost its host in actress Drew Barrymore who pulled out days before the ceremony in solidarity with the writers. She promised to host the ceremony in 2024. After word of writers’ demonstrating at the ceremony, the producers of the show decided it would not be live, which I thought meant we might still see celebrities in the audience, but that was not the case.

So the ceremony has no host, no audience, it almost felt as if the ceremony should have been scrapped and the winners could have been announced online. The event kicked off with Barrymore spoofing her character Josie from “Never Been Kissed” with some of the biggest movies and TV shows of the year including “Smile,” “Nope,” “Wednesday,” “The White Lotus,” “M3gan,” “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Cocaine Bear.” Funny? Not really, but considering the situation, we shouldn’t be surprised.

No intro people, the first award for Best Hero was presented within 4 minutes to Pedro Pascal for “The Last of Us.” Pascal accepted his award via video showing support for the writers who are currently on strike.  That acceptance speech was immediately followed up with a clip from the upcoming “The Little Mermaid.” Clips from past musical performances? Highlights from past ceremonies? That is what was utilized by the producers to fill up the time for the scheduled 2 year show that was likely pieced together in the previous 2-3 days.

The Golden Popcorn for Best Performance in a Movie went to Tom Cruise for “Top Gun: Maverick.” Wow, I didn’t expect that, I was thinking Austin Butler might win for “Elvis” considering this is a fan voted award ceremony. Perhaps NOT having a live audience or actual celebrities in attendance leads to actual winners who should win taking home the prize. This is the first time in such a long time that I was pleased with the winners this year, it didn’t feel so much like a popularity contest.

The award for Best Docu-Reality Series went to “The Kardashians,” really? Who the hell even watches the show still? Jennifer Coolidge was the recipient of the Comedic Genius award this year. I am sorry people, this ceremony is just not entertaining people. I loved that Coolidge dedicated her award in solidarity with members of the WGA, which I think is important. So many people forget the ‘stars’ are the faces to TV and movies, but there writers, the writers are the reason we have the content we have people!

The Golden Popcorn for Breakthrough Performance went to Joseph Quinn for “Stranger Things.” Best Reality On-Screen Team went to Ariana Madix, Lala Kent, Katie Malooney and Scheana Shay for “Vanderpump Rules.” For those not in the know, this reality series is what everyone is talking about right now with ‘Scandoval’ still unfolding.

The award for Best Comedic Performance went to Adam Sandler for “Murder Mystery 2.” Why am I even surprised. Sandler can pass gas and win an award. Best Duo was a victory for Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey for “The Last of Us.” That is two wins for Pedro for the night people. Best Fight was a victory for Gale Weathers vs. Ghostface for “Scream VI.” Yes, that was an iconic fight for the franchise people. Oh, that was a hilarious acceptance speech from Ghostface people.

The Golden Popcorn for Most Frightened Performance went to Jennifer Coolidge for “The White Lotus.” I really wouldn’t call that a frightened performance. Best Kiss which has presented plenty of iconic moments in the past like that one from Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair for “Cruel Intentions,” but in 2023 the victory was for Madison Bailey and Rudy Pankow for “Outer Banks.” Best Show was a victory for “The Last of Us.” It was a big night for that HBO Series that had 3 victories for the night.

Jenna Ortega won the Golden Popcorn for Best Performance in a Show for her work on the Netflix series “Wednesday.” The big award of the night for Best Movie went to “Scream VI.” I am so happy to see that horror movie win. I actually thought “Top Gun: Maverick” was going to walk away with that prize. So the big winners of the night were HBO Series “The Last of Us” and the horror flick “Scream VI.” Guess what: they’re both horror, so this is proof that horror is more popular than people think.