This year the MTV Movie Awards decided to get with the times and stop ignoring the entire visual medium of television by including it in its awards ceremony. The 2017 edition was also the first ever to have gender-neutral awards — non-binary “Billions” performer Asia Kate Dillon presented Emma Watson with the best actor in a movie award to make for one of the evening’s most touching moments. But Sunday night’s affair at USC’s Shrine Auditorium also had its fair share of beast to go along with the beauty. So be our guest in exploring some of the notable ‘head scratches’ ‘heart melts’ and ‘hell yeahs’ of the 2017 MTV Film and TV Awards.
With around 15 minutes to go before host Adam DeVine literally set the house on fire with his “Beauty and the Beast”-inspired opening song, a team of around 10 stage hands were on their hands and knees scrubbing the stage with panicked vigor. The stage was covered in confetti about half an hour in, making the build-up to the show seem more like a Cinderella story, only with fewer glass slippers and more scrubbing floors.
After Rebel Wilson and her steaming hot Mrs. Potts had left the stage, the first award of the night was presented by Dillon, who announced the winner of the first ever non-binary acting award as Emma Watson for her Belle turn in “Beauty and the Beast.” Watson acknowledged the significance of the moment, “The first acting award in history that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex says something about how we perceive the human experience,” Watson said. The Academy, take note!
Millie Bobby Brown’s performance as Eleven has already melted many hearts, but on Sunday night she was in spectacularly moving form. Receiving the best actor in a show award, the “Stranger Things” star broke down into tears when thanking the cast and crew for “being her second family.” “I wanna thank my family and my mum and dad for being supportive,” Brown sobbed. (Cue audible nose-blowing from row Z.)
Channeling her older sister’s badass streak, Noah Cyrus performed a high energy rendition of her latest song, “Stay Together,” complete with half-pipe skaters, back-up dancers and a mob of random party-goers. After the rigmarole of setting up a giant half-pipe in a 30-second ad break, one might have expected some impressive skating tricks and twists to ensue, but as Cyrus sang in the foreground, a quartet of skaters merely went up and down the pipe in a relatively simple fashion until one of them face-planted into the ramp. Thank goodness they were wearing knee pads!
Jharrel Jerome and Ashton Sanders were already the life and soul of the MTV Awards party before they even stepped on the stage to accept their best kiss popcorn bucket for their beautiful beachfront embrace in “Moonlight.” Their table, which also comprised of Issa Rae and her “Insecure” crew, kept dancing throughout the night, and the pair also brought their infectious energy to their speech. “I think it is safe to say that it is okay for us young performers, especially us minority performers, to step out of the box. I think it’s okay to step out of the box and do whatever it takes to tell the story and make a change,” Jerome said to rapturous applause and whoops from the audience. “This is for those who feel like the others, the misfits; this represents us,” Sanders added.
As the show drew to a close and many in the audience asked themselves if Millie Bobby Brown’s speech be topped in terms of poise and adorableness, the final award of the evening came around. “Stranger Things” took home the Show of the Year award, which appropriately was presented by the cast of another Netflix show, “13 Reasons Why.” With the “Stranger Things” kids at the top of the stairs, time in the auditorium seemed to slow down as they faced the “13 Reasons Why” brigade in a “Dirty Harry”-style standoff, which was resolved with a flurry of hugs while the audience melted. My day was made, punk.
Find the complete winner’s list of the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards here.