I’ve been a ‘TVD’ fan for years — over the past five seasons, the show has featured some of the strongest YA acting on television. But for this year’s People’s Choice Awards, fans of the show got one thing horribly wrong: they forgot to vote for Paul Wesley.
To be fair, the impossible Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor category is the worst thing to happen to genre fans since the unjust cancelation of Firefly, so it makes sense that a strong performer was left out. Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Andrew Lincoln, Stephen Amell and Ian Somerhalder are all strong actors with beautiful faces and even more beautiful, dedicated fan bases. But an argument can be made that there’s one candidate in particular who shouldn’t have made the list — read on to find out why!
Paul Wesley: His Strongest Season Yet
Throughout Season 5 of The Vampire Diaries, Paul Wesley has had to stretch his acting chops to play, in a sense, three completely separate people. There’s normal, heartbroken Stefan (his work as this version of the character was amazing during the last few episodes of Season 4), the big bad Silas and Stefan 2.0. His work on the latter was particularly enjoyable — old Stefan was still there, but without his painful memories weighing him down, he was able to stand up for himself and enjoy life in a much different way. The difference was night and day, and we’ll miss Stefan 2.0 now that he’s dead and gone.
Now Ian is always delightful to watch, but — I’m sorry, Damon fans — he hasn’t really had to stretch himself lately, at least not in the way that Paul has. Damon gets softer and softer as the years go on, but his sardonic, bad-boy demeanor hasn’t changed a bit. Stefan, on the other hand, has gone from softie to ripper to tortured soul to Silas to… need I go on? He’s awesome, is the point.
This doesn’t mean that I think Ian, who cracks me up on a weekly basis, shouldn’t have been nominated. I just think that, given the passionate nature of the Delena fan base, Paul is often overlooked simply because people want Elena to be with the snarky bad boy over the far less glamourous “good boy.” It’s easy to write off the white knight for being boring — it’s why I’ll always choose Iron Man or Thor over Captain America — but sometimes that white knight is a damn good actor who deserves the same recognition awarded to his flashier co-stars.
Of course, Paul wasn’t the only actor left out of this competitive category. I have many favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV actors — as a Supernatural fan I could chat for hours about Jensen and Jared — who were also left out. Peter Dinklage? Not nominated. Matt Smith of Doctor Who fame? Tragically not nominated. But the PCA voters are The Vampire Diaries‘ target demographic, so Paul’s omission is particularly egregious. Where were you guys, TVD fam?!
Should Stephen Amell Even Qualify?
I need to begin this section with a disclaimer: I love Arrow, and Stephen is churning out some wonderful work, particularly during this vastly improved second season. But the thing is… is Arrow sci-fi? Is it fantasy? I know these are some blurred lines here, but I would argue a firm “no.” It’s a superhero drama (a category which may need to be introduced in the near future, given SHIELD and the new Netflix Marvel shows), or even just a regular ol’ drama, but it’s neither sci-fi nor fantasy. Oliver Queen has some great martial arts skills and Felicity-powered super-arrows, but he isn’t a creature of the night, and he definitely doesn’t fight Walkers, White Walkers, hybrids or demons. Just regular people who happened to be very good at being very bad.
What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Are you bummed that Paul wasn’t nominated? Who do you think should win Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor?
— Shaunna Murphy