* Jada Pinkett Smith’s award.
While presenting her “Girls Trip” co-star with the Trailblazer Award, Tiffany Haddish said that Pinkett Smith’s “Red Table Talk,” with discussions about everything from religion to sex to race, is “setting the standard for talk shows in this next century.” That’s really not an exaggeration: Pinkett Smith’s captivating show, streamed on Facebook Watch, has made the kind of headlines that televised shows could only dream about — and is no doubt sparking conversations in Hollywood about how to replicate its success. (More than 7.5 million people watched at least a minute of the Jordyn Woods episode.)
Anyway, Pinkett Smith admitted that at first, she wasn’t sure she deserved the “trailblazer” title, until she realized that the word can have many meanings. “Often we applaud the trails people blaze in the external world that we can see, but very rarely do we applaud the trails that are blazed in the hidden rooms of the mind that are full of uncertainty, false beliefs and pain,” she told the crowd. “It’s these internal obstacles that must be challenged in order to muster the courage to forge new paths that we can see in the world.”
* Brie Larson applauding her stunt doubles.
In one hilarious (while much-deserved) instance, the “best fight” category included “Ruth Bader Ginsburg versus inequality” from the “RBG” documentary . . . though unfortunately, it didn’t stand a chance next to the fight sequences in movies such as “Captain Marvel,” which won the prize. Onstage, Larson quickly turned the attention to her stunt doubles, Joanna Bennett and Renae Moneymaker. “They are the living embodiment of Captain Marvel,” she said, before giving both women the chance to make speeches of their own.
* The Rock’s speech.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson got a bit emotional as he accepted the Generation Award, presented to an actor “whose diverse contributions to both film and television have turned them into household names in the industry,” as MTV put it.
“The most powerful thing that we can be is ourselves,” Johnson urged the audience. “When I first got to Hollywood, they didn’t know what the hell to do with me. I mean, I was this half-black, half-Samoan, 6-foot-4, 275-pound pro wrestler.”
Johnson, who arrived onstage accompanied by a Samoan dance performance to Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” said he decided to ignore his critics’ questionable advice to lose weight, stop working out and not use a nickname like “The Rock.” Looks like it worked out pretty well! “I wasn’t gonna conform to Hollywood,” he said. “Hollywood was gonna conform to me.”
* Sandra Bullock’s ode to family.
Bullock picked up the trophy for Most Frightened Performance for her role in Netflix’s “Bird Box,” in which a mother navigates her children through a world where you literally can’t open your eyes or you will immediately die. After Bullock thanked Netflix for “allowing us to make an educational video on the horrors of parenting,” she explained that she took the role because her kids asked why she never made any movies for them.
“When I finished the film, I went to my babies and I said, ‘Here, Mommy made this for you.’ And even though you can’t see it until you’re 21, because apparently a movie about being a mommy is a horror film, you will know when you see it that there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you,” said Bullock, who has two adopted children. “I wanted you to see what being a family looks like. Sometimes you are born into a family and sometimes you need to go find it. Sometimes it finds you. But no matter how it comes together, but when it does, family is what you fight for.” (Of course, she joked, her son later explained that what he really meant was he wished she would star in a superhero movie.)
* Noah Centineo’s candid speech.
Netflix had a great night with multiple awards, including two for the much-lauded rom-com “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” Stars Noah Centineo and Lana Condor were adorable as they accepted the trophy for Best Kiss together; later, Centineo also won Breakthrough Performance for playing the Internet’s New Favorite Fictional Boyfriend, Peter Kavinsky.
In a surprisingly candid speech, the 23-year-old revealed a lesson that he’s already learned from Hollywood: “External things don’t actually make you happy.” Centineo admitted that during his breakout role on Freeform’s “The Fosters,” he was actually miserable. “The show is an amazing show,” he quickly added. “I just wasn’t happy with all of these things outside of myself. And I found that truly, the thing that made me happy, the thing that actually fulfilled me was not having a successful career; it was doing what I love and giving back to other people.” The audience loved it.
* Zachary Levi’s Ray J joke.
Levi, host of the show and the star of “Shazam!," promptly earned some awkward silence during his monologue when he referenced R&B star Ray J, who was in the audience to promote VH1′s “Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood.”
“I’m sure some of you are more familiar with his work as a cameraman,” Levi cracked, a reference to the infamous sex tape with Kim Kardashian from many years ago. Ray J sat expressionless while his wife, Princess, held up two middle fingers in response.
* Those unnecessarily lengthy parodies of “Us” and “Game of Thrones.”
Not to pile on Levi, but why did these largely unfunny skits take so long when there could have been other performances or awards handed out?
* The tease of a “power quintet” table and then . . . nothing.
Early in the show, Levi pointed out that Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish, Melissa McCarthy, Sandra Bullock and singer Lizzo were all sitting together, which we assumed was setting up some sort of bit. Except then it wasn’t! Moss, Haddish and McCarthy (co-stars in the upcoming drama “The Kitchen”) eventually introduced Lizzo’s performance, but who wouldn’t have wanted to overhear the conversations at that table?
* The lack of airtime for the Most Meme-able Moment award.
Obviously, this iconic TV moment beat all the others in that category. Why did Colton Underwood (who was in attendance) not accept his award onstage or, better yet, recreate this incredible and extremely viral GIF?
Winners and nominees
Most Frightened Performance
Alex Wolff, “Hereditary”
Linda Cardellini, “The Curse of La Llorona”
Rhian Rees, “Halloween”
Sandra Bullock, “Bird Box” (Netflix) — winner
Victoria Pedretti, “The Haunting of Hill House” (Netflix)
Gayle King, “CBS This Morning”
Nick Cannon, “Wild ‘n Out” (MTV) — winner
Nick Cannon, “The Masked Singer” (Fox)
RuPaul, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (Logo)
Trevor Noah, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” (Comedy Central)
“Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” (MTV)
“Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” (VH1) — winner
“The Bachelor” (ABC)
“The Challenge” (MTV)
“Vanderpump Rules” (Bravo)
“Avengers: Endgame”: Captain America vs. Thanos
“Captain Marvel”: Captain Marvel vs. Minn-Erva — winner
“Game of Thrones” (HBO): Arya Stark vs. the White Walkers
“RBG”: Ruth Bader Ginsburg vs. Inequality
“WWE Wrestlemania”: Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair
Best Performance in a Movie
Amandla Stenberg, “The Hate U Give”
Lady Gaga, “A Star is Born” — winner
Lupita Nyong’o, “Us”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Sandra Bullock, “Bird Box”
Camila Mendes and Charles Melton, “Riverdale” (CW)
Jason Momoa and Amber Heard, “Aquaman”
Ncuti Gatwa and Connor Swindells, “Sex Education” (Netflix)
Noah Centineo and Lana Condor, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” (Netflix) — winner
Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams, “Venom”
“At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal”
“Minding the Gap”
“Surviving R. Kelly” — winner
Best Performance in a Show
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu) — winner
Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin” (CW)
Kiernan Shipka, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” (Netflix)
Awkwafina, “Crazy Rich Asians”
Haley Lu Richardson, “Five Feet Apart”
Mj Rodriguez, “Pose” (FX)
Ncuti Gatwa, “Sex Education” (Netflix)
Noah Centineo, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” (Netflix) — winner
Best Comedic Performance
Awkwafina,," Crazy Rich Asians"
Daniel Levy, “Schitt’s Creek” (Pop TV) — winner
John Mulaney, “Big Mouth” (Netflix)
Marsai Martin, “Little”
Zachary Levi, “Shazam!”
“Avengers: Endgame” — winner
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”
“Big Mouth” (Netflix)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO) — winner
“Schitt’s Creek” (Pop TV)
“The Haunting of Hill House” (Netflix)
Brie Larson, “Captain Marvel”
John David Washington, “BlacKkKlansman”
Maisie Williams, “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
Robert Downey Jr., “Avengers: Endgame” — winner
Zachary Levi, “Shazam!”
Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve” (BBC America)
Joseph Fiennes, “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
Josh Brolin, “Avengers: Endgame” — winner
Lupita Nyong’o, “Us”
Penn Badgley, “You” (Lifetime)
Best Real Life Hero
Alex Honnold, “Free Solo”
Hannah Gadsby, “Nanette”
Roman Reigns, “WWE SmackDown”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “RBG” — winner
Serena Williams, “Being Serena”
Most Meme-able Moment
“Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club” (MTV): The Lilo Dance
“Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood” (VH1): Ray J’s Hat
“RBG”: The Notorious RBG
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” (Logo): Asia O’Hara’s butterfly finale fail
“The Bachelor” (ABC): Colton Underwood jumps the fence — winner
Best Musical Moment
“A Star is Born”: “Shallow” — winner
“Bohemian Rhapsody”: Live Aid Concert
“Captain Marvel”: “Just a Girl”
“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” (Netflix): “Masquerade”
“On My Block” (Netflix): “Look at that Butt”
“Riverdale” (CW): “Seventeen”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: “Sunflower”
“The Umbrella Academy” (Netflix): “I Think We’re Alone Now”