The Avery Awards are finally here!
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this year's nominations for Adventures in Odyssey's Avery Awards were posted over at the official site. Last year's awards show for Album 51 was a blast. I am now looking forward to finding out what people thought was "the best of the best" in a largely polarizing season.
In today's blog post, I have decided to comment on the nominations and, in comparing them to what I've chosen here, I will reveal MY choice for each category. I will then attempt to predict the winner. I welcome you all to disagree and to voice your own opinion in the comments section below.
As a side note, I had a lot of fun last time fabricating "Academy Award" rip-off posters for each episode. I thought it would be neat to create a few more for your viewing pleasure. Unlike films, audio drama doesn't have the privilege of treating its fans with posters or images; we fans must make up our own. Scroll down and you'll see a few.
|ewr =My Prediction|
1. Which episode this season had the Best Sound?
Who should win: This is always a tough category for me. What stood out this season was the sound of the clock-tower room in "Mystery of the Clocktower", the numerous venues around town depicted in "Owlnapping", and the unique sounds which brought us a Seussian world in "A Thankstaking Story". I'd like to see all three of these episodes win, but I'm going to have to settle on "Mystery of the Clocktower".
Who will win: Fans usually vote for episodes with the most sound effects, and rarely consider how sounds are mixed or used in subtle ways to bring to life an environment. I would rather see real audio experts vote in this category; unless you go through each episode paying special attention to background noises, the casual listener rarely remembers the sound effects used. After all, sound effects are supposed to disappear into the background, and blend into scenes perfectly. The fact that we don't pay enough attention to the sound is proof that the show's sound engineers are doing something right. "Wooton's Broken Pencil Show" and "A Thankstaking Story" are this season's obvious episodes that have used a substantial amount of different sound effects. I'm predicting "A Thankstaking Story" to win.
2. What was the Best Scene of the season?
What should Win: I enjoyed both "Ryan's wild and crazy journey" and the "Good News" song the most. In the end, however, I'll have to give the award to "Good News" simply because I remember replaying the song three times before continuing on with the rest of the episode.
What will Win: I'll be surprised if I guess this one correctly. I think too many fans have a negative opinion of "A Thankstaking Story"; so much so, it might prevent many from voting for one of its scenes. Instead, I think fans will vote for Ryan's journey through town in "The Owlnapping".
3. Who should win Best Actor of the season?
|For Your Consideration: "The Owlnapping"|
Who should Win: When I first made my picks for who I thought should be nominated for Best Actor, I left out the 5th spot blank. That spot would have gone to Matthew Parker in "Square One". I am, therefore, happy to see that he is included here. I am also very glad to see that Adam Wylie made the list, as well as Andre Stojka and Will Ryan. The biggest surprise here is the absence of Jess Harnell, who I thought would be a shoo-in with two lively performances in "Wooton's Broken Pencil Show" and "A Thankstaking Story; I'm also surprised that none of the actors, except for Stojka, got nominated for their voice work in these two episodes; I thought, out of all the episodes this season, "Wooton's Broken Pencil Show" and "Thankstaking Story" best showcased the versatility of actors on Adventures in Odyssey.
This choice is the toughest for me. Every single one of these nominated actors deserve to win. However, as I said in the previous post, Adam Wylie should win because he was "one of the most likable kid characters introduced this season [and also for] making the terrific 'The Owlnapping' into a better episode than it would otherwise have been." I realize that both Stojka and Will Ryan did excellent jobs as well. I'm tempted to give it to one of them, and so...
Who will Win: ...I wouldn't mind seeing Will Ryan win, and I think he will. He did a great job at portraying fear in the moments leading up to, and during, his speech. However, I do think Whit Hertford will do perform much better in this race than expected. After all, there seems to be a huge Jay-following among the younger folks who have already crowned him "the new Rodney".
4. Who should win Best Actress of the season?
Who Should win: Out of the last twelve times she's been nominated, Katie Leigh has won 9 times. That makes her the Meryl Streep of Adventures in Odyssey award shows. In the old days, Katie Leigh won by landslides; more recently, however, she's won by a fewer and fewer votes. This doesn't mean far less people like her, but that, more often than not, winners in this category have been for dramatic, or serious, roles. When she won incessantly, it was largely for Mitch-related episodes...and then she lost three years in a row when he left, which coincided with Aubrey's great performance in "Always", Mandy for "Now More than Ever", and Kelly for "The Chosen One". Katie Leigh finally won again because she had the season's most dramatic role in "The Inspiration Station". This only goes to show that Katie Leigh can be great when she's given a good storyline to work with.
Who will win: It is much more difficult to predict this year's winner. Connie might win for "The Mystery of the Clocktower", however, she's also playing a less demanding and more supporting role this time around. If Connie wins, it will be only because she is Connie. Gatlin Green will most likely not win, while Lucki Wheating might do well since her performance is still fresh in people's minds;people seemed to like her in "Grandma's Christmas Visit". The only real threats in this category are Sydney Shiotani who came in 2nd place last year, and Christina Pucceli who, despite how many older fans despise her, seems to be gathering a strong fan-base among young listeners. I'd say Camilla Parker has the edge since she is liked by both young and old listeners. This'll be the tightest race, no doubt.
Who will win? I'll predict Katie Leigh to be safe. Though, expect either Sydney Shiotani or Christian Pucceli to surprise everyone.
5. Which episode this season had the Best Script?
Who should Win: It's often difficult to figure out whether you liked an episode because of how good its script was, or whether everything else about the episode worked. In the same way, perhaps some of this season's worst episodes actually had the best scripts, but the acting, music, sound effects or pacing killed its success. A lot of these episodes had a good scripts, but had that one or two issues which prevented me from enjoying it completely. For instance, I like the general storyline of the ambitious "The Mystery of the Clock Tower" but I found some of the dialogue over-the-top and somewhat cheesy. I also enjoyed the weighty ideas and themes behind the ambitious "Wooton's Broken Pencil Show" but I wonder whether it felt a little too distant from the spirit of the show. "A Thankstaking Story" should win because of its clever dialogue and Dr. Seuss references, but there was also far too much of it.
|For Your Consideration: "A Thankstaking Story"|
To the writing team's credit, there were a few scripts that I thought were flawless. I thought "Opposite Day" and "Square One" were fine episodes even though the stories weren't groundbreaking or ingenious in any way. "The Owlnapping", on the other hand, didn't exactly have the witty dialogue other episodes had, but it is smoothly plotted, gave me characters I cared about, and kept me engaged with a colorful script, without overdoing anything. For these reasons I'd like the award to go to "The Owlnapping". Unlike a lot of episodes this season, it kept the adventure straightforward and simple, and still managed to be an entertaining episode.
Who Will Win: Hard to say. Last year's best script award went to "The Jubilee Singers" who also won for the award for Best Episode. We can assume that whoever is supposed to win "Best Episode" this year will also take home the prize for "Best Script" too. If you scroll down further, you'll see that the best reviewed episode of the year, by TOO members, was "Mystery of the Clocktower". And so, it might win. But I wonder whether the hype surrounding "The Mystery of the Clocktower" has died out. It is also important to point out that 2nd half of the episode has a lower rating than "Fast As I Can"--so it could win the award. The runners up, "The Malted Milkball Falcon" and "The Owlnapping", could surprise us too. I'll go with "Mystery of the Clocktower", just to be safe, but my gut says otherwise.
Who should Win: Here's the easiest decision I've had to make thus far. I gave "The Owlnapping" the most stars and it deserved every one of them.
Who Will Win:
For reference sake, this is how the TOO Fans Voted last year:
"Jubilee Singers": 4.6
"Target of the Week": 4.07 (28 votes)
"Grandma": 4 (30 votes)
"For the birds": 3.82 (23 votes)
"Inspiration Station": 3.71 (35 votes)
"When you're right": 3.2 (25 votes)
"Finish What you": 3.12 (25 votes)
"Game for a Mystery": 3.1 (36 votes)
As you can see, the highest rated episode on TOO.com also won during the Avery awards. However, it's important to note that others could possibly sneak up and win too. While the best rated episodes were also the top voted episodes at the Averys, "Target of the Week" took a plunge and "For the Birds" and "Inspiration Station" rose in popularity. Still, with the exception of "When you're right, you're right", the most despised episodes at the TOO seemed to have been the most despised when the Avery's took place. This year, the top episodes voted by the TOO looks like this.
|For Your Consideration: "Square One"|
Best Episodes of "Cause and Effect":
"Mystery of the Clock Tower": 4.47 and 4.2 (40 and 31 votes)
"Fast As I Can": Average TOO Rating: 4.38 (31 votes)
"Square One": 3.70 (17 votes)
"An Agreeable Nanny": 3.7 (20 votes)
"A Thankstaking Story" : 3.65 (26 votes)
"Stage Fright": 3.62 (29 votes)
No Hope of Winning:
"Wooton's Broken Pencil Show": 3.375 (32 votes)
"Opposite Day": 3.15 (26 votes)
I would say anything rated lower than "The Owlnapping" has a very low chance of winning. The real threats in this race will be 1) "Mystery of the Clocktower", 2) "Fast As I can", 3) "The Malted Milkball Falcon", and 4) "The Owlnapping". What do you all think? Like I said underneath the Best Script category, I think "Mystery of the Clocktower" will win, but I'm prepared for "Fast As I can", "Malted Milkball Falcon" and "The Owlnapping" to come up and snatch the prize.
Who do you think will win the Avery Awards? Who do want to win? Voice your opinion!