The annual Peabody Awards winners have been announced for television and many critical favorites have been selected as winners, including MR. ROBOT, JESSICA JONES (and other Netflix series/films), TRANSPARENT and UnREAL, among others.
“The single criteria for receiving a Peabody Award is excellence,” says the Peabody website. “Toward that end, Board members ask themselves: Does this story matter? Is it a story that needs telling? Does it inform us as citizens or help us empathize with one another?”
The Entertainment and Children’s winners of The Peabody 30 are as follows:
Beasts of No Nation (Netflix)
A superbly acted, strikingly photographed film about an African warlord training an orphan child to join his guerrilla army, it never loses sight of their humanity, brutal acts notwithstanding.
A bright, boisterous, big-hearted comedy about an affluent African American family working overtime to keep it real, black-ish doesn’t let jokes get in the way of insights about race, class, guns, and other hot-button topics that most popular entertainment shows scarcely mention.
Deutschland 83 (SundanceTV)
A suspenseful, well-acted spy drama that takes place a few years before the Soviet bloc cracked and told from the perspective of East Germans and West Germans, it reheats Cold War conflicts in surprising ways.
Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Netflix)
This one part superhero saga, one part neo-noir program asks unpopular questions about power and consent, while constructing vivid and compelling characters. Krysten Ritter helps us to discover the strengths and vulnerability of Jessica, a hard-boiled private detective who has rejected the role of superhero but must still figure out how to overcome the evil that threatens her, her friends and her community.
Master of None (Netflix)
By turns profound and mundane, ridiculous and deadly serious, this imaginative, shape-shifting comedy chronicles the misadventures of Dev (series creator Aziz Ansari), a 30-year-old Indian-American who’s still trying to figure out what to do with his life. To say it resonates with young-adult viewers is an understatement.
MR. ROBOT (USA Network)
A riddle wrapped in a mystery shrouded in a hoody, MR. ROBOT‘s hero, Elliot, is a tormented, anti-social cyber-security whiz caught up in techno-anarchy conspiracy. The series’ twisting, turning, Rubik plot is almost as startling as its overtly anti-corporate stance. Occupy Prime Time?
The Leftovers (HBO)
After an inexplicable global cataclysm – a massive random harvest – thins Earth’s population by 140 million, the survivors in this challenging, deeply philosophical, boldly imagined drama are left to figure out how to get on with life in a world that’s stopped making sense.
Transparent (Amazon Video)
Jeffrey Tambor’s transsexual Maura is not just the lead character of this bold, honest dramedy, she’s the catalyst for her typically dysfunctional modern family’s ongoing reevaluation of itself. Its broadened scope and lively sense of self-awareness, along with irreverent wit and poignant moments, made Transparent‘s second season even stronger than the first.
A spot-on, behind-the-scenes send-up of ersatz “reality” shows like The Bachelor, UnREAL makes viewers care about venal producers and petty contestants even as it skewers them.
Wolf Hall (PBS)
Based on Hilary Mantel’s celebrated novels about the intrigues of Henry VIII’s court, Wolf Hall is an intimate, humanized history, told from the viewpoint of the king’s main man, Thomas Cromwell. Enhanced by literate scripting and superb acting with historic-location and natural-light filming, this exceptional series sets a new standard for the genre.
Katie Morag (Cbeebies) “Move on Up”
Mairi Hedderwick’s popular books about a feisty, wee, red-headed girl (the splendid Cherry Campbell) and the Scottish island community she’s growing up in are exquisitely realized in this series. Timeless, perhaps old-fashioned, but never precious or blindly idyllic, Katie Morag deals honestly and gracefully with death, loss, rivalry and other serious themes.