The Peabody Awards has unveiled its Entertainment winners for TV shows released during 2017, with streaming series dominating the mix. Honorees this year include the past two Golden Globes Best Drama Series winners in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel; the Netflix trio of American Vandal, this year’s Peabody’s awards-show host Hasan Minhaj’s standup special Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King and the Children’s & Youth winner A Series of Unfortunate Events; and HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Insecure.
The annual honors from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia also include AMC’s Better Call Saul and NBC’s Saturday Night Live: Political Satire 2017, with the organization noting for the latter the season’s “wicked satiric portrayals of President Trump and a clownish coterie of administration apparatchiks” led by Alec Baldwin as POTUS.
The Peabodys also recognized The Fred Rogers Company with an Institutional Award “in recognition for carrying on the legacy of its eponymous founder, whose iconic children’s program debuted 50 years ago.”
This is the second batch of three category announcements in a total of 30 winners for the 77th annual Peabodys. The Documentary winners were revealed Tuesday; winners in News/Radio/Public Service programming will be announced April 24.
Winners will be feted May 19 in a ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York, where Carol Burnett will receive the first Peabody Career Achievement Award.
Here are the Peabody’s descriptions today of the Entertainment winners:
A Series of Unfortunate Events (Children’s & Youth)
Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” follows the tragic but brilliant Baudelaire orphans as they investigate their parents’ deaths while surviving their wicked uncle’s machinations to deprive them of their inheritance. Both darkly gothic in style and drolly hilarious, the televised version visually realizes the melancholy-yet-beautiful essence of the beloved children’s book series on which it is based.
CBS Television Studios for Netflix (Netflix)
A surprisingly insightful rumination on contemporary life, “American Vandal” slowly shifts focus from a high school student accused of a sophomoric prank/crime to the consequences of solving the mystery. Wickedly funny, the show also offers a look at how the ethical questions of the true crime genre intersect with the harsh realities of being a teenager in the age of social media.
Better Call Saul
Sony Pictures Television, Gran Via Productions (AMC)
Mixing legal drama, crime thriller, and dark comedy, this “Breaking Bad” prequel of the earnest Jimmy McGill’s transformation into Saul Goodman captures the professional and personal struggles as he navigates an unfair moral universe. A compelling narrative of pathos and character drama, the show’s innovative style and commanding performances reach the creative heights of its origin series.
Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King
Netflix, Art & Industry (Netflix)
Hasan Minhaj delivers much more than a hilarious stand-up comedy special. “Homecoming King” is a deeply personal memoir—part Richard Pryor, part Spaulding Gray—that covers the struggles of the immigrant experience, encounters with stereotypes and raced expectations, and intergenerational acceptance, while using comedy to invite empathy, caring, and understanding.
HBO Entertainment in association with Issa Rae Productions, Penny For Your Thoughts Productions and 3 Arts Entertainment (HBO)
Issa Rae delivers a groundbreaking series that captures the lives of everyday young black people in Los Angeles with a fresh and authentic take. Breaking away from tired and familiar representations of “diversity” on television, this series offers a fun and intimate portrayal of work, relationships, and the ordinary experiences of the two young black women at its center.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
HBO Entertainment in association with Sixteen String Jack Productions and Avalon Television (HBO)
Each week, John Oliver and his team offer something completely new in the merger of comedy and reporting. While scathing in its political critique, the show is also smart and insightful in producing long-form journalism, breaking stories that others have overlooked with precision, clarity, and hilarity.
Saturday Night Live: Political Satire 2017
SNL Studios in association with Universal Television and Broadway Video (NBC)
Building on the strength of its election year parodies, “SNL” doubled-down this year with wicked satiric portrayals of President Trump and a clownish coterie of administration apparatchiks. Kate McKinnon and special guests Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy, in particular, produced performances that helped the American public come to terms with an unprecedented presidential administration and its daily political absurdities.
The Handmaid’s Tale
Hulu, MGM, White Oak Pictures, The Littlefield Company, Daniel Wilson Productions (Hulu)
“The Handmaid’s Tale” offers a timely warning of a fascist, misogynist near future. Equal parts drama, horror, and science fiction, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is captivating, harrowing, and crackling with contemporary political relevance—a cautionary tale about the ramifications of the regulations of women’s bodies and reproductive rights, as well as the specter of theocratic rule.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Amazon Studios (Amazon)
A period drama and feminist comedy, Amy Sherman-Palladino’s story of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” centers on the emergence of a 1950s female comedian who runs afoul of New York decency laws. In the process, the colorful and imaginative story also reflects on the “place” of women in public spaces, Jewishness, familial relations, classed expectations, and the importance of a woman not being “ripped right out of a catalogue” that is both impressively weighty and effortlessly light.
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