The Siskoid Awards 2015 - Technical Achievement Ceremony

The Siskoids' cousinage with the Oscars means there MUST be a bit where we're told, by some beautiful actress, that she previously hosted a Technical Achievement Award Ceremony where they gave out statues for boring inventiony things, or not so boring robot cameras that will take over the world if left unchecked. At Siskoid's Blog of Geekery, it's also an excuse to showcase a beautiful woman from media, and give out "prizes" (nothing will be sent out to the winners, don't check your mailbox) for things that marked this year in geekery but didn't fit yesterday's big categories.

Your hostess this year was a revelation in Fargo, and I'm not happy to see her in everything she's likely (and unlikely) to do: Allison Tolman! Might just be my secret crush this year. (And damn it, no, I didn't go to the Technical Achievement Ceremony this year - who ever DOES? - so I haven't met her personally.) But I've been assured she presented everyone with their made-up awards.

Favorite new podcast of 2015 - I've multiplied the number of podcasts I've been listening to this year, and even started my own, so I'll go ahead and give a couple of honorable mentions (or runner-ups, if you like): 90s Comics Retrial is quite fun, for example, Film and Water is a nice spin-off from Fire and Water, and I ambitiously started listening to the also ambitious From Crisis to Crisis. However, there can only be one winner, and that's Ryan Daily's Secret Origins Podcast. Not only does it cover one of my favorite DC Comics series from the 80s, but Ryan has gone above and beyond by 1) getting different guest hosts to cover each origin, and 2) making this complicated and time-consuming enterprise WEEKLY. That's just crazy, and it's MY kind of crazy. Suddenly, everyone was doing the "special guest" thing, bringing our community of comics podcasters closer together. I'm sure Ryan didn't invent the concept, but he certainly popularized it in our neck of the inter-woods.

Best movie essentially about a pun - Zombeavers for the win! It's one thing to amalgamate two words and make a horror B-movie out of it, but quite another to make it this fun and exciting. Or maybe it just tickles my Canadian soul. From my review: "Zombeavers doesn't take itself as seriously, but succeeds within the scope of its ambitions. It's the old cabin in the woods set-up, with obnoxious teens and their neighbors at the lake just fodder for zombie beavers, with plenty of B-movie gore, dumb sex jokes and gratuitous nudity. The beaver puppets are terrible, but that's part of the fun, and yeah, I was mostly cheering for them to win. I don't want to spoil just how outrageous the movie gets - because I fully intend you to see it, apparently - but writer-director Jordan Rubin understands the tropes well enough to throw some good twists at us. Speaking of twists, be sure to stick around for a bonus sequence after the credits, AND if you're tempted to check out that wonderful lounge hit 'Zombeavers' (which is a perfect credit roll moment), let it be known that after the first 50 seconds or so, it starts spoiling the entire story. But if you don't give a dam..."

Best CD of 2015 - A Death in the Family by Steven Hall (Big Finish) was the best Doctor Who audio I'd listened to in a long time. Here was the review: "Continuing on from the previous release - Project: Destiny - this 7th Doctor, Hex and Ace adventure shows what would happen if the Doc7 died. Obviously, you know it won't stick, but how the master manipulator gets out of it is very clever, with some great meta-text courtesy of returning villain the Word Lord. But it's not just a clever story in which the Doctor must return from the dead. It's also a powerful and touching character piece where Hex and Ace each fend for themselves in different corners of time and space, getting on with their lives and dealing with the death of the most influential person/force in their lives. It also features Evelyn, possibly the greatest audio companion ever, which can't be a bad thing. In fact, it's a very, very good thing that sheds new light on the character's ultimate fate. I can't praise this one enough."

Best geeky civil disobedience of 2015 - Ms. Marvel defaces San Francisco buses to fight Islamophobia. One of several (link):
A great character put to great use, I think, even if it breaks a couple laws.

Best console gaming sandbox of 2015 - Watch Dogs (Xbox). I know, pretty late to this one (and I am to almost every console game ever because I'm really no gamer), but its Chicago looks great and I really dug how they managed to create computer hacking in a GTA-type environment, with lots of little challenges, varying puzzles, and fun Easter Eggs. Plenty of action too, neat mini-games, and a very dark main story.

Most watched You-Tube video (well, ANYTHING) in 2015 - I don't know how it started, but I started watching and listening to the production of Sondheim's Company starring Neil Patrick Harris, Steven Colbert, Christina Hendricks and many others) online (it was all on You-Tube), then made a recording to listen to on my iPod, then bought the DVD so I could watch it on my TV, and so for a couple months there, I was watching or listening to this frankly amazing musical all the damn time. There are more "serious" versions of Company, but this one earns its laughs, has a great cast, and I like both the themes and the songs. I didn't stop listening to it so much as have it memorized.

Geek-related thought of 2015 - Should I finally get Netflix now? I asked because while I was interested in Daredevil, I also seemed able to wait for the DVD. But it's been a long time and a DVD has yet to be announced! Netflix takes a while to get its stuff on another format, but this is more than usual. And now Jessica Jones is an outrageous hit I'm even more interested in? And I'm lagging behind? Oh no! Will 2016 be the year I finally take the plunge?

Best robot actor of 2015 - Who will dethrone last year's TARS? It wasn't a one-robot race! This is the year of Ex Machina, Chappie (ok, Chappie's not gonna win), and Age of Ultron, after all! But I don't think I'll be surprising anyone by giving heart-melter BB8 from The Force Awakens the crown. Move over, potty-mouthed R2-D2, the Galaxy far far away has a new cutesy droid, and he's really awesome.

Related: Best use of BB8 outside of the movie - Who doesn't love Batman '66 running with the droid over his head? "Some days, you just can't get rid of a droid."

Voilà! My thanks again to Ms. Tolman for fake-pre-taping the gala. Happy New Year and all that jazz. The Siskoid Awards will return in a year's time.


Anonymous said...

Watch it pal, I secret-crush saw Allison Tolman first!

Radagast said...

There is a lot on Netflix that isn't on DVD yet (Sense8!) so I encourage taking the plunge.

Tribble said...

Just saying having you post reviews about the MCU next year would be a whole lot of fun, and you would need netflix to do it....

Siskoid said...

I did do a few articles on Agents of SHIELD but didn't like the show so quickly stopped watching. There's also one about Agent Carter, which was more my jam.

Anagramsci said...

The Secret Origins podcast is indeed a winner (and your own contributions to that enterprise have been great!)

Siskoid said...

Thanks. That reminds me, I've got another one to prep for!

Joshua said...

I actually read both of your posts on the Agent Carter and Shield. I agree that Shield was rough but like alot of people, I thought it really picked up speed after winter solider. I also thought the interweaving of movies and television, with each actually mattering was a neat effect. Daredevil and Jessica Jones though are the superior tv shows.

Siskoid said...

The MCU might one day make a nice daily review thingie, but it's much easier to do this after the fact, when there's a nice bank of episodes and no waiting around for the next batch. I watched more than 900 episodes of Doctor Who before that became a thing, and the return of the X-Files and Star Trek were really surprises.


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