Academy voters had their hands full this year in pairing down some 2,000 web shows submitted from fans in over 100 different countries. Voters weren’t shy in acknowledging the international fare with nominated series coming from Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, France, Canada and The United States. The official nominees for the 2nd Annual Streamy Awards were announced this morning in a live streamed internet broadcast led by CBSNews.com’s Shira Lazar and theStream.tv’s Jim Festante.
Whole Lotta Drama
While comedy series seemed to run the table last year thanks to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and The Guild, this time voters lauded a handful of dramas with multiple nominations. The Bannen Way led with seven nominations including Best Drama, Best Writing, Best Directing and Best Actor for co-creator and lead Mark Gantt. Gritty indie drama Compulsions also is in the Best Drama hunt, picking up four nominations. British crime drama Girl Number 9 earned five nominations and murder mystery Valemont picked up six. Australian drama OzGirl and Angel of Death are also up for Best Drama.
Comedy Powerhouses Return
Experience was rewarded in Best Comedy nominations. The Guild, which bowed its third season in 2009, proved it still has the mojo amongst the Academy which bestowed seven nominations this time around. The addition of a rival guild, led by a very well cast Wil Wheaton even landed a Best Guest star nod for the show. Its “cousin” series, The Legend of Neil has some solid support of its own, which may or may not have something to do with Sandeep Parikh having a hand in both shows. Easy to Assemble rolled out its sophomore season and Wainy Days its third. Even web comedian-turned-movie-star Zach Galifianikis has two years of Between Two Ferns under his belt.
Comedy can be an acquired taste. And looking at the Best Comedy category, none of the nominated series were new on the block in 2009. So with the addition of Best New Web Series into the mix—or as some like to call it, the category-that-can’t-be-won-by-The-Guild—upstart comedies like Odd Jobs and Old Friends were able to pick up nominations. Personally, I like this category. And for the most part the Academy used it to take notice of what popped onto the scene last year. But following the drama trend this year, three dramas made it into this final five—The Bannen Way, Girl Number 9 and Craig Brewer’s debut season of indie music docu-series $5 Cover.
Co-Stars Square Off
Meanwhile on the acting front, the Season 2 rivalry between Easy to Assemble co-stars Justine Bateman and Illeana Douglas spilled over into the Best Female Actor in a Comedy category, with both actresses notching enough votes to face off against each other. Still, they face off against last year’s winner in this category, The Guild’s Felicia Day, who returns for the second straight year along with Web Therapy star Lisa Kudrow. Joanna Cassidy, from the indie comedy Sex Ed, rounds out the nominees with her performance as acerbic college sex professor.
For the male comedians, Zach Galifianakis picked up his first Streamy nomination after a solid year delivering his trademark awkward low-fi interviews with celebrities in Between Two Ferns. The Guild’s Sandeep Parikh scored his second Streamy nomination for this category, which ended up going to Neil Patrick Harris last year. Amir Blumenfeld also picked up a second Best Actor nomination for his half of popular comedy Jake and Amir. CTRL’s cubicle hero Tony Hale and Wainy Days eponymous creator-star David Wain make up the rest of this heated race.
Actors in the Best Female Drama hunt were all first-timers with all five coming from web series that debuted in 2009. Rachael Hip-Flores’ touching performance in indie drama Anyone But Me won over Academy voters as did Tatyana Ali’s freshman season of Buppies. Sophie Tilson dazzled as Sadie in OzGirl much like Zoe Bell in Angel of Death and Crystal Chappell in web soap Venice.
Picking up a not so shabby four nominations was Auto-Tune the News, which is up for Best News or Politics Web Series, Best Editing, Best Experimental and Best Original Music in a Web Series for The Gregory Brothers—Evan, Andrew, Sarah and Michael Gregory. Canadian steampunk drama Riese and Anyone But Me joined in the four-nominations club.
The 2nd Annual Streamy Awards will be live streamed from Hollywood on April 11, 2010 for many of the categories, with others handed out during the Streamys Craft Awards Ceremony on April 7. Fans will have a chance to choose their favorite web series of 2009 when Audience Choice Award voting begins later this month. The ten finalists, which were determined by the most public submissions during the open submissions period, will be revealed in a forthcoming announcement.