Some Tentative Hugo Nominations, Part 1

A few weeks ago, I discussed my excitement for the Hugo Awards nomination period.  As the nomination deadline draws nearer (March 10), that excitement is only continuing to build as I’ve been building and refining my personal slate of nominations.  Today, I want to explore the dramatic presentation categories and my current list.  It’s unlikely these will change much at this point, while I’m still continuing to read some last minute novels and novellas that have been recommended for consideration.  (I also recognize these aren’t books, but bear with me.)

Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form (90 minutes or longer)

  • Big Hero 6
    • Yes, there is a Disney film on my list of nominees.  And I don’t even know where to start when I talk about this film.  This is one where the trailer left me with doubts–it was either going to be terrible or be great.  And talk about how great this turned out to be.  The characters, the story, the adventure, the animation–everything about this film was just so well done, it’s probably one of my favorite Disney films in a very long time, and definitely my favorite animated film I’ve seen in years!
  • Divergent
    • I will say I prefer the book to the film here (though that’s kind of always the case–so let’s just assume that’s the case for the other nominations I have in this category, too).  But there is something about the way the world of the book was translated to the big screen that I found incredibly compelling.  This film is one of the better book-to-film adaptations I’ve seen in a while and I look forward to seeing the rest of the series.
  • The Giver
    • Oh, how I’ve waited for this.  I remember reading this book in elementary school and it was one that really stayed with me.  In fact, I credit The Giver as the first dystopian novel I read and the one that really fueled my interest in other stories with similar themes.  Finally getting the chance to see it come to life on screen was wonderful and I found myself consistently impressed with the way it was presented.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
    • I’ll start by saying I definitely feel like this was better than the first film.  There was better character development, the story seemed to have a bit more direction, and the entire package just seemed more coherent.  And there was something about this one that still sticks with me, too, though I can’t really define what it is.
  • The Maze Runner
    • What a dark, gritty dystopian adventure!  This is one I went into with little knowledge of the story (I read the books after I saw the film) and was pleasantly surprised.  The filmmakers did a great job of capturing the intensity of this story and really bringing it to life.

It wasn’t intentional, but it’s not at all surprising (and also exciting) that every one of these films is either an adaptation from or based on a written work.  Reasons for that likely include the rich stories provided in the original work and the fact that the original sci-fi/fantasy film production for this past year was not great.  (Please, do NOT get me started on Interstellar.  I need to get some other things done today and I could probably go on for weeks about why that film should not get the Hugo though it still probably will because of the tendency of Hugo voters to prefer hard sci-fi, semi-realistic space dramas.)  I also think it’s no coincidence that the majority of my ballot here also explodes with dystopian themes…

Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form (less than 90 minutes)

  • The Flash, “Fastest Man Alive”
    • Forget the pilot, this is the episode where this show really came to life.  In all of the examples that are appearing of comic-to-small-screen adaptations, The Flash is one of the better examples that really gets it right.
  • Grimm, “Mommy Dearest”
    • Straight up my favorite episode of Grimm to date.  Well-written, well-acted, and just exactly what this type of television should be.
  • Teen Wolf, “Anchors”
  • Teen Wolf, “Letharia Vulpina”
  • Teen Wolf, “Riddled”
    • I’ll address all of my Teen Wolf nominations as one group.  The show itself is really grating on me overall.  It’s problematic on a number of levels.  But I feel like these three episodes demonstrated a level of creativity and originality that I haven’t seen much in shorter sci-fi/fantasy productions.  And everything else aside, that deserves to be recognized.

Ultimately, I feel like the state of the short form category is in a bit of a lull (hence why you see me making three nominations from Teen Wolf of all places).  I’m sure there will be some Game of Thrones on the ballot (which I simply refuse to watch) and some Doctor Who (which hasn’t really been deserving of Hugo consideration for at least a couple of seasons now).  And I’d actually be surprised if any of my nominations end up on the final ballot, but I still stand by them and nominate them as what I think are the better examples of ideas that this genre needs on the small screen.

I’ll be back soon with my thoughts on the written fiction categories…still a bit more reading to do there, though.

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