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2016 TV Streamies: The 1st Annual TV Streaming Content Awards!

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The 2016 Academy Awards recognizes the best movies and moviemakers, but what’s out there to recognize the great streaming content that lands on our small screen? Sure, the Emmys and Golden Globes hand out the hardware for the best in television, while the best of the best streaming TV shows gain recognition sometimes here, also.

But we live in an entertainment world that is slowly shifting away from network and Cable TV, and there are tons of streaming shows and services that go unrecognized.

That’s where the 2016 TV Streamies come in!

We’ve gone through all of the streaming content in a very scientific way, with a bowl of popcorn on our laps and tons of time on our hands! Below are several awards we think will be applicable and interesting every single year going forward, while likely adding even more categories in the coming years.

Inclusion in our lists depends on the fact that if you are a show, your first full season had to come out in 2015, and you have to be available on a streaming site immediately.

The awards were handed out mostly according to their scores on Metacritic.com, with more weight lent to the user score than the critics’ scores in most cases. So let’s get into our favorites from the past year! Welcome to the 2016 TV Streamies!

Streaming Content Awards: Announcing the 2016 TV Streamies!

The streaming content services we included in this exercise are the four main ones: Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Crackle. At some point, we’d like to include smaller services as they begin sharing new original content. And while YouTube is certainly the king of all streaming services, they already have their own awards for their shows, which generally don’t follow the same format as the shows we’re talking about here.

Best Original Movie For a Streaming Service

The Nominations:

  • Beasts of No Nation (Netflix)
  • Chi-Raq (Amazon)
  • Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser (Crackle)
  • The Ridiculous 6 (Netflix)
  • Staten Island Summer (Netflix)

We can expect that we’ll never see so many bad movies on this list again (“Ridiculous 6” should never be in the same sentence as “awards” unless it’s the Razzies). These services are coming out with better content, which will make this category much better in the coming years.

The Winner: Beasts of No Nation

This one was a landslide, really, without even a close second place, although the 30 critics on Metacritic put “Chi-Raq” nipping on “Beasts” heels (the users liked “Staten Island Summer” more than they did “Chi-Raq”). “Beasts” got some pub for a possible “Best Picture” Oscar nomination, but in the end, its star, Idris Elba, was the only Oscar nomination for “Best Actor in a Supporting Role.” It’s an excellent movie, but it is hard to watch at times, as it’s about a civil war in a West African country and its effect on the nation’s children, who sometimes become soldiers.

Best Original TV Streaming Drama Series

The Nominations:

  • House of Cards (Netflix)
  • The Man in the High Castle (Amazon)
  • Narcos (Netflix)
  • Orange is the New Black (Neftlix)
  • Transparent (Amazon)

It seems like streaming dramas is the sweet spot for these services, or at least, they allowed them to compete with other channels. It makes sense, also, since HBO can only buy up so many dramas, and these streaming services allowed them to have more leeway content-wise than network TV.

The Winner: Narcos

Certainly a close call, Narcos eeked past the others with a 9.1 user rating on Metacritic.com, and while Transparent crushed everyone with a 91 critic’s rating, I felt Narcos served both categories better. It’s doubtful that any follow-up from this series will come close to doing what Season 1 did, especially with them currently looking for a (third) showrunner. (By the way, I moved “Transparent” to the Drama category, along with “Orange” because I’m a reasonable person.)

Best NEW Original TV Streaming Drama Series

The Nominations:

  • Bloodline (Netflix)
  • The Man in the High Castle (Amazon)
  • Marvel’s Daredevil (Netflix)
  • Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Netflix)
  • Narcos (Netflix)

The Winner: Narcos

All are certainly worth watching, and “Castle” didn’t get the love it probably deserved, compared to two superhero shows. “Bloodline” was a slow burn that paid off big-time in the end, but can it keep it up in Season 2?

Best Original TV Streaming Comedy Series

The Nominations:

  • Master of None (Netflix)
  • Catastrophe (Amazon)
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
  • Casual (Hulu)
  • Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon)

The Winner: Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon)

Much like how “The Office” UK series winning an Emmy in 2013 slapped America across the head, forcing us to look at comedy outside of the major networks, “Transparent” and “Mozart” slapped America across the head, forcing us to look at comedy streaming online. Amazon took both Best TV Series (Comedy) and Best Actor (Comedy) in back-to-back years with these two shows.

Best NEW Original TV Streaming Comedy Series

The Nominations:

  • Casual (Hulu)
  • Catastrophe (Amazon)
  • Master of None (Netflix)
  • Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon)
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

The Winner: Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon)

Obviously, as the years wear on, we’ll have more returning series to compete for “Best Series” awards, and the “Best New Series” awards will have new blood. But for now, with streaming sites churning out new content faster than ever, both lists appear to be the same. Special credit has to go to Hulu’s comedy, “Casual,” as it was a shocking nomination in the 2015 Golden Globes. (If you haven’t seen it, give it a chance. It’s a sweet comedy about a woman (and teen daughter) trying to rebound from a failed marriage, and her playboy brother, who created a dating app — that he uses to hook up with different women.)

Really, I think “Unbreakable” and “Master” could easily have won best comedy awards as well, since both are incredibly well-written. “Master” has depth to it with interesting takes on life as the son of an immigrant trying to make it in Hollywood. And “Kimmy” has the sharp wit and fast jokes we’ve missed since “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation” were in their prime.

Best Original TV Streaming Documentary

The Nominations:

  • Making a Murderer (Netflix)
  • Chef’s Table (Netflix)
  • The Other One: The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir (Netflix)
  • Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom (Netflix)
  • What Happened, Miss Simone? (Netflix)

The Winner: Making a Murderer (Netflix)

While both “Winter on Fire” and “Miss Simone” were nominated for Academy Awards this year, neither became the pop cultural phenomenon that “Making a Murderer” became this fall. Granted, this was a documentary series as opposed to just a one-off documentary movie. While it’s true that most documentaries are supposed to stay neutral, at least until the end, “Murderer” chose a side early on – and we were fine with it from entertainment purposes. It also gave us a lot more content to watch/read later on as the antagonists responded on TV and print.

Best Original TV Standup Special

The Nominations:

  • Aziz Ansari: Live at Madison Square Garden
  • Chris Tucker: Chris Tucker Live (Netflix)
  • Brent Morin: I’m Brent Morin (Netflix)
  • John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid (Netflix)
  • Anthony Jeselnik: Thoughts and Prayers (Netflix)

The Winner: Anthony Jeselnik: Thoughts and Prayers (Netflix)

Beating out Aziz by a hair, Jeselnik delivers the only way he can, with his dark, insensitive comedy. If you’re not familiar with him, you are in for a rude awakening. But for Jeselnik fans, this was his best effort so far.

Best TV Streaming Content News Website

The Nominations:

The Winner: Decider.com

While we’re partial to tvUPstream.com, and we think we’d certainly win for “Best New Website,” we give the nod to Decider.com because they have the most to offer, and run great articles to debate.

As great as this year’s crop of original streaming TV shows and movies was for the 2016 TV Streamies, this is going to be just a shadow of what’s to come in the next couple years. We look forward to watching, comparing and handing out more awards for years to come!

Photo Credit: Kamil-Porembinski

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Netflix Reunites Jonah Hill, Emma Stone in ‘Maniac’ Series - tvUPstream.com

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