Last week we ran the first part of the 2005
Dontmindme.com Wilhelm Awards. This is Part II. For an explanation
of the rationale for these awards, or for an explanation of the name,
please check out Part
I. If you want to hear the Wilhelm scream, vist the link to main Wilhelm awards page, available on the sidebar or by clicking the Wilhelm Awards banner above.
Best Board Game: New board games come along all the
time, but not often does one appear that is truly original. When one does,
and when it is an enjoyable game with lots of replay value, it is sure
to become a classic. The winner of this award is may not be truly original,
since it is a revisiting of an old game, but the old game is a classic,
and sometimes reworking of past brilliance brings greater results than
can ever be imagined. Such is the case with Lord of the Rings Risk.
By combining the wild popularity of all things Tolkien with the classic
nerd board game Risk, Parker Brothers have come up with a winner.
It's the same as your old school Risk, only completely different. For
starters, there are specific good and evil sides, denoted by green and
gold pieces for good, black and red for evil. Instead of soldiers, horsemen
and cannons, you have either elven archers, rangers, and eagles or orcs,
dark riders, and cave trolls. So the pieces are a lot more interesting.
The board is also made up of more territories, 64 versus 42 in classic
Risk. And since the game ends when the one ring reaches Mount Doom, it's
difficult to actually conquer the world. Instead, there is a point system.
There are many more innovations as well, such as sites of power, strongholds,
leaders, adventure cards, and no more wildly escalating card trade-in
armies. It's taken
an old and somewhat busted board game, and converted it into pure new
hotness. For that, Lord of the Rings Risk unquestionably
deserves the Wilhelm for Best Board Game.
Best New Webcomic: The net is overburdened with web
comics these days. Most anyone with a hint of artistic talent and/or some
concept of story writing is doing a webcomic these days. Many people doing
webcomics lack both artistic and writing skills. This means that many,
many of these comics are total drek. Some of the better ones can boast
impressive artwork, but incomprehensible storylines. Less common is the
comic with quality writing, and passable artwork. Rare is the comic with
both great art and a well crafted storyline. It seems that good writers
are often poor artists. There are exceptions to this rule, however. One
year ago Andrew James launched a comic called Dubious
Tales, and it had impressive artwork from the start. As the weeks
and months progressed, it became apparent that the story was every bit
as impressive as the artwork. For rising above the crowd to be a shining
example of what a webcomic should be, Dubious Tales is
easily the winner of the Wilhelm for Best New Webcomic.
Most Awesome Animated Character: This may be a broad
category, but anyone familiar with the winner will agree to his awesomeness.
It's not uncommon that something from the web manages to creep its way
into the mainstream, but this character has done so on at least one occasion.
That occasion was the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
On that final episode, several of the characters are playing Dungeons
and Dragons, and they encounter Trogdor the Burninator. No explicit mention
of Trogdor's source is made, but it doesn't matter, anyone who follows
Homestarrunner, and there are an awful lot of them, immediately knew.
Trogdor had hit the big time. If he was anyone other than an animated
dragon from Strong Bad's emails it would have gone right to his head.
The dragon has inspired a song, two video games, and no less than four
articles of clothing that bear his image. The fact that one can buy a
polo shirt with a tiny Trogdor embroidered where one would expect the
horse or alligator,
though, that guarantees that Trodgor wins Most
Awesome Animated Character.
Best New Canadian TV Show: Okay, so this category is
a bit like having a category for best
planet on which to live, because, well, the pickings are pretty
slim. In fact, good Canadian TV shows are few and far between. It's rare
to have more than one new good show in a year, and it's not rare to have
a year without one. Even the
good ones tend to overstay their welcome sometimes. On the flip side
there are brilliant Canadian shows that never really find a strong audience,
whether because of poor scheduling
or general strangeness, and end up dying the
painful death of low ratings. So to find a new Canadian show that is highly
entertaining and very popular is a joy. To find a Canadian sitcom that
fits this description is unheard of. But Corner Gas is all these
things and more. It's the Canadian Seinfeld for the 21st century,
only set in a place about as different from Manhattan as one can get,
and starring a successful standup comic as a gas station owner instead
of, well, a standup comic. So it already has creativity points over Seinfeld.
And like Seinfeld, you can get it on DVD. Unlike Seinfeld,
it took only ten months to get this show out on DVD, whereas it took Seinfeld
more like ten years. So it has speed points over Seinfeld as
well. Were this a competition against Seinfeld, Corner Gas
would probably win. But it's not, it's a competition against other new
Canadian shows. So it's not really much of a competition at all.
Corner Gas unquestionably deserves the Wilhelm for
Best New Canadian TV Show.
Best Movie Sequel: 2004 was a big year for movie sequels.
People flocked to theatres to see Spiderman 2, Shrek 2,
The Bourne Supremacy, Ocean's 12, Harry Potter and
the Something or Other, Scooby Doo, Resident Evil,
and Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid. Well, maybe not
the last one so much, but it was definitely a year for sequels. Big sequels
that made lots of money. Few managed to come close to the quality of their
predecessors. Several did, and that would make them automatic contenders
for this prize. None of these is the winner, however, for there was one
movie this year that was so much better than the original that it surprised
almost everyone. Not because people didn't expect this movie to be good,
because the original was superb, and reaching that level again was not
an easy task. The people at Dreamworks did that and more with Shrek
2. This movie is so good that it makes us wonder how they can possibly
make Shrek 3 as good, but yet it gives us confidence that they
almost assuredly will. For being that good, Shrek 2
wins the Wilhelm for Best Movie Sequel.
Most Useful New Catch Phrase: This is the first annual
Wilhelm Awards, so there were no winners last year. If there had been,
however, The O.C. would have been counted among the winners,
Most Addicting TV Show. There are so many things that are right about
this show, and one of the most vital is Seth Cohen's dialogue. His mixture
of insecurity and sarcasm combined with a sharp wit has provided numerous
memorable quotes. But one that has been seized up by the masses is the
concept of Old and Busted versus New Hotness. Granted,
it was originally used in Men In Black II, but it wasn't until
The O.C. that the phrase was launched into the mainstream. And
with good reason, because it's a terribly useful term that can be applied
to almost anything which has a new and old aspects. For example, FM is
old and busted, satellite radio is the new hotness. Tungsten bulbs are
old and busted, LED is the new hotness. Hotmail is old and busted, Google
Gmail is the new hotness. And it can be applied to people as well. Britney
Spears — old and busted, while Avril Lavigne is new hotness. In
case you haven't figured it out already, Old and Busted versus
New Hotness wins the Wilhelm for Best New Catch Phrase.