io9 named Andor one of our top series of 2022, and we certainly weren’t alone in singing its praises. Among its many awards and nominations to date, Andor has just picked up a prestigious Peabody Award, a prize the organisation’s website specifies as “honouring excellent in storytelling that reflects the social issues and the emerging voices of our day.”
As for Andor specifically, the Peabody Awards note: “Few other long-running franchises loom as large in today’s contemporary pop cultural imagination than Star Wars. With its many trilogies, spin-offs and TV series, George Lucas’s original creation can feel like a ubiquitous force as all-encompassing as its fictional and much-reviled Empire. Yet amid stories of destiny-driven heroes and doomed superpowered villains, Tony Gilroy’s Andor tackles that familiar galaxy with an eye not (just) for spectacle but for a keen-eyed commitment to do what sci-fi and fantasy can do best: mirror our own mundane trials and tribulations back with enough remove that their lessons become unavoidable … it introduces us to a network of galvanised figures who wish to better the state of the galaxy, painting a portrait of how revolutions are built on their own recurring failure, of how hope can and needs to spring eternal in the face of authoritarianism run amok. For conjuring up a terrifying world uncannily like our very own, one that stresses the need for grassroots organising lest a fascistic state wholly subsume any spark of rebellion — and for imagining how IP-driven storytelling can flourish in today’s corporate-driven television landscape — Andor receives a Peabody.”
Well-deserved, and that reasoning does an excellent job summing up why Andor, which has a second season on the way, made such a powerful impact on audiences. Other genre projects that received 2023 Peabody Awards include HBO’s sadly cancelled supernatural comedy Los Espookys (“For defying Hollywood’s old Latino tropes at every turn to take Latinx representation and bilingual comedy to a new level”) and dystopian Apple TV+ thriller Severance (“For its powerful elaboration of hope and engagement with the large questions of work, labour, grief, relationships, and what it means to be human in a world increasingly defined by discipline, control, and alienation”).
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