Avocado April Madness: Show Nominations

The Background

Lo these many years ago… Well, five years ago, LiveJournal fans used to have an annual bracket-style competition to pick their favorite TV character of the year. But this was not a bracket competition where you voted and then forgot about it until the next round. Oh, no. Campaigns were waged. Deals were brokered. Votes were swapped. There were a lot of gifs. At the end, the reigning champion of fandom was crowned. Their supporters rejoiced. The losers wept.

It was a lot of fun, is what I’m saying. And then, as LiveJournal died, so died the tournament. But I thought… Why not here? Why not us?

So this is an experiment, to see if we can make it happen!

How It Works

Collectively, we’re going to pick 64 TV shows that have aired at least one episode within the last 5 years, and then we’re going to pick one character from each of those 64 TV shows. Those 64 characters will go up against each other in a bracket-style tournament.

In this tournament, it is not only allowed, but actively encouraged, that you make impassioned pleas for your favorites. Break out the gifs of their best moments. Explain why they’re awesome. Coin a campaign slogan. You never know; there may be someone reading who’s never seen either of the shows in that bracket, and who can be swayed by a good argument.

Also perfectly allowed? Vote-swapping. If there’s a bracket you don’t care about, it is TOTALLY OKAY to trade your vote in that bracket for somebody else’s vote in a bracket that you do care about, as long as you make the agreement out in the open. Your vote is the most precious commodity you have.

Voting should not take you five minutes. Voting should take you at least a day. You’re going to need that time to campaign for your favorites, read everyone else’s pitches, make deals, potentially switch your votes around, and revel in the chaos. If you’re skipping a bracket, you’re not participating in the spirit of the tournament.

The shows are categorized into four divisions: Comedy, Drama, Youth, and Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and characters will compete against characters in their own division before moving on to the final four. Yes, that means that only the top 16 nominees in Drama will make it into the tournament, even if they get more votes than the most-nominated Youth nominee. Because of the style of the tournament, everything works best if there’s a good mix of shows that different people have seen and not seen.

Because the shows involved are user-nominated, and genre is kind of bullshit anyway, some rough definitions:

Comedy: If it’s half-hour, it’s comedy, even if it’s not all that funny. (Unless it’s Sci-Fi/Fantasy.)

Drama: If it’s hour-long, it’s drama, even if it submits as comedy to try to game the awards system. (Unless it’s Youth or Sci-Fi/Fantasy.)

Youth: If it airs on Nickelodeon, the Disney Channel, MTV, Freeform, Cartoon Network during the daytime, or the CW, or stars characters predominantly under the age of 25, it’s Youth (unless it’s Sci-Fi/Fantasy). Sci-Fi/Fantasy shows aimed at children 10 and under or starring characters under the age of 25 may be nominated in Youth. (So Steven Universe and Marvel’s Runaways would go in Youth, but Arrow would go in Sci-Fi/Fantasy. If people want to argue edge cases here, I think that’s entirely in the spirit of the tournament; nominate according to guidelines, make your case, and I’ll make a final decision prior to creating the bracket.)

Sci-Fi/Fantasy: I think you know if it’s Sci-Fi/Fantasy.

And remember, only shows that aired a new episode in 2016 or later are eligible.

Okay, everyone! Get your giffing fingers ready, and let’s get nominating!

Nominations will be open for the next 48 hours.