And Now For Something Relatively Different
I Try To Pick The SAG Winners For Television
Those of you who have been following my column for awhile know that I love awards and awards shows as well as trying to handicap them. There has been one exception to this over the years — the SAG Awards.
Part of it is due to the fan that I’m still not wild about how they group all actors — lead and supporting in the same category — male actor or female actor. And I still don’t know why I have more than a quarter of a century they haven’t bothered to put up an ensemble for a Limited Series/TV Movie yet have a category for stunt actors. My biggest problem, though, has been their tendency — an even bigger one than the Emmys, for that matter — to have the same winners in the same categories year after year. I actually lost count of how many years in a row Alec Baldwin for 30 Rock.
But I will admit that over the last few years the Guild has made some major strides forward. They still have a tendency to repeat every so often, but their list of nominees has become more ambitious over time. They’re not perfect — even the cast of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was shocked that they managed to beat out Fleabag last year — but they’ve been making some major improvements, as their list of nominees clearly shows.
So, for the first time in my career, I’m going to step out on a ledge and try to hypothesize what the SAG awards will do for TV on Sunday. It’ll probably be more fun than the awards — lockdown procedures are still in place for what will hopefully be the only time.
BEST ENSEMBLE CAST IN A DRAMA
This is the easiest choice of the night, and not just because the winner is the same as last year. The Crown has already dominated the Golden Globes and the Broadcast Critics Award, and I really don’t see anything that could stop it. It’s not that the series has gotten even more ambitious as it shifts its attention from Elizabeth to Charles and Diana and Margaret Thatcher; it’s that its still one of the more daring pieces of drama ever done for any service. It’s not just it won last year; it deserves to win this year. So much as I’d lead to see Better Call Saul or Lovecraft Country prevail, The Crown’s going to repeat — and I’m fine with that for a change.
Should Win/Will Win: The Crown.
BEST MALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA
This I’m a little more torn on, as I would like to see Bob Odenkirk finally prevail here and after Sterling Brown’s work this year on This is Us, I’d be fine with him repeating. Admittedly, there’s more room for an upset. But I think it’s most likely to go to Josh O’Connor for his brilliant work as Charles on The Crown. He comes across as a truly horrible person, particularly in regard to how he treats Diana, but every scene he has with his parents, you really wonder if he’s to blame. It’s brilliant work and O’Connor deserves to win.
Should Win: Odenkirk.
Will Win: O’Connor.
BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA
This is the hardest choice of the night probably. I know an actress from The Crown is going to win; I’m just not sure which. Emma Corrin and Gillian Anderson have dominated the female acting awards so far this year, and considering how brilliant Colman is (particularly in the brilliant episode ‘Fagan’) it’s going to be a really difficult choice. Will Anderson duplicate John Lithgow’s triumph her as a Prime Minister? Will Colman duplicate Claire Foy’s victory as Elizabeth? It’s a dice roll on this one, so I’m going to give the barest of edges to Anderson, though I really think Colman deserves it the most.
Should Win: Colman/Anderson.
Will Win: Anderson (but they’re all good)
BEST ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY SERIES
Much as I’d like to consider Dead to Me a dark horse (it’s really brilliant) I think this comedown to a showdown between the two comedies that have been dominated the awards: Schitt’s Creek and Ted Lasso. And considering that Schitt’s Creek had all four Emmy winners nominated, I think we have to consider the SAG Awards will go up the Creek. (Sorry.)
Should Win: Ted Lasso.
Will Win: Schitt’s Creek.
BEST MALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Jason Sudeikis deservedly has the hot hand for the last couple of awards shows, but you can never rule out the possibility that a supporting actor will triumph in this category. Considering that Daniel Levy has basically been the face of this show as well as its breakout lead, I think it’s likely that he will narrowly edge out Sudeikis. Still, you never know.
Should Win: Sudeikis
Will Win: Daniel Levy.
BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Would I like to see either Christina Applegate or Linda Cardellini prevail for their extraordinary work in Dead to Me? I’d frigging love it. However, I think that all signs point to the actress who has been dominating the Lead Actress in a Comedy awards since September: Catherine O’Hara, one of the funniest actresses I’ve ever seen and one of the great speech givers. Don’t rule out the possibility that Kaley Cuoco could pull an upset if there is vote splitting in both Dead to Me and Schitt’s Creek camp, but I think it’s going to go to O’Hara.
Should Win: Applegate/Cardellini.
Will Win: O’Hara.
BEST MALE ACTOR IN A MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES/SPECIAL
Could Hugh Grant finally manage an upset here? Could Ethan Hawke triumph? John Boyega is out, which is a relief. It’s a tough call, but I think the most likely winner is going to be the Emmy and Golden Globe winner, Mark Ruffalo for I Know This Much is True. It’s the kind of performance awards show love. Grant and Hawke can wait to duel in the Emmys.
Should Win: Grant.
Will Win: Ruffalo.
BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES/SPECIAL
This one hurts. I really want Kerry Washington to win something for her extraordinary work in Little Fires Everywhere and considering she’s been ignobly ignored by every other awards show, this is her only chance. I also wouldn’t object to Michaela Coel getting a prize for her exceptional work in I May Destroy You and just as with Daniel Levy in Schitt’s Creek, this is a better chance to recognize her.
But the SAGs do tend to follow a trend. And honestly, after having seen her entire body of work in The Queen’s Gambit, it’s impossible to argue with anyone who doesn’t say Anya Taylor-Joy didn’t give one of the best performances I’ve seen this year. Look for her to continue her path to the inevitable Emmy she’ll win.
Should Win: Washington.
Will Win: Taylor-Joy.
I’ll be back in a couple of days with my reaction.