And I’m Actually On Board With Most of them
It’s rare that I choose to comment on the Screen Actors Guild Nominations for Television. This is partially because they are not as extensive as the Critics Choice or even the Golden Globes, but its also because they have a nasty habit of giving the awards to the same people and series over and over again. Alec Baldwin won the prize for Best Actor five consecutive years and they were nearly as excessive for Orange is the New Black.
That said, they’ve been doing a much better job the last few years — recognizing just exceptional series as Stranger Things, This is Us and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. And when I saw the listed nominees, in a rarity, I was a little happier with them than I was with the Golden Globes this year.
Ensemble in a Drama again featured four of last year’s best — The Crown, Ozark, Lovecraft County and Better Call Saul. I’m slightly more judgmental about Bridgerton, but you can’t have everything. Four of the nominees for Best Actor in a Drama were also good choices — Jason Bateman, Bob Odenkirk, Josh O’Connor and Sterling K. Brown.
I‘m a little doubtful about Rege-Jean Page, but what can you can say? Is it wrong that all five nominees for Best Actress are from two series? It’s hard to make that argument when you consider the work of the three women in The Crown and Laura Linney and Julia Garner in Ozark.
I’m also fully on board with four of the five nominees in the Best Comedy Ensemble- The Flight Attendant, Schitt’s Creek and Ted Lasso are superb, and I’m very gratified to see Dead to Me recognized. At this point, I may have to reevaluate my opinion on The Great. I have no problem at all with any of the five nominees for Best Actress in a Comedy — indeed, I’m overjoyed that both Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini were recognized for their superlative to work on Dead to Me. Best Actor is a little more problematic, but I’m fine with four of the five nominees and its becoming increasingly clear that I now have to give more latitude to Nicholas Hoult.
And if anything, the nominees in Best TV Movie and Limited Series are better choices than the Golden Globes. Hugh Grant, Ethan Hawke and Mark Ruffalo are extraordinary in their work, and I’m glad to see Bill Camp acknowledged for his subtle work in The Queen’s Gambit. Would I have rather seen Daveed Diggs nominated for his work as Frederick Douglass in The Good Lord Bird than in Hamilton? Sure, but at least he’s been acknowledged for something. No Chris Rock, but Fargo never had much luck in the SAGs. All five choices for Best Actress are just as good and I’m over the moon that they recognized Kerry Washington for Little Fires Everywhere and made up for the Globes snub of Michaela Coel in I May Destroy You.. This list truly has five of the best performances of the past year.
I’ve even fine with the nominations in Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama. This is where The Mandalorian should be getting recognition as well as Westworld. Personally though, I’m rooting for Lovecraft Country.
After years of being stuck doing repeats, it finally seems the SAG awards may finally be getting a grip on how to give awards. Even it does duplicate last year’s winner of The Crown and give a lot of to Schitt’s Creek, it will be showing a range that the Hollywood Foreign Press doesn’t have this year. Hell, maybe next year we can talk about expanding to Best Ensemble in a Limited Series or Movie. It wouldn’t add that much time to an award shows that usually clocks in at two hours.