The SAG Awards: Or Why We Shouldn’t Let Actors Make Any Decisions
The Screen Actors Guild announced their nominees for their annual SAG Awards this morning. We all know actors have huge egos, and while this award means something special because it’s actors giving their comrades even more reasons to have inflated egos, the world cares and therefore I care. Let’s get down to The Good, The Bad, and The Seriously WTF?
- Bryan Cranston for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series. Although the Emmys love Cranston’s performance as high school chemistry teacher turned meth cook/dealer/crazy person Walter White on ‘Breaking Bad’ (he won in 2008, 2009 and 2010, all the years he was eligible), the SAG Awards don’t seem as impressed with his work. He’s only been nominated once before (in 2010) and he lost to Michael C. Hall. This year he turned in his strongest performance ever and I think he’s definitely the one to beat.
- Kyle Chandler for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series. Kyle Chandler has been worthy of this nomination for years for his turn as Coach Eric Taylor on the critically acclaimed ‘Friday Night Lights,’ where he perfected the role of husband, father, coach and mentor to the young adults of Dillon, Texas. And yet somehow this is his first SAG nomination for the role. He was nominated for the Emmy in both 2010 and 2011, and he finally took home the statue this year. If anyone deserves this award, it’s Kyle Chandler. It’s his last chance and I’ll fight anyone who tries to tell me he isn’t the rightful winner.
- ‘Breaking Bad‘ for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. If I’m not mistaken, this is the show’s first nomination for ensemble, yes? And it’d be hard to find a cast on television more deserving of this award. This season we saw phenomenal performances from not only Cranston, but his counterpart Aaron Paul (I’ll get to his obvious snub in a minute), Giancarlo Esposito, Dean Norris and Anna Gunn. This show is, by far, the most engaging, compelling show currently on air. It’s got the best writing, the best directing and the best acting of any show on air. I’m going to go as far as to say it’s one of the greatest television shows of all time. In the pantheon of great TV, this show has earned its spot next to The West Wing and The Wire. It’s better than its network sister ‘Mad Men’ (which was not eligible, FYI), and if it doesn’t win this award, I’ll personally raise hell for several unnamed actors.
- ‘The Big Bang Theory’ for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. It’s about freakin’ time someone acknowledged the quality of acting on this show. It’s always been a strong, funny sitcom, but for some reason this is the first time it’s been nominated at the SAG Awards. Jim Parsons has won two Emmys for his portrayal of Sheldon Cooper, and it baffles my mind that he’s not nominated as an individual here. While there were obvious snubs in this category (I’ll also get to that in a minute), I think this show is the obvious winner.
I’m too annoyed to explain in depth what’s wrong with this year’s crop of nominees. Instead, I’m going to list a bunch of people who didn’t deserve their nominations, and then explain who should have been nominated in their place.
- Kathy Bates. Should be: Katey Sagal for ‘Sons of Anarchy.’ Despite the fact that ‘Sons of Anarchy’ is one of the best shows on television right now, the show never earns any award recognition (aside from Katey’s surprise upset at the Golden Globes last year) and it baffles my mind. OK, you know what, that’s not true. I think I know why people don’t nominate this show. It’s because they don’t get it. They hear the words motorcycle gang (it’s a club, bitch) and they automatically go, “What? That is so not for me.” or “What? Like that show could be any good.” And those people are wrong. This show has a fantastic premise, usually strong storytelling and a cast of actors who are completely deserving of the kinds of accolades laid upon their peers. Katey Sagal is the mother of this motley crew of outlaws, and she constantly turns in stellar performances year after year. The fact that she wasn’t nominated in 2009 after the work she did was criminal. And to think that her peers snubbed her again simply because Kathy Bates is an Academy Award winner is ridiculous. Katey, once again, turned in phenomenal work as Gemma Teller Morrow this season, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, she deserved this nomination. Y ou actors don’t know shit.
- Jessica Lange Should be: Connie Britton for ‘Friday Night Lights’ When I first saw the words ‘American Horror Story’ in the nominations, I thought, “Oh my God. They nominated Connie for that instead of ‘FNL?’” And then I read it was Jessica Lange, who pretty much sits around chewing scenery on that show. Don’t get me wrong, the woman is a legend in the business, but I think that’s the entire basis for this nomination (and this is also the reason, I suspect, that Kathy Bates was nominated). Connie Britton is flawless in everything she does, but her work as Tami Taylor will go down in history as one of the greatest performances of all time. Tami Taylor is the woman that all women should want to be, should strive to be. She was a mother, a protector and a mentor to so many people. And Connie played her beautifully. That character, in any other hands, would probably not have been the same woman. Connie was nominated for an Emmy for the role in 2010 and 2011. And she lost both times. This was her last chance to win a SAG for the role. Actors and actresses should be ashamed of themselves.
- ‘Glee’ Should be: ‘Community‘ NBC has benched the show for the foreseeable future, but the show is by far the best comedy on television (aside from ‘Parks and Recreation,’ see below). I don’t honestly think I need to explain myself any further. If you’re not watching it, you’re an idiot. And clearly, Hollywood is made up of idiots.
- ’30 Rock‘ Should be: ‘Parks and Recreation’ It’s been obvious for awhile that Parks and Recreation is the better show, but for some reason actors love Tina Fey more than Amy Poehler, they love Liz Lemon and everyone else at 30 Rock more than Leslie Knope and her hilarious band of insane coworkers in Pawnee, Indiana. Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, who were both snubbed (I’ll get to that in a minute as well) anchor what has quickly become the ‘Friday Night Lights’ of sitcoms. It has the ability to make me pee my pants with laughter right after making me shed a tear at its sweet, heartfelt moments. Leslie Knope is better than Liz Lemon. And I will go down fighting that point.
THE SERIOUSLY WTF?
- Look, I never watched ‘Suits.’ I meant to. I want to. I tried to find it online last weekend but I couldn’t. So I have no idea how talented Patrick J. Adams is, but I can guarantee that Aaron Paul is better. Every year I see that actors have nominated someone insane (remember Piper Perabo last year?), and it makes me cringe a bit for those people because while, yes, they’ve been nominated, it’s almost like it’s a sick joke. Because they have no chance in hell to win. And they know it. And then critics and journalists and bloggers everywhere point out that they’re not as talented or worthy and it’s all a bit sad and embarrassing. And I just did it, but I’m not sorry. Because Aaron Paul deserved to be nominated instead. And if you try to tell me that Aaron Paul is still a supporting actor on ‘Breaking Bad,’ I will break your face. Because he is every bit a lead actor on that show now as Bryan Cranston. And truthfully, when he’s nominated alongside Bryan as a lead actor in next year’s Emmys, I think he’ll win.
I’ve already mentioned Katey Sagal, Connie Britton and Aaron Paul, but add to that list the following people: Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins, Charlie Hunnam, Claire Danes, Maggie Siff, Damian Lewis, Giancarlo Esposito, Margo Martindale, Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jim Parsons.
As for the shows: ‘Friday Night Lights,’ ‘Homeland,’ ‘Parks and Recreation,’ ‘Community,’ ‘Justified,’ and ‘Sons of Anarchy.’
I could probably go on and list a lot of other people and shows that I think are worthy, but these are definitely the most egregious snubs. Bring it on Golden Globes, let’s hope you guys do a little better.