The 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards was a generally enjoyable show, doing away with some of the irritating clip packages of years past, giving us a couple of surprises (like Helen Mirren and Ty Burrell) and some fantastic acceptance speeches. Below, my thoughts on the night.
Can Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep“) win at every single award show from now on? Seriously! That was one of the funniest, most irreverent acceptance speeches in some time, especially at these kudos which are a trophy-bestowing conveyor belt awards show. She is the true Queen of Comedy.
Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine“) gave yet another heartfelt, funny and genuine acceptance speech. A true class act, who still made everyone laugh out loud with some cutting little quips (“you allowed Matthew McConaughey to talk about Neptune!” she remarked as the teleprompter counted down the seconds allotted to her speech) and some interesting tactile responses to the naked Actor trophy itself. I can’t wait for her Oscar acceptance speech!
Lupita Nyongo (“12 Years a Slave“), meet Oscar. Surely this was her best “audition” yet, a couple of days after her heartfelt acceptance speech at the Critics Choice Awards. Now we have a real competition in the Best Supporting Actress Oscar category.
Ty Burrell’s five simple steps for success from his new book “Acting: How To Do It Good”. Hilarious! And not having Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”) break the tie for all-time wins with Julianna Margulies made it even sweeter.
It was a great change of pace to see EGOT winner Rita Moreno honored by her peers. She danced around the stage so triumphantly, and serenaded the audience, looking not a day over 50 – pretty good for an 82-year-old!
“…and the Actor goes to… “Modern Family.” Really?!? Again? For the fourth time? Overtaking “Seinfeld” as all-time SAG comedy TV champ? Don’t get me wrong, I think “Modern Family” is a great show and has a terrific ensemble of actors. But enough already. I was hoping for a surprise “Veep” win, and was predicting that “The Big Bang Theory” would finally win. I don’t think I will ever predict “Big Bang” again after this.
Hear me out. There was a lot of talk from award recipients during the show (and in the well-edited clip packages at the end of each commercial break) about how privileged these actors are, how lucky they aren’t digging ditches and loading trucks and how they create and live through the characters they embody. And most of it came from a genuine place of attempted humility. But I still felt a little uncomfortable, thinking about the millions of people watching (or not watching) the show who make their living in much less glamorous jobs, or who don’t even have a job, effectively being told that what they do couldn’t possibly compare with what the people in the Shrine Auditorium do. Maybe it’s just me.
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!” That was what I yelled when James Marsden and Mindy Kaling announced that Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey“) won the SAG Award for Best Female Actor in a TV Drama. Nothing against Dame Maggie herself, but what on Earth does Kerry Washington need to do to win an award? This is the third time in the last few months I thought she would win some hardware for her dynamite role in “Scandal,” only to be proved wrong. Again. I don’t think I can do this again.