SAG Awards: Good (Cate Blanchett), bad (‘Modern Family’) and ugly …

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. 

THE GOOD
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!

‘American Hustle,’ ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Modern Family’ win big at SAG Awards

THE BAD
“…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.

What do Screen Actors Guild Awards mean for Oscars?

THE UGLY
“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.

RELATED LINKS:

Screen Actors Guild Awards: Complete list of winners

‘American Hustle,’ ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Modern Family’ win big at SAG Awards

What do Screen Actors Guild Awards mean for Oscars?

Does SAG Award win + Golden Globe = Oscar?

Why Elisabeth Moss and Kerry Washington lost SAG Awards

Outrageous SAG reactions: A play-by-play from our bitchy forums

SAG Awards: ‘Lupita, meet Oscar. Jared Leto has such purty hair’

SAG Awards: Good (Cate Blanchett), bad (‘Modern Family’) and ugly …
 

 

11 thoughts on “SAG Awards: Good (Cate Blanchett), bad (‘Modern Family’) and ugly …

  1. I’m in total agreement except for the Modern Family win. The argument that something “deserves” to lose because it’s won too much is ridiculous. Modern Family, as an acting ensemble, is leagues above any show on television right now, especially shows like AD, TBBT, and even Veep. To me, the second-best ensemble, Parks & Recreation, wasn’t even nominated. Consistent excellence deserves to be rewarded, even if it bores Derby-ites.

  2. The ugliest is Bruce Dern not winning at the sag awards over Matthew McConaughey(at least maybe a tie).Some won on the guild committee screwed up BIG TIME.

  3. I would like to say that someone/something wins many times in a row doesn’t mean he/she/it doesn’t deserve it. For example, Alec Baldwin is amazing in 30 Rock. He didn’t win tonight but if he did, kudos to him. The same go to Modern Family. I’m not even a fan of the show but I watch it now and then but gotta say the casting is terrific and of course they are still very much on top of their games. Also, enough with Kerry Washington. I love her and admire the show but her performance is not that crazily fabulous that she has to win something. She slept with the President of the USA doesn’t qualify herself to get a SAG awards.

  4. I liked the last seasons of Arrested Development and Veep so much better than the last season of Modern Family and really hoped one of two would win. Oh well. I very much enjoyed Julia Louis-Dreyfuss’s speech, and I hope she wins many more so she can keep giving speeches like that.

    As someone who was laid off from my job recently, I didn’t really feel offended by the actors talking about how lucky they were to be doing what they are doing in life. It just made me think, “good for them. Maybe I’ll be that lucky someday.”

  5. Vu Dinh, you are dead to me. Kerry Washington DESERVED to win. Bottom line. That’s it. And yes, enough with “Modern Family”. And I’m very glad that Ty Burrell ended Baldwin’s streak.

  6. Baldwin was good, never great. Winning constantly – including winning over the criminally overlooked Steve Carell – makes it hard not to be happy that he didn’t win tonight.

  7. Sorry, but Kerry Washington and the entire SCANDAL show is a no in my book. Granted I begrudgingly watched it with my boyfriend up until just after the start of the 2nd season (thankfully he dropped the show). Others deserve those nominations from the various awards groups she has been getting. Maggie Smith is doing nothing new, but it’s delicious still the same. My personal choice would have been Lange or Danes, but I’ll take Smith.

  8. I agree on Washington and Scandal – it’s buzzy and addicting, but I don’t think the quality is especially great. Washington is capable of being a great actress, but Scandal doesn’t give her that much to do. In my opinion, the truly best actress in a drama series this year wasn’t even nominated – Julianna Margulies.

  9. STill don’t understand the gushing love for McConaughey … He never changes accent, slurs dialogue and for me was nominated for subject of the film and weight loss. He’s not a bad actor, but Oscar? Really?

  10. I dropped Scandal after first season when it stopped being about saving the misbehaving and turned into a sloppy soap opera. Washington is good, but the series is just more prime time porn.

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