The Screen Actors Guild tend to go with the flow and nominate a mix of critical favorites and cable hits. They don't separate lead and supporting performances, which means that, inevitably, people are going to be left out. This year, the nominees in the comedy categories are evenly split between what we usually classify as lead and supporting performances, while on the drama side, only lead actors were recognized and in the movie categories, three supporting actresses and one supporting actor made the cut.
I am most excited about Ed O'Neill ("Modern Family") finally getting some love and being singled out for anchoring the fantastic ensemble of that show. Ditto for Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men") returning as a SAG nominee after missing out last year. And in case anyone was under the impression that the film nominations are where all the heat is, take a closer look at the five nominated ensembles for TV Dramas – stunning performances by brilliant casts, proving once again that television is where the best acting and writing are these days.
While we're on that subject, however, I wonder how "random" the voting pool is each year when TNT's "The Closer" has been nominated for Best Drama Ensemble for the last three years in a row. While I admire the show, it does sowell with SAG voters but is almost universally ignored elsewhere apart from Kyra Sedgwick's perennial nominations at the Golden Globes and Emmys. "Hot in Cleveland" for Best Comedy Ensemble is a shocker. Really, Screen Actors Guild? Over Showtime's "Nurse Jackie" and "The Big C", or even CBS' "The Big Bang Theory"? I guess it's the power of Betty White. That, and the voting panel skews much older than many of us realize.
By snubbing ALL supporting players on the drama side, SAG voters missed out on rewarding some of the hottest performances on television right now -- recent Emmy champs Aaron Paul ("Breaking Bad") and Archie Panjabi ("The Good Wife") as well as Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men") and John Noble ("Fringe") top that list. And I am at a loss as to how "Lost" was completely ignored for its final season. They are nominating for the whole of 2010, right, not just from September onwards?
Photo: Ed O'Neill of "Modern Family" (ABC)