There are few comedies on TV that are funnier or more willing to go for a gag than FX’s vampire mockumentary “What We Do in the Shadows,” which recently wrapped its stellar third season in rather shocking fashion. But do the vampires of Staten Island (and their human familiar) have the ability to translate that comedy into an ensemble nomination at the Screen Actors Guild Awards?
Some prognosticators thought it might be possible last year, when the show was coming off a slew of Emmy nominations for its well-regarded second season, including one for Best Comedy Series. But the show, which stars Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Harvey Guillén and Mark Proksch, was ultimately unsuccessful. This year, the series missed the Emmys cycle, but since Season 3 debuted at the beginning of September, it should still be pretty fresh in the minds of SAG-AFTRA voters when the nomination voting period opens Dec. 6. There are other factors working in the show’s favor as well though.
First and foremost, the reigning champ in the category, the Canadian comedy “Schitt’s Creek,” concluded its run in 2020 and thus is not eligible this year. Meanwhile, “The Flight Attendant” and “Dead to Me” missed the pandemic-altered eligibility window (March 1 to Dec. 31, 2021), which means they’re out this year as well. So although the two remaining shows from last year’s line up — Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” and Hulu’s “The Great” — are eligible and will likely both be nominated, there are now three slots open that “What We Do in the Shadows” can slide into. And the odds of it doing so look good right now.
The series is in fifth place in Gold Derby’s odds for comedy ensemble at 15/2. Best Comedy Series Emmy winner “Ted Lasso” is the current frontrunner, but the series has faced some backlash from critics and viewers alike in its second season, including for its divisive Beard-centric “Beard After Hours” episode and the heel turn arc of Nate (Nick Mohammed). Still, it’s likely not enough to KO its win chances; eight Experts are still predicting it to win, after all. Meanwhile, three-time Emmy winner “Hacks” is in second place and freshman comedy “Only Murders in the Building” and sophomore series “The Great” slot into third and fourth place, respectively. Like “What We Do in the Shadows,” the former show — which Hulu just claimed was its most-watched comedy ever — also recently wrapped its season, while the latter returns Nov. 19. This means they’re also likely to be fresh in voters’ minds.
So the path ahead certainly won’t be easy (we should also note former nominees “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “The Kominsky Method” are also eligible this year and are sitting in sixth and 10th place, respectively). But it’s not impossible. And although “What We Do in the Shadows” would be the eldest nominee if the current top five end up being the final field (“Hacks” is also contending for its first season), SAG-AFTRA voters don’t usually discriminate against such an “advanced” age because the group is usually slow to catch up on shows. “Schitt’s Creek” wasn’t nominated until its fifth season and didn’t win until its sixth. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” was snubbed completely for its breakout first season that won the comedy series Emmy before sweeping the SAG Awards for its second. On the drama side, “Succession” has similarly never been nominated — this despite the show’s overwhelmingly excellent second season — and is now currently sitting pretty in first place for its third season.
The voting body of the SAG Awards tends to go with what’s popular, and though “What We Do in the Shadows” is far from reaching “Game of Thrones”-esque heights, it has become more visible since its surprising Emmy nominations last year while also building a stronger and stronger resume with each passing season. So while the comedy might have missed the boat last year when we thought the momentum from the Emmys was going to carry it through to the SAG Awards, there’s still reason to believe that the third time might really be the charm for everyone’s favorite TV vampires. And if not, well, we happen to know where to find an energy vampire to drain them for being so very wrong.
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