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Part of my ballot for last night’s awards. I…didn’t do so well. Pardon my nasty carpet. Photo by Jenn Murphy

Last night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards provided a much-needed two hour respite from all of the things in the news that are currently making me yell “WHYYYYYY” at the heavens, although it did provide its fair share of head-scratchers. The big actor love fest had several expected wins but also had some moments that came as a surprise and could steer Oscar talk in a slightly different direction. Like I have with previous award shows, I’ll split my recap into the two covered camps. Let’s get into it.

 

TV: Drama is for the New

The comedy side was mostly predictable, with wins in Actress and Actor in a TV Series – Comedy going to previous winners Julia Louis-Dreyfus from “Veep” and William H. Macy from “Shameless“, respectively. Ensemble in a Comedy Series went to “Orange is the New Black,” which I kind of forget exists sometimes. I know so many people love it, but it never really hooked me. Best Actor and Actress in a TV Series – Drama went to “The Crown” stars John Lithgow and Claire Foy respectively, all but implying their cast’s win for Ensemble in a Drama Series but then, in a somewhat unexpected move, everyone’s other favorite Netflix binge, “Stranger Things“, took home the prize. Star David Harbour gave an intense speech (one of the many speeches last night aimed at our current political nightmare) and Winona Ryder gave a lot of face. And finally, Actor and Actress in a TV Movie or Mini Series went to Bryan Cranston (for “All the Way“) and Sarah Paulson (for “The People vs. O.J. Simpson“) respectively. I don’t know about you guys, but it looks like “The Crown” might be the new Emmy darling this fall. Sorry “Mr. Robot”/”House of Cards”/”The Americans”/Any show that thought it had a chance since “Game of Thrones” won’t be in the running.

 

Film: Okay…okay…okay…wait, what?

The film categories largely fell into line with that has gone down at previous award ceremonies this season, with one major exception. Supporting Actor and Actress went to Mahershala Ali of “Moonlight” (whose powerful speech was my favorite of the night) and Viola Davis of “Fences” respectively. Denzel Washington of “Fences” beat Casey Affleck of “Manchester by the Sea” for Best Actor, which I’m hoping means that’ll happen at the Oscars too. Emma Stone of “La La Land” beat Natalie Portman of “Jackie” for Best Actress, seemingly cementing Stone’s chances of going home with a little shiny man come Oscar Sunday. Those wins were all mostly expected; what wasn’t expected was “Hidden Figures” surprise Outstanding Performance by a Cast win. While I was rooting hard for “Moonlight” (as I am in basically any situation), I was certainly happy to see the excellent cast of “Hidden Figures” get their due, especially because I think Oscar nominee Octavia Spencer‘s co-stars Janelle Monae and Taraji P. Henson should have been more in the Oscar conversation from the beginning. Does this mean that we should be looking out for another big “Hidden Figures” surprise at the Oscars? It’s hard to know. “La La Land’s” lack of a nomination in this category makes it difficult to determine how this win will factor into the Best Picture race and while the SAGs can often be a good indicator of Oscar glory (there’s a lot of overlap between SAG and Oscar voters), it doesn’t always get it right. It’ll definitely be interesting to see how all of this plays into the Oscars next month.

 

So that’s what you missed (if you missed it) on the SAGs. Now we wait out the long month in between the SAGs and the Oscars. There is, of course, The Grammys and that big sporting event to fill the time, but we all know they’re not as good.

 

What did you think of the Screen Actors Guild Awards? Have any thoughts on what it means for Oscar night? Still mad that “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” didn’t get more award season attention? Me too. Tell me how you really feel in the comments. And, especially in our current social and political climate…

 

Stay classy.

Jenn

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