Acting It Up at the SAG Awards
Yes, that was
shout of glee that woke up the neighbors Sunday night when Chandra Wilson was named outstanding female actor in a drama series for
. At long last, Miranda Bailey has been given her due, and the wonderful Ms. Wilson rose to the occasion with a rapturous acceptance speech, acknowledging how unlikely it would be for someone with her skin, her nose, her height, her weight, to be accepted in this industry. (I think I also yelped in delight when the entire
cast took the stage for its well-deserved ensemble acting award.)
This on the same night that
's America Ferrera also took home an Actor trophy. Another unconventional, but absolutely right, choice.
I tend to enjoy the crisp, fast-moving SAG Awards telecast- aside from those pretentious opening monologues in which the likes of Marg Helgenberger (revealing an astounding lot of cleavage, right up there with Marcia Gay Harden), Jada Pinkett Smith and Freddie Rodriguez remind us that they're "an ACTOR" (causing you to pine for Jon Lovitz's "THESPIAN!" character, or perhaps Martin Short's Jiminy Glick, to puncture the ego trip). The salute to heard-but-not-seen voice-over actors was smartly done, and the warm life-achievement tribute to Julie Andrews was, like its recipient, a class act (although the clips reminded us how many dreadful late-'60s movies she and we had to endure).
And how cool to see the terrific cast of
, winning the ensemble comedy prize, mingling on stage with the legends from
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
. Almost as cool as Alec Baldwin's second straight comedy-acting win (following the Globes) for his brilliant work on
. Having supporting players like Baldwin and Wilson winning SAG trophies over lead performers is a smart acknowledgement of how essential scene-stealers are in the TV business.
The only TV acting prizes I would have liked to see go a different way: Robert Duvall over Jeremy Irons in the TV-movie category (although Irons' win led to Eddie Murphy's hilarious send-up of British acceptance speeches when he got his well-deserved Actor for Dreamgirls), and Michael C. Hall for
over Hugh Laurie. I have nothing but respect for Laurie, who gives a great speech every time, and I was shocked to realize he hadn't yet won a SAG Award for
. But given how unexpectedly well-chosen so many of the TV winners were, I would have loved to see Hall win for his surprisingly engaging, thoroughly original twist on a serial-killer hero. All things considered, though, his nominations here and at the Globes is validation enough. At least HBO didn't dominate the night, the way it used to before the networks stepped it up and showed that it's OK to be "just TV" after all.