It was no surprise for us when nominations for the SAG Awards 2012 were released. And then again when the winners were announced last night. Because they were, at best, predictable. If we disregard the movie nominations because, by definition, they have to change every year and we take a look at the television categories. I’m going to call them stale. Stagnant, bland, dull, boring. Here’s a thesaurus, look up as many synonyms for stale as you want. They all work.
The problem with the SAG Awards, and all the other major awards like the Golden Globes and the Emmys, is that they have their favourite television programmes and they get nominations, despite whether or not they deserved it. A nomination should be a decent show of appreciation, not a “how can we get this over and done with quickest?”. But what’s more troubling is the television series that get gypped, year after year, despite being universally praised across the board. Nearly every performance category in the full-series categories has been identical for so many years, it’s difficult to count. The Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series has been won by a total of 4 different men since the year 2000. 4. And since 2006, Alec Baldwin has won it every year. Don’t get me wrong, I like Alec Baldwin, but he certainly hasn’t deserved to win it 6 times. In a row. For the same role. It’s sort of the same for his co-star Tina Fey in the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series. She only won it 3 years running, but has been nominated every year since 2007. I’m not just hating on 30 Rock, but it’s the show that sticks out in my mind as the one that’s cock-blocking other shows from getting a look in anywhere. And the show has seriously waned since its peak in Season 3.
So, instead of just ragging on it, I’m going to do something about it. I’m going to hold my own SAG Awards show. In fact, I’ve already held it. And here’s the run down.
The 2012 Pop Culture Monster Anti-SAG Awards aka The First Annual Screen Monsters’ Guild Awards were held in the basement of Pop Culture Monster’s mother’s house. The evening was attended by lots and lots of famous people including Izzie the Dog, John Paul, the farmer from down the road and Pop Culture Monster himself. The buzz in the air was electric. Everyone dressed in their finest dressing gowns for the evening and everything went according to plan. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as so many deserving performers finally got the recognition they deserved. It was pure and utter magic. Surely the best awards show in the history of awards shows. The evening was hosted by Pop Culture Monster and guests dined on tea, coffee, biscuits and sandwiches.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Sean Bean, Game of Thrones
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Timothy Olyphant, Justified
Benedict Cumberbatch. Benedict Cumberbatch. Say it. Now try to stop saying it. Look, let’s face it, even if Sherlock weren’t amazing would we give this award to anyone not called Benedict Cumberbatch? Fortunately it is amazing and his performance as the consulting detective is the best in years or, dare we say, even ever. Couple that with the fact that he’s rapidly becoming the hottest property either side of the Atlantic and the actor goes to…
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Frances Conroy, American Horror Story
Laurie Holden, The Walking Dead
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy
How do you play a racist bigot and still manage to warrant sympathy? Just ask Jessica Lange. Constance Langdon is a contradiction of a character. A manipulative, controlling bitch and put-upon mother. She delivers a brave and ballsy performance and keeps us flip flopping as to whether we love her or hate her. We know she won for real but, by golly, she earned it. The big thing in this category is not who won but that there were so many of the performances we’ve nominated here that were so deserving but sadly passed over.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Fred Armisen, Portlandia
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Charlie Day, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Nick Offerman, Parks and Recreation
Adam Pally, Happy Endings
Dani Pudi, Community
Okay so this may be a controversial decision for the “Anti-Awards Show Awards Show” that is The Screen Monsters’ Guild Awards but, and there is a but, Ty Burrell is absolutely deserving of every nomination and award that they can possibly throw his way. He’s been carrying what has been a semi-uneven Season 3 (by Modern Family standards anyway) by himself. Particularly evident in the Christmas episode, “Express Christmas”. He just brings it in every episode. Fact.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Alison Brie, Community
Eliza Coupe, Happy Endings
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Casey Wilson, Happy Endings
We picked Amy Poehler because Amy Poehler is the best thing ever. Her Leslie Knope is not only the best thing in Parks and Recreation, it’s also by far the strongest comedy performance on television. She got snubbed by every major awards show up until this year, and we thought “wahooo! Finally, Amy Poehler will get the recognition she deserves!” But alas, that wasn’t to be. So, here’s to you Amy Poehler – we love you.
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
American Horror Story
Game of Thrones
Sons of Anarchy
American Horror Story was not the show we thought it was going to be. Defying its procedural peers it chose instead to be a big ensemble drama, only full of ghosts. The Harmons, the Langdons and everyone else in the show’s tangled web deliver much stonger dramatic performances than horror shows have saddled us with lately. With so many people coming and going you’d expect one of them to drop the ball, but American Horror Story’s cast keeps it in the air all the way to the end.
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Parks and Recreation
The Big Bang Theory
In any other year, this show would have lost out to something else because it wasn’t a proper ensemble cast. This season, they’ve really managed to blend the cast into a nicely formed bunch of absolute belly-laughs. Kaley Cuoco is severely under-appreciated as an actor, bringing a very unique likability to Penny. Jim Parsons’s Sheldon is always pitch-perfect and Johnny Galecki’s “straight guy” Leonard is the epitome of subtly brilliant. Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik have managed to bring so much to their characters, and to the show. The Amy Farrah Fowler/Penny BBF match-up is inspired. Utterly inspired.
We added 2 new categories a) because we can and b) because they should be there. Forget this “actors” guild poo, we’re awarding everyone involved.
Outstanding Drama Series
Game of Thrones
The Walking Dead
We admit it, we actually couldn’t choose. On the one hand, you’ve got epic fantasy epicness and on the other, the most calculated, detailed drama series we’ve ever seen. So, we gave it to both. Nobody expected Game of Thrones to be quite so brilliant and universally loved. And nobody expected Breaking Bad to be quite so excellent after 4 seasons. Game of Thrones started off somewhat predictable for a HBO series – nakedness prevailed and it seemed kind of up itself. Then there was a turning point during the mid-point to the season and it soared gloriously, proving to be one of the most exciting and visually arresting shows on television. Season 4 of Breaking Bad is arguably the best season of the show so far – purely down to the minutely detailed plot which saw everything being put into place before letting go and watching it be brilliant all on its own. The writers really got it together and it paid off.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Bored to Death
Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation was born as a sort-of spin-off to NBC’s The Office. And, despite it being far, far better, has been treated as such by awards shows ever since. It’s been almost entirely snubbed by awards shows since its inception. Amy Poehler’s work has been recognised, but never fully recognised with deserved wins. The cast is universally excellent – particular note to Nick Offerman’s deadpan Ron Swanson, a fan breakout star. The writing is the sharpest, funniest and most quotable of any television series at this time. The best episode of the series also came during this season in the form of “The Treaty”. Comedy genius, in its purest form.