The nominees for the 2019 SAG Awards were announced earlier this week and with them came the first real insight into how next year’s Emmy race might begin to take shape. Predicted favorites like The Crown and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are continuing to win over industry voters while Fleabag is continuing its breakout year.
With only five nominees per category on top of lead and supporting contenders condensed into a single race there were obviously going to be a lot of surprises. Fans were horrified that the second season of Succession didn’t make it into the drama ensemble lineup, and voters shockingly moved on from past winners like This Is Us and Veep.
One of the biggest trends this year was the fact that voters tended to celebrate their favorite shows up and down the ballot especially in the comedy categories. In the past we’ve seen massive and diverse ensembles celebrated even when they weren’t major Emmy contenders. This year all of those traditional ensembles were left out of the race, shows like Orange Is The New Black, GLOW, Succession, and This Is Us.
With so many dramas to choose from SAG voters celebrated their tried and true favorites bringing back Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Crown back into the ensemble lineup. With them they all brought along obvious individual nominations for Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter, Elisabeth Moss, Peter Dinklage, and David Harbour.
Unsurprisingly Big Little Lies made it into the drama ensemble lineup, but the huge surprise was the fact that not a single actress was individually nominated. Not Nicole Kidman who won for the first season or Reese Witherspoon who was nominated for the first season. Not even beloved actors like Laura Dern or Meryl Streep. There’s a chance that the nominating committee didn’t want to have to decide who to single out and thought an ensemble nod would be enough,
One of the biggest surprises this year was the strong showing for The Morning Show. The flagship Apple TV+ drama earned three individual acting nominations for Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, and even Billy Crudup. It was nominated for more individual acting nominations than any other drama this year and this major boost is exactly what the show needed. So why didn’t it break into the ensemble race? Either way it has proven to be a strong threat in the acting races and as more and more voters catch up with the new network it might even pick up a win or two.
With only five slots for ensemble series we knew there were going to be some surprises but nothing upset fans more than Succession being completely shut out. In its second season Succession has truly become a phenomenon so a nomination for its massive ensemble felt like a no-brainer. Are actors not as enamored by the show as the rest of the industry seems to be? Or is it simply a matter of no one standing out in such a strong, large ensemble? Missing out on a SAG nomination severely hinders its Emmy chances, but in what is looking to be a crowded year its massive popularity can still push the Roy family to a win.
After winning the top prize two years in a row This Is Us was shockingly left out of the drama ensemble race. It’s been able to win over a large group by SAG by easily being the most accessible drama in the lineup and the fact that it missed here is not good news in terms of next year’s Emmys. It’s already had a rough couple weeks being shut out at the Golden Globes, ACE Eddies, ADG, and CDG awards.
Two major performances were forgotten in the drama categories this year. After winning the SAG award last year voters have moved on from Sandra Oh in favor of her Emmy winning co-star Jodie Comer. They’ve also snubbed Emmy winner Billy Porter for a second year in a row.
For the second year in a row The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is the most popular show of any genre picking up four nominations for ensemble, Brosnahan, Shaloub, and Borstein. Last year it swept all three comedy categories and might very well do the same this year, especially with voters devouring the just released third season as they fill out their ballots.
For the most part SAG voters echoed the choices at the Emmys. Fleabag earned three nominations including ensemble and actress but nothing was more surprising than Andrew Scott making it into the comedy actor category. Now he’s been nominated by SAG, Golden Globes, and Critics’ Choice voters which makes his Emmy omission even more confusing. Barry picked up nominations for ensemble and Bill Hader but Henry Winkler did miss out on a nomination after being recognized last year. This could mean that without any vote splitting Hader finally wins.
For the second year in a row The Kominsky Method picked up three SAG nominations for ensemble and its two Oscar winning stars. The Netflix comedy has baffled a lot of people for repeatedly winning over Globes and SAG voters without any buzz or even becoming a major Emmy contender. With such hardcore strength among actors is there a chance that this can help the second season enter the Comedy Series race at the Emmys?
Maybe the most unexpected and exciting nominations came with the inclusion of Schitt’s Creek in the comedy lineup as well as Catherine O’Hara in the actress lineup. Very few people were expecting the underdog comedy to be nominated by SAG voters even after popping up at the Emmys. Its ability to pop up here in an even more crowded field is proof that those Emmy nominations weren’t a fluke and that is should be taken seriously heading into its final season and that Catherine O’Hara might finally be the Emmy frontrunner.
For once just about all of the comedy nominees stemmed from the five ensemble nominees with one exception. For her performance in Dead to Me Christina Applegate has now been nominated at the Emmys, Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice, and SAG awards.
With the usual suspects dominating the comedy categories there weren’t a lot of glaring omissions. Natasha Lyonne wasn’t able to make it into the crowded actress lineup and votes continued to ignore The Good Place. Maybe the biggest disappointment was the complete shutout of the final season of Veep including Julia Louis-Dreyfuss. The acclaimed series has been nominated every year since the second season even winning in 2017. Julia herself has won three times for her performance as Selina Meyer. Why did voters turn on the final season so suddenly? Was it simply losing momentum after going on hiatus or did they really respond negatively to the dip in quality?
Limited Series Categories
Continuing the trends that began at the Emmys the same limited series continued to rake in nominations including Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell of Fosse/Verdon, Jared Harris and Emily Watson of Chernobyl, Jharrel Jerome of When They See Us, and Patricia Arquette and Joey King of The Act. Voters even remembered Mahershala Ali ten months after True Detective aired on HBO.
Only two non-Emmy nominated performances made it into the SAG lineup, Russell Crowe (The Loudest Voice) and Toni Collette (Unbelievable). It’s safe to say Crowe’s transformative portrayal of Roger Ailes is the early Emmy frontrunner, and it will be interesting to see if it’s the type of performance that voters remember six months from now.
With three essential performances at the core of Unbelievable it’s interesting that actors only singled out Toni Collette. Is this going to change how Netflix campaigns the three performances going forward? Dever and Wever went lead at the Globes while Collette went supporting (to huge success) but if Collette starts to gain momentum is there a chance they submit her as a lead?
Besides the other two women of Unbelievable there weren’t a lot of glaring omissions. It’s disappointing that no one else from When They See Us were recognized but with such a massive ensemble it makes sense that voters had a hard time singling anyone out. More shocking than glaring was the fact that voters skipped over 13-time nominee Helen Mirren. It’s interesting that both SAG and HFPA voters have completely avoided El Camino after it became such a massive success for Netflix.