On TV, comedies repeat much better than dramas. SAG-AFTRA applied that rule to its awards this year, picking first-run winners on the drama side and repeat ones in comedy.
The biggest surprise of the night came in the final TV category, best ensemble in a drama series, which went to British import Downton Abbey. Only five actors of the show’s 22-member cast were on hand to accept the award, and all appeared stunned. “Shut the french windows!,” co-star Phyllis Logan exclaimed Downton Abbey-style for one of the most original winner reactions ever. This marked the first SAG Award for Downton Abbey in its first year competing as a drama series against such heavyweights as Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
In the individual drama acting categories the SAG Awards corrected some head-scratching previous snubs. Bryan Cranston won his first SAG Award for his acclaimed performance on AMC’s Breaking Bad. And Homeland’s Claire Danes landed her first SAG Award for her role after the Showtime drama was inexplicably shut out from the nominations last year. Cranston ended his SAG Award drought in a big way, winning twice tonight, also sharing in Argo‘s best feature ensemble win.
SAG-AFTRA members love Alec Baldwin. “Oh my god, this is ridiculous,” were Baldwin’s first words when taking the stage to accept his seventh consecutive SAG Award, completing his streak of winning the award for every season of his departing NBC comedy 30 Rock. The series, whose finale airs on Thursday, received a nice farewell tonight, with statuettes for both of its stars, Baldwin and series creator Tina Fey. Fey used her acceptance speech to plead for viewers to watch the 30 Rock series finale, which airs against CBS’ juggernaut The Big Bang Theory. “Just tape The Big Bang Theory for once for crying out laud,” Fey said. (more…)