Welcome to Bleeding Cool's "Can't Miss" SAG Awards picks, with the ceremony set to be broadcast live to all of our eyeballs on both TNT and TBS (and a whole bunch of places online) on Sunday, January 19, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Now for those of you who checked out our Golden Globes picks, you know that it was a bit of a rollercoaster run. So much so that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) and I are on a bit of "time out". It's cool… we talked it over… we thought it might be better if I started seeing other awards shows.
Which brings us to the 26th Annual SAG Awards – a completely different mindset to get into than the HFPA's (also less scary and a smidge more sober). Since it's actors giving awards to other actors for their work, there's an assumption that thes awards have a bit more "legitimacy" to them. Thus, the "Screen Actors Guild" name.
[INSERT OLD ADAGE ABOUT "ASSUMING" HERE]
One of the awards season's premier events, the SAG Awards annually celebrates the outstanding motion picture and television performances from the previous calendar year. Of the top industry honors presented to actors, only the SAG Awards are selected entirely by performers' peers in SAG-AFTRA. The SAG Awards was the first televised awards show to acknowledge the work of union members and the first to present awards to motion picture casts and television ensembles. The SAG Awards benefits the nonprofit SAG-AFTRA Foundation that provides a vital safety net, emergency assistance, and education resources to performing artists, and its children's literacy program Storyline Online®.
Now here's a look at who we think will win (you'll find those in bold), as well as some "Devil's Advocate" thoughts to keep in mind – and to cover my ass in case my hard picks are wrong:
● Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Big Little Lies
● Game of Thrones
The Handmaid's Tale
Devil's Advocate: In what I'm finding to be a pretty lackluster category, I could see the voters throwing some last-season love GoT's way. Maybe The Crown if it rides Olivia Colman's Golden Globes coat tails – maybe Big Little Lies if it rides the Meryl Streep "love train".
● Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Devil's Advocate: Do not sleep on Schitt's Creek! Even though the series is getting ready to wrap up its run, it's been experiencing some serious late-in-the-game attention on a number of levels. With comedic legends Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara (I'll knife fight anyone over the greatness of SCTV) on major career upswings, don't be surprised to see an upset.
● Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
● Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Steve Carell, The Morning Show
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
David Harbour, Stranger Things
Devil's Advocate: Possibly Dinklage for some "goodbye" love. Carell and Crudup cancel each other out, in a show that's about the women – sorry, boys. Though Harbour had more storyline to chew on this past season, voters might still be seeing Stranger Things as an ensemble. Same could be said for Brown, except one major difference: SAG voters don't want the networks to think they've forgotten them, and that gives Brown's excellent performance the edge.
● Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
● Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale
Devil's Advocate: I see this as the voters welcoming back a familiar face to series television – and with a renewed Friends vibe out there the combination, that could be enough to push Aniston over the top. Still, Colman is right there – even with Bonham Carter also nominated. Comer might be suffering from "she's always great" assumptions among the voters, while Tale has fallen off the "buzz" radar last season.
● Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
● Bill Hader, Barry
Andrew Scott, Fleabag
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Devil's Advocate: Let's start with the Kominsky cancel-out, then move to Scott and Shalhoub: both amazing – in what feel like really strong supporting roles. But Barry is Hader, so I hope this one's a no-brainer.
● Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Catherine O'Hara, Schitt's Creek
● Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
Devil's Advocate: Borstein and Brosnahan will cancel each other out, while it feels Applegate's nomination was the "reminder recognition" the voters wanted to give the show. But this feels like Waller-Bridge's awards cycle – but again, don't sleep on O'Hara and Schitt's Creek.
● Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Mahershala Ali, True Detective
Russell Crowe, The Loudest Voice
● Jared Harris, Chernobyl
Jharrel Jerome, When They See Us
Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon
Devil's Advocate: Ali suffers from "been-gone-too-long" while Rockwell gave an amazing turn in a series that still felt like Michelle Williams'. Jerome might suffer from another round of "more-of-an-ensemble-itis". Feels like it's Harris' to lose – though never put it past voters to send a message to Donald Trump and FOX "News" with a Crowe win.
● Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Patricia Arquette, The Act
Toni Collette, Unbelievable
Joey King, The Act
Emily Watson, Chernobyl
● Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon
Devil's Advocate: Possibly Arquette, but my head and heart all direct their eyeballs towards Williams. She's an actor who is doing some an amzing work – as are the other nominees – but with Williams? It feels like we haven't even seen more than 10% of what she has to offer – that she's just scratching the surface of her potential, and we're benefitting from it.
● Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
● Game of Thrones
The Walking Dead
Devil's Advocate: Without getting into any uncomfortable "legal news matters", I think it's pretty safe to say The Walking Dead isn't winning this one. That said, GLOW, Stranger Things, and Watchmen would've had a better chance fighting it out for top honore – if ten-ton giant Game of Thrones wasn't nominated. This is that rare instance when I don't care what the voters think: there was more stunt work in any two episodes of that last season than pretty much all of those other series' full seasons combined. Screw the coffee cup!
● SAG Life Achievement Award Recipient/Presenter
● Robert De Niro / ● Leonardo DiCaprio
Devil's Advocate: Yeah. We're claining these as a win. Sure, there weren't any "nominees" and we knew this weeks ago. That said? We don't care. Our egos are fragile. We need to walk away with at least one win. Don't judge me.