Thursday, February 2, 2012
To begin with, no hosts, so there was no requirement for clumsy banter, the sort that seems to be written by someone who has no idea how people actually talk to each other, someone who lives in a windowless basement, perhaps.
Also absent, as this was an award ceremony strictly for the actors, were musical numbers, grumpy Mittel-European directors of animated short films, or the spectacle of James Cameron declaring himself King of The Universe, or at the least the Emperor of Flatbush.
Welcome to the SAG (Screen Actors' Guild) Awards. Better dressed than the Oscars, Less boozy than the Golden Globes, and shorter than either of them. They've been around for about a decade now, and they're sequestered to basic cable, which seems about right since most of the TV shows that people talk about these days and that get nominated for awards (Mad Men, Breaking Bad, etc.) seem to be produced for basic cable (personally, I would add The Closer as well, which is smartly written and often beautifully acted and refreshingly minus the "Hey! There's No Santa Claus" smugness-passing-for-cynicism that made The Wire so annoying).
In fact, it was because of The Closer that we were watching; Kyra Sedgwick was nominated and is currently one of my mother's favorite actresses. Also, she likes to see what the ladies are wearing, and this even was far enough off of the radar that the ladies chose to dress like grown-ups, the only disappointment being Meryl Streep, whose dress suggested she'd come straight from a performance of her new one-woman tribute to Obi-Wan-Kenobi. At least this time the shoulder pads were on her shoulders, not her hips.
And it was over in less than two hours. Nobody seemed to have been played off the stage, everybody remembered who they wanted to thank and got it over with, and they managed to get the re-run of the show off the air by midnight. Bloody Amazing.