From ‘Squid Game’ to ‘Succession,’ the SAG Awards Ensemble Categories Should Be Full of New Nominees
Perhaps by virtue of its large voting body, the SAG Awards tend to recognize repeat winners in its two TV ensemble categories. Over the past decade in drama, “The Crown,” “This Is Us,” “Downton Abbey” and “Boardwalk Empire” all enjoyed back-to-back victories, and in comedy, “Modern Family,” “Orange Is the New Black” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” dominated a good portion of the 2010s.
But with last year’s winners “Schitt’s Creek” and “The Crown” — and even many of the nominees — out of the race for one reason or another, SAG Awards voters have a chance to inject some fresh blood into the competition.
Well, sort of. “Succession” and “Ted Lasso” aren’t exactly new shows, and they’ve already won Emmys in the drama and comedy series categories, respectively. But they haven’t yet received the top SAG ensemble prizes. “Succession” was not even nominated for its previous two seasons — a major oversight that Season 3 (completing its run as one of the buzziest shows on television) will likely see rectified.
In drama, it could be fun to see the dysfunctional media family of “Succession” face off with the equally mad TV team from “The Morning Show,” which could also be up for drama ensemble. And honestly, even though a crossover could never happen between the HBO and Apple TV Plus series, wouldn’t you pay good money to see some sort of meeting between Jeremy Strong’s out of control “Succession” offspring Kendall Roy and Billy Crudup’s equally smarmy-yet-vulnerable “Morning Show” network president Cory Ellison?
“Succession” could be in position for a sudden bounty of riches, with Strong and Brian Cox likely to be in the male actor race together (and perhaps Kieran Culkin, Matthew Macfadyen and Nicholas Braun too — hell, what if this category went all “Succession”?!), while Sarah Snook and J. Smith-Cameron could be in the female actor race.
Meanwhile, other ensembles yet to be recognized with SAG Awards drama noms include FX’s “Pose,” which ended its final season this year with standout performances by stars Billy Porter and Mj Rodriguez. The fact that the show has never been nominated is a bit of a shock, and this is the last chance for voters to correct that.
And then there’s the potential history-making opportunity for the SAG Awards to honor the fall’s biggest show, Netflix’s “Squid Game,” and its cast, including Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo and Jung Ho-yeon. And spoiler alert: For all but one of them, this is their only shot at a “Squid Game” SAG Award win.
In comedy, “Ted Lasso” is good for nominations, and star Jason Sudeikis may wind up being the only TV winner from last year’s SAG Awards to repeat in the same role. Meanwhile, don’t forget “Hacks” and the power of Jean Smart. Then there’s the return of “The Great” and perhaps a big showing for “Only Murders in the Building.”
The SAG Awards still don’t honor limited series ensembles, much to our chagrin, but this will be the first chance to see major noms for “The White Lotus” (Jennifer Coolidge and Murray Bartlett), “Dopesick” (Michael Keaton), “Maid” (Margaret Qualley) and “Scenes From a Marriage” (Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain).
This has been an incredible year for veteran actors and newcomers alike to bite into some of the best work of their careers. I’m looking forward to seeing how this voting body honors them.