“Crazy Rich Asians” star Awkwafina and Laverne Cox, of “Orange is the New Black” fame, unveiled the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Award nominations first thing Wednesday morning, and the list of film and TV contenders illustrated just what a wild year it’s been. For the SAG Awards, there were plenty of exciting surprises and a few inexplicable snubs.
Most noticeable was how much space was taken up by so few shows. In part because the SAG Awards don’t have supporting categories, dual nominees dominated many races: Both Julia Garner and Laura Linney were nominated for “Ozark,” Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda for “Grace and Frankie,” Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin for “The Kominsky Method,” Bill Hader and Henry Winkler for “Barry,” Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and Amy Adams and Patricia Arquette for “Sharp Objects.”
That meant snubs galore, as hot new shows like “Pose,” “Succession,” and “Yellowstone” were shut out entirely, while respected series like “The Americans” couldn’t even snag nods for its beloved leads, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. (The FX drama did earn an ensemble nomination.)
Below, IndieWire has compiled a list of the snubs and surprises to better frame the achievements of those who got through and honor those who were unjustly denied a seat at the table. Most of all, it’s just one more reminder of just how crowded the TV field is these days. These are the snubs and surprises of 2019:
“Pose”: After a strong showing at the Golden Globe awards, Ryan Murphy’s latest FX drama couldn’t crack through with actors. Considering the widely hailed performances driving the series, this is a bit of a shock.
“Orange Is the New Black”: The Netflix series has been nominated in multiple categories every year of its run, winning five times, but it was totally shut out in 2019. And it was a rather awkward exclusion given Laverne Cox was announcing the nominees.
“Black-ish”: Nominated for Outstanding Comedy Ensemble and Best Actor (Anthony Anderson) in 2018, the ABC comedy was cut from the running in 2019. In fact, none of ABC’s critically acclaimed comedies — “Fresh Off the Boat,” “Speechless,” or even “The Conners” — could crack through.
Laura Dern, “The Tale”: Another victim of fewer categories, Laura Dern couldn’t crack into a category filled with lead and supporting actors in limited series and TV movies. Considering the film’s reviews, as well as Dern’s recent nomination for “Big Little Lies,” this one stings.
Julia Roberts and “Homecoming”: Considering how well Amazon did with “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (and the stunning nomination for John Krasinski in “Jack Ryan”), it can’t be said that voters weren’t watching the streaming company’s series. And that makes it all the more befuddling how a mega movie star giving one of her best-ever performances gets left off the list in a well-reviewed series like “Homecoming.” Perhaps memory was an issue.
Jim Carrey, “Kidding”: Speaking of meritorious movie stars being snubbed, what about Carrey’s nuanced turn in the Showtime black comedy? Was the morbid subject matter simply too intense for voters?
“Westworld”: After earning three nominations for its first season (back in 2017), the HBO sci-fi series was limited to just a stunt ensemble nod in 2019. Voters may have been too confused by Season 2 for it to stick, but that doesn’t explain why fan favorite Thandie Newton was left out.
Matthew Rhys & Keri Russell, “The Americans”: After six perfect seasons, “The Americans” finally earned its first SAG nomination — for Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series — but that belated acknowledgement was muted by its leads’ exclusion. How the SAG voters could choose to give two nods to “Ozark” and none to Keri Russell is a mystery to anyone who’s seen both shows (and the voters may not have).
Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”: The BBC America series has made a nice end-of-year run, dominating the Golden Globe nominations and scoring a ton of spots on critics’ best of 2018 lists, but it could only manage one slot at the SAGs — Sandra Oh. Comer couldn’t capitalize on the trend of dual nominees, and the series didn’t crack the ensemble race.
“Yellowstone”: Despite strong ratings, former winner Kevin Costner’s modern western couldn’t get out of the gates with SAG voters.
“Succession”: HBO’s latest drama couldn’t crack through with voters, despite offering so many fantastic performances. Perhaps they simply couldn’t choose between Matthew Macfadyen, Kieran Culkin, and Sarah Snook.
“The Good Place”: Another Golden Globes honoree left off the list, Mike Schur’s NBC comedy has been snubbed every year.
Brian Tyree Henry in Anything: IndieWire’s film team can get into Henry’s unjust snubs for “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Widows,” but how he’s not in the conversation for “Atlanta” is outrageous, and that’s not his only worthy turn in 2018. His solo musical in “Room 104” is the best performance of the season (and Michael Shannon raps this season), and voters couldn’t possibly forget about him in a year where he also co-starred in “BoJack Horseman” and “Drunk History.” Henry was everywhere in 2018, and recognition for his outstanding efforts is warranted somewhere.
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Patrick Melrose”: A three-time individual nominee (and nominated three more times as part of an ensemble), Benedict Cumberbatch may have fallen prey to viewership struggles. “Patrick Melrose” didn’t make a huge cultural dent when it debuted in the summer, and that may have been long ago for what few people who saw it to forget about his incredible turn.
Justin Theroux, “Maniac”: Since the show wasn’t shut out entirely (Emma Stone snagged a nod), it must be pointed out that the best performance in Netflix’s madcap sci-fi experiment was left off the list. Consider us baffled.
John Krasinski, “Jack Ryan”: Either SAG voters really wanted Krasinski and wife Emily Blunt to attend the ceremony (she’s nominated for “The Quiet Place”), or they were especially taken with the former “Office” star’s serious turn as an action star. Few saw this one coming, especially after the Globes ignored Amazon’s new series.
Anthony Hopkins, “King Lear”: Another Amazon surprise, if only because the Oscar winner’s take on Shakespeare didn’t stir a lot of buzz when it was released. Still, Hopkins’ name goes a long way, and it’s impossible to deny his talent.
Joseph Fiennes, “The Handmaid’s Tale”: Season 2 of Hulu’s dystopian drama did even better at the SAGs than Season 1, and it’s all thanks to Joseph Fiennes. The series earned an ensemble nomination as well as a spot for Elisabeth Moss, but Fiennes earned a surprise slot of his own.
Bill Pullman, “The Sinner”: After getting blanked for its first season, “The Sinner” wasn’t expected to be much of a factor in Season 2. And if told someone was getting nominated, most experts would’ve probably expected to hear Carrie Coon’s name called. Nope. The returning star got the nod, and Pullman earned his first SAG Award nomination ever.
“The Kominsky Method”: Alan Arkin, sure. Michael Douglas…OK. But an ensemble nomination, too?! Chuck Lorre’s semi-serious, single-camera comedy is now a very serious awards contender, and it could steal a win or two at the SAGs after such a strong showing.
Emma Stone, “Maniac”: If a candidate is deserving, famous, and in a widely seen show, that usually adds up to a nomination, but there were doubts about “Maniac’s” awards potential after getting shut out of the Globes. Stone kept Emmy hopes alive with her nod, making sure Cary Fukunaga’s Netflix series will be talked about into 2019.
All Those Dual Nominees: On the one hand, it’s great to see respect given to great actors no matter their internal competition instead of people only picking one person per show. On the other hand, the onslaught of series snagging multiple nominations in the same category indicates voters aren’t seeing most of the other shows out there. A limited vision usually isn’t beneficial to the greater TV discussion, even if it’s so very exciting to see Patty Clarkson and Amy Adams up for “Sharp Objects.”
The 2019 SAG Awards will be presented Sunday, January 27 on TNT and TBS at 8 ET.