2012 SAG Awards: TV winners, analysis, and more from the show

The show is on!

The 2012 SAG Awards are finally upon us! Check back throughout the night, as we are to have some in-depth analysis of some of the TV-related winners from the TNT awards show.

Going into this show, there was really only one question worth asking — what’s with all of the uninspired choices? A number of these shows (see “30 Rock” and “The Office”) have been honored more times than we can count, unlike the Golden Globes — which chose to recognize such newcomers in “Enlightened” and “New Girl”in the form of nominations.

So let’s buckle up and get ready for some long-winded acceptance speeches and some SAG-related politics — check back soon for more coverage throughout the show!

Best Actor in a Comedy Series – Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”

Baldwin had an acceptance speech that was occasionally a bit over-the-top, but it was really hard to mind since, regardless of some of his drama away from the show over the past year, is a worthy winner. Jack Donaghy is still one of the most intricate and well-developed characters on television, even though this past year has been a strange one for his show — in particular with new episodes being stalled for the fall of 2011 thanks to Tina Fey’s pregnancy.

Best Female Actor in a Comedy Series – Betty White, “Hot in Cleveland”

Betty White has a major reason to think the Screen Actors Guild. Thanks to a memorable moment involving Sandra Bullock in 2009 along with a Super Bowl commercial, the television legend found herself in the middle of a comeback. Since that point, she has won a myriad of awards — including the last two trophies in this category.

In her acceptance speech, Betty did a kind thing in helping everyone to remember that she is not the only cast member on this show — and they are all as worthy as her.

Best Comedy Ensemble – “Modern Family”

Rooting for “Modern Family” is at this point like rooting for a likable athlete with four Super Bowl rings — they are worth your admiration, but after a while you want to cheer for someone new.

Out of the nominees, it’s hard to say that there was really any competition for the “Family” this year. “Glee” had a mediocre second season, and “The Office” and “30 Rock” have lost much of their luster versus their early days. Meanwhile, “The Big Bang Theory” has never really been recognized for its overall body of work, even if it does pick up some individual accolades from time to time. If “Parks and Recreation” or “Community” had been up in this category, maybe there would have been some more competition.

Best Female Actor in a Miniseries / TV Movie – Kate Winslet, “Mildred Pierce”

Quite possible in order to take a break from winning awards, Winslet was not actually present to accept her award. In many ways, she has become the “Modern Family” of this category.

Is she deserving? As Winslet always is, you have to respond with “definitely.”

Best Actor in a Miniseries / TV Movie – Paul Giamatti, “Too Big to Fail”

Despite Giamatti’s victory being a bit more of a surprise than what we saw with Winslet, Paul was also not present to accept his award for a much-deserved honor.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Mary Tyler Moore

The celebration of Moore’s career ended up creating two incredible moments — not only did we get to hear the incredible “Mary Tyler Moore Show” star reflect on her career, but Dick Van Dyke made a rare public appearance to introduce her — and received a standing ovation on par to what Sidney Poitier received at the Golden Globes earlier this month.

Moore’s legacy is arguably that of one of TV’s leading ladies, a title that to this day such women as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are still living in the shadow of. She found a way to mix grace with slapstick, and later in her career she showed the same talent for drama that we all knew was there in the comedy field.

Best Female Actor in a Drama Series – Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story”

Following her Golden Globes win, Lange kept her positive momentum going with a trophy for Ryan Murphy’s FX series — even in spite of some incredible competition including Julianna Margulies and Glenn Close.

Out of all these nominees, Lange is actually one of the most interesting ones in that we still don’t know if she will actually return to the show — though this is solely due to the fact that Murphy is starting up season 2 in a new city with new characters.

Best Actor in a Drama Series – Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire”

No offense to any of the other TV categories this year, but this group was a powerhouse. It was a three-horse race between Buscemi, Bryan Cranston (for arguably the best season of “Breaking Bad”), and Kyle Channing, but the “Empire” star came out on top. When the superb Michael C. Hall is arguably the weakest candidate nominated, you know that you have a great category.

Ultimately, Buscemi may have one of the best lines of the entire night when he told Michael Pitt fans to “stop yelling at him on the street.” (Spoiler alert: Pitt’s character was killed off in the season 2 finale.)

Best Drama Ensemble – “Boardwalk Empire”

This ended up being a rather good night for Buscemi — and also Martin Scorsese, who was the target of a joke earlier in the night from Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig about a “drinking game” every time his name was said on an awards show.

“Empire” picked up the award despite a second season that was not as praised critically as the first, and whose finale polarized a good many fans who watched the end of Michael Pitt’s character. This recognition is a testament to the fact that “Boardwalk” does routinely have some of the best performances across the board on television — even though “Breaking Bad” had the best season overall in 2011 out of any drama series.

What do you think about some of these winners?

Photo: Screen Actors Guild

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!