2012 SAG Awards nominations: Jeff Daniels surprises, Lena Dunham snubbed

The NewsroomThere are some awards shows that really try to push the envelope when it comes to having bold nominees when it comes to television; unfortunately, the Screen Actors Guild Awards is not one of them. This show has made it a continual habit over the years to often recognize shows that really are dated and predictable, and this is reflected even more so in the winners’ list. Last year, they did make one bold move in nominated “Suits” star Patrick J. Adams; and this time around, their surprise level was more or less about the same.

Let’s go through this via the individual nominations for all of the major categories (we’re excluding miniseries, which curiously does not include “American Horror Story,” for this particular example).

Male Actor in a Drama Series

Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)

Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” (AMC)

Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom” (HBO)

Jon Hamm, “Mad Men” (AMC)

Damian Lewis, “Homeland” (Showtime)

The sole surprise here is seeing that Hugh Bonneville of “Downton Abbey” was snubbed in favor of Buscemi and Daniels, but it is hard to really rail against any of the nominees here. The love for “The Newsroom,” a vastly underrated show with a stellar performance by Daniels as Will McAvoy, is much appreciated and one of the few things the SAG Awards did that was not predictable

Female Actor in a Drama Series

Claire Danes, “Homeland” (Showtime)

Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey” (PBS)

Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story” (FX)

Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” (CBS)

Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey” (PBS)

There was a part of us hoping for a surprise nominee like an Emilia Clarke or a Jennifer Carpenter, but this was largely predictable. The only surprise is not seeing Christina Hendricks and Elisabeth Moss not make the cut. Then again, does any of this even matter? Danes already has this locked up.

Male Actor in a Comedy SeriesĀ 

Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock” (NBC)

Ty Burrell, “Modern Family” (ABC)

Louis C.K., “Louie” (FX)

Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)

Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family” (ABC)

We hate the comedy nominees for this show. It’s almost like the SAG Awards couldn’t be bothered to look at anything new after focusing so much of their attention on movies. Where’s the love for a Max Greenfield, a Joel McHale, a Damon Wayans Jr., or a Charlie Day? Baldwin generally takes home the trophy here, and he probably will again. Yawn.

Female Actor in a Comedy Series

Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie” (Showtime)

Tina Fey, “30 Rock” (NBC)

Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation” (NBC)

Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family” (ABC)

Betty White, “Hot in Cleveland” (TV Land)

Ready to yawn some more? Where is Zooey Deschanel, Lena Dunham, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, or even Julie Bowen? We’re starting to take issue with Betty White’s nominations; we love the woman and recognize her importance as an icon, but the truth here is that “Hot in Cleveland” is not that great of a show, and this one spot is taking away from someone who could actually make this show feel current.

Ensemble in a Drama Series

“Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)

“Breaking Bad” (AMC)

“Downton Abbey” (PBS)

“Homeland” (HBO)

“Mad Men” (AMC)

In no universe was “Boardwalk Empire” season 3 better than “Game of Thrones” season 2, and the surging “Dexter” could have even merited some consideration here. It’s still hard to take issue with most of these nominees, though, and this is really a case more so than comedies of a lack of quality challengers.

Ensemble in a Drama Series

“3o Rock” (NBC)

“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)

“Glee” (Fox)

“Modern Family” (ABC)

“Nurse Jackie” (Showtime)

“The Office” (NBC)

Let’s start with the good news, and that is “Nurse Jackie” surviving all of its in-house turmoil and getting a nomination. Now, let’s recognize how appalling some of these nominations are. “Glee” has been a huge disappointment this year, and “The Office,” while better this fall, was absolutely horrid last spring. Did the voters even watch these shows? Even “30 Rock” is not as funny as it once was. We’re not shocked by “Community” getting snubbed, but leaving off the funniest comedy of the year in “New Girl” along with a cult phenomenon in “Girls” is stunning, and almost to an extent insulting to people who actually watch and love TV.

What do you think about these nominations as a whole? Be sure to share your thoughts below, and you can also check out some of what we think is the best of 2012 over here.

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