The SAG Awards Recap - DVR Shortcut Style

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Last year in order to watch the Emmy Awards, I came up with the DVR Shortcut viewing technique.  What you do is you set your DVR to start recording the show and then half an hour before the scheduled end of the show, in this case 9:30 PM, you start watching the show on the DVR.  Your goal is to watch the whole show in thirty minutes or less.  It's a television viewing technique whose time has come and it's perfect for award shows.  Trust me, it will save you many hours of bad TV viewing time. 

All those bad jokes?  Zip, zip...whiz right by.  All those ridiculous show fillers?  Click, click...on to the next award.  That's what I did with the SAG Awards last night and I can't tell you what a satisfying experience it was.  Well, actually, yes I can.

First some quick hits from E's red carpet coverage:

It seems we will be spared Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet because he's home with a virus.  The man must be nearly comatose for him to miss what may be the only big red carpet event of the award season because of the writers strike.  On to the fashions:

*Cate Blanchett is all pregnant and pretty in a black and grey number.

*Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt just arrived.  Is she pregnant?  I can't remember.  I hope so, otherwise there's no reason for her to be wearing that strapless, brown, tie-dye tent.

*Kate Beckinsale is wearing a strapless, creamy dark yellow confection.  It has layers of ruffles around the bust and down the skirt and even though I don't know what she's doing at the show, the dress is great.

Here come the "Desperate Housewives."  Marcia Cross is wearing a spaghetti strap halter dress that's kind of a turquoise color with a flower stuck between her boobs. She blames the dress on her stylist, saying  she "literally wears what her stylist puts in front of her." I'm not feeling the dress, but with that flaming red hair she somehow always looks great.

America Ferrera is in a wonderful gray chiffon form fitting gown that flares out at the bottom.  Her "Ugly Betty" co-star Rebecca Romijn is in a strapless cocktail length dress that's black and gray with fringe on the bottom.  It's very chic, and strapless seems to be the thing this year.  Eva Longoria Parker is in a bejeweled white dress with a down to there back.

Michelle Pfieffer is pulling off a cute little cocktail length, bronze colored dress with matching shoes.  Who says fifty can't look good?

Now, on to the show:

The opening gives us a glimpse of red carpet hoopla and then they whisk us to actors in the audience to give
their "how I go started" spiel.   All the stars are seated at dinner tables and I can't help but wondering what they had to eat.

Sally Field starts.  She began acting at twelve, she was very shy...blah, blah, flung herself off a cliff..."I'm Sally Field and I'm an actor."

Doug Savant says he was a pain in his parents' fannies, and that gave him great joy.  Heh.  "I'm Doug Savant...Mom, Dad, I'm an actor."

I can't pay attention to what Ellen Burstyn's saying because she's wearing an orange and gold number from the Arabian Nights.  She's Ellen Burstyn and she's an actor.

Sandra Oh says her sister told her to play the "Wizard of Woe" when she was ten and she's never forgiven her.  She's Sandra Oh and she's wearing a strapless dress with a huge red bow across her bust.  I mean, really huge and really red.  And by the way, she's an actor.

Rebecca Romijn used to walk on runways in her underpants as a child, was dipped in blue paint for four movies and now she plays a transgender. She's a model turned actor.

Jane Krakowski can be anybody she wants, so she's "Johnny Depp and I'm an actor."  Good one Jane.

Kyle Mclachlan was in that God awful "Dune" movie and "Twin Peaks,"---would you like some cherry pie?---and he too, is an actor.

Heh.  Those were good.  Maybe the writers were so happy to get back to work on something, they gave it their all.

First presenters, Steve Carell and Tina Fey.  Don't like 'em. Time to move on.

Click...click.

Best Male Actor in a Drama series. I pause two minutes to check Hugh Laurie's clip and James Gandolfini wins for "Sopranos."   His speech is short and sweet.  He's honored, been ten years, see ya.

John Travolta is presenting with Nikki Blonski from "Hairspray" That blue dress on Nikki is not flattering at all. She's a lovely girl, but her stylist needs to be hung up by his or her thumbs.  You should never let a client go out looking like that.

Travolta is looking weirder and weirder as he ages and him playing a woman in a fat suit in a
musical is not helping his image at all.  He's the reason I won't be seeing "Hairspray" any time soon.

I pause two minutes to see Debra Messing and Zac Efron. She's wearing chain mail and her boobs are pressed so tight she's overflowing. It's Best Actress in a Drama Series. I stay just long enough to see that Glenn Close, doesn't win for "Damages," but she looks smashing and glamorous in yet another strapless dress. No seventies feminist pant suit for her tonight. The winner is, excuse me...the actor goes to...Edie Falco.  She looks stunned, she probably deserves it.

Her speech:  Ten years, it was great, blah, blah.  Time to move on.

Click...click.

Blair Underwood on tape, is saying something about the 75th SAG anniversary. Unions are good.  Studios are bad.   Made actors work 20 hours a day for 2 cents a minute, or something like that.  Boris Karloff was SAG's founding member.  Didn't know that.   

Vanessa Williams is up there, guess what, in a strapless dress!  She's very bronzed and the dress is very orange, but she looks very elegant.  She's presenting with that "CSI" guy who's name I can't remember.  Don't feel like looking it up. 

Anyway, it's Best Cast of a TV Drama.  Winners:  "The Sopranos," and like at the Emmys they still look surly.  It takes ten minutes for them all to get on stage.  Ten years...blah, blah.  Time to move on.

Click, click.

Emile Hirsh and Hal Holbrook show a clip of "Into the Wild."  Fascinating book.  If you haven't read it, pick it up.  Glad to see Hal still working.  Forgot he was married to Dixie Carter.

The French actress Marion Cotillard is on stage in a ruffled dress that looks like it was made from lamp shade material.  But it is strapless so she got the strapless memo.  Best Supporting Actor in a movie?  I bet it's...yes, it is, Javier Bardem in that scary killer movie, "No Country For Old Men."

I haven't seen the movie and I don't know if I can, but I might have to.  Javier's a nice looking guy but with his unbuttoned white shirt, he looks like Javier Gigolo.  I pause just long enough to hear him say, his grand parents were actors at "a time when actors were not allowed to be buried on sacred land because they were homosexuals and prostitutes."  Love his accent.  He's happy to be welcomed to LA and wants
to share the award with James Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones and the Coen brothers.  He also thanks the Coen brothers for using his good takes instead of the ones that really sucked.

Good speech.  Moving on.

Click...Click

Best Actress in a Comedy.  What do you want to bet it's Tina Fey?  Sure enough.  It's Tina Fey.  Don't like her, don't watch the show, don't care.  As always, I'm sick of TV shows about TV shows.

At this point while I was recording, I switched channels to look in on the men's US Figure Skating Championships on NBC and saw the last 3/4 of Johnny Weir's lovely long program.  He's wearing one of those strange full body stocking costumes that keep more male viewers from watching figure skating, and though he comes off the ice crying, he's tied for first place.  However because Evan Lysacek won the long program Lysacek wins the competition. 

Click, click.

Back to the SAG Awards, I didn't miss much.  "The Office" won for best ensemble comedy.  Don't watch it, don't care.  Moving on. 

There are shots of the audience. Woody Harrelson is bald and James Denton has an outline of a beard.

Blair Underwood is up on tape again.  What, they couldn't afford to fly him in?  The guild is great, created pension plans and residuals, elected a woman president and fought for racial equality.  SAG marched
on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King.  They show clips of the very few minorities on TV right now and tout the great strides in diversity.

The president of SAG Alan Rosenberg is on....time to skip ahead, oh wait, he gives best wishes to the men and women in the army overseas.  Gotta see that part.  Then he welcomes WGA President Patrick Varrone and thanks him for letting them have a show and a red carpet without pickets.  No, not really, but that's what he means

He mentions Blair Underwood's tape and we get a shot of...Blair Underwood!  He is there!  Why didn't they put him on stage? 

Moving along...click, click.

It's Denis Leary.  Can't stand him.

Click.

Oh, it's the Charles Durning salute.  Here come the clips.  I can't believe how many of those movies I've seen.  He used to be a boxer.  Wow, who knew that?  He was also one of the first in WWII to land on Omaha beach, and was the "lone survivor of his unit."  Double wow.  He came home, enrolled in acting school and was told to find something else to do. 

Oh look, they glued together Burt Reynolds for the night.  He's introducing Charles.

Click, click, click.

Durning's up on stage and kind of scary looking, but he's funny.  Nice thank you speech, and he's off.

Holly Hunter and James Spader present Best Actor in a in a TV Movie or Miniseries.  The winner is Kevin Kline.  I love Kevin Kline. He was in "As You Like It." Never saw it, but I wish I had.  Must have been on HBO.  Kevin's not there.  Saves time.

Ben Foster is there, who is he?  "310 to Yuma." Didn't see it. Don't care.Outstanding Cast Performance in a Movie nominee.  They show a glorified trailer, big deal.  But its got Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.  Maybe I should see it. 

Oh there's Mickey Rooney. He's walking in on his own. Cool. Oh, they stand up, that's nice. Kate Beckinsales' like, who's Mickey Rooney? Mickey starts to speak and thanks his wife.  I think he thinks he's getting an award.  He thanks his wife some more and she's blowing kisses at him.  Someone save him.

Click.

Oh, now he knows he's presenting Best Female Actress in a TV Movie or Miniseries.  The winner is Queen Latifah. He calls out, "Miss Latifah? Is Miss Latifah here?"  Hee, hee.  I don't know if he knows who Miss Latifah is.

Moving on, click, click.

Josh Brolin comes out and looks mighty good cleaned up.  He introduces the Dead People Montage.  Get out the hankies.

It's amazing how many of the actors who died last year were from classic TV shows.  People like Charles Nelson Reilly, Alice Ghostley, Barbara McNair, Ron Carey and Roscoe Lee Brown.  And at the very end they tack on a shot of Heath Ledger from "Brokeback Mountain."  Very sad.

I have fifteen minutes left to my half hour, I don't think I'm going to make it.

There's Blair Underwood again and as I zip by him, I figure out that they probably put him on tape because they were afraid of not having a show because of the strike. 

Viggo Mortensen is there with a full beard, a red vest and striped jacket.  He looks like a gangster.
It's Female Actor in a Supporting Role.

The winner is...Ruby DeeHow cool.  It takes her a while to get up there, click, click...she looks great.

Someone needs to move the microphone because she's so short it's right in the middle of her face. Oh well. Everybody stands and it's really a nice moment.  Kate Beckinsale's like, who's Ruby Dee?

It takes Ruby a couple of seconds to pull herself together, but then she gives a nice little speech.  She accepts for her late husband, Ossie Davis and she looks elegant and classy while doing it. 

Tommy Lee Jones introduces clips from "No Country For Old Men."  Scary. Ten more minutes left and I'm not going to make it in half an hour.  Unlike the Emmys there are a few more things worth seeing in his show.

Male Actor in a Leading Role.  The winner is...Daniel Day Lewis. Another movie I haven't seen because of it's scary-ness.  Really, "There Will Be Blood?"  That sounds heartwarming.  But I really, really like Daniel Day Lewis so I just might have to breakdown and see it.  His speech I have to hear.  Even though he looks like a doorman with that jacket.

He starts off by saying he's very proud, and then he dedicates his award to Heath Ledger.  He says the
work of other actors has always inspired him and Heath Ledger did that for him.  He mentions his performance in "Monster's Ball" and then says "in Brokeback Mountain" he was unique, he was perfect. That scene in the trailer at the end of the film is as moving as anything I think I've ever seen, and I'd like to dedicate this to Heath Ledger." Great speech. Very special.

Best Actress in Movie?  Julie Christie.  I haven't seen Julie Christie in years and who knew she was still working?  Don't need to hear her speech.

Click...click.

Oh look, it's Tom Cruise.  He's presenting Best Picture and it goes to..."No Country for Old Men."

Josh Brolin goes up and gives the speech.  He says how risky movies are a good thing and "the studio system is backfiring awfully, and it's fun for us actors."  Wow, he's not scared of not working again, is he?

He thanks a list of people, and then says, "I'm taking my time man. This is my freakin' moment."  Hee.  "The Coen Brothers are freaky little people and we did a freaky little movie, whether you like the ending or not."  Good stuff.  I've heard several arguments about the ending of that movie, so that's another reason I might have to suck it up and see it.

Tom Cruise says goodnight, and we are out. 

I'm fifteen minutes over, but I still call that a success.  Two hours of viewing in forty-five minutes?  What can I say, it's a winning formula.

Related Links:

Madame Dior:  For an in-depth fashion roundup of the SAG Awards.
Fame Crawler:  Daniel Day Lewis' acceptance speech courtesy of Sweatpantsmom.
Angelina Jolie Watch:  Photos of Brad and Angelina at the SAG Awards courtesy of KD Griffin.

Contributing editor Megan Smith is an admitted TV Junkie and her personal blog is Megan’s Minute. She also writes about television and online video at Video Runway.

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