Last night, the SAG Awards on TNT brought a brief, however small, respite to a chaotic week of strife and tension in this country. In the end, the SAG Awards don’t amount to anything when it comes to our current state of affairs, but for a couple of hours Sunday night, it offered a little heartfelt commentary, a few surprises, and quite a bit of humor.
Things got off on an awkward foot with Ashton Kutcher’s weird, teleprompter-read delivery about people being welcome in “his country.” His heart was in the right place, but perhaps nerves got the better of him. Almost immediately, however, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, who won for Veep, steadied this ship with an emotional speech about her immigrant father and what she values as an actor. It was measured and honest, and it set the tone well. That tone was followed up by Mahershala Ali’s quiet, emotional speech following his Supporting Actor win for Moonlight:
Later in the ceremony, the cast of Stranger Things won best cast in a TV drama – one of a handful of pleasant surprises. David Harbour was the spokesperson for the cast on stage, and he delivered a stirring, fiery speech that stirred the crowd into a unified frenzy and brought the house down. It was incredible.
Check it out here, and try not to focus on Winona Ryder’s weird facial expressions:
But the night wasn’t all political rabble rousing. Thankfully, the SAG Awards brought something perhaps even more cathartic four a lean couple of hours: comedy. Goofy comedy, like Dolly Parton’s candid discussion about here “Double D’s” or her plastic surgery. Or sharp comedy, like Lily Tomlin’s Lifetime Achievement speech:
This should all be taken with the smallest grain of sand as our airports and streets are flooded with protestors fighting for what is right in a new America where things are bleak for so many. But the ceremony was one of the most balanced, emotionally resonant, entertaining awards shows I have seen in years.
Say what you will about celebrities speaking out (actually, if what you wanna say is they need to keep their mouth shut, don’t say what you will. Your opinion is garbage.), last night’s SAG Awards were a breath of fresh air at just the right time. However fleeting it may have been.