The Screen Actors Guild usually proves themselves to be creatures of habit: They reward the same stars, year in and year out — following their own patterns rather than setting any new trends.
But the night wasn’t completely by the books. Here’s a look at some of the award show’s biggest curveballs:
SURPRISE: “This Is Us” (NBC)
Admittedly, this race was a tough one to call: Good arguments could have been made for any of the nominees. But “Stranger Things” was a surprise win last year, and the SAG did it again, crowning the NBC tearjerker. The last time a broadcast series took home the trophy was in 2006 for ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.”
SNUB: “Stranger Things” (Netflix)
Speaking of “Stranger Things,” the Netflix series went 0-for-4 tonight. Nothing for David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, the stunt team, or the cast — depriving viewers of yet another rousing speech from Harbour and Winona Ryder’s facial expression GIFs.
SURPRISE: Claire Foy, “The Crown” (Netflix)
Foy may have won last year for her turn as the young Queen Elizabeth, but that was before “The Handmaid’s Tale” made its debut on Hulu last April. Elisabeth Moss has swept all of their head-to-head races, including the Golden Globes earlier this month and last fall’s Emmy Awards. The two powerhouse actors will likely face off again at this year’s Emmys, with “Handmaid’s” set to debut its second season on April 25.
SURPRISE: “Veep” (HBO)
OK, it’s not really a surprise that “Veep” won, given its impressive track record at the Emmy Awards. But the ensemble of the political comedy had yet to claim the top prize at the SAG Awards, despite having been nominated four previous times. That meant “Veep” went two for two, given Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ win for acting (her third).
SNUB: “GLOW” (Netflix)
The ’80s-set wrestling comedy burst onto the awards scene, with a chart-leading four nominations going into the night (for ensemble, stunts, and stars Alison Brie and Marc Maron). But it went home empty-handed. The SAG Awards, though, have historically always been slow to recognize new shows.
SURPRISE: Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies” (HBO)
Skasgard said it himself: “Yeah, that makes sense.A lot of people have been asking who the greatest male actor ever is. Is it Mr. Robert De Niro or the tall dude from ‘True Blood?'” Yes, Skarsgard swept earlier acting races, but the SAG Awards lumps leading and supporting roles into this catch-all category, which meant he was competing against De Niro, who starred in the Madoff biopic “The Wizard of Lies.” Still, the win kept the trophy in the HBO family — the premium cabler has an impressive track record with wins in the past for Bryan Cranston (“All the Way”), Mark Ruffalo (“The Normal Heart”), and Michael Douglas (“Behind the Candelabra”). But ultimately the awards love for “Big Little Lies” — which has nearly swept all of its races — carried Skarsgard forward here.
SNUB: “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
The critical favorite and awards show darling didn’t take home any prizes at the SAG Awards — with Moss getting dethroned by Foy, and ensemble going to “This Is Us.” These are strange days, indeed.
SNUB: “Lady Bird”
There weren’t really any surprises on the film side as the frontrunners won in most categories. However, the lack of love had to sting for “Lady Bird.” The film was second only to SAG Awards hog “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” in the nominations. Surely one of its three categories would turn up? Alas, no. Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, and the rest of the cast all went home empty-handed.