Tuesday, January 14, 2020


They call the SAG cast and ensemble awards the 'equivalents' of best picture or best series. However, the results can be dramatically different, because here they consider the actors' performances alone. A comparison between recent years’ winners in these categories and the ‘equivalents’ at the Oscars, Golden Globes or Emmys will make that quite evident. So don’t be surprised if Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood takes home the ‘equivalent’ here, even if it doesn't come close to a best picture Oscar. 

Take a look at all predictions, across television and motion pictures for this Sunday’s 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards.


Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Drama Series
THE CROWN—most likely

This one is difficult to predict. They’ve never given it to GAME OF THRONES, so the GOT cast can win for their swansong. BIG LITTLE LIES is a strong contender. However, I think this will go to the cast of THE CROWN.

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Drama Series
Jennifer Aniston, THE MORNING SHOW—could win
Helena Bonham Carter, THE CROWN
Olivia Colman, THE CROWN—most likely
Jodie Comer, KILLING EVE

The SAGs have awarded THE CROWN and KILLING EVE before in this category, though for different actresses. I believe they'll stick with THE CROWN this year. I think it'll be Olivia Colman. Alternatively, it could go to Jennifer Aniston, or Jodie Comer.  

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Drama Series
Sterling K. Brown, THIS IS US—could win
Steve Carell, THE MORNING SHOW—most likely
Peter Dinklage, GAME OF THRONES

Steve Carell is a strong contender here. I suspect he’ll win. If not, the SAGs might make up for their lack of love for THIS IS US this year, by awarding Sterling K. Brown, who hasn’t won in this category before.

Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Comedy Series
FLEABAG—most likely
SCHITT’S CREEK—could win

It’s FLEABAG’s year. Enough said.

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Comedy Series
Christina Applegate, DEAD TO ME
Catherine O’Hara, SCHITT’S CREEK
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, FLEABAG—most likely, will win

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is winning this one. It’s FLEABAG’s year.

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Comedy Series
Bill Hader, BARRY—could win
Andrew Scott, FLEABAG—most likely

The SAGs don’t shy away from awarding supporting performances in a category that also includes lead roles. So it would be safe to predict Andrew Scott as the winner here, since it’s FLEABAG’s year. Alternatively, Bill Hader could win.

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Television Movie Or Limited Series
Patricia Arquette, THE ACT—could win
Joey King, THE ACT
Emily Watson, CHERNOBYL
Michelle Williams, FOSSE/VERDON—most likely

Michelle Williams is most likely to win. But considering Patricia Arquette’s Golden Globe win, it could be hers.

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Television Movie Or Limited Series
Mahershala Ali, TRUE DETECTIVE
Russell Crowe, THE LOUDEST VOICE—could win
Jared Harris, CHERNOBYL
Jharrel Jerome, WHEN THEY SEE US—most likely
Sam Rockwell, FOSSE/VERDON

After Russell Crowe’s Golden Globe win, this one is hard to predict. However, I think Jharrel Jerome will win here. Alternatively, Jared Harris or Crowe could take it home.


Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture
The Irishman—could win
Jojo Rabbit
Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood—most likely

This is where the SAG most understandably goes a direction quite different than that of the Golden Globes or eventually the Oscars. Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood will most likely lose out at the Oscars, but the enormous cast and the picture’s popularity will push it forward for the SAG. After Black Panther’s win last year, this far more deserving (potential) win should be far from surprising.

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Leading Role
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Lupita Nyong'o, Us
Charlize Theron, Bombshell—could win
RenĂ©e Zellweger, Judy—most likely

The SAG has often gone in a different direction with lead actress even, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Charlize Theron or even Scarlett Johansson take this home, instead of awards season favorite, Zellweger.

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Leading Role
Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Taron Egerton, Rocketman
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker—most likely, will win

I think this is the most predictable category across all major awards this awards season. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Joaquin Phoenix will win here.

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Supporting Role
Laura Dern, Marriage Story—most likely
Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
Nicole Kidman, Bombshell
Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers—could win
Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Again, the SAG has been known to appreciate lighter fare more than the other awards do, especially since they don’t have separate comedy categories. So if Jennifer Lopez wins, it won’t be a shock. Though Laura Dern is still a favorite.

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Supporting Role
Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood
Al Pacino, The Irishman—could win
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Brad Pitt, Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood—most likely

Brad Pitt is the favorite in this category for sure. However, if the SAGs decide to go all SAG about this, they could give it to Al Pacino.

Monday, January 13, 2020


The nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards were announced live, today, Monday, January 13, at 5:18am, PST; 8:18am, EST; 1:18pm, GMT; and 6:48pm, IST. The announcement was made by actors John Cho and Issa Rae.

Watch the nominations announcement here:


Saturday, January 11, 2020


I have read this statement several times since I found out that Justin Chambers is not only leaving GREY’S this season (16), but that we’ve already seen the last of him:

“There’s no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that’s defined so much of my life for the past 15 years. For some time now, however, I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices. And, as I turn 50 and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children, now is that time. As I move on from Grey’s Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rimes, original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride.”

Each time I read it, I tried to look for something in the statement that might hint at the real reason why he’s leaving, because obviously something as simple as moving on to other things in his career is not enough for us. When other cast members have left—and there have been many—we’ve had at least half a season to see how it plays out. When Patrick Dempsey was leaving though, they kept things hush-hush to truly devastate the audience with Derek’s death, while not giving us a chance to think of it as an exit scenario. This is neither. It wasn’t planned well in advance in order to send off the character with some closure as they did with Cristina, Callie, Arizona, or April. Even Izzie for that matter...It may not have offered complete closure, but we knew she was leaving when we saw the last of her, despite the controversy surrounding Katherine Heigl’s exit from the show. And nor was this announcement made only after Chambers’ last episode in order to preserve the revelation of the character’s exit for exposition on the show itself. Because ‘Alex has gone to care for his ailing mother’ is not that kind of an exit. Perhaps it was a stopgap solution to explain his absence from November’s mid-season finale, before the show’s team were sure they’d have to plan for his permanent exit. Whatever the case, his absence from the episode is likely to have been written in after they knew he would no longer be available for more. It’s very clear that the exit was sudden, and without notice—from a production standpoint—even if the public announcement was made only weeks or months later.

A sudden exit can be explained by a conflict that quickly escalated, calling for an immediate resignation or firing. Or it could mean that the actor had an emergent situation to deal with that couldn’t wait for a properly planned exit for the character—possibly a health situation or something concerning a loved one.

Whether or not we find out the real reason for Chambers’ departure from the show anytime soon, the upcoming episodes will have some serious explaining to do. There are a number of ways they can write out Karev.

1. Karev dies: We GREY’S fans are so jaded by the devastating deaths that we’ve seen over the last decade and a half, that even though the last few exits have not been by death, death is still the first thing that comes to mind.

Main cast characters who died when actors exited: George O’Malley, Lexie Grey, Mark Sloan, and Derek Shepherd

Main cast characters who survived the actors’ exits: Preston Burke, Addison Montgomery (for spinoff PRIVATE PRACTICE), Erica Hahn, Izzie Stevens, Teddy Altman (who has since returned), Cristina Yang, Shane Ross, Leah Murphy, Callie Torres, Stephanie Edwards, Nathan Riggs, Benjamin Warren (for spinoff STATION 19), Arizona Robbins, and April Kepner

Technically, no main character has died since Derek in season 11, so a death wouldn’t seem so far-fetched or too soon. However, for Alex to die off-screen, it will be for Jo like Meredith (receiving news of Derek’s fatal accident) all over again. Except that this time, we won’t get to see the spouse dying. What the cause of death could be is another question. Another car crash? Plane crash? Nope; been there, done that. If they have to kill off Alex, it could be something like a fatal illness he kept a secret in order to spare everyone the torture of having to live through his decline. Still, however he might die, if death is the way he goes, the similarities between Meredith’s loss of Derek and Jo’s loss of Alex will be too hard to avoid. So maybe it won’t be death. Yet, the other possible explanations for his permanent absence might not be able to hold water.

2. Karev moves away and leaves Jo: Alex could be off the show and still be alive, corresponding via calls and texts with Meredith (and everyone) as has been the case with Cristina. But a permanent move wouldn’t be without his wife, which means that this scenario could demand a break-up. If he simply ghosts Jo, it would be exactly what Izzie did to him. Aside from the fact that he wouldn’t put her through what he was put through, even the writers wouldn’t want to repeat that. The break-up could happen off-screen, with Jo going to visit him, only to return saying that they’re done. That wouldn’t fly though, unless the writers can really dig deep and find some buried issues that the couple have had that might be likely to surface, and are convincingly bad enough to justify the end of what’s been a lovely relationship and marriage. Especially after Jo’s recent issues with discovering how she was conceived, and how Jo and Alex emerged from that whole thing stronger than ever, almost any manufactured reason for them to end their marriage now would not be good storytelling or true to the characters’ journeys.

3. Karev moves away, but doesn’t leave Jo: Alex could potentially have an opportunity that takes him away from Seattle (maybe his mentor Arizona Robbins makes him an offer in New York that he cannot refuse). Or he could decide to live closer to his mother because of her deteriorating condition. They could play this out till the end of the season, or longer, as he and Jo try to make long-distance work, as she goes to visit him now and then. Eventually though, the marriage might not be able to survive this arrangement, and things for Jo at Grey+Sloan are too good for her to give up in order to go be with him. And though a break-up like this would also happen off-screen, the time it would take might make it more believable. Alternatively, they don’t break up, and Jo could leave to go be with him eventually. But that would mean that Camilla Luddington leaves the show as well, which doesn’t seem likely.

Whatever the explanation for Alex Karev’s exit from the show, he will be sorely missed. He’s probably had the most interesting character arc from the start of the show till now. And Karev has been my personal favorite (along with Bailey) since the very beginning, even when he was considered to be the ‘devil spawn’ or whatever, before he became a part of the inner-circle of the original five interns. His relationship with Meredith has been pure gold for years, even before Cristina’s exit, and especially after he became her person. And with him being the last of the original five, Meredith won’t have a person like that, with whom she goes that far back.

Though it’s not just the Meredith factor. Alex Karev has had some of the best relationships and friendships on the show since the beginning. He and Webber have bonded over competing with each other, when Webber played emotional mind games with him and tricked him into submission when they were pitted against each other, and more recently working together at Pac-North. 

He and Bailey have had their banter and moments, especially when she was disappointed in him over the DeLuca incident, and last season when he was interim chief. He and Arizona had the most wonderful mentor-and-student relationship. His relationship with Izzie was my favorite romance on the show, and certainly overshadowed the tiresome ‘Mer-Der’ for me any day! And he and Jo have been tremendous in these last seven-odd years—a beautiful relationship with depth and without too much mush. They’ve been the best romance on the show in the last decade, and losing that will be really sad.

The richness in storytelling and the richness in all the other characters that Alex Karev helped bring out will be lost. Something really remarkable about GREY’S and the show’s amazing development of such a character will be missing. The show can still go on and still be good, and I’ll enjoy it even, but something will definitely be missing.