And like the Golden Globes are every year, this year’s SAG nominations are so bizarre/stupid/silly that they’re probably not worth getting worked up over…
… except I can’t really wrap my brain around any of the following:
* That Claire Danes of Showtime’s “Homeland,” who would have seemed like the lock to win the drama actress category, both here and at the Emmys, wasn’t even nominated. (Nor was Damian Lewis, nor was “Homeland” itself for dramatic ensemble, which is the SAG equivalent of the best drama award.)
Or perhaps just one of the most compelling characters on television, period. Firstly, and most obviously, it’s refreshing to see more and more shows showcasing female leads, particularly in the spy-thriller genre, which undeniably have been historically led by men. Secondly, Danes’ character is not their to embody some type of female ideal, nor act as a prick tease, she’s there to carry the show. In my experience as a television watcher, it’s frustratingly hard to please audiences with television’s constructions of femininity. Either a female character is too weak, or too strong; too cold, or too emotional, too flawed, or too perfect. There’s rarely any real satisfaction.
Too often, in my humble opinion, television has made a habit of creating intricate, and complex male leads with no equal female counterparts. What I mean by this is that it’s perfectly acceptable to have the morally ambiguous, ethically questionable, but ultimately fascinating Don Draper’s and Walter White’s of television, but you rarely see this in light of female characters. This is probably one of the main reasons I find Carrie Mathison to be so interesting. She’s unquestionably skilled at her job, but she’s far from being a saint. Her faults are as numerous as her best qualities. She fucks up, but that doesn’t define her character. She’s multi-layered. She’s very, very real.
Mind you, this is not to say that television is entirely absent of compelling women, that in itself would be a complete lie. We have our Leslie Knope’s, Alicia Florrick’s, Kate Beckett’s, Peggy Olson’s and so on. Carrie Mathison is simply an exciting (and at the moment, vehemently underrated) addition to the existing array of wonderful female characters we share on television right now. I expect Claire Danes’ audience and critical popularity to only increase in the future.
Damian Lewis on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Really fun interview!