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Forget The Oscars And Golden Globes, The Best Award Show Is The One No One Watches

With the Golden Globes in the rearview and the 2023 Oscars on the horizon, most pop culture junkies are preparing for Hollywood's biggest night on Sunday, March 12 – but they should probably take a step back and consider that there's another huge awards show that always takes place right between these two events.

Celebrating the very best in both television and film, the Screen Actors Guild Awards typically take place in February and always precedes the Academy Awards, providing a little boost for actors who might be nominated at both ceremonies and giving Oscar prognosticators a little more information leading up to that event (which typically marks the end of each year's "awards season"). A lot more eclectic than either the Globes or the Oscars, the SAG Awards don't draw an enormous audience like the former two, but it does have an important distinction — the voters are exclusively made up of members of the guild, meaning that actors vote for their fellow actors. Beyond that, its categories honestly make more sense than most of the ones at the Globes or Oscars, putting the SAG Awards ahead of the pack in a few fascinating ways. Here's why you should probably take some time to tune into the SAG Awards this year.

Actors choose from amongst their colleagues at the SAG Awards

With awards shows like the Oscars and the Golden Globes, the voting body is made up of a sort of mishmash of producers, directors, actors, writers, and anybody else who's on hand. What does this mean? Well, different industry professionals are always going to have pretty radically different values. One only needs to look at the "anonymous Oscar voter ballots" that outlets like Entertainment Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter run each year, where people voting on the best films of the year frequently admit they haven't seen half of them.

That's what's so special about the SAG Awards — it's right there in the name. Actors choose the best of the best from amongst their own colleagues and friends, ensuring that the people voting on the awards actually understand the craft. Can this lead to a slightly insular environment where people kind of just vote for their friends? Sure! Alec Baldwin famously won eight years in a row for "30 Rock," and while that's well-deserved considering that Jack Donaghy is one of the best characters in recent memory, it might have been nice to give somebody else a chance. That said, actors choosing the best of their own isn't a bad idea, all things considered — better than some old producer who doesn't "feel" like watching something like "Get Out."

The categories at the SAG Awards are just better

For centuries now, the Academy Awards have been viewed as the undisputed pinnacle of movie judgment, but to consider them as such overlooks one huge thing: their categories are still really limited. The Academy annually awards a ton of tech categories — sound, editing, and so on and so forth — as well as the big guns like Best Picture and the acting categories, but the Screen Actors Guild has a few more categories... and honestly? They make a lot more sense when it comes to moviemaking.

The two biggest differences between the SAG Awards and the Academy when it comes to the film categories – because, of course, the Academy does not recognize television while the SAG does — are that the guild awards stunt work and ensembles of motion pictures rather than the picture as a whole. Taken at face value, the latter definitely makes sense; it's an actors' award, after all. That said, best picture at the Oscars means that the producers win the actual award, not the actors, which kind of just stinks. Replacing best picture definitely isn't on the table, but what about adding an award for best ensembles?

That brings us back to stunts, which should absolutely be recognized by the Academy. Not only is good stunt work an incredible feat that deserves awards alongside acting, but it would also make watching the Oscars way more fun if, say, Tom Cruise could take home a little gold man for the stunts he insists on performing himself. Until the Academy figures this out, we'll have to settle for them crowning Ke Huy Quan this year, who spent years in stunts before returning to the industry in "Everything Everywhere All at Once."

This year's SAG Awards will take place on February 26 and will stream on Netflix's YouTube channel, so tune in if you want to have way more fun watching these than you will watching the Oscars.