'Orange Is The New Black's Two SAG Awards Nominations Don't Seem Like Enough For Such A Strong Season
Ready for some news that's going to make your blood boil? Orange Is The New Black got a mere two SAG Nominations — their first nominations of the award season, mind — and this makes no sense. After their strongest season to date, there are many reasons why OITNB should be getting more awards show attention. Following hot on the heels of the OITNB Golden Globes snub, in which your favorite Netflix show was nominated for a grand total of zero awards despite its critically-acclaimed season, came just two SAG nominations. Orange Is The New Black received one for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, courtesy of Uzo Aduba, who you probably know better as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren and one for Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Comedy series.
Sure, this is pretty much business as usual at the SAG (we'll get back to this in a second), but the lack of attention Season 4 has received so far from award shows seems inexplicable. To say that critics love the fourth season of Orange Is The New Black is an understatement. It got a 97 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and rave reviews like "this one's a banger from the outset" and "four seasons in, OITNB shows no signs of backing away from what made it so compelling in the first place" are typical for the show. This needs to be rectified at the Emmys, but is there any hope that the show will win big there?
Here's a tentative maybe. The show's performance in the SAG Nominations is the same as it's been for the past two years: Orange In The New Black has never historically received all that many nominations at the SAG Awards. In 2015 and in 2016, the show received and won the same two nominations: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for Uzo Aduba's performance. So really, the Screen Actors Guild is being incredibly consistent.
The Emmys tell a different story — one in which the show hasn't been doing so well recently. In 2014, they received 11 nominations (and won one), in 2015 they received four nominations (and won one), and in 2016 they were nominated for just one award, Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, which they didn't win. Still, if there was ever a moment for the show to return to its Season 1 glory days, it's now.
Spoiler warning for Season 4. While the fourth season was a particularly gruelling watch — and I say that in the context of a show that is, pretty often, bleak viewing — it was also hands down the show's best outing. Season 3 ended with a taste of things to come. After the Litchfield administration was no more, a corporation started running the prison for profit, and we all know what that means: more inmates and cheaper new guards (military veterans). The closure of another prison close by meant Litchfield had to take on twice as many prisoners, forcing warden Caputo had to start his new job in the most strenuous of circumstances.
All of this created the most tense and — if this terrifying 2016 Mother Jones longread in which a reporter went undercover as a prison guard is anything to go by — most realistic take on prison life yet. And, no spoilers, but Samira Wiley deserves all the awards.
As you've probably already heard in one of Hillary Clinton's speeches, America's citizens make up 5 percent of the world's population but 25 percent of the world's prison population, making the U.S. top in the world for rates of incarceration — despite boasting similar levels of victimization to other countries with a much lower incarceration rate. So Orange Is The New Black isn't just an opportunity to marathon a good show on a Sunday. It's hard to watch because we know it to be true, and we know that we're not doing enough to turn things round.
So, if you're out there, Emmy nominee panel, give Orange Is The New Black your vote this year. It's not easy watching — and that's precisely why it's so special.
Images: Netflix (2)