Sandra Oh, the Pioneer

Lainey Posted by Lainey at April 17, 2019 20:25:20 April 17, 2019 20:25:20

Today is National Canadian Film Day, a day to celebrate Canadian filmmaking and the big talent we have here. A broad program of screenings and events have been organised – if you are in Canada, please click here if you’d like to participate. 

Today is also the day that TIME released its annual list of 100 most influential people and, fittingly, Sandra Oh, a Canadian, has been included as a Pioneer. You know the year she’s had. Killing Eve was one of the best new series of 2018. She was nominated for all kinds of awards. She won a Golden Globe. She hosted the Golden Globes. She hosted Saturday Night Live. Killing Eve Season 2 is up in ratings. Everyone is up on Sandra. Because it took everyone this long to come around – Sandra has ALWAYS been great. Which is kinda the point of Shonda Rhimes’s piece on her for the TIME 100. 

Have you read Shonda’s book Year of Yes? If you have, you know how Shonda feels about Cristina Yang. Grey’s Anatomy, sure, is about Meredith Grey, and I’m not taking anything away from Meredith and Ellen Pompeo here, and of course Shonda loves all the characters she creates, but she put a little something extra into Cristina – and she was able to do so because of an actor like Sandra. Cristina Yang is one of the best characters in television history, right up there with Tony Soprano and Walter White and Don Draper and Liz Lemon and Arya Stark. But I don’t know if she was appreciated in her time. Cristina wasn’t agreeable. She wasn’t accommodating. She was ambitious. She loved her job and her BFF more than her boyfriend. She did not want children. We’ve talked a lot about celebrating “unlikeable” female characters the last few years and how including them in our stories is part of the diversity conversation too. What do you think Shonda and Sandra were doing? 

So, yeah, it’s a no-brainer for her to have made the TIME 100. But… it should have happened a long time ago. 
 

Photos:
Pari Dukovic for TIME