NEW YORK (AP) -- It seems like we see our actor pals on awards shows as much as we do in the roles that got them there. For instance, the stars of "30 Rock," who keep not only collecting trophies but also logging frequent flier miles with all those trips to Hollywood from the NBC comedy's New York home base. But if Sunday's 15th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (on TBS and TNT) had moments that seemed like a flashback to the Golden Globes broadcast two weeks earlier — hi, Tina and Alec, congratulations again! — there were distinct differences. And while, like the Globes, it was staged as a gala dinner from a fancy ballroom, the SAG show made sure to mind its manners. From the viewer's perspective, none of the stars appeared in any danger of failing a Breathalyzer. Overall, the broadcast was brisk, classy and entertaining. It was also overflowing with good will from all the actors for all their fellow actors. Acceptance speeches were gracious in hailing non-winners. Everyone on hand seemed to radiate pride in themselves and their profession. Granted, maybe some of those good vibes were just for show. These are, after all, actors, and the broadcast serves them well as a platform for their union (and, indeed, for organized labor in general, to judge from the remarks by SAG President Alan Rosenberg). In any case, it was a collectively persuasive performance. And it validated what many in the audience want to believe: The actors they admire are primarily serious about the work, not the trappings. James Earl Jones, who was honored with this year's life achievement award, provided a powerful message to that effect simply by having been chosen. Long considered an actor's actor, he appeared genuinely humbled by the standing ovation. He seemed more interested in expressing his thanks. As it has in the past, the broadcast began with a variety of actors, each speaking from his or her seat, delivering a personal glimpse capped by the declaration, "I am an actor." A couple were refreshingly comic. "The Office" star Steve Carell paid tribute to Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, reminding everyone how the US Airways pilot "performed an exacting, perfect emergency landing into the icy cold water of the Hudson River," then adding, straight-faced, "It's a good thing that I was not behind the controls of that plane — because I'm Steve Carell and I am an actor." Later, Carell's cast mate John Krasinski and former "Saturday Night Live" regular Amy Poehler offered welcome respite from the stuffy prepared introductions voiced by most of the co-presenters. There to announce the best actress in a TV drama series, Krasinski and Poehler detoured into their own escalating melodrama: pretending to be two lovers feuding in front of the whole world. "If you keep pushing me away," Krasinski bellowed at Poehler, "next time I will NOT come back." "Fine! Leave!" she screeched. "And take your broken dreams with you!" Then they each took a prim little bow and proceeded to list the category's nominees. It was a brief departure into Let's Pretend — what actors do — and it made the earnestness that marked the rest of the evening all the more impressive. ——— TBS and TNT are owned by Time Warner. ——— On the Net: