Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Five actresses I miss on t.v.

On Tuesday afternoon, I posted a blog entry discussing the five actors I most miss seeing regularly on t.v. Now it's the ladies' turn.

1. Kristen Bell - Okay, you could argue that she's still on t.v. as the voice of Gossip Girl's narrator, but I don't think that really counts. Kristen, sweetie, I love you, but please stop doing crap romantic comedy movies and come home to television. Have you done anything since Veronica Mars that was nearly as good or satisfying? Nope, didn't think so. Get together with Rob Thomas and y'all come up with something, okay? Maybe you could even talk the CW or a cable network into letting y'all do a VM sequel about her time in the FBI. That short bit on the season 4 dvds was so genius.

2. Caroline Dhavernas - Who you ask? Granted, most of this Canadian actress's work has been in film, but her work as Jaye in Wonderfalls was fantastic. Fox only aired a handful of episodes before cancelling this great show. If you haven't seen it, add it to your Netflix list right away. Caroline's performance is quirky, snarky, heart-filled and completely original. (oh, and did I mention it also has Lee Pace?)

3. Liz Mikel - Fans of Friday Night Lights often talk about what realistic marriage Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton portray as Coach and Mrs. Coach Taylor - and it's true, they do. Liz Mikel appeared in seasons 1-3 of FNL and is often over looked in spite of her very fine performance as Corrina "Mama Smash" Williams, a single mom struggling to raise three kids by herself. Some of her scenes with her son, Brian "Smash" Williams (Gaius Charles), were so powerful that I could believe he was really her son. What Liz can do with a lip and chin quiver and a little righteous indignation is truly amazing.

4. Emma Caulfield - Why, you ask, am I picking this Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum over Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar? Emma's portrayal of the very literal ex-demon Anya was hilarious and heartbreaking all at the same time. SMG hasn't really done that much either, but her role as Buffy is so iconic, I'm not sure people would be able to see her as anything else. Emma, on the other hand, did a great job but isn't as well known, so people would almost definitely have an easier time buying into a new role for her. [update: I hadn't heard this but evidently Emma has been on Life Unexpected. Should have done my homework!]

5. Dichen Lachman - Her turn as Sierra on Dollhouse would have been a break out performance if more people had seen it. I don't think I would be out of line to say that she was deserving of Emmy recognition (even though it would never have happened), especially for the episode where we learned how Sierra came to be in the Dollhouse. Her scenes with Victor (Enver Gjokaj) throughout the two season run were equally fantastic.

Honorable mentions: The very charming Anna Friel from Pushing Daisies, Rachel Bilson from The O.C., Mary McDonnell and Trisha Helfer for BSG - both ladies were so good, I couldn't choose, and I was also going to mention Sarah Shahi from Life, but it turns out she has new show coming out on USA in January.

Who would you add to the list and why?


  1. More suggestions: Sarah Michelle Gellar. Amy Acker. Katee Sackhoff. :-)

  2. you are right ON about mama smash! but you know, i don't think i could see the actress as anyone else except smash's mom!

    and "wonderfalls" has to be one of the most delightfully quirky shows ever to grace telly. i own the DVD. :)

  3. Juliet Landeau - I thought she was riveting as DRUSILLA in "Buffy" and "Angel". Ellen Muth from "Dead Like Me" - appealing, and a great actress. While we're at it - DLM's subtle Laura Harris, too. She had a turn on "Defying Gravity" but that show was yanked. Melanie Lynskey - all of her TV appearances have been far too brief. "Firefly" and "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" actor Summer Glau - so talented. Finally, Cynthia Stevenson - I've watched her with interest ever since "The Player" and enjoyed her in Dead Like Me".

  4. So many choices to pick from in the Whedonverse! I should also have given a shout out to Gina Torres who was great on Firefly and a decent villain on Angel.

    @QuoterGal - I haven't really watched DLM. I'll have to give it a try.

  5. Good list. A few other suggestions:

    1) Penny Johnson Jerald - She's been awesome in her three most memorable roles (Beverly Barnes on The Larry Sanders Show, Kassidy Yates on DS9, and Sherry Palmer on 24). She did have a shot on the abominable October Road, but that was a few years back.

    2) Kelly Bishop - Everybody remembers her as Emily Gilmore from Gilmore Girls, but she's also a Tony-winner as well (for A Chorus Line, no less). Her timing is just priceless.

    3) Peggy Lipton - Yes, there's The Mod Squad. And yes, there's Twin Peaks. And... wait, that's actually a pretty good lineup. She hasn't been on TV since a guest role on Rules of Engagement a few years ago.

    4) Sabrina Lloyd - We don't have to talk about Sliders, but we DO have to talk about her awesomeness as Associate Producer Natalie Hurley on Sports Night, on which she was a surprising fit for Aaron Sorkin's rapid-fire dialogue.

    5) Linda Cardellini - Sure, she was on TV for, like, a million years on ER after the far-superior Freaks and Geeks went belly-up. But that was aaaages ago. There should be a law passed that Cardellini is always employed in television.