Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What You Should Have Watched #3

I said I’d do it, and although it’s happening a bit later than I had planned, here it is, in all it’s heterosexually secure glory: awesome guys I’ll watch bad TV for. Y'know, scratch that. I only consider one of the shows mentioned bad. I'll START watching a show regardless of initial thoughts because of the actor. It's just my luck that most of these turn out pretty good.

People Who Have Been Touched by Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon has created some of my favorite television moments, so the actors and actresses whom he has deemed worthy of being able to personify his visions, well, they get a pass from me.

Chuck is not a good TV show. It is the visual equivalent of potato chips: you know there’s nothing good or redeeming about it, but you continue to consume until you’re sitting there with an empty bag next you and fingers covered in grease. My decision to begin watching this show is based solely on the cast inclusion of one of the co-stars, Adam Baldwin. Manly men may recognize him as Animal Mother from Full Metal Jacket, ladies may remember him as Agent Chad Shelton from the short-lived yet awesome Taye Diggs while all loyal Browncoats loved him as Jayne on Firefly (and later as Hamilton on Angel). Baldwin (no relation to those Baldwins) has a tendency to portray gun-toting bad asses with no time for pansies or wiseacres.

His Firefly and Serenity co-star, Nathan Fillion, will always have a place on my DVR. Currently starring in the ABC crime drama Castle, Fillion has also had memorable turns on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Desperate Housewives and Two Guys and a Girl, as well as appearing in Saving Private Ryan, Slither and Waitress. This guy radiates such a good-natured cockiness and has an infectious sense of humor. From interviews I’ve seen or stories I’ve read, he seems incredibly down-to-earth and in awe of his fans. Oh, and he’s a great actor.

The last Firefly/Serenity (and Dollhouse antagonist) co-star I’ll mention is Alan Tudyk. He’s been slightly less visible than Baldwin or Fillion, but no less memorable. He had a brief (maybe two episodes) run on Arrested Development (Ann’s dad) and, while on Dollhouse, was doing double-duty by appearing in a few episodes of the remake of V. Most people might remember him best (if not as Wash) as Pirate Steve in Dodgeball, but I think he did an awesome job in the British film Death at a Funeral (and his character in the U.S. remake will be taken on by James Marsden…eh, it could have been worse).

The last actor from the Wedon-verse I’ll mention is David Boreanaz. I started watching Bones because of him, and almost gave up on it. I liked the guy, but the show was really sucking, and he wasn’t doing much to differentiate from the character who made him, Angel. But as the first season went on, he started making Seeley Booth his own, and now I love the show. Sure, he’s had some stinkers along the way (The Crow: Wicked Prayer and Valentine come to mind), but that’s in the past. He’s come into his own since then.

Random Actors

There are a few more actors I’ll watch in anything they do.

Mandy Patinkin is the first name that comes to mind. Now, you may think that it’s because of his excellence in The Princess Bride, but no, it’s actually because of Chicago Hope. His portrayal of Dr. Jeffrey Geiger was nothing if not spectacular. At the time, I was a regular watcher of ER, yet Patinkin was enough of a draw for me to tune in to the competition each week. But when he left the show, so did I. When he showed up a few years later, I was lucky enough to have a Showtime subscription and was able to watch him in Dead Like Me. He was also the reason I tuned in to Criminal Minds. I’m sick of police procedural shows, no matter what type of “original” slant they try and take. I now still watch the show for Matthew Gray Gubler’s portrayal of Dr. Spencer Reid, but the show hasn’t been as good since Patinkin left.

While he doesn’t have that long of a resume at the moment, Joel McHale is a new addition to my must-watch list. He won me over on The Soup, and he took that sarcastic wit of his that he uses and turns it into acting gold on what may arguably be the best new sitcom of this year, Community. I know he had a bit part in the Matt Damon helmed The Informant, but I haven’t seen it yet. It is on my list, though.

Hmm, I guess that’s it. Most of my must-watch actors have in some way been touched by the magical hand of Joss Whedon. He takes care of his actors (just look at how many have been on two or more of his shows), so I guess I just feel it’s my responsibility to support them, too. Of course, it helps that they’re good actors, too.

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