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You May Not Know You Know…

2 Feb

Robert Wisdom is well known to anyone who watched Supernatural last season. He was the decidly non-angelic angel Uriel. He used his deep voice and evil stare to full effect in that role. His douchebaggery was such that I rooted for an untimely demise for Uriel, but it turned out, once he was gone, that I kind of missed Robert Wisdom’s simmering aggression and James Earl Jones-style cadence. Poor me! I was a bit sad…

Until, that is, I became a Johnny-Come-Lately viewer of HBO’s now defunct The Wire. Universally acclaimed as one of the Best. Shows. Ever!! The Wire is chock full of excellent actors. With so many characters involved, and with the cast changing each season, there is of course ample showverlap opportunity. Imagine my happy surprise in beginning the third season and noticing the presence of my old pal Robert Wisdom in the role of Major Howard ‘Bunny’ Colvin, esteemed commanding officer of the South East division and general hard-ass. I haven’t seen too much of Colvin yet, but what I have seen I like. He’s a bit old school and tough, but he also seems intelligent, nuanced, and genuinely interested in helping his community. Kind of like Uriel lite!

Sarah Drew. Probably not a name you’ve heard of unless you were a serious Everwood fan. Are there even serious Everwood fans? I mean, it wasn’t a very good show, was it? Even according to someone who enjoys the old WB style teen dramas. Correct me if I’m wrong, Everwood-ites! In any case, Sarah Drew is an actress who has been on my radar for her appearances in pretty much every show I watch. Cold Case as the daughter of a murdered DJ. Glee as the Mr. Shuester – stalking Suzy Pepper (and, man, did they fuggify her for that one – she was almost unrecognizable!) Supernatural just last week as teen-nerd-witch-turned-briefly-into-demon Nora (who kills one of her best friends while possessed and then acts like it’s no bigs two hours later – hilarious!)

So, basically, this gal gets around. For real, she gets a lot of work. But her real tour-de-force was her stellar turn as Salvatore Romano’s wife beard on Mad Men. That’s her! Kitty Romano! With the 1960’s press and curl hairdo! And the red lips! And all that pent-up sexual frustration! Her work as Kitty was all moist-eyes and “It seems good that my husband is willing to clean up while I relax after supper but it just isn’t normal for 1963! Damnit!” nervous smiles. Her performance, meeting Mad Men standards, is pretty understated, but the audience knows that Kitty’s on to Sal’s light loafers, especially when it becomes painfully clear that when Ken Cosgrove comes over for dinner Salvatore no longer views his wife as the prettiest thing in the room!

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You Also May Not Know…

30 Jan

Ah, Aaron Hill. There is a very specific niche filled by actor like him: A niche I like to call “linebacker with a heart of gold”. Now I’m not saying he looks like Moose Mason from Archie Comics. Except that he does! I mean, can’t you almost picture him in an Archie movie sharing a malted with Midge (played by Krysten Ritter, whose own showverlaps I will later explore) at Pop’s and putting the boots to Reggie Mantle (Vincent Kartheiser – an excellent choice as you will soon understand)? He’s just so…adorably large! And blond! And goofy! Like a Minnesota farm boy just off the bus and ready to be manipulated into juicing up by the assistant coach of his Division 2 college football squad!

I first noticed Aaron as the inappropriately named Beaver on ABC Family’s surprisingly witty Greek. Don’t ask me why I decided to give a show about sororities and fraternities on a Midwestern campus a shot, but I’m glad I did because now I’m a little bit addicted. I mean, ABC Family? Moi? But I digress. Beaver is the kind of adorably dumb character you really root for, and the kind who can always surprise with a moment of brilliance you didn’t see coming. He’s always doing stuff like being goofy and crying like a Nancy and running around half naked but, like, for a CAUSE. Aw! He also sometimes offers words of wisdom and makes out with nerdy Engineering majors at parties. Aww! And did I mention the crying? Like a Nancy? It’s pretty dope. Awww, Beaver!

But let’s put aside the Beav, for a minute, and concentrate on why our man Aaron has earned showverlap street cred. Blink and you’ll miss him, but Aaron showed up as an important plot point in the story arc of Peggy Olson on Mad Men. He played Carl Winter, a dude “from the old neighbourhood” that Peggy was forced by her mother to go to dinner with. Peggy was pretty mean to Carl, belittling him and generally being a douche, but Carl stood his nice, normal, regular Joe ground. Sure, Peggy stormed out of the restaurant, but I think we can all agree it was for the best since Peggs was already preggo with Pete Campbell’s (Vincent Kartheiser – see the Moose vs. Reggie brilliance now?!) demon spawn.

Finally, I have a confession to make. Just call me Usher. My confession is that I like Cold Case. There. I said it. I know, I know, I’m not 50 years old. And I’m not the kind of person who reads Judith Krantz novels. I don’t even have a cat. But I like it, OK? And there’s nothing wrong with someone liking a somewhat schmaltzy show about Philadelphia cops trying to solve old murder cases. There are flashbacks, OK? And time-appropriate music! And, OK, so at the end of every episode there’s a slow-motion sequence specifically designed to make you cry. I’m not too cool for Cold Case. And neither are you, bitches! Plus, being that each episode is one stand-alone case, there are plenty of guest stars and therefore plenty of showverlaps. Aaron Hill is one of them. In the episode entitled “Glory Days” Aaron guest starred as Mike “Bad Moon” McShane, fulfilling his destiny as, yes, a college football player!

You may not know…

30 Jan

Julie McNiven is a very cute little redheaded person, which I especially enjoy due to my own status as a cute little redheaded person. If you’re a Supernatural fan (and I’m inclined to believe there are a lot of Supernatural fans creeping around the internet…I mean…it’s kind of a nerdalicious show) you will no doubt recognize Julie as the angelic (literally) Anna. She not only did it with Dean-o in a sex scene strangely derivative of Titanic but she also tends to kick a whole mess of ass all while looking as dewy-eyed and earnest as a Little House on the Prairie extra.

Now, I’m not saying Anna’s not cool. She’s an angel with a conscience and she’s definitely got some balls. But Julie McNiven is, in my opinion, even cooler on one of my other fave shows: Mad Men. Wait, what’s that you say? You didn’t even know she was on Mad Men? Well, I’m not surprised. You’re clearly not as observant as I am. But don’t feel too bad, ’60’s era costume and hair can really throw you off the showverlap trail. But check out one of the billion scenes in which Pete Campbell is being kind of a blowhard and you’ll probably see Julie right there, exasperated by Pete’s shenanigans, as his hard-done-by secretary Hildy. True, the part of Hildy isn’t particularly huge, but she’s important as a sometime foil for ol’ Side Part and his cronies. Except for the ridiculous early misstep of sleeping with spineless sleaze bag Harry Crane in season 1 Hildy is a character marked by her flawless updo, stylish pencil skirts, and excellent manners. Yes, it may seem that Hildy is loyal and faithful to her boss, but look closer and you’ll see an archness in her mannerisms, speech, and facial expressions that would make Jane Austen put down her pen and applaud. Mad Men is a show known for its subtlety (or its slow pace, depending on who you ask) and Julie fits right in. Great job, lady!