Tag Archives: character actor

Bloodline post-binge

I finished watching the 13th and final episode of season one of Bloodline, the new drama from Netflix, who just keeps churning out these excellent shows.
bloodline
I thought this might be a one-and-done, but they recently announced the show will be back for season two.

That explains a couple of things about the finale…which I won’t mention here.

I want you to watch it, of course, if you aren’t already. And here’s why.

  1. Ben Mendelsohn  — Apparently he is a leading actor in his native Australia, but even as much as I watch movies and TV, his face was new to me.  He is brilliant. Really. He quietly steals every scene on the strength of his character work alone.
  2. Water Torture — The show may take place at a hotel on the Florida Keys, but the layers of mystery that surround the family members are doled out in excruciatingly slow drips. And I love it. When you’re used to movie trailers giving away the entire film in less than two minutes, it’s nice to have a genuine surprise in every episode. This pacing fits the leisurely vacation location, too.
  3. Game of Thrones — Characters drop right and left; that’s why I thought the show was over in one season. The second year is going to be interesting, but I have faith in the strong–albeit bloodied–cast that remains.

So, add it to your Netflix queue.  You will thank me!

Quite a character

Character actor James Rebhorn died of melanoma on Friday.

I didn’t even know his name.

Every time I saw him in his more recent television work on Homeland and The Good Wife, or in films like The Box or Baby Mama, I always thought —

“Look — there’s Bradley Raines.

Raines was the first role that I ever saw Rebhorn portray.  Way back in 1984.  On my favorite soap of all time, The Guiding Light.

Bradley Raines was not a good guy.  A security guard for Spaulding Enterprises in Springfield, he blackmailed his boss. He beat his wife and raped his stepdaughter.  He eventually was thrown into prison and later a psychiatric hospital.

Raines was a soap character that you loved to hate…and Guiding Light kept bringing him back for seven years.  Rebhorn was creepy good.

I’ll miss Bradley Raines.

Judging Amy

I don’t think Amy Poehler should be the guest host for the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live.”

In the two years since she left the show, she’s been back numerous times to do stints on “Weekend Update,” imitate Hillary Clinton, and guest star on the Betty White special.  She still seems like a member of the cast.

Why bring her back now as a “guest host,” especially when the show is introducing four new cast members?

The two new girls — Vanessa Bayer from Second City and Taran Killiam from The Groundlings — will already have to fight tooth and nail for every moment on stage, since most female roles seem to go automatically to Kristen Wiig.

Now you’re adding Amy Poehler to the mix…so all they can hope for is the rudimentary waitress role or maybe the face-in-the crowd scene.  If they get lucky, they’ll be a reporter asking a question from the audience.

Wow — that rocks.

Don’t get me wrong.  When you consider all “Saturday Night Live” femmes — current and former — Amy is near the top of the list.  She’s not only an amazing improviser, character actor and comedienne, but in all interviews and conversations, she appears to be a down-to-earth, nice person.

That is a rare compliment indeed in that business.

But half the fun of “Saturday Night Live” is bringing in an A-list celebrity who’s not the first name in comedy and seeing what they can do.  Remember how unexpectedly great Peyton Manning was as a guest host?  Or Brian Williams from “NBC Nightly News”?  Even a great dramatic actor can quickly lose his footing on SNL — or be amazing like Christopher Walken.  And that’s what we want to see…not a very-very-recent cast member who seems like she never left.

So, while I’m sad Amy’s sitcom “Parks and Recreation” is on hiatus until mid-season — and she’s no doubt looking to fill her schedule — I think there are plenty of other celebs out there (not to mention the new cast members, hello) who are chomping at the bit for the opportunity to show what they can do in the comedy arena.

But Amy?  Girl, you’re good to go.  Give our best to Will and the boys.