Role of a Lifetime

Peter Gallagher

(Sandy Cohen, “The O.C.”)

This is the man that inspired the blog. Now I know that I love television to an unnatural degree, but/so, it is a testament to Sandy that he tops my list.

I didn’t expect to love “The O.C.” Its banner bus ads annoyed me to the extreme, during a time in my life where I was exceptionally bitter. But Dave Holmes and Television Without Pity kept raving about its awesomeness, and finally I Kazaa’ed it! (Old school!)

The first “O.C.” I ever watched, in all of its grainy glory, was “The Countdown,” the S1 New Year’s Eve episode. I didn’t know what was going on, but I do remember being shocked at the number of LOLs I emitted. One of the first and biggest was Sandy’s response to Ryan’s “Thank you” to Marissa’s “I love you”: “Well, that was very polite!”

I can’t even explain Sandy’s delivery, to anyone who hasn’t witnessed it firsthand. It’s self-aware, self-deprecating, ironic – every delicious adjective you can imagine for stellar comedy, Peter Gallagher’s got it in spades, as Sandy.

On top of that, Sandy is full of gravitas. He can break your heart with aplomb, and I love it. Every single time I go from watching a lot of “The O.C.,” to not, I miss Sandy Cohen. Like, as a person. That is really special to me, as a TV obsessor.

^^^^ Another thing I love about Sandy – how he treats teenage girls like girls, and his wife like a goddess.

^^^  😀

Lauren Graham

(Lorelai Gilmore, “Gilmore Girls”)

I freaking love Lauren Graham’s Sarah Braverman on “Parenthood.” I love Lauren Graham, as an Overall Life Rule. She is, in a word, sublime. Possibly the personal favorite actress of my lifetime.

But I do think that LG is Sarah in humongous part to her Lorelai, and plus: I’m a “Gilmore Girls” junkie. And as amazing as the writing, casting, all of it was on GG, I don’t think I’d be quite as big a junkie, were it not for Lauren Graham’s Lorelai.

I remember back in the day in an interview, someone asked Lauren what her sexiest role had been. LG was an ingénue Ted McGinley of her time, starring on all sorts of shows and pilots that got cancelled. She’d also been on “News Radio” and “Seinfeld” (speed dial episode), so was working way before she was in her 30s. As a 26-year-old woman fearing my 30s back in 2001, I so appreciated that Lauren responded that her sexiest role by far, was Lorelai.  A 30-something mom who liked dudes, but prized her town and especially her daughter, over them, if push came to shove. Lorelai rocked some hot outfits, but years before Seth Cohen (an honorable mention to this list), showed my then-50-pounds-overweight self that few things are more inherently sexy than an ironic t-shirt & jeans

I. Love. Lorelai. She had spunk; she was beautiful in a girl next door by way of ‘80s video way. She loved coffee, and she loved her daughter. She was funny and smart, and just in general, I think helped change television as we know it, for the better.

^^^ My fave Lorelai moment, of all — if that’s possible.

Peter Krause

(Adam Braverman, “Parenthood”)

Figured this would make sense, as a follow-up entry. Peter plays Lauren Graham’s brother on “Parenthood,” and in keeping with the “Six Feet Under” brotherly tradition, Peter Krause has chosen to date his on-screen sibling.

Krause as Nate Fisher could have easily made the list. Because Krause is an Acting Genius. I’ve already written about Nate, but to reiterate: Krause is awesome, as him.

And as with Lauren’s Sarah, I think that Peter owes his current role, to his former. But as a former actress, I’m choosing Peter Krause’s current role for my blog, because he is freaking subtle, in “Parenthood.” This past season – whoa.

[SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOST RECENT “PARENTHOOD”]
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Adam (Krause’s character)’s wife gets breast cancer, and the whole thing is heartbreaking. Besides for the inherent reasons, Peter Krause and Monica Potter act the hell out of it. I’ve dealt with breast cancer tangentially, but never on a day-to-day. And knowing that so many Asperger’s parents appreciated “Parenthood’s” handling of that, made me trust that they knew what they were doing, as far as suffering with a disease goes.

Throughout the season (mind you, Krause’s been awesome as Adam on every season), Peter’s work as Adam has been astonishing. He’s not only brought everything he’s got to the show, but he’s made his talented co-stars even better, in the process, especially Mae Whitman.

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[/SPOILER]

On “Six Feet Under,” Peter Krause was the young buck. On “Parenthood,” he’s the…in-between buck, who holds his own with the inimitable Craig T. Nelson, and everyone else with whom he shares a screen. Nate was flashier, and cooler, but Adam is a harder role to play, and Krause knocks it out of the park (fitting analogy, seeing as it’s Sunday).

^^^^^^ Sob. I love both actors so much. God bless Jason Katims.

Lauren Ambrose

(Claire Fisher, “Six Feet Under”)

Dude, I’ve been a teenage girl. I’ve also been an actress.

It is not easy to play a teenage girl! Not a real one, anyway. Not one who sometimes wears no makeup. Not one who sometimes gets zits. (When I was a teenager, I’d only wished those times were some-.)

For my money, no actress has ever played a better teenager than Lauren Ambrose on “Six Feet Under.” Not even (huge honorable mention!) Claire Danes on MSCL.

Because, because it was an HBO show, and Lauren was acting in a hardcore show with hardcore actors, she had to bring her A-game, to the fullest extreme, during a time in her life where I personally don’t think I could have handled it, at that age.

Some teen actresses get worse with time. After the spotlight of Hollywood and “US Weekly” spot them with their Starbucks cups, it’s game over, acting-wise. Lauren Ambrose was the opposite. Not that she needed to, but she kept getting prettier, and her acting kept getting better, on “Six Feet Under.” In Season Five, Claire broke my heart into a million pieces.

I hope very much that Lauren Ambrose gets another role of a lifetime, but for now, her work as Claire is on my list.

[WARNING: MAJOR SFU SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT!!!!!]

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^^^ Best ending of a series ever, IMO. God, I’m crying all over again.

And it is so sad, but I think my favorite part is when David, right before he dies, sees Keith again – young, playing ball, waiting for the love of his life to cross over to the other side. OG Nate too, with Ruth. See you on the other side, indeed ❤

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

(Christine Campbell, “The New Adventures of Old Christine”)

To paraphrase my aforementioned love of Lauren Graham, I love “Seinfeld’s” Elaine; she was always my favorite on another show full of Great Cast.

But I’m sorry. WHY did more people not watch “The New Adventures of Old Christine”???? I vocally lament because I’m part of the problem. I always just wrote this show off as another “Seinfeld”-esque spinoff.

Then there was the issue of MY issue, that despite my ironic love of Lifetime movies, I didn’t want to be *that* aging chick, who watched Shows Like These.

I was wrong. One night, I tuned into “Old Christine,” and laffed my ass off. The rest was history. I fell into quick love, DVRed the heck out of this genius sitcom, then proceeded to buy the rest on DVD (well, not S5, which wasn’t out for awhile, and my tech-savvy brother Robb acquired for me!).

I’m going on about the show, and not saying anything about Julia. But I want to say, JLD is a goddess. I don’t really care for physical comedy, per se. But if Julia hadn’t proven herself with the “Get out of my place and my life!” scene from “Seinfeld,” she proved herself time, and time, and time again on “Old Christine.” Not to mention, all the while looking more gorgeous than EVER, whilst being super self-deprecating about her age.

(Honorable mention to the entire cast – SUCH an underrated show!)

I have more, but I’m tired, still need to find videos, and why not do more in the future! Lots of great actors need props, and I haven’t even begun to speak of Michael C. Hall!

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One Response to Role of a Lifetime

  1. Pingback: 5 Reasons to Watch “The O.C.” | judisunshine

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