Where Have I Seen Them Before and Quotes of the Week for October 25, 2012

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

Where Have I Seen Them Before?

Skyler Day was the teen who wanted to keep sailing even though she might lose her foot on Grey’s Anatomy. She was Amy, Drew’s girlfriend, on Parenthood. Meeghan Holaway was the lawyer for Derek, Cristina, Meredith and Arizona. She played Amanda Burke, the lawyer Kathryn and John had on Switched at Birth before they hired Craig (Sam Page).  Ned Vaughn was the lawyer for the airlines. We just saw him in an episode of The Newsroom, where he played a representative for Halliburton who came on Will’s show.

Patrick Fischler was Artie Hornbacher, the NSA employee who tricked Olivia on Scandal. Fischler has been on so many things but I remember him most as Jimmy Barrett, the comic who did the Utz Potato Chip commercials on Mad Men and Phil, a DHARMA Initiative employee on Lost. Wendy Davis was Kimberly Mitchell, the talk show host. She’s Joan on Army Wives. Steven W. Bailey, who played the bartender Joe on Grey’s Anatomy, was the medical examiner. Brian Letscher is Tom, the secret service agent. I wanted to point him out because he’s the brother of Matt Letscher, who played the evil Billy Chambers last season on Scandal. So Shonda Rhimes hire within her TV family and within real families as well.

Adam J. Harrington was the robot like Congressman on Parks and Recreation. He was Ethan last season on The Secret Circle and Agent Walker on Dexter.

Rosa Salazar was Molly, Kate’s wild high school friend on Ben & Kate. She played Zoe, the woman who changed her mind and kept her baby last season on Parenthood.

Yancey Arias was the father of the missing girl on Elementary. He played Senator Tom Kingsley last season on Revenge but I’ll always remember him as Miguel on Kingpin.

Matthew Del Negro was Kent, Penny’s physical therapist on Happy Endings. We just saw him in the season premiere of The Good Wife as the police officer who pulled over Zach. He’s lodged in my memory as Brian Cammarata on The Sopranos.

Rachel Shelley was Milah, Rumplestiltskin’s wife on Once Upon a Time. She was Helena Peabody on The L Word

Quotes of the Week

“I loved you . . . if only the circumstances had been wildly different. You’re a disgrace to your nation Sergeant Nicholas Brody. You’re a traitor and a terrorist. And now it’s time to pay for that.” Carrie to Brody on Homeland.

“You’ll never be done.” Amanda to Emily on Revenge.

“I’ll wait until I hear them all sing and then I’ll text in my choice.” Axl on which Presidential candidate he’ll cast his vote for on The Middle.

“You gave me cookie. I got you cookie.” Nick to Schmidt on New Girl. This is definitely one of those quotes that makes no sense out of context but I loved it so much I had to include it this week.

“There are no bad ideas Lemon. Only great ideas that go horribly wrong.” Jack to Liz on 30 Rock.

“You see her again, I’ll blow you away. And I’m an excellent shot, remember?” the First Lady to the President on Scandal.

“Christopher, this is no time to be petulant.” Tim to Christopher on Project Runway when he won’t stop sewing when his time is up.

“I’m proud of you but also a bit fearful that we’re verging on what I call feelings territory so let’s stare at the fire in silence.” Ron to Tom on Parks and Recreation.

“It’s going to be old school – guitars and great songs. Just a show for people who love actual music.” Rayna to Juliette about her new tour on Nashville. Rayna could rival Victoria Grayson for biting one liners.

“Now I don’t feel like pie. Wait. No. It’s back.” Kevin on The Office.

“He won the election. Honey, our son is the new president of Cedar Knoll Middle School. God help us all.” Adam to Kristina on Parenthood.

“I will always come find you.” Emmett to Bay on Switched at Birth. Thanks to Diane for the quote.

Best Exchange of the Week

“Who’s your favorite rapper?” Nick to Schmidt in a flashback to their college days on New Girl.

“Brian Austin Green.” Schmidt’s response. I would watch a whole show about Nick and Schmidt in college. Can we make that happen?

Have you seen a familiar face or heard a great quote? Email me through my contact page and let me know about it. And remember to follow my blog (enter your email in the upper right hand corner) so you’ll always know when I have a new post.

TV’s Best Tertiary Characters

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

How do you know you’re a great character?

There’s a fan outcry when you aren’t around.

Since Homeland began its second season, viewers have been plagued with questions:  Will Carrie realize she was right? Will Brody get caught? But perhaps the biggest question troubling viewers was: Where is Virgil?

The beloved surveillance expert brilliantly played by David Marciano finally returned on Sunday.  I actually clapped when he came on the screen. There is something so wonderful about Virgil and his relationship with Carrie. He’s exasperated when he should be, protective when he needs to be, and funny when the show is in desperate need of comic relief. Plus, he’s kind of the only character besides Carrie that I truly trust at this point.

But the really interesting thing about Virgil is that he’s obviously not a main character (that’s Carrie and Brody). But he’s not a secondary character either (lsuch as David Estes or Mike). He’s a tertiary character. And to make a tertiary character stand out you’ve got to be really good.

Here are some of my other favorite tertiary characters on television:

First Lady Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) on Scandal: I adore Mellie. First of all, she’s a woman in the right. Her husband, the President of the United States, cheated on her and continues to be hung up on a woman he cannot and should not have.  Secondly, would you want to cross her? Young brilliantly pulls off the tricky act of being simultaneously sympathetic and devious. The scene in the limo where she asks her husband to forgive her? Heartbreaking. The scene where she tells her husband that she needs to start making plans for her future.  A little terrifying.  The season Young was promoted to series regular and is rightly getting so much screen time that she’s almost a secondary character.

Grizz (Grizz Chapman) and Dot Com (Kevin Brown) on 30 Rock: As Tracy’s entourage, the pair have provided some of the comedy’s best laughs with their droll commentary on their boss’s ridiculous antics. They’re the voice of reason not just in Tracy’s world but sometimes for the entire series. I would so watch the Grizz and Dot Com Show. Now that 30 Rock is ending, isn’t it about time for a spinoff?

Cora (Barbara Hershey) on Once Upon a Time: How do you make viewers feel sorry for the Evil Queen? Give her a mother who is worse than she is. Hershey is wonderfully evil. I’m so glad she is still around this season causing trouble. Also bonus points for the fact that Hershey actually looks like she could be Lana Parrilla’s mother.

Brad Bottig (Brock Ciarlelli) on The Middle: As Sue’s enthusiastic former boyfriend, Ciarlelli makes me smile every time he comes on the screen.  He also exemplifies what makes The Middle such a fantastic show.  Brad could have been a one note joke – Sue doesn’t realize that her boyfriend is probably gay. But he has become so much more than that. The Middle thrives because it’s a very funny show with humor based in truth and characters we know. I always say there’s a little bit of Sue in anyone who has ever been a teenage girl. And I definitely had friends such as Brad when I was in high school. He’s simply a fantastic character.

Burt Hummel (Mike O’Malley) on Glee: O’Malley provides some of Glee’s best moments. He is my favorite television dad.  Here’s hoping there’s a holiday episode in our future where Kurt goes home to see his dad.

Who are some of your favorite tertiary characters? Talk about it below.

Happy Endings, Don’t Trust the B ____ in Apartment 23 and Nashville

Here’s my three-part TV viewing assignment for the week:

There are times when I truly believe an episode of television was created just for me. It’s like television’s way of saying “thanks Amy. We’re glad you’re here.”  And the premiere of Don’t Trust the B____ in Apartment 23, which returns for its second season tonight at 9:30 p.m. on ABC, is one of those times.  James Van Der Beek, who continues to hilariously spoof himself, reluctantly decides he will do a Dawson’s Creek reunion.  I don’t want to ruin the jokes by telling you any more than that. But any show that can reference The Facts of Life Goes to Paris and stage a fame intervention is my kind of show. You must watch.

I have championed Happy Endings since it premiered. Dave writing thank you notes after being left at the alter is one of the funniest television moments ever (“Darkness reigns. Hope gurgles out its dying breath. Thank you for the beautiful crockpot.”).  As it returns for its third season (tonight at 9 p.m. on ABC), Dave (Zachary Knighton) and Elisha Cuthbert (Elisha Cuthbert) are back together but keeping it casual. They’re this decade’s Ross and Rachel if you didn’t think Ross and Rachel should actually be together. The show has become more Scrubs-like as the seasons have progressed (more totally out there flights of fancy humor) but the writing remains razor sharp. What other show has hilarious lines such as “You two have fun talking like Scott Caan’s groomsmen.”  Again, you must watch.

People, people, people. What is going on? Why oh why is Nashville (Wednesday at 10 p.m. on ABC) on the bubble? Why aren’t you watching the best new show of the season? This is starting to remind me of Lone Star. Talk to me.  Why aren’t you watching?

That’s all for today. Remember to follow my blog so you will know every time I have a new post. And on Thursday I’ll have this week’s best familiar faces and quotes so if you’re heard a great quote or seen a familiar face email me about them through my contact page.

Who needs to be Ellised? The Most Annoying Characters on TV

Photo by: Patrick Harbron/NBC

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

To Ellis: The act of removing a terrible, irritating character from a show.

When Smash returns next year, the much reviled Ellis will no longer be a part of the show.  Thankfully the new showrunner course corrected and decided to exile Ellis instead of trying to save his character. No amount of rewriting could have fixed the show’s Ellis problem.

Sometimes characters simply don’t work – a combination of a poor story arc, bad writing and questionable acting choices. They are characters who are so annoying that we fast forward through their scenes. Their presence brings the whole show down.

A few weeks ago I talked about good characters stuck on bad shows. Today, I turn my attention to bad characters who need to be Ellised out of a show.  They need to go to that great season pass manager in the sky or at least join Ellis on his Starbucks run for the creative team.

Here are the characters I would Ellis off a show:*

Hazel (Kristen Schaal) on 30 Rock: Kristen Schaal is a funny lady but I am so tired of Hazel. As a one-off joke as Kenneth’s replacement, she would have been fine. But I do not need to see her on a regular basis.  Hazel’s shtick got old very fast. Her character gets more freakishly bizarre in each episode but I’m not the least bit curious about her.  This is the final season of 30 Rock. We can’t be wasting valuable screen time on her.

Charlie Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos) on Revolution: Of my many issues with Revolution, my biggest one may be that I cannot stand Charlie. I probably should be rooting for the teen at the center of this post-apocalyptic battle but she is whiny and annoying. Honestly she could work with Emily Owens.  Revolution has been about shocking deaths lately. Let’s make Charlie one of them.

Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) and Declan (Connor Paolo) on Revenge: Sure Fauxmanda also is an annoying character but at least she serves an important plot purpose. Declan has absolutely no reason to still be on the show. The show keeps wedging him into the ongoing storyline. Really now Declan is going to become a part of a teen robbery ring? Paolo is returning to Gossip Girl for its final season. Can’t he take Allen with him and then the star-crossed duo can live out their remaining TV days on the Upper East Side.

Sam (Taye Diggs) on Private Practice: Why I’m still watching this insipid show is a blog post for another time but Sam is my pick for the worst character on TV right now. He’s an awful friend, a terrible romantic partner and a lousy brother. He’s a different character each week who is always righteously indignant about something.

Nick (Marc Warren) on The Good Wife: We can’t blame all the problems with the Kalinda storyline on Nick. The whole thing is the epitome of When Good Shows Go Bad. But Nick isn’t helping matters with his petulant sneer and penchant for food products.

Sugar (Vanessa Lengies) on Glee: When I first heard about Lengies’ casting last season, I was confused. The actress played a teenager on American Dreams, then actually got to play an adult on Hawthorne and now she was back to playing a teenager again? Her vapid character really doesn’t serve any purpose on this increasingly over-populated series. She’s not nasty enough to be fun to hate. We don’t have enough of her back story to actually care about her character. It would be easy enough to get rid of Sugar. I often forget she’s even on the show. And then Lengies, who I’ve always liked, can move on to another project.

*Please note that I decided not to pick on any child actor. I simply couldn’t do it.

Who do you think needs to be Ellised off a show? Talk about it below. And remember to follow my blog so you will know every time I have a new post.

Where Have I Seen Them Before and Quotes of the Week for October 18

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

Where Have I Seen Them Before?

Talia Balsam is the Vice President’s wife Cynthia Walden on Homeland. She’s Roger Sterling’s ex-wife Mona on Mad Men (and, fun fact, married to John Slattery in real life).  She was also Jack’s ex-wife on Without a Trace.

Sinqua Walls is Lancelot on Once Upon a Time. He was Grace’s boyfriend Daniel on The Secret Life of the American Teenager (by the way I’ve finally broken my ridiculous addiction to that show) and Boyd on Teen Wolf.  He was also Jamarcus on during the JD McCoy season of Friday Night Lights.

It’s been a busy fall for Tim Guinee. The actor who played D.A. investigator Andrew Wiley on The Good Wife (he was the one who always had his kids with him) plays the deceased-but-still-gets-to-be-on-the-show Ben Matheson on Revolution and CIA agent Scott Ryan on Homeland.

Margo Harshaman was Alex, the new assistant Sheldon hired on The Big Bang Theory. She played Amanda Peet’s sister on the short-lived sitcom Bent last season.  Maybe the The Big Bang Theory casting director liked that show because Pasha Lychnikoff is Dimitri, the astronaut giving Howard a hard time in space. He was Vlad, one of the construction workers, last season on Bent.

Michaela Watkins was one of the lesbian moms on Modern Family.  She was Gina, Schmidt’s boss last season on New Girl and Matthew’s girlfriend Lucy on The New Adventures of Old Christine.  And I still miss her hilarious impersonations from the one season she spent on Saturday Night Live. Wendi McLendon-Covey was the other mom.  She was, of course, Rita in the movie Bridesmaids.

Where Have I Seen That Name Before?

TV Gal reader Indira was excited about the My Name is Earl shout out on Raising Hope. Maw Maw was staying at the Earl J. Hickey Nursing Home.

Quotes of the Week

“I was right.” Carrie after Saul shows her Brody’s video on Homeland. I have watched that scene at least ten times.  It is one of the most rewarding and wonderful moments of television ever.

“So it’s true. Even the devil himself didn’t want you.” Conrad to Victoria when he realizes she’s still alive on Revenge.

“I love it when you’re bossy. It means something hot is going to happen.” Nolan to Emily on Revenge.

“Actually I was thinking about taking a personal day.” Brick when he doesn’t want to go to school on The Middle.

“I saw the Today Show so I know how to make an autumn pizza that your team will love.” Liz to Jack when he asks her if she’s seen the news on 30 Rock.

“I still can’t believe he didn’t tell me.” Pam after Jim tells her about pursuing the new business with his college buddy on The Office. I’m not sure what the show is trying to do here but I’m in no mood for any sort of marital problems between Jim and Pam.

“Hayley going to college is a miracle. Lily going to kindergarten is the law.” Claire to Mitchell on Modern Family.

“‘Lost’ they were all dead. I think.” Tommy on Arrow. Thanks to Barry for the quote.

“Every once in a while, you and I deserve to have an evening where we pretend they don’t exist,”  John to Kathryn about their children on Switched at Birth.

Remember if you see a familiar face or hear a great quote, email me about them through my contact page.

TV is Stressing Me Out

Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

These are the television things keeping me awake at night and stressing me out. I’m so going to need to invest in some new anti-wrinkle cream.

  1. That there might be a ninth season of How I Met Your Mother:  At this point I feel about the characters on How I Met Your Mother the way I felt when I saw Sex and the City 2. It wasn’t a good movie but I was happy to see everyone again. HIMYM hasn’t been funny this season (except when Barney recapped the entire show in true Barney style) but I still like spending time with the characters each week. I said this years ago and it’s even truer now – the show should tell us who the mother is and stop dragging it out. It was an inspired and clever gimmick to build a show on. And it was a gimmick that worked for a while. But the series, at its height, was funny enough without the gimmick. Now delaying the inevitable is making viewers cranky.  We all know Victoria isn’t who Ted marries so we are spinning our wheels watching any story lines about Ted and Victoria. Executive producer Craig Thomas told me that there’s an ending sequence that will get activated once the show knows it’s in its final season.  So please the show needs to end this season.  No more yellow umbrellas (what is that umbrella made of that it has lasted for all these years?). No more false hopes. Let us meet the mother and let the show have a glorious series finale in May.
  2. The leaps of logic and plot conveniences on Homeland: Let me be clear: I love Homeland. It is the absolute best drama on TV right now. That scene at the end of Sunday’s episode where Carrie realizes with relief and vindication that she was right?  Brilliant. And Damian Lewis is an amazing actor. Brody snaps a man’s neck and yet I still feel sympathy for him. He lies to his wife without flinching and I understand his plight. Lewis does an astounding job of conveying Brody’s internal struggle. But I have this nagging feeling about the show. There are times when you can totally tell the people behind 24 are behind Homeland.  It was a little too convenient that Brody just happened to be in the White House and was called into the situation room to see the attack on Abu Nazir, And that he was able to text a warning without anyone seeing what he was doing. Really? Isn’t Brody a nationally recognized war hero? Would he really simply don a red baseball cap to go take a terrorist to a safe house? Show his face to the gas station attendant? What I loved about the first season of Homeland is that the show continually surprised me. I never knew what it was going to do or where the plot was going to take viewers.  It makes me nervous when viewers are supposed to just roll with these leaps of logic and the writers take shortcuts to take the story where they need it to go.
  3. The Kalinda Storyline on The Good Wife: I’ve talked about this extensively in the weekly reviews I do of The Good Wife episodes for Paste Magazine but it’s time to sound the alarm. I am in full panic mode. The Kalinda storyline is in a free fall – it’s getting worse at an alarmingly rapid pace.  It’s bringing down the show and ruining one of TV’s best characters.  Make it stop. Now please.
  4. Daphne and Chef on Switched at Birth: I have had it with the whole teenage girl has a relationship with her boss/teacher/fill-in-the-blank authority figure.  Switched at Birth is such a terrific show – I’m bummed it’s taken on this television trope.  I miss Wilkie. Can he please come back from boarding school?

What is stressing you out on TV these days? Talk about it below. Also be sure to follow my blog so you’ll know every time I have a new post.  I’ll have this week’s “where have I seen them before” and quotes on Thursday so please email me your favorite quotes and familiar faces through my contact page.

My Irrational Anger Towards ‘Emily Owens, M.D.’

Photo: Michael Courtney/The CW

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

Every TV season always brings a slew of new shows I don’t like.  Usually I watch them, decide I don’t like them and move on. It’s not like you are going to hear me talk about Beauty and the Beast or The Mob Doctor again.

But every so often a show comes along that I have a complete irrational anger towards. I hate it with a fervor that doesn’t fit the crime.  The show ticks me off.

A few years ago it happened with that awful CBS show The Ex-List.  And now it has happened again with Emily Owens, M.D., premiering tonight at 9 p.m. on the CW. Mamie Gummer stars as the title character, a recent medical school graduate beginning her internship at Denver Memorial Hospital. Take a moment to conjure up Meredith Grey in the early days of Grey’s Anatomy. Now make Meredith about 10 times more annoying than she was. That’s Emily Owens. From the whiny voice-overs to the insecurities and romantic pining, Emily is a more irritating, exasperating Meredith. The show borrows so much from Grey’s Anatomy (the brilliant heart surgeon all the doctors want to work with, the instant best friend) that Shonda Rhimes should get some sort of consulting producer credit.

I loved Gummer as the duplicitous Nancy Crozier on The Good Wife. It was a great role and she was fantastic in it. But everything that worked for Gummer on The Good Wife is working against her here. The show seems to have forgotten that, unless your Breaking Bad or The Sopranos, viewers need to like and root for the lead character  Emily Owens is grating and unbearable.  (And as a side note, pick a hair color. Be a brunette. Be a blond. Just pick one. The only person who can get away with dark roots on blond hair is Heather Locklear.)

The whole premise of the show is that the hospital is a lot like high school with cliques and mean girls. Cassandra Kopelson (Aja Naomi King) was Emily’s nemesis all through grade school and high school and now –what a coincidence – they work at the same hospital. What are the odds? Cassandra instantly activates Emily’s old nickname and proceeds to try to make Emily miserable. I was kind of on Cassandra’s side.

The CW is like an old studio system. The network continually picks the same actors for its shows. They get a bee in their bonnet about someone and they won’t let go (Katie Cassidy will be a star. She will!) Justin Hartley (Oliver Queen on Smallville) co-stars as Emily’s med school crush Will Collins. Michael Rady (Melrose Place) is the experienced and kind resident willing to help Emily out. I like both actors and they both deserve a better project. The series immediately puts an interesting spin on the unrequited crush story line and it might have worked too if I hadn’t been thinking “Run, Will, run and don’t look back. Whatever you do don’t get together with Emily.”

In addition to the annoying lead character, the show is way too familiar. It doesn’t just imitate Grey’s Anatomy, it imitates every single medical show that has preceded it. In the episode that airs next week, you will be able to guess immediately how the two main medical cases will proceed.

But my real problem with the show is that I’m over it. I’m over these insecure, whiny women that TV is so fond of portraying.  I need more Liz Lemons and less Emily Owens in my TV life. After you watch Emily Owens, M.D. tonight, let me know what you think.

An interview with Connie Britton


By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

We loved her in Friday Night Lights. We were a little freaked out by her in American Horror Story.  And now Connie Britton has the best role of her career as country music superstar Rayna Jaymes in Nashville (Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC). I hope you all watched the premiere last night and loved the show as much as I did.

Luckily, along with some of my fellow reporters, I had a chance to talk to Britton recently.

On the rivalry between Rayna and Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) and playing older to Panettiere’s young.

I think the whole idea of this rivalry has been a little overdeveloped. I never saw the show in those terms and I’ve worked really hard to not have the show become about being quote unquote old because I certainly don’t feel old and I’m not interested in playing old. So I don’t want it to be about old versus young or about one woman versus another woman. I think what our two characters represent are two people in very different phases of their life and very different phases of the music business.

On how she describes Rayna

Rayna is a really really strong character. She’s a self-made character and she’s a survivor so that’s an interesting thing to watch in her character, to watch her strength. She just pulls from whatever it is that she knows to survive and keep going. She supports her family and she has created this career not out of folly but because she really needs it as a woman and as a person kind of moving away from her family and creating her own path.

On Rayna’s backstory

I actually know a lot.  [Executive producer] Callie Khouri is really into backstory which is really fun so we sat down and we really dished it out and it’s fun because there’s such a rich history. Rayna has lived her life with her band members. She’s had a relationship with the head of her band and now she’s in this marriage. There’s a lot of backstory but I don’t want to give it all away. I do think there’s going to be redemption for everybody involved and I’m always interested in that.

On her success as an actress

I’m really just grateful all the time about it. Every character I play I try to play such different characters but there’s always one strong intent and that is to play women in a way that portrays them as powerful and true and complex sort of comfortable in their own skin even in the midst of crisis and chaos and whatever form that takes, whatever story that takes.  I think people appreciate that. Listen in TV we have a lot of opportunity. We’re seeing a lot of really strong woman characters on television but I think to play a strong woman who is also accessible and vulnerable and has a lot of same qualities as most women do, I think people appreciate that and my hope is to keep doing that.

On the music business

Not unlike Hollywood, I think the music industry can be very cutthroat but the flip side of that is I also think that there’s a lot of support in the music industry. Talking to a lot of people I know in the music industry there’s actually a lot of appreciation for women who are in their 40s. There is ageism for sure but there’s also a deep regard for people who have established themselves and have really lived a life in music so I think you see both. I think the city of Nashville has really embraced this show because we have every intention of portraying Nashville in a very true and honest way.

On her Emmy nominations for American Horror Story and Friday Night Lights

It’s actually surprising every single time it happens. It was so hard to get acknowledgement from Emmy voters on Friday Night Lights so, by the end, any Emmy nomination we got felt like an Emmy nomination for the show. But then to go into American Horror Story and have that show acknowledged in such a huge way was thrilling in such a different way. First of all, I was very surprised frankly because that felt like a risky role for me to play particularly after playing Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights. To feel that show and that role was embraced by audiences as much as my role on Friday Night Lights was, it felt very sort of vindicating and thrilling.

Where Have I Seen Them Before and Quotes of the Week for October 11

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

Here are some of my favorite familiar faces and quotes from the week in TV.

Where Have I Seen Them Before?

Zoe Jarman is the office assistant Betsy on The Mindy Project.  She was the camp counselor Poppy on Huge. I bring this up because Huge was an amazing show and I can’t believe it was cancelled after one season.  I blame myself for not being around to promote it more. (When I interviewed Claire Danes about Homeland last year, she told me she was a huge fan of Huge too. She’s still friends with Winnie Holzman, the woman behind My So-Called Life and Huge. This made me very happy.)

Bailey Buntain, Ginny on Bunheads, was the freshman Sue was assigned to help on The Middle.

Adina Porter was the neurosurgeon who consulted with Derek on Grey’s Anatomy. We just saw her as Kendra on The Newsroom and she’s Lettie Mae Thornton on True Blood. She was also Juliet’s principal on Ringer, a show I already confessed that I couldn’t stop watching.

Jane Carr was the nanny Mrs. Buckminster on How I Met Your Mother. I remember her as Louise on Dear John. She also played Nora, a member of the DAR who was frenemies with Emily Gilmore on Gilmore Girls (which probably means she should be showing up on Bunheads sometime soon).

There were a slew of familiar faces on Scandal. Elise Neal was the woman who had a 15 year affair with the deceased Reverend.  She was Yvonne on The Hughleys and Tia on All of Us.  Leslie Grossman was back as the coroner on Scandal. She was Mary Cherry on Popular (a show you need to watch if you’ve never seen it. It was from Ryan Murphy before he was Ryan Murphy). We also just saw Grossman in the pilot of The New Normal as the potential surrogate who threatened to drink and eat sushi if she didn’t get what she wanted.  Debra Mooney was the Supreme Court Justice who is somehow tied to Quinn/Lindsay’s (Quinsay?) situation. Mooney was, of course, Edna on my beloved Everwood.

Diane recognized Caroline Lagerfelt as Anjelica Henley, the wealthy woman who set up her own home burglary on Castle.  She plays CeCe Rhodes on Gossip Girl and Diane remembers her as Spike’s mom on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Angella recognized Amanda Schull as the girlfriend of the blackjack dealer who was murdered on Vegas. Schull was Meredith on Pretty Little Liars, Katie on One Tree Hill and Angella remembered her as Jody in the movie Center Stage.

Quotes of the Week

“I’m not playing this game – Thunderdome.” Alicia to Clark, the firm’s court appointed trustee on The Good Wife.

“We are just two people who want to be friends but are sometimes attracted to each other.” Nick to Jess on The New Girl. I really like the way this relationship is playing out.

“You are my first love and I want more than anything for you to be my last but I can’t do this anymore. At least not now. We’re done.” Rachel to Finn on Glee. This is totally unrelated to this heartbreaking quote, but is anyone else bothered by Rachel’s hair extensions and eye make-up this season? I know that she’s in the Big Apple but I refuse to believe that this is how Rachel would look now. I don’t care if she had a makeover.

“It wasn’t nothing. You’re funny. You’re pretty. You’re nice. I like talking to you.”  Hank to Sarah after he kissed her on Parenthood. If I weren’t so worried about Kristina, this definitely would be the story line stressing me out the most.  True story – I’m eating my way through a bag of potato chips just writing about this.  (40% reduced fat barbeque potato chips but stress eating none the less).

“She wants her something borrowed to be Jessica Biel’s youth.” Liz about Jenna on 30 Rock. Oh how I’ve missed this show!

Best Exchange of the Week

“All I keep thinking is we’re going to crash on some tropical island and get attacked by a polar bear.” Bailey to Webber on Grey’s Anatomy.

“I don’t know what you mean.” Webber to Bailey.

“You should watch more TV.” Bailey’s response. This may be the best advice Bailey has ever given.

That’s a wrap up of some of the week’s best familiar faces and quotes. I’m still catching up from visiting my parents in the House That Technology Forgot (no cable, no DVR, no Internet. It’s like living on Little House on the Prairie) so I’ll probably have more of this week’s quotes and familiar faces in next week’s edition. And please email me your favorite quotes and familiar faces through my contact form.

Am I Breaking Up With the TV Bad Boy?

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

I never dated a bad boy. And I definitely didn’t marry one. Really, the worst thing my husband ever does is forget to run the dishwasher at night.

But, oh, how I have loved the TV bad boy.  The bad boy on TV makes for great viewing while never actually causing you any emotional damage.  Here’s a chorological list of my long- term relationship with the TV bad boy:

Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210: That sexy scowl! Those sideburns! Dylan was my first TV bad boy and, as the saying goes, you never forget your first. When Kelly famously told Brandon and Dylan, “I choose me,” I was proud of her girl-power decision but I thought she was a little nuts to let this brooding bad boy go. The rumor that Luke Perry and Jennie Garth are now dating in real life has caused me to nearly explode with happiness.

Pacey Whitter on Dawson’s Creek: Before you question whether Pacey was really a bad boy, remember that when we first met him, he was sleeping with his teacher. Good boys don’t sleep with their teachers. Pacey was always my first choice for Joey (and honestly now that Katie Holmes is a single again, he still is). I get chills thinking about when he told Joey he was going to kiss her and then started counting backwards from 10. Sigh.

Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike was so very wrong for Buffy. I knew it. She knew it. All of Hellmouth knew it.  Their often violent relationship was one of the most dysfunctional ones on TV.  But when Buffy tells him Spike she loves him right before he dies and he replies, “No you don’t but thanks for saying it,” it breaks my heart every time.

Logan Echolls on Veronica Mars: Logan just couldn’t get out of his own way. He was the perfect storm of a bad boy – troubled home situation (very troubled!), the propensity to lash out at the ones who loved him most, and a soulful stare that made even my remote blush. When he was bad, he was very, very bad but when he was good, Veronica couldn’t do any better.

Sawyer on Lost: I so wanted Sawyer to smile his sly smile and come up with a nickname for me. Maybe he’d call me Carmela because of my Italian last name. Or maybe he’d dub me “Lamy” because I would be the one always telling him that his cockamamie plan was DANGEROUS. Sawyer was the best kind of bad boy – his brass exterior hid a damaged, sweet soul.

Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights: Let me be clear: I have never, ever liked long hair on guys. Until, Tim Riggins. I wanted to reach into the TV and tuck his hair behind his ears. He could have worn his hair in French braids and I would have thought that was fantastic. His romance with Lyla was oh so wrong – she was dating his best friend who had just been paralyzed. But, you couldn’t help but root for Riggins to succeed. Texas forever man.

Damon Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries: Obviously. What I love most about Damon is that the character completely made me forget Ian Somerhalder had ever been anyone else.  Boone who?  I will admit that I haven’t kept up with show but I know if I ever visited Mystic Falls, I would want to hang out with Damon not Stefan.

So that’s many years loving the TV bad boy. But something has happened to me. I totally rooted for Jake on Awkward. Not Matty of I- treated- Jenna-terribly- but- am- really- sweet-and-misunderstood fame. But Jake of I-always-treated-Jenna-with-the-upmost-respect-and-have-always-been-nice-to-her fame. I rooted for Jake long before Jenna broke his heart. And Jake could never, ever be a bad boy.

What is going on? Am I breaking up with the TV bad boy? Am I suddenly maturing? Are there no good bad boys left? It’s like I don’t even know the TV viewer I’ve become.  But I’m definitely on Team Jake. Just don’t tell Dylan, Pacey, Spike, Logan, Sawyer, Riggins or Damon that I said that.

Who is your favorite TV bad boy? Vote below.

The TV Gal Character Relocation Program

Photo by: Timothy White/NBC

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

We are a few weeks into the new television season and I believe it is time to activate the TV Gal Character Relocation Program (CRP). In the CRP, I sweep in and pluck good characters from bad shows and relocate them to a new series where their talents will be put to the best use. Really, it’s a public service.

Here are the current candidates:

Shania (Bebe Wood) on The New Normal to Glee:  The New Normal makes an Aaron Sorkin show look subtle. But aside from all the pontificating,  my main problem with the show is that it’s not funny. And, you know, I like my comedies to be funny. Sometimes I wonder if maybe I missed something and the The New Normal is actually supposed to be a half-hour drama.  But Wood is fabulous. Her impersonation of Little Edie from Grey Gardens was one of the best things I have seen on TV this year.  Let’s send Shania to Glee, another Ryan Murphy show which sure is uneven in quality but at least when it’s good, it’s very, very good. Shania could be a child prodigy who becomes the newest member of New Directions. Sure that’s a bit of an outlandish plot but is it anymore outlandish than Kurt landing a job with Vogue.com? I don’t think so.

Louis (Michael Urie) on Partners to New Girl:  Urie is trying his best with material he’s given. But honestly if you close your eyes and just listen to the show, it’s as if you’re watching a really bad version of Will & Grace. Same set-up (My analogy: Ali is to the jewelry design business as Grace was to the interior design business). Same jokes. Same elevator, even. Just a lot less charm. Louis could move into the apartment on The New Girl. He could talk fashion and, more specifically belts, with Schmidt while Nick and Winston could convince him to take his shtick down a notch or two. Now I would love to save Wyatt (Brandon Routh) too but, unfortunately, the CRP only allows me to save one character per show.

Miles (Billy Burke) on Revolution to Homeland: I’m exhausted by the fact that Revolution has been picked up for a full season.  I was really hoping the show would just go quietly to that great TV season pass manager in the sky. But no, now I’m going to have to keep up with its gaping plot inconsistencies and bad acting. Bill Burke is a great actor who has done a number of wonderful guest arcs (most recently as the nefarious Phillip Stroh on The Closer). The man deserves to be on an Emmy winning drama. On Homeland he could play a CIA agent who believes Carrie and helps bring Brody down. And then he could win an Emmy for his performance. See how well this could work out?

Dr. Brett Robinson (Zach Gilford) on The Mob Doctor to Grey’s Anatomy:  Seattle Grace needs a few new doctors and, given The Mob Doctor’s ratings, Dr. Robinson could be available very soon. Here at TV Gal, we leave no one from Friday Night Lights behind.

Marny (Tempestt Bledsoe) on Guys with Kids to The MiddleI’m delighted to have Vanessa Huxtable back on TV again. Now let’s get her on a show that’s actually funny. Marny could be one of the Heck’s new neighbors. She and Frankie could become friends. Maybe she could even help Frankie find a new job.

Which characters would you enter into the CRP and where would you relocate him or her? Talk about it below.

Grey’s Anatomy and Revenge

Last week, two shows totally tried to fake out viewers. On Revenge, the nighttime soap tried to convince viewers that Victoria Grayson was dead. While I believed there was no way that the series would kill off a character as great as Victoria, it was a very nice touch to not list Madeleine Stowe in the opening credits. It didn’t fool me, but I appreciated the effort and attention to detail.

I’m kind of disappointed that the alliance between Victoria and Emily was so short-lived. I loved the idea of the two former frenemies being in cahoots together. I do want everyone to know that Revenge is currently in my “Could So Easily Go Off the Rails” file. Revenge is great because of its over-the-top line delivery and plot twists. The show is so much fun. But I’m concerned it could start racing through plot twists and character reveals. (We’ve seen this happen before on many shows including Heroes). If Daniel is going to be evil, let him be evil. And please find some way to make Ashley useful to the plot. The show hasn’t seemed to know what to do with her since the beginning.

On Grey’s Anatomy, the show spent the entire hour trying to convince us that Arizona was dead but we’ve all watched TV long enough to know that unless there’s a funeral, he/she is probably not dead. (Unless, of course, you’re a show like Revenge when they can say you’re dead,hold a memorial services and you’re still not dead).  I knew we were going to see Arizona in the closing seconds of the episode. I holding out judgement of the Arizona as an amputee story line until I see tonight’s episode. The premiere didn’t really work for me for three main reasons:

  1. I simply can’t get too worked up about Mark Sloane dying. I never really bought Mark and Lexie as some great star-crossed couple and I’m really not that sad that McSteamy is gone.
  2. It’s annoying that now Meredith is the one terrorizing the interns. Medusa? Really? Another sign that it’s time for a show to end is when they pull an old plot line out of the bin and try to recycle it.
  3. I’m saddened by what’s become of Miranda Bailey. I’m glad she now knows that her nickname is Booty Call Bailey but the Miranda I knew would never have let it get to this point.

That’s all for today. Make sure to follow my blog so you know every time I have a new post.  And if you see a familiar face or hear a great quote of the week, definitely email me about it through my contact page.