Bring These Actors Back to TV

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

I get attached to TV shows and when they’re gone, I often have a hard time letting go. Until recently my TiVo still had a season pass manager to Friday Night Lights. (I liked the idea that it was constantly searching for new episodes. I held out hope that maybe it would find one).

Every year I’m thrilled when TV actors I adore are in new projects.  But the TV landscape is still missing some of my favorite actors. I’m not talking about the obvious choices. Clearly Josh Holloway and Kyle Chandler need to be back on TV. I’m talking about the lesser-known actors who played such a distinct and memorable part that their show would not have been the same without them.

Here are my picks for the faces that have been away from TV for far too long.

Amber Benson (Tara Maclay on Buffy the Vampire Slayer): Benson was utterly fantastic as Willow’s patient, loving girlfriend. She’s an actress who can express so much with her plaintive eyes. I’m perplexed that she hasn’t landed as a series regular somewhere.

Janel Moloney (Donna Moss on The West Wing): Together with Bradley Whitford’s Josh, Moloney created one of the great will-they-or-won’t-they couples of the last decade. Her rat-a-tat banter with Josh was part of the reason The West Wing was such memorable television. Aaron Sorkirn tried to recreate the same rapport with his characters on both Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and The Newsroom but Moloney was one of a kind.

Luke Macfarlane (Scotty Wandell on Brothers & Sisters):  Is it wrong than he was my favorite Walker? With his sympathetic face and kind demeanor, Macfarlane quietly broke ground as one half of TV’s most realistic gay couples.

Keiko Agena (Lane Kim on Gilmore Girls): A girl couldn’t ask for a better best friend than Lane. She was loyal yet independent. Supportive but always willing to offer constructive criticism. Agena infused Lane with a believable likeability and also added depth to a character that could have been a TV stereotype.

Jamie Kaler and Michael Bunin (Mike and Kenny on My Boys): You know all the hilarious exchanges between the guys on New Girl? The boys on My Boys were doing that long before Jess met Schmidt and the gang. Real life buddies Kaler and Bunin have a great time riffing with each other. They had their own show last year on DirectTV, On Deck with Jamie and Mike, but I would love to see the duo whooping it up in a comedy again. Don’t tell the others, but they were always my favorite boys.

Bryan Batt (Salvatore Romano on Mad Men): Every season of Mad Men, I think “this will be the season Salvatore makes his triumphant return.” His departure from the series, while completely reflective of the time, was so abrupt. Batt brought a lovely pathos of a man leading a duplicitous life.

Who would you like to see back on TV? Talk about it below. And remember to follow my blog by entering your email in the top right-hand corner. I’m gearing up for a big December TV swag giveaway for the followers of my blog.