Sunday, October 05, 2008

CAREER REHAB: O.C.'s McKenzie & Buffy's Gellar return to TV

Benjamin McKenzie was christened a breakout star in 2003 after starring in the teen dramedy "The O.C." Less than a year after the series crashed and burned because of Mischa Barton's unceremonious exit and the uncharacteristic change in the plot, he's yet to quite make it in the film industry. He was acknowledged for his performance in the indie Junebug, but Amy Adams (Enchanted) stole his thunder. And he did get the opportunity to appear in the thriller 88 Minutes with Al Pacino, but that's kind of like trying to hang out with William Hung after his 15 minutes of fame had faded. Pacino may have had longer than that, but it's clear that his star is falling fast. Scripts aren't exactly falling at McKenzie's feet, so it makes sense that he would return to TV. He'll be apart of the ensemble cast of NBC's latest pilot "LAPD," playing a rookie alongside Regina King (This Christmas), Kevin Alejandro (Santos on "Ugly Betty"), and Shawn Hatosy (Alpha Dog). The series is yet to be picked up, but he needs it to be if he has any chance of remaining in the limelight.

"Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" actually ended when "The O.C." began, leaving a huge void for a cult TV show to fill and giving Sarah Michelle Gellar the opportunity to crossover into film. She had a devoted fan base and a lot of pull in the industry, so she should've done tremendously well. Five years later, after three or four Asian horror remakes, a few indies, and voice-over work, she's managed to destroy all of the credibility she once had. Luckily, HBO is developing a half-hour series called "The Wonderful Maladys," which is about three orphaned siblings who have to depend on each other. This is her chance to prove she's more than just a pretty face for the teen demographic.

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