Saturday, May 21, 2011

TV TOPIC: The Top 15 Breakout Actors from Canceled Shows of the 2010-2011 TV Season

It kind of sucks when you get attached to a great character on a so-so series, because you know that their life-span is shorter than a donut at an Eaters Anonymous meeting. So once the gavel comes down and the network officially cancels the show, you have to say farewell to some of your favorite new characters. Here are the ones that really stuck out this season despite their recent cancellation:
*in alphabetical order by series
Jake Lacy as Casey on "Better With You"
Why it sucks we'll never see his character again: Casey was a comically chill dude in spite of his pending fatherhood and wedding, not to mention his high-strung siblings-in-law and manic parents-in-law. You could tell he was going to be a fun dad, sort of a pre-Phil ("Modern Family"). It's a shame we'll never see his version of fatherhood, from teething to show-and-tell. It would've been hilarious.
What series could he join/do: He could be a new neighbor on "Big Bang Theory" and play the male version of Penny, and possibly a better romantic fit for her than Leonard, or he could join A&E's "The Glades" as a young partner Jim has to train.

Alphonso McAuley as Cash on "Breaking In"
Why it sucks we'll never see his character again: Cash was one of those dorky, Star Wars-loving, Goonies-quoting, friendless manchildren that think flipping the new guy's car is a welcoming gesture and machines will one day take over the world. His immature hi-jinks will surely be missed.
What series could he join/do: He could have a guest-arc on "Community" as Troy's equally dorky cousin, join the team on "Chuck" as the tech guy for their new freelance spy business, or play a screw-up newbie cop on "Rookie Blue."
Where to see him next: He'll voice a farm animal in The Lion of Judah.
To hold you over until his next project: Rent the crime drama Pride for his portrayal of a swimming champ, the sports drama Glory Road to watch him as a basketball player, or the action thriller Cat Run to see him play a young detective alongside Scott Mechlowicz ("EuroTrip").

Jackie Earle Haley as Guerrero on 
"Human Target"
Why it sucks we'll never see his character again: He was so badass as the stealth fighter and sharp-shooter, who was short on words but abundant in bravado. I'll miss his gruff devil-may-care attitude.
What series could he join/do: He could play an operative in "Fringe," "Nikita," "Burn Notice," or even cooler: a hitman on "Boardwalk Empire."
Where to see him next: He'll be in the comedy Dance of the Mirlitons with Kristen Bell (When in Rome) and Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass).
To hold you over until his next project: Rent the graphic novel adaptation Watchmen, the Scorsese thriller Shutter Island, or the horror remake Nightmare on Elm Street.
Tim Roth as Cal Lightman on "Lie to Me"
Why it sucks we'll never see his character again: He was the cleverest, cockiest, lie-detecting crime solver since The Mentalist. We'll miss his taunting, button-pushing technique during intense and serious moments, his unorthodox parenting methods, and the will-they-or-won't-they vibe between him and the incredibly patient Gillian.
What series could he join/do: I really enjoyed getting to see Roth every week, but I think he should return to films and give Christopher Waltz some villainous competition.
Where to see him next: He'll play a detective in the dramatic thriller Arbitrage opposite Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon, and a French painter in the drama The Absinthe Drinkers alongside John Hurt, Peter Facinelli (Twilight), and Keith Carradine ("Dexter").
To hold you over until his next project: Rent the Tarantino classics Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.

Nate Torrence as Roman on "Mr. Sunshine"
Why it sucks we'll never see his character again: He was like the Pillsbury Doughboy come to life, just a giggly man-child with a childlike humor. We'll miss his positive look on life despite what troubles arose.
What series could he join/do: He could play a new page recruit on "30 Rock," or a lab geek on Syfy's "Eureka."
To hold you over until his next project: Rent the action comedy Get Smart and the rom-com She's Out of My League.

Josh Stewart as Joshua, The Watcher, on "No Ordinary Family"
Why it sucks we'll never see his character again: Rarely is there a villain who is just so broodingly handsome. Sure, he's using telekinesis to force innocent people to kill themselves and write their own suicide notes. And sure he wipes teenage girls' memories after pinning them against a wall and traumatizing them for life. But he forfeited his superpowers, risked returning to his debilitatingly ill state, and poured his heart out to the only person on the planet who loved him. How can't you root for him?
What series could he join/do: He could play a goon on "Boardwalk Empire," a creature on "True Blood," a new detective on "Dexter," or a redneck con man on "Justified."
Where to see him next: The horror indie thriller Rehab, the Western The Big Valley, and the action horror sequel The Collection.
To hold you over until his next project: Rent the prequel action horror The Collector and the mystery thriller Beneath the Dark.

Mamie Gummer as Dr. Mina Minard on "Off the Map"
Why it sucks we'll never see her character again: She seemed cold and unfriendly at first, but it was actually her big heart that made her so reluctant to get close to people for fear of becoming paralyzed by her concern for them. All the doctors went the extra mile to save their patients, but she was always the unexpected heroine.
What series could she join/do: Mamie has tried her hardest to shy away from any role that could possibly liken her to her Oscar-winning mom Meryl Streep, but I think she should go hard for those star-making indie films and stop playing it safe in barely memorable supporting roles. However, if a steady gig is what she's after, then playing a new squint on "Bones" who piques Sweets' interest, a P.I. competitor slash love interest on HBO's "Bored to Death," or an enterprising copywriter on "Mad Men" might be good for her. My real wish though is that Shonda Rhimes would absorb her and Zach Gilford's characters into "Grey's Anatomy" so that they can join Owen's trauma team and bring in some really interesting cases, which the series has been light on lately. I mean, remember the season where a guy had a live bomb in his chest?
Where to see her next: If she's lucky, she'll continue to push Alicia's buttons in the court room on "The Good Wife" next season.
To hold you over until her next project: Rent the romantic dramas Evening and Coach.

Sacha Dhawan as Manmeet on "Outsourced"
Why it sucks we'll never see his character again: Even though he technically sexually harassed all of his female callers, conducted several long distance relationships, and lasciviously leered every time he made a dirty joke or insinuation, you couldn't help but find his accent and wicked grin adorable.
What series could he join/do: I think he should play Raj's equally inexperienced fresh-off-the-boat cousin who was sent to live with him on "Big Bang Theory," or Kelly's arranged fiance on "The Office" to shake things up between her and Ryan. Of course, he could always just join another situational comedy in the Fall.
To hold you over until his next project: Rent The History Boys and watch him sing.

Olivia Munn as Leigh on 
"Perfect Couples"
Why it sucks we'll never see her character again: She was one of those controlling perfectionists who falls for a guy only to treat him like a fixer-upper. Her obsession with problem solving didn't stop there though. She was also keen on trying to control her friends' lives too, planning their weddings and condescendingly buying their girlfriends birthday/anniversary gifts on their behalf, automatically assuming they would inconsiderately forget. And one would assume that she aims for all of them to be perfect because she believes she is, but she's just as hard on herself, constantly competing with her friends in an attempt to be crowned a member of the perfect couple.
What series could she join/do: I know this may sound crazy, but I REALLY want her to join "How I Met Your Mother" as the mysterious mother. She's a guy's girl, spunky enough to not be phased by Robyn & Lily's harsh snap judgments, to easily fend off Barney's inevitable come-ons, and to find Marshall's big-lug act charming. Of course...she might be too hot for Ted. She could also join "Hawaii Five-O" as an unexpectedly tough cop and McGarrett's love interest, because that show is in dire need of a little more romance and a little less bromance. I would also suggest giving her her own series. I believe the ladies of "Sex and the City" have worn out their welcome, and it's time for a new class. Munn would make the perfect group leader: gorgeous, funny, and complicated.
Where to see her next: Speaking of the former Manolo-rocking diva, you can see Munn costarring with Sarah Jessica Parker in the comedy I Don't Know How She Does It.
To hold you over until her next project: Rent the past seasons of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" to watch her pretend to be a correspondent.

Jason Clarke as Jarek Wysocki on "The Chicago Code"
Why it sucks we'll never see his character again: As a no-nonsense cop, who'd rather work alone than replace his late brother and who goes out of his way to teach his new partner how to be just as good as him, he embodied the intensity and unpredictability of Chicago. There aren't many cop shows today where the officers are just as rough-and-tumble as the crooks, and Wysocki marked a possible revival of such a character in the wake of a slew of bumbling, magic clue-finders who hypothesize or hypnotize instead of tackle and threaten.
What series could he join/do: That's a hard one. What made Clarke so good at this is that he himself looked like a crook. If someone told viewers ahead of time that this shady, five-o'clock-shadow-sporting creep was going to play a cop, they would've stared back in disbelief. He pulled it off well, but I still see him in crook-type roles, which is why I recommend him for "Boardwalk Empire" or "Justified."
Where to see him next: You can see him in the crime thriller The Fields with Sam Worthington, Chloe Moretz, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and the crime drama The Wettest County in the World with Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Tom Hardy, Shia Labeouf, and Mia Wasikowska.
To hold you over until his next project: Rent the Irish mob series "Brotherhood," and the gangster film Public Enemies.
Jason Ritter as Sean Walker on "The Event"
Why it sucks we'll never see his character again: Sure, he started off as just some computer hacker who was desperate to propose to his girlfriend. But then, when faced with the prospects of losing her, being branded a terrorist, hunted down by the government, and possibly exterminated by a covert race of aliens, he really stepped up and went above and beyond the call of any human being—let alone boyfriend. In a world that considers knight-in-shining-armors extinct, he managed to prove us wrong.
What series could he join/do: Ritter is actually quite versatile. He's done both TV dramas and comedies, so he can fit just about anywhere. Some fans might want him to return to "Parenthood" and sweep Sarah off her feet again now that she's got her shit together. But I would prefer a solid hour of Ritter versus the 5 minutes of screen time that each character gets on that series, so I think he should get his own show. While I love to watch him romance ladies goofily, I think his talents would be wasted on the rom-com genre, and that he should stick to suspenseful dramas with occasional humor and/or romance.
Where to see him next: He has several indies in the works, including a promising Marc Webber drama with Amanda Seyfried and Michael Cera. And he's also signed on for the Disney series "Gravity Falls."
To hold you over until his next project: Rent the short-lived CBS comedy "The Class," the unorthodox romantic dramedy Good Dick, and the intense coming-of-age drama The Education of Charlie Banks.

Ian Anthony Dale as Simon Lee on 
"The Event"
Why it sucks we'll never see his character again: It's not often that Asian actors don't have to pretend to be the stereotypical version of an Asian, and because of that Asian actors aren't usually given lead roles. Thankfully, Dale was chosen to play the conflicted government sleeper agent who had learned to love the humans and refused to sacrifice either race. He managed to make viewers look past his ethnicity and simply root for and relate to the doomed hero.
What series could he join/do: I'm just going to throw this out there randomly: "Grey's Anatomy." I say this only because I'd love to see how his quiet, reserved, controlled-intensity would work in such a confrontational environment. He could also go the other way and play a villain, like a mafia leader on "Hawaii Five-O" or some formidable enemy on "Nikita." He could also just join the next new cop series. That smoldering glare needs to be put to good use.
To hold you over until his next project: Rent "Mortal Kombat: Legacy," where he plays Scorpion.

Nelson Franklin as Adam on "Traffic Light"
Why it sucks we'll never see his character again: He's like a cross between John Krasinski and Vince Vaughn, wiry, awkward, and chocked full of deadpan humor, but also over-confident and easily exasperated. He was a great depiction of a new generation of men who are almost as indecisive and insecure as women are said to be.
What series could he join/do: This is a hard one because he's such a scene-stealer that I feel like if he joined a series, he'd poach the spotlight, but if he had to, I think putting him on "The Office" might be interesting just to see how he plays off of Jim and Dwight.
Where to see him next: He just wrapped the mystery comedy Callers.
To hold you over until his next project: Rent Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

Liza Lapira as Lisa on "Traffic Light"
Why it sucks we'll never see her character again: Once again, stereotypes tend to prevent actors from getting lead roles, and I'm sure executives didn't design this character with an Asian actress in mind. But Lapira really knocked it out of the park with her comic timing, making Lisa's patronizing mind games that much more enjoyable. She has you wondering where she's been this whole time.
What series could she join/do: I want her to be a main character again so I don't think joining a series would be good. She needs something fresh and even funnier.
Where to see her next: She'll play a small role in the upcoming Steve Carell-Ryan Gosling romantic dramedy Crazy, Stupid, Love.
To hold you over until her next project: Rent the crime drama 21.

Morena Baccarin as Anna on "V"
Why it sucks we'll never see her character again: She was like a human Trojan Horse, a rare combination of gorgeous and lethal. And what was most jarring was how you could tell that she relished in her victories, no matter how savage, which is not really a common female character trait on TV.
What series could she join/do: After headlining a series, it would be odd to take a backseat again, so I would suggest getting her own Syfy series playing a witch or something just as mysterious and powerful, or she could just join "True Blood" or "Being Human."
To hold you over until her next project: Rent "Firefly," Serenity, and "Stargate SG-1."

  • Autumn Reeser for honing her dorky "O.C." persona into every geek's dream as a super hero sidekick on "No Ordinary Family."
  • Zach Gilford for branching out from his sweet and gullible Matt Saracen on "Friday Night Lights" and playing a self-absorbed player on "Off the Map."
  • Jonathan Castellanos ("Off the Map") for successfully making his way into Young Hollywood without going the Disney route. 
  • Michael Rosenbaum for breaking free from his decade-long portrayal of Lex Luthor ("Smallville") by playing the douche-tastic Dutch on "Breaking In."
  • Jimmy Bennett for...well Jimmy gets a mention for being that badass kid in the first few minutes of Star Trek who drives a car off a cliff. Nothing to do with his "No Ordinary Family" character, but...still.

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