These TV MVPs brought greatness in a year that almost let us down

It’s no secret that 2021 could turn out better. . . so much better. Our hope, tentatively raised only on January 1st disbanded five days later. Do you have any questions that we retreated to our relatives? the comfort of our TV once again?

As the second year of quarantine rolls around, avoidance is still on the menu (“FBoy Island” anyone?). However, our viewing habits have branched out a bit more, thanks to actors who haven’t let the pandemic slow them down.

Never underestimate the power of familiar faces, especially on television. Just look at how integrally popular soaps are, not only for their addictive storytelling, but for actors who come to our homes regularly and build relationships and trust. with us.

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That’s why so many actors we haven’t seen in a while the return to the warm holiday movies, it is better to seduce us with their comfortable presence. Where they go, we will follow.

Add to that list four actors who already have a solid résumé for them and don’t need any breakthroughs to win us over. However, they continued to deliver, surprising us with new aspects we hadn’t seen before. . . and many of them re-delivered the same year.

Here, Salon would like to introduce to you our TV MVPs of the year:

Kathryn Hahn

Kathryn Hahn in “The Shrink Next Door” (Apple)It was Kathryn Hahn’s all year. But when is that not true? Hahn is an eternal scene-stealer, always demanding our attention with consistent, stable performances that is not to be missed. Hahn repeatedly marks his place as one of the Best reason to watch every show she’s on, it’s no surprise that she’s the reason we even remember “WandaVision” ran this year.

Her interest in the chewing scene served her as well Classic Nosy Neighbor Agnes, a woman whose knack for showing up at the right moment, at the wrong time, is enough to make us wonder what her deal is. Other performers may have assumed she was actually Agatha Harkness, a witch fierce enough to take on the show. Not Hahn, who turned what could have been the condiment that served as the star of the sandwich through simple changes in her physicality or her shiny copper delivery.

Months later, she returns and plunges into the role of a protective sister in “The Shrink Next Door,” TV series Apple TV+ starring Paul Rudd as a therapist who manipulates anxiety-stricken businessman Will Ferrell to throw her aside.

Hahn begins the plot as Phyllis, who brings the monster Rudd into her brother’s life, and disappears for a few episodes. Once again, we never forget her, and when she comes back at the end of the story with a hilarious rage full of hatred, it clears the palate, returning light and mercy to her. a story that turns dark incessantly and rapidly.

Naturally, she followed this up with a turn in the ABC performance of “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” of “Truth of Life” as Jo Polniaczek, another spicy mustard role that makes the meal a treat. worth eating. On the horizon is Hahn’s return as the great evil wizard, and the big piece of cheese, in Marvel’s “Agatha: House of Harkness.” No date has been set, but we’ve come to trust that whatever she stirs up has to be good. – Melanie McFarland

William Jackson Harper

Love this lifeLove this life (Sarah Shatz / HBO Max)

William Jackson Harper took a place in our hearts before he took us down again in two very precise projects, each of which cast him as a romantic hero. In “Underground Railroad“he sneered like Royal, a free black man rescues a woman enslavedCora, from a ruthless bounty hunter relentlessly pursues her. Royal brings Cora to his community, and gives her his support, his friendship, and ultimately his heart, but only if she’s ready.

And passed Interpretation by Barry Jenkins belong to Novels by Colson Whitehead Harper recognized Royal as a man with a lion heart, who was patient and content as the golden virtues they wanted while never giving in to his strength.

It’s such a delicate, fierce performance that it’s almost a jolt to see Harper follow Royal with Marcus, an “unbranded Hugh Grant” that drags us into misguided misdeeds. his cock in “Love Life” by HBO Max. In Marcus, a man who ruins his marriage in pursuit of a “what if,” Harper relives the feeling of anxiety and uncertainty that have vibrated through the veins of philosophy professor Chidi Anagonye. his.“Good place,” with only a small amount of wisdom.

But his performance also quietly turns Marcus into a kind-hearted pioneer that creates space for the vulnerability of Black males in a genre that often centers on the experiences of white women. The tone and theme are different as these two projects both underscore the unique appeal of Harper, a sharp and soulful masculine gentleman, a mellow anchor no matter what’s going on. around him. Here’s hoping he’ll get more dates to romance us in the near future. – MM

Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez in “Selena + Chef” (HBO Max)During the pandemic, the world has begun to see 29-year-olds Selena Gomez different. While most of us are stuck in our homes, the “The Wizards of Waverly Place” veteran decided to film a dialogue-free show in her kitchen about her trying to use isolated time to learn to cook, with the help of professional chefs, who coached her virtually on-screen : “mak[ing] In addition to a meal together. “When two small dogs were wrapped around her ankles and her dark hair fell into her eyes, Gomez, who also produced the show, made a French chef fall in love with her fried Oreos. , accidentally sets the parchment on fire, fights the fire, and reveals himself to be a true, kind friend.

Social media may allow for some carefully curated insights into the lives of famous people, but on “Selena + Chef,” airs on HBO Max, Gomez – who doesn’t use her Instagram feed herself – appears intact as an octopus causing her to gag when chopping. She’s really, really funny (“This is what I’m burning up with today”), and really does her best. “I’m trying, I’m trying “she sings in the theme song.

This year also saw Gomez’s star shine.”There are only murders in the building“, the Hulu show paired her with Steve Martin and Martin Short as NYC apartment dwellers who ended up creating a true crime podcast about their efforts solve a murder near home. Not only has Gomez kept her footing among acting legends, her melancholy acting and charismatic looks are reminiscent of performances by comedians in classic movies. She is “His Sixth Girl” but with more company and “great boots”.

Gomez has gone public about her disability – she was diagnosed with Lupus and received a kidney transplant – and mental health, and still is strongly advocate for those and other issues. More than one Disney pop princess, more than the ex-lover of a famous man, misogynistic labels are often attached young women who are talented, Gomez has always been a force, but 2021 sees her take control. – Alison Stine

Michael Greyeyes

Jesse Leigh and Michael Greyeyes in “Rutherford Falls” (Peacock)The 54-year-old actor has been in the acting scene since the early ’90s and has grown in popularity ever since, as he landed recent recurring roles on “True Detective” and “Fear the Walking Dead.” , and other roles. He almost always portrays Indigenous characters, and they become more and more diverse and profound.

Taking on 2021, he kicked off the style in Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr’s feature film debut. “Wild Indians,” plays a man who has endured but also endured trauma. As a child, Mawka was involved in a sensational crime, and as an adult has styled himself as Michael, a successful man with a white wife. The film explores the sickness of the soul and repression, which the nuanced Greyeyes bring with tension and a sense of moral ambiguity in every shot. It’s the kind of role where Greyeyes shines, giving his expression, understanding the many ways people try to grapple with or deny their pasts.

Greyeyes doesn’t stop there, appearing in Two Souls Movie “Wildhood” an episode of “Star Trek: Discovery” and reprising his role in Apple TV+’s “Home Before Dark”. But that’s how funny and attractive he is Peacock’s Comedy “Rutherford Falls” It felt like a revelation. Greyeyes, with his rich voice and dignified demeanor, tends to play serious and serious roles because he can carry their weight while conveying emotion. Here, he does the same thing, but with so much charm, humor, and glint in his eyes that it’s clear he’s having fun playing the part.

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In the comedy co-created by Mike Schur (“The Good Place”), Sierra Teller Ornelas (“Superstore”) and Ed Helms (“The Office”), Greyeyes plays Terry Thomas, the CEO of the town’s Minishonka casino small named after and is still home to the descendants of the settlers. Terry has big plans and an even bigger grin, and one can’t help but get caught up in his vision. To take back what belongs to my Country, all while he appealed to people on their bulls. Greyeyes makes Terry more than his ambition, balancing pride and ferocity with a lot of goofy people. He’s unsure how to deal with his anti-capitalist daughter, has some healthy frivolous habits, and seeks reassurance from his wife: “I’m great, aren’t I?”

Of course, Greyeyes has always been the comedian, but we haven’t allowed him to be on a big enough platform until now. In a way, his blossoming as a comedy powerhouse reflects the shift happening in Hollywood in suddenly adopting native comedy. Following “Rutherford Falls” is FX on Hulu’s The “booking dog” is cruel and profound and even journalist Kliph Nesteroff’s book, “We Have a Little Real Estate Problem: The Untold Native American Story and Comedy.” The future of indigenous entertainment is not just long overdue; it also promises to be fun. – Hanh Nguyen

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https://www.salon.com/2021/12/26/best-tv-actors-2021/ These TV MVPs brought greatness in a year that almost let us down

Huynh Nguyen

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