Monday, June 18, 2018
TV and Media

Danes' Mathison leads TV's most compelling characters of 2012

The sad reality about television is that sometimes great performances get trapped in not-so-great television shows. So, as we wrap up 2012 in arts coverage, I decided today to list my Most Compelling TV Characters of the Year. These are the characters who kept me tuning in, week after week, even when I knew the show they appeared in wasn't so great. Or they added extra sizzle to a series already on my must-see list.

10MILES MATHESON (Billy Burke) NBC's Revolution. This post-apocalyptic show about a mysterious process that snuffed out the world's electricity is a thin collection of TV tropes that would have died messily if it weren't airing after NBC's super-successful The Voice. But Burke's Matheson, a world-weary good guy who once led a brutal militia that took over part of the United States, is a serious highlight. He's a less frantic, more deadly Han Solo, annoyed by those who insist on idealism in a dangerous world, even as their open-hearted ways rub off on him.

9JOHN ROSS "J.R." EWING JR. (Larry Hagman) TNT's Dallas. Those eyebrows! That honey-coated southern accent! That ability to sound convincing while saying the most devilish things! The TV world lost a landmark character when Hagman died last month of complications from throat cancer. His J.R. Ewing was a scenery-chewing delight through every iteration of the 35-year-old nighttime soap opera. One consolation: there's more J.R. coming in episodes taped before his death airing Jan. 28.

8WILL MCAVOY (Jeff Daniels) HBO's The Newsroom. Aaron Sorkin's fictional cable news anchor is, in many ways, a liberal's dream TV journalist: whip smart, fearless in confronting hypocrisy, entertainingly irascible and an avowed Republican who still somehow agrees with lefties on all the important issues. Daniels, better known for playing rumpled, less astute characters on film, turned McAvoy into an authoritative blend of Tom Brokaw and Keith Olbermann.

7CAPT. MARCUS CHAPLIN (Andre Braugher) ABC's Last Resort. As the captain of a nuclear submarine that refused a hinkey order to fire on Pakistan, Braugher's Chaplin was a principled, tough leader whose gift for strategic thinking made him a standout character. Too bad ABC canceled this series before we could see exactly why the U.S. government was so keen on wiping Pakistan off the map.

6LOUIE AND THE SECRETLY MALADJUSTED BOOKSTORE CLERK (Louis C.K. and Parker Posey) FX's Louie. Louis C.K. delivers one of the year's best TV monologues when he asks Parker Posey's cute, sympathetic bookstore clerk out by saying "some time goes by, you get past the bald head and I sweat a lot and I'm lumpy." But on the actual date, Posey's character reveals herself to be manic in a way that is both intoxicating and a bit frightening. When she dies of a mysterious, nose-bleed inducing ailment after bumping into him on a bus in the season finale, it all feels sadly appropriate.

5KRISTINA BRAVERMAN (Monica Potter) NBC's Parenthood. NBC's family drama knocked it out of the park this year, with poignant episodes on the n-word, adoption struggles, post-traumatic stress disorder and the splintering of an awkward engagement. But the struggle of Potter's Braverman to beat breast cancer has been the linchpin of a heart-tugging season.

4THE GOVERNOR (David Morrissey) AMC's The Walking Dead. You'd never know it from his Marlboro Man-deep baritone or laconic on-screen charm, but the man bringing the Walking Dead's secretly twisted leader to life is a British actor, best known for playing English politicians in acclaimed TV dramas. Here, he's a sly charmer hiding the iron fist he uses to rule Woodbury, a town full of people trying to survive the zombie apocalypse.

3HANNAH HORVATH (Lena Dunham) HBO's Girls. Entitled, aimless, vaguely ambitious and trapped in a demeaning relationship, Dunham's Horvath embodies the attitude of too many young twentysomethings aware of the life they'd like to lead with no idea how to achieve it.

2SHERLOCK HOLMES AND SHERLOCK HOLMES (Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller) on the BBC's Sherlock and CBS' Elementary. Both men play updated versions of the classic sleuth Sherlock Holmes, but Brit actors Cumberbatch and Miller offer highly different takes. Cumberbatch's Holmes is in England, a straitlaced sort gifted with an Aspergian ability to notice detail. Miller's Holmes is also brilliant, but a tattooed, recovering addict living in a seedy New York apartment with a female sober companion (Lucy Liu) who is his Dr. Watson.

1CARRIE MATHISON (Claire Danes) Showtime's Homeland. There may not be a more interesting character on TV than Danes' Mathison, a bipolar CIA agent whose manic impulses led her to discover a U.S. war hero was a secret double agent working for Middle Eastern terrorists. No one plays a woman hanging on by her fingernails like Danes, and Mathison spends more time dangling by her cuticles than any character on TV today.

Comments

Sports on TV/radio for Sunday, June 17

TODAYAutosXfinity: Iowa 250 qualifying2:30 p.m.FS2Xfinity: Iowa 2505 p.m.FS1BaseballMarlins at Orioles1 p.m.FSFRays at Yankees2 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMAstros at Royals2 p.m.MLBRed Sox at Mariners (in progress)5 p.m.MLBCubs at Cardinals8 p.m.ESPNCollege b...
Published: 06/16/18

Sports on TV/radio for Saturday, June 16

TODAYArena FootballPhiladelphia at Albany6 p.m.CBSSNAutosTrucks: Iowa 250 qualifying4:30 p.m.FS2Trucks: Iowa 2507 p.m.FS1BaseballRays at Yankees1 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Orioles4 p.m.FSFTwins at Indians4 p.m.MLBRed Sox at Mariners8 p.m.FoxCFLHa...
Published: 06/15/18
Sports on TV/radio for Friday, June 15

Sports on TV/radio for Friday, June 15

TODAYArena FootballWashington at Baltimore7 p.m.CBSSNAutosNHRA: Thunder Valley Nationals qualifying6 p.m.FS1BaseballRays at Yankees7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Orioles7 p.m.FSFCFLToronto at Saskatchewan9 p.m.ESPN2GolfU.S. Open10 a.m.FS1LPGA: Meije...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18
WATCH: New live-action Dumbo trailer

WATCH: New live-action Dumbo trailer

Disney dropped the a new trailer for Tim Burton’s dark live-action Dumbo reboot Tuesday. The short trailer features a gloomy take on the song “Baby Mine” and already has fans ready to reach for the tissues. one day Disney will re...
Published: 06/14/18
WUSF names new ‘Morning Edition’ host

WUSF names new ‘Morning Edition’ host

The new host for NPR’s Morning Edition on WUSF-FM 89.7: Jessica Meszaros.The reporter and anchor on Thursday officially replaced longtime host Carson Cooper as the local voice of one of public radio’s signature shows."She has real confidence in her v...
Published: 06/14/18
Sports on TV/radio for Tuesday, June 12

Sports on TV/radio for Tuesday, June 12

TODAYBaseballBlue Jays at Rays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMGiants at Marlins7 p.m.FSFMets at Braves7:30 p.m.ESPNGolfUSGA Celebration of Champions4 p.m.FS1HockeyAHL: Texas at Toronto (if needed)7 p.m.NHLSoccerExhibition: Women’s U.S. national team vs. China7 ...
Published: 06/12/18
Sports on TV/radio for Monday, June 11

Sports on TV/radio for Monday, June 11

TODAYBaseballBlue Jays at Rays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMGiants at Marlins7 p.m.FSFCubs at Brewers8 p.m.MLBCollege baseball, super regionsTennessee Tech at Texas1 p.m.ESPN2Duke at Texas Tech4 p.m.ESPN2South Carolina at Arkansas7 p.m.ESPN2Auburn at Florida8...
Published: 06/11/18
Home is where the horror is ...

Home is where the horror is ...

In Hereditary, bugs crawl from decapitated heads, ghosts lurk in the shadows and an artist tries to communicate with the dead. But the most jarring moment of this terrifying new movie might be when Annie, a mother played by Toni Collette, tells her s...
Published: 06/08/18
Updated: 06/12/18
Sports on TV/radio for Friday, June 8

Sports on TV/radio for Friday, June 8

TODAYAutosTrucks: Rattlesnake 400 qualifying5:30 p.m.FS2Trucks: Rattlesnake 4009 p.m.FS1BaseballPirates at Cubs2 p.m.MLBMariners at Rays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMYankees at Mets7 p.m.MLBPadres at Marlins7 p.m.FSFCollege baseball, super regionsStetson at N...
Published: 06/08/18
’Florida Man: Poems’ is non-fiction poetry inspired by the viral Florida phenomenon

’Florida Man: Poems’ is non-fiction poetry inspired by the viral Florida phenomenon

Tyler Gillespie describes himself in his Twitter bio as a “pale Floridian + reporter,” but says he’s not a “Florida Man,” capital F, capital M.“No, I think ‘Florida Man’ means someone publicly shamed an...
Published: 06/07/18