Not So Fast: 6 Pop Culture Players We Wrote Off Too Soon

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Not So Fast: 6 Pop Culture Players We Wrote Off Too Soon

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | June 8, 2013 | Comments ()


Earlier today, Dustin posted the trailer for Netflix's Original Series "Orange Is The New Black." And it looks fantastic. But, even more significantly, Natasha Lyonne looks amazing. Yup, Natasha Lyonne, she of American Pie and Slums Of Beverly Hills fame who disappeared for a good long time. (There was a regrettable drug addiction, if I recall). But Hollywood is cyclical, and sometimes the people you least expect come back around. So don't write anyone off for good. You never know.

Mike O'Malley: O'Malley, who languished for a long time on the subpar sitcom "Yes, Dear," has been doing phenomenal work on "Glee" for years now. But no self-respecting person admits to watching that show anymore, and really, being the best thing on "Glee" is like being the prettiest babe in the Frey family. But this season he gained some wider acclaim with a chilling guest turn on "Justified." This man (so warm and cuddly on "Glee") had some serious ice water running through his veins. I would love to see O'Malley and Donal Logue holding down their own series. The two of them are much better than their most successful projects.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: It's not that we ever thought Dreyfus didn't have the comedic chops in her. We know how talented she is. But after several years on "The New Adventures Of Old Christine, we would be forgiven if we forgot. We might also be forgiven for being surprised that she's now the most culturally relevant "Seinfeld" cast member. Now in its second season, "Veep" has found its sea legs and become one of the sharpest, most enjoyable little treats on TV.

Laurence Fishburne: Between his gruff turn on NBC's "Hannibal" and his upcoming stint as Perry White in Man Of Steel, Fishburne is having a banner year. Is it enough to wipe his two year stint on "CSI" from our memory? It just might be.

Harry Hamlin: Hamlin has been killing it, killing it, recently on TV dramas. I was delighted when he turned up on "Shameless" two seasons ago as Jimmy's homosexual, philandering father. And, of late, he's been trying to out-silver fox John Slattery on "Mad Men." Those of us who loved him on "Veronica Mars" aren't too surprised, but Hamlin has been a bit of a pop culture joke for years. Looking back at his feathered hair glory days and "L.A. Law" legacy, it was easy to write him off. But do so at your peril.

Mandy Patinkin: To many, Mandy Patinkin will always be Inigo Montoya. To others, he is an indelible Broadway legend. But to many he was, for years, just that guy from "Criminal Minds" or "Chicago Hope." In fact, I know many "Homeland" fans who reacted in shock when they found out Saul was "that guy from The Princess Bride." What I'm saying is that Patinkin is back in the limelight, on a show that is worthy of his talent. After the death of "Dead Like Me," I had given up hope that we'd see something this good from him again.

Monica Potter: The Hollywood Machine tried very hard to make Monica Potter happen in the '90s. Like a blonde, lower wattage Julia Roberts, she grinned her way through a few romcoms before all but disappearing. And even though she's been around for several years on "Parenthood," the real "I didn't know they were that good" reputation belonged to Dax Shepard. When the show runners gave her the heaviest plot line this season, I was worried. But I'll be damned if she didn't pull it off.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • bbmcrae

    Nah, Lawrence Fishburne will always be Clean in Apocalypse Now./Users/tornadomatt/Desktop/07_300dpi.jpg

  • thewatcher

    i'm reconsidering the majority of the list. reconsidering.
    those who will always get a pass in my book: mandy p and laurence f. yes, i'm disappointed in some of their choices, but talented none the less and will always be in "that" column for me.

  • Three_nineteen

    How is Joshua Jackson (RIP) not on this list?

  • Devin McMusters

    Mike O'Malley languished on Yes, Dear? You need to watch it again. It was a very underrated show.
    I loved Harry Hamlin on L. A. Law because he got Susan Dey, but I'll always remember him for his final scene on Harper's Island.

  • Three_nineteen

    Yeah, but then Susan Dey dumped Hamlin and married Jimmy Smits (on LA Law).

  • dizzylucy

    I hope Mike O'Malley gets an Emmy nomination for Justified, he was really fantastic- a stand out within an incredibly talented cast.

    I had wriiten off Hamlin to the point I thought Mad Men wouldn't hire a guy like that, and it was just some actor who looked like him. He's great on the show though, good for him.

  • Mr_Zito

    Mike O'Malley really surprised me in Justified. I hated him because of Yes Dear!

    And Julia Louis-Dreyfus I always thought was awesome, I only watched Old Christine once, and even though the show was terrible I thought she was great in it. And Veep, I don't think it's that good a show, I just watch it because she is awesome and because it reminds me of Spin City, which was one of my favorite comedies in the 90s.

  • Lindsey Gregory

    Laurence Fishburne will always be Morpheus to me.

    .... or Othello.

    .... or Furious Styles.

  • e jerry powell

    To me, he'll always be Dap. And I'll keep calling him Larry because it makes him mad.

    And when you look at this picture, you see that he really looks like a down-market Denzel Washington (before Spike Lee could afford the real deal).

  • ohwhitneykay

    Take me fishing and teach me about life, Furious. Tell me how only a real man can raise his children!

  • toblerone

    To me he'll always be:

    A. Larry and B. John Hull.

  • jzhz

    That is about which I am talking. So much hotness in this photo.

  • e jerry powell

    Love him as I do (and the pond scene in Yentl is still a fond memory for me), Mandy is difficult. I thought I had worked with difficult actors in my piddling life, but Mandy wins all the diva battles hands down. I'm guessing that working shorter seasons on Showtime has mellowed him some, as opposed to his years on CBS.

  • katenonymous

    I really like him as an actor--and I like what he said fairly recently about Criminal Minds--but I cannot stand to hear him sing.

    Yes, I know.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    The way he left Criminal Minds...ugh. Guy can act, no doubt, but he's almost as self-serious as Morrissey and I can't handle that.

  • katenonymous

    Oh, he's definitely self-important. But I do think he was right. (In his opinion; I can't speak to his interaction with the show itself.)

  • e jerry powell

    When I was at my most infatuated with him, I had front row-center seats for his "Dress Casual" concert. He loves to chew the scenery when he's singing. I think I got a full spit-shower just in the first half. He can be a bit much to take onstage.

  • fejimanz

    Big thing about Mike that you left out is the fact that he is a writer for Shameless.

  • A woman at work yesterday reacted in absolute shock that Mandy Patinkin was "that guy from The Princess Bride" to the point where she refused to believe it. I didn't know it was possible NOT to know he was Indigo.

  • delle

    This made me laugh because when I was reading the article I went "WTF!!" when I read that Mandy Patinkin was "that guy from The Princess Bride", and spent almost a full minute staring at the picture trying to make my brain accept this knowledge when it kept trying to shove it back out again in refusal.

    In my defence, I'm really not familiar with the actor, as I've only ever watched maybe 3 episodes of Criminal Minds (I find it kind of boring and bland), and I've only seen The Princess Bride in full once, and that was so many years ago I have only have the vaguest memory of the storyline. Your comment made me laugh because before reaching the comments I imagined the reaction I would get if I owned up to this, as I have seen there is much Pajiba Love for The Princess Bride. I have fears I might be cast out!

  • John G.

    I never knew Harry Hamlin before Mad Men, but he is quickly becoming a top favorite of mine. I love the little touches he adds to things.

  • toblerone

    Mandy Patinkin will always be Rube to me (Saul second).

  • Adrien

    I always thought that he was the guy who played Hudson Hawk's partner in crime. So Mandy Pantinkin will always be Danny Aiello to me.

  • blacksred


  • Inigo Montoya, you savages.

  • Pedro

    Sam Francisco!

  • AudioSuede

    Credit to Monica Potter for pulling off that storyline and basically becoming the only character on Parenthood I still liked when I started hating them all one-by-one and then gave up on the show entirely.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I love the 1960s Cary Grant vibe (those glasses!) they have given Harry Hamlin on Mad Men.

  • Rochelle

    Donal Logue and Mike O'Malley would be a great pairing.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I have been hoping for Logue to get a guest arc on Justified but this would be much, much better.

  • manting

    where is the girl from dead like me? I always had a huge crush on her.
    also that word you keep using, I do not think it means what you think it means


    The lead, Ellen Muth? She showed up on Hannibal just last week (albeit in a lot of makeup for her kinda disturbing character).

  • Michelle Belden

    Nice! This makes me look forward to the Netflix release of Hannibal even more.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    I will always think of Mike O'Malley as the host of Nickelodeon's GUTS.

  • King Push

    On a related note, the Aggro Crag getting a random shout-out on Workaholics brought a huge childish grin to my face.

  • $27019454

    Mandy never went away. He's always around somewhere. With good reason.

  • Veep

    The second season of Veep is fantastic, and JLD is amazing. It's great to see what she can do with great material in her hands again.

  • Mel C.

    God I love me some Harry Hamlin. I've fallen behind on Mad Men, but this may be the casting choice that pulls me back in.

  • Feralhousecat

    Harry Hamlin will always be Perseus to me.

  • dannyexplosion

    Totally, never forget.

  • e jerry powell

    He'll always be Bart to me.

  • RilesSD

    You and me both, Feral.

  • Karen H. Davey

    @RilesSD:disqus my frlеոd's mօm mаκеs  $74/һr օո tһе lаptօp. Sһе һаs  bееո wltһօut а jօb fօr tеո  mօոtһs but lаst mօոtһ һеr pаymеոt  wаs  $18515 just wօrκlոg օո tһе lаptօp  fօr а fеw һօurs. Rеаd mօrе  օո tһls wеb sltе,

  • HarryCrumb

    You know, if we find who has the laptop with the funky n's, I think we'll have our killer.

  • Rochelle

    It's not me - nnnnnnnnnnnnNNNNNNNNNNN

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