Sometimes when your favorite actor ends their run on a beloved show their next project is announced with such fanfare there’s no way you can miss it. See: any Matthew Perry vehicle, or that rather disappointing Kiefer Sutherland effort. But, let’s face it, quite often your favorite character is not the lead. So while the McHale’s will always have the limelight, it’s the Pudi’s we are in danger of losing track of. I’m not saying you have to watch all the following shows. In fact, for the most part, I’d advise against it. But isn’t it nice to know that somewhere out there in TV Land, your favorites are still gainfully employed?
Joshua Malina aka Will Bailey aka Jeremy Goodwin — “Scandal”: “Scandal” is such a fun show packed with great performances, political intrigue and pretty pretty people that I’m surprised it’s not more popular around this joint. I just caught up with it in the past few weeks myself. (The short, 7 episode first season is available on Netflix Instant and features fan favorites Liza Weil aka Paris on “The Gilmore Girls” and Henry Ian Cusick aka Desmond from “Lost.”) ABC marketing the show as “steamy,” but it’s far brainier than that. Witness the always sharp Joshua Malina (of “Sports Night” and “West Wing” fame) as Kerry Washington’s sometime antagonist/sometime ally, ASA David Rosen. If you’re missing some of the droll brio of Sorkin’s heyday and are unwilling to watch The Newsroom Where Ladies Fall Down A Lot, then check out Joshua Malina on “Scandal.”
Yvonne Strahovski aka Sarah Walker — “Dexter”: Many of you gave up on “Dexter” two seasons ago. And rightly so. But this season is making a surprising rebound and, good news, if you did give up on it seasons ago, you don’t need to play any catch up to know what’s going on. You Whedon loyalists will enjoy the appearance of Enver Gjokai (WHY DOES THIS MAN NOT HAVE HIS OWN SHOW) in episode 1 of the season but, even better, is the presence of the lovely Yvonne Strahovski. You “Chuck” fans will enjoy watching her walk a slightly darker path than she did on the erstwhile NBC show. Yvonne is gorgeous as ever as Hannah McKay, prompting Dexter to fumble his DNA swab. Can you blame him?
Alan Tudyk aka “Wash” — “Suburgatory”: I was so pleased to see “Suburgatory” geting a lot of love in the comments section last week here on Pajiba. And rightly so. It’s a wry, sprightly little sitcom populated with an incredible amount of talent including “SNL” alums Ana Gasteyer, Chris Parnell and the amazing “Curb Your Enthusiasm” vet, Cheryl Hines. And, although I’m sure you know Alan Tudyk is earning his paycheck over on ABC these days, I’m surprised his show is not getting as much attention as Fillion’s has. It’s so much better than “Castle” and, in contrast to Fillion who gives off the “going through the paycheck motions” vibe, Tudyk is always on comedic point as the fake tanned Noah Werner, DDS.
David Eigenberg aka “Steve” — “Chicago Fire”: Full confession, I haven’t watched a second of this show. I don’t plan to. There’s nothing you could possibly do to persuade me. That being said, David Eigenberg was always my very favorite part of “Sex And The City” and if you join me in my delusion that the films never happened, he can be your favorite too. So while Chris Noth and John Corbett get much of the love, I’m just glad to see Eigenberg is still working.
Alan Dale aka “Charles Widmore” aka “Caleb Nichol” aka etc etc — “Once Upon A Time”: To be fair, Alan Dale is always working. I’m fairly certain that after he’s dead, they’ll lug his corpse on various sets to glower and scheme and generally ruin everyone’s fun. His presence on “Once Upon A Time” is unsurprising (given the show’s strong “Lost” associations), but no less welcome.
Masi Oka aka “Hiro” — “Hawaii Five-O”: Even when “Heroes” got super sh*tty, Masi Oka remained a fan favorite. So though I can’t possibly suggest you watch “Hawai Five-O,” isn’t it nice to know that Masi Oka is entertaining your dad and your grandma?
Gaius Charles aka “Smash” and Tina Majorino aka “Mac” — “Grey’s Anatomy”: Don’t watch “Grey’s Anatomy.” Just don’t. Just do yourself a solid and keep ignoring its existence. But if you were to somehow find yourself unable to quit it, and frustrated that you can’t really talk about it with anyone because all the viewers with good taste abandoned it long ago (if they ever watched it), then you were rewarded this season with a few welcome familiar faces. First of all, among the crop of new interns there’s Gaius Charles (where have you been?) and Tina Majorino (you’re better than this! and better than “True Blood”! do better things!). Weirder still, Sandra Oh’s character is spending this season in Minneapolis (why?) becoming BFF with William Daniels aka Mr. Feeny. So am I implying that you should watch “Grey’s Anatomy”? No, dear god no. Save yourself. But I will give infinite credit to their casting director.
Maura Tierney aka “Lisa” — “The Good Wife: I’ll ring this show’s bell until my arm falls off. They truly do have the best guest actors. Case in point, this season the lovely, smoky Maura Tierney is on hand to flirt with Julianna Margulies (“ER” reunion!) and threaten Chris Noth. If nothing else, seek out the scene from last week when these two ladies got drunk together. It was like a sexy voice-off.