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.