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Hey, It's That Bastard! TV's Most Valuable Players

By Joanna Robinson | Lists | December 2, 2011 |

By Joanna Robinson | Lists | December 2, 2011 |

There are those of you out there who watch TV casually. A show here, a show there. You can’t be bothered much with the investment of time or energy it takes to Watch All The Things. Here at Pajiba HQ, there are those of us who are giving that the old college try. Watching All The Things. As such, we tend to notice actors who crop up over and over and over again. Some of these actors display remarkable versatility, others are hired time and again because they play one type of character to perfection. Either way, I’m never disappointed when the following actors come out to play.

Scott Foley (“Dawson’s Creek,” “Felicity,” “A.U.S.A.,” “Cougar Town,” “The Unit,” “Scrubs,” “True Blood”): Foley has had several leading roles, most notably, of course, as the one of the lanky legs in the “Felicity” love triangle. Ever since (spoiler alert) Felicity chose Ben once and for all, Foley has been bouncing around from series to series. I don’t get why this guy hasn’t found a leading role that sticks. He’s handsome and funny and a great actor. He was just tearfully ousted from “Grey’s Anatomy,” but already had his next gig lined up as one of the Big Bads on “True Blood.”

Alan Dale (“Neighbors,” “24,” “The O.C.,” “NCIS,” “Ugly Betty,” “Lost,” “Undercovers,” “Entourage”): Right around the middle of the last decade, Australian soap veteran Alan Dale held down the Somewhat Bastardly Patriarch role on three major network hit shows. That’s impressive.

Courtney Ford (“Dexter,” “True Blood”): Though relatively new on the scene, Ford suddenly seems to be everywhere. (She’s guest-starred in single episodes of many shows I didn’t mention.) She always sticks out to me because she looks like a Ukranian version of Claire Forlani. Also, randomly, I learned while writing this that she’s married to Brandon Routh aka The Least Loved Superman. The more you know.

Zeljko Ivanek (“Heroes,” “Big Love,” “Damages,” “True Blood,” “The Event”): I first noticed Ivanek as Ray Fisk, the Southern lawyer on “Damages,” for which he won a much deserved Emmy. He has since kicked all kinds of thespian ass on several series. I’m sorry that his show “The Event” was so sh*tty short-lived.

Patrick Fischler (“Mad Men,” “Lost,” “Southland”): Fischler hasn’t had all that many recurring roles, he’s usually a one episode kind of guy. I always sit up and take notice, though, because he is so damn good at making me hate him. Also the eyebrows. But mostly the hating.

Bianca Lawson (“Sister, Sister,” “Goode Behavior,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “The Secret Life Of The American Teenager,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “The Secret Circle”): Although she has been slumming it on CW and ABC Family soaps, this woman has been playing a teenager for fifteen years. FIFTEEN YEARS. Those are some good genes. Though, no matter what role she’s playing, I always end up shouting, in my worst Jamaican, “It’s Kendraaah, Da Vampieahr Slaeyer.”

Titus Welliver (“Deadwood,” “Sons Of Anarchy,” “Lost,” “The Good Wife”): While we’re talking bad accents, how terrible was Welliver’s Irish accent on “Sons Of Anarchy”? Other than that, however, Welliver as solid as they come and the go-to bad guy these days. Pulling triple duty on “Lost,” “SoA” and “The Good Wife” in 2009, Welliver is hard to miss.

Michelle Forbes (“Wonderland,” “The District,” “24,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Prison Break,” “In Treatment,” “Durham County,” “True Blood,” “The Killing”): As much as I like Forbes in general, I’m afraid I won’t be able to tolerate her on “The Killing” any longer. Not that she wasn’t really great at crying in the bathtub. And in the kitchen. And in her daughter’s bedroom. And down in the garage. But I much preferred her as the sultry Big Bad on “True Blood” or the steely foil on “Battlestar Galactica.”

Mark Sheppard (“Firefly,” “24,” “Medium,” “Bionic Woman,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Dollhouse,” “Chuck,” “Warehouse 13,” “Doctor Who,” “Leverage,” “Supernatural”) Here we have TV’s undisputed champ, Mark Sheppard. (Known by most as “Badger” for his two episode stint on “Firefly.”) Though it’s not surprising that Sheppard also played a role in “Dollhouse” (Whedon is all about waste not, want not when it comes to actors), he has all but dominated the sci-fi TV world. As if you didn’t hear enough of him, Sheppard is now the voice of many a BBC America ads.

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