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« Q&A: Australian Greats, Leading Men, and Camera Muses | Main | RPDR S8.E2 You're a Virgin Who Can't Dri---Who Can't Dance »
Wednesday
Mar162016

Small Screen MVPs: ill-fitting gloves, a sapphic Miranda, and more.

We're accidentally having nearly a full television day today at our mostly movies site so this is as good a time as any to try to reboot that idea about a weekly glance at what we're loving on TV. So I asked members of the team to name a MVP of their television week and here's what they said...

MVP: "If it doesn't fit...," Scene
Show: The People Vs. OJ Simpson

This show gets better and better. In an episode chock-full of riveting moments, there was never any real doubt that THE moment would be the presentation of the iconic gloves, the gloves the prosecution was so convinced would win the case for them.  After tracing what led to the fatal error of asking Simpson to try them on—Chris Darden’s desire for a “big moment” to beat the defense at their own game, and perhaps to make up for a missed opportunity with Marcia Clark—the show builds up to the climax like a horror movie.  Once Bob Shapiro convinces the defense the gloves won’t fit, F. Lee Bailey and Johnnie Cochran cunningly spring the trap for the prosecution, playing Darden’s ego like a violin.  Then Simpson gives the performance of his life as he struggles with the gloves while the jury looks on, agog, and Darden realizes he may just have single-handedly blown the entire case.  But it’s the great Sarah Paulson's face as Marcia Clark that says it all: you can see her soul being slowly crushed during the whole demonstration, and it’s devastating. 
-Lynn Lee 

five more MVPs after the jump...

MVP: Miranda Richardson, Actress
Show: And Then There Was None

Miranda Richardson is absolutely killing it in the new BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None—and that’s not a spoiler. Richardson is known for excelling in supporting roles on the big screen, most obviously as Virginia Woolf’s cousin in The Hours, and she’s just as wonderful in her vivacious comic turns in TV fare like Absolutely Fabulous and The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle. In And Then There Were None, Richardson brings that dramatic depth and playful irony together, playing a pious harridan with repressed lesbian desires. Think a blend of Eileen Brennan’s Mrs. Peacock in Clue and Geraldine McEwan’s Sister Bridget in The Magdalene Sisters. She’s so very good, and so very delightful.
-Kyle Stevens

MVP: Rachel Maddow, Talking Head
Shows: Various

My television MVP this week is Rachel Maddow. I have no choice—we’re glued to election returns, and I’m missing my various shows. In a sea of noise, Maddow’s dulcet voice is sane, erudite, delightfully amused, and informative. She’s eager to dig into political process, to interview serious people, to engage with wackiness. She makes most of her colleagues look like idiots. And yes, as a matter of fact, it does matter to me that the smartest person on television is a butch lesbian. Yay team gay! 
-Deborah Lipp 

 

MVP: Jemima Kirke, Actress
Show: Girls
Often sidelined in previous seasons, Jemima Kirke's Jessa moves closer to center stage in Girls' fifth season as she and Adam have gotten ever-closer after bonding during Hannah's disastrous time in Iowa last season. At first, she takes a hard-line stance against getting together, as she is trying to be a better person and, you know, girl code. But Adam is persistent, and after a rom-com worthy trip to the boardwalk together, Jessa finds herself in a complicated situation. Kirke dives deep into Jessa's psyche, and in S5:E4, she nails the posturing, angry, preemptive defensiveness that comes from hating someone for reasons that you can't tell them. And then, after pushing Hannah out, she shows up at Adam's place and Kirke shows a kind of vulnerability that we haven't really seen from Jessa before, scared and unsure if she even wants to do this bad thing when she's trying very hard to make something good out of her life. Jessa has been a pretty terrible person up to this point, so that Kirke is able to make you feel so much for her as she tries to turn her life around is quite a feat, and she gets to show us more depth as an actress, to boot.
-Dancin' Dan

MVP: Krister Johnson, writer
Show: Children’s Hospital
Children’s Hospital is the best-kept comedy secret of the decade so far. The Adult Swim show’s freewheeling absurdism has turned it into one of the most fascinatingly silly yet inventive comedies on TV. Its 7th season, set to be its last, has been excellent, if not the show’s best; this is thanks in part to Krister Johnson, whose episodes “One Million Saved” and “Doctor Beth” have been the season’s highlights thus far. In this week’s episode, “By the Throat”, Rob Huebel’s Dr. Owen Maestro follows a tongue depressor conspiracy all the way to the top. Johnson’s script is a conspiracy thriller compressed into a 10-minute episode, complete with Deep Throat-style informing via Dr. Lola Spratt (Erinn Hayes). But Johnson’s best joke is the simplest: “Give me 30CCs of fentanyl, STRAT!” And Rob Corddry’s Dr. Blake Downs nails a power chord on a Stratocaster guitar.
- Laurence Barber 

MVP: Abstain!
Show: Abstain!

Listen up people. I loved writing about Charlie's Angels earlier today but if you don't comment it kills the desire to throw in surprise topics or detours like Nathaniel on an old camp show. So I'm going on strike until you comment. 
-Love, Nathaniel's hurt feelings. 

 

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Reader Comments (15)

Yeah, they made a big mistake. Instead of actually having him put on the glove from the crime scene over rubber gloves (it wasn't actually much of a performance. Have you tried putting a shirt on over another shirt? Same general principle.), they should have looked up what the brand and size was and bought a match. ("The jury will see that these gloves are the exact same size, colour and brand as what was found at the crime scene. We did this to make sure that the defendant, Mr. Simpson, does not have to double glove, and possibly create a visual contaminant to the jury. Considering they were (price), that's a cheap cost for justice. Will the defendant try on this gloves?")

March 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Miranda Richardson. When is she going to have a cinematic resurgence? She's better than nearly everyone.

March 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLuke

I thought Anna Maxwell Martin was the MVP of And Then There Were None personally. This is no slight on Richardson who is also excellent and may end up with an Emmy nomination down the road. But Martin is less known (I had no idea who she was) but her performance as the terrified and put upon Ethel Rogers was amazing. I kept rewinding to her scenes. Her scene with Richardson is just heartbreaking.

March 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Sarah Paulson's work last week on the "Marcia Marcia Marcia" episode that has to guarantee her the well over due Emmy. That was amazing work.

If you have not seen or read And Then There Were None, please do yourself a favor and do NOT spoil yourself. It is one of Agatha Christie's very best mystery thrillers. This version is very very well done.

March 16, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

Sarah Paulson is a goddess and so so amazing in People v. OJ Simpson.

Also I thought Adrian Turner was the MVP of And Then There Were None. I mean the scene with him wearing just a towel I mean... wait, what was I talking about again? Mmm. Yes. What? Okay.

March 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Forever1267 yes I agree with you. It is my favorite book. There have been many adaptations and adaptations of adaptations (Identity follows the same plot) it is so hard to get the story right in film. This version succeeds very well. I haven't seen the Russian version which is also widely praised but I liked this one.

March 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTom

i'm catching up on netflix's love where claudia o'doherty is bringing willow rosenberg levels of adorableness to the best friend role

also, tom hiddleston is giving a great 007 audition every week in the night manager

March 17, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Please don't go on strike. I like this a lot but as I have no legal way to watch these shows I cannot comment. But I enjoy reading what you and the team thinks about them!

March 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterIvonne

Sarah Paulson is finally getting that long overdue Emmy for The People vs. OJ Simpson. She does so much with just small fleeting gestures and glances that offer a glimpse of something new in her inner life. Courtney B. Vance is also killing it and will be noticed come Emmy time.

I have to check out And Then There Were None. It's one of the greatest thrillers ever, and there has never been a definitive filmization. Rene Clair's version is wonderfully lyrical, but alters the text to a distressing degree. The 1975 version set in the Iraqi desert and starring Oliver Reed and Elke Sommer is a fascinating misfire.

March 17, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Every time I watch O.J. I find myself screaming, "Yaaasss, get that Emmy, girl!" at the screen.

March 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBD

Paulson is awesome... I was thinking Emmy for either Felicity Huffman or Lily Taylor for

American Crime ( fantastic season ) ... but Paulson should win hands down.

March 17, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterrick

You could out pick out 5/6 MVPs of And Then There None and they'd all be right. The whole cast is great (even Douglas Booth, and I've never thought he had any talent before). But I particularly enjoy Toby Stephens' barely suppressed male hysteria. And Maeve Dermody is kind of a revelation.

March 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Kate you are right. When an ensemble film is cast right this happens. In this post alone 4 actors were mentioned.

I also adored Maeve's portrayal, Turner's I dare you to look at me stares in that towel, and Stepens' climbing hysteria. I liked Martin better because her role was expanded and she could barely contain her fear in each scene.

March 18, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTom

I still haven't seen this week's People vs. OJ but I do think it's been fantastic. That said, I have to put in a plug for Better Call Saul. Matt Zoller Seitz called it the anti-Breaking Bad and I agree. I thought Breaking Bad was kind of overrated but this season of BCS is really good. I'm not sure how it would go over with someone who never watched Breaking Bad but I think it's much more thought-provoking and engaging, a slower-paced show about how people defeat themselves in a constant game of one-upsmanship with those closest to them.

March 18, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I just finished And Then There Were None. Hot damn. I've read the book but this adaptation is so chillingly scary and weirdly fun.
While I admire Richardson and everyone else who makes the best out of their small roles, MVP straight-up goes to Maeve Dermody (Emily Blunt doppelganger). She is indeed a revelation who greatly brings Vera's vulnerable and deceiving manner.
In other news, SARAH PAULSON MUST WIN AN EMMY THIS YEAR!

March 19, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercraver

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