Monday, December 22, 2014

New Faces on TV in 2014 Caught My Attention

It seems like there is a new television series that pops up and grabs my attention every year.  However, the best in TV of 2014 involved some faces that I had not seen before and talents that brought characters to life in a way that I never expected.  In short, there have been some major wins on the tube this year, and some actors managed to steal the entire series IMHO.  Take a look:

Yael Stone

"Orange is the New Black" is a series that has managed to captivate my attention. The show makes this list since I put off watching until the first two seasons were available to stream.  I was worried that it would amount "Oz" with women, but luckily the series is just as good and in a few episodes even better.  Yael Stone manages to bring Lorna Morello to life with an interesting accent and polarizing visual ability.  The actress makes crazy stalker seems unbelievable sexy, but I can see why Christopher had a few problems with the credit fraud addicted woman.  Still, she manages to steal scenes left and right, and who isn't looking forward to Season 3?

Ari Stidham

Of all the characters on the freshman hit the small screen over 2014, Ari Stidham is responsible for the character that I can most relate to.  Playing Sylvester in "Scorpion," Stidham manages to bring a genius with complex and severe obsessive compulsive disorder.  He manages to stay emotional without going over the top and yet still brings his genius to the series in ways the other braniacs on the show just can't achieve.  He looks the part, and this guy has enough range to bring Sylvester through some tough times that include self-doubt (sorry no spoilers here).  Entertaining and childish, Sylvester is quite simply one of the more interesting characters on TV.  However, he might not be the most interesting character on the series thanks to...

Jadyn Wong

An attractive girl that can get you free cable?  Yep, Happy Quinn is that girl, and she is the girl guys have been dreaming of for decades.  Of course, without the talent of Jadyn Wong to bring the gruff and brilliant Happy to life, "Scorpion" would be a total sausage fest (Paige not included).  Happy has a mesmerizing quality about her and her bluntness is admirable in some cases and unforgivable in others.  It's like she's a part of the Scorpion team for own reasons, but has not really let on as what those reasons are just yet.  That aura of mystery combined with a calculating and sharp mind make this woman something to behold, and it's the performance of Wong that draws me closer to Happy every week.

Angelica Celaya

Matt Ryan is supposed to carry "Constantine," that much is true.  And is was true for a few minutes anyway.  Angelica Celaya brings Zed, the psychic artist (for lack of a more creative term), to the NBC series (which should get another season at least #SaveConstantine).  Zed is running from her past and finds herself drawn to Constantine.  Maybe it's the mystery, maybe it's the danger, and maybe it's for other reasons.  Those are some complicated things to bring to light for any actor, but it's the flawless way that Celaya manages to let Zed explore the world without being tied to it that really draws my attention.  She gets close, but stays just out of reach most of the time.  Celaya delivers every week regardless of how long she is on screen, and she is one of the only characters on the show to stand up to John.  And that is pretty cool.  Plus, if all psychics looked like her I'd go every day.  However, another character and actor has managed to steal the entire 2014 fall television story....

Robin Lord Taylor

Let's face it, the last time the Batman villain penguin was on television he wasn't exactly a gifted criminal mastermind (come to think of it he wasn't like that in the movie either).  Robin Lord Taylor brings Oswald Cobblepot to life in a gifted planned and well executed way as any actor that has been on television in the past.  He brings an element of sympathy to the table, which makes viewers underestimate Penguin, and his quest to achieve power is a car that nobody wants to hitch a ride in.  Taylor's brilliance highlights the colorful cast of characters in "Gotham," but it's his delivery of the lines and vocabulary from the writers that make other envious.  In short, this performance makes it easy to see why Season 1 of "Gotham" should be called "Rise of the Penguin."  This guy means business.  Imagine bringing danger and edge at the same time you have to bring awkward and intelligent to life.  Now call Robin Lord Taylor and get it done right.

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