Sunday, October 6, 2013

Best Performances of the Week: Nashville's Scarlett and Bones's Sweets

Welcome to the third edition of Best Male and Female Performances of the Week. This is a weekly update that will occur, for the most part, on Thursday’s – or shortly thereafter – once I’ve finished watching and reviewing the past week’s worth of episodes, where I will single out one male and one female performance that I believe merits special attention for the week. This, like my reviews, will be based solely on my opinion of the shows I watch in a week, and if you don’t like who I’ve picked, well that’s just too bad for you, go off and make up your own mind.
This week my choices came out of a pot of sixteen series’ (and if you don’t know which, go check out my reviews from the last week). For any not caught up in  and Bones, please feel free to exit promptly from this blog. I am not a spoiler free source for shows. THIS BLOG MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! Proceed at your own discretion.

Best Female Performance of the Week:

Clare Bowen as Scarlett O’Connor in this week’s second episode of the second season of Nashville. Although I quite enjoyed a number of female performances this week, particularly on this series, as well as the character that’s quickly becoming my favourite female this season Charlie on Revolution, Bowen’s characterization managed to stand out above the rest. Though, to be fair, I might have chosen Spiridakos had I not highlighted her performance last week.
This week, Scarlett played most prominently against three characters on Nashville: Gunnar, Avery, and – most significantly – Deacon. The way Bowen just subtly made her character appear awkward against Gunnar was quite realistic for the character. She also managed to almost play down any reaction to Avery, who so obviously wants to get back in her good graces. But what stood out the most was how stubborn she was acting opposite her character’s uncle, as he struggled with possibly never playing the guitar again. The way she pushes his character, and stands strong against him, despite how weak-willed she was early last season when it came to Avery, not only shows an improvement in the character, it demonstrates how much stronger her acting has gotten.
While this is the first time I can recall ever witnessing her acting skills, I still think the very fact Bowen is able to play Scarlett is quite astounding, and I would definitely be willing to check out her other performances after this. Also, can I just highlight how awesome her hair looks? I mean, I’m completely jealous of how she kind of resembles an old time movie star, with a vintage kind of style. Also, her voice is wonderful, being that I am not a fan of country music.

Best Male Performance of the Week:

John Francis Daley as Dr. Lance Sweets in this week’s third episode of the ninth season of Bones. While I at first thought I was going to choose Justin Hartley in his short appearance as Patrick on Revenge, Daley won me over with his performance as Sweets this week.
The variety he was able to intone into his character this week was just astounding. Normally, Sweets is this happy go-lucky kind of guy, with this almost geeky sense of humour, but after Pelant used Sweets profiling of his coworkers to their disadvantage, he was left guilt ridden and needed to feel useful to society. Enter, this center that he’s been giving back to the community through. It creates this whole new Sweets, that’s more driven, and has more of a backbone than he previously had. He’s standing up for himself and becoming his own person, without having to rely so heavily on Booth in the field.
One particular reason I think Daley’s performance this week stood out above all was because of how good he is at a more dramatic role. As I said, normally this character is a lighter kind of persona, but with all the drama that Pelant has created, Daley is able to play his character at a deeper level. Humour and a light air are certainly useful when dealing with the often strange and gruesome material that Bones handles, being that it is about murder, but drama is also necessary. Finally being able to see a deeper version of Sweets is a refreshing change, and something I’d very much like to see more of with Daley. I know he writes comedy, but he can definitely do drama.

All right, ladies and gentlemen, that’ll be all for tonight. My apologies for both the lateness, and if it’s not quite as good as the last two, I’m running on three hours of terrible sleep, and having worked an eight-hour shift. I’ve been up since nine thirty this morning, had three red bull, three coffees, and been through several spurts of burnt energy. I’m tired, had to go to a great uncle’s funeral, and turned out to be the only one of my first cousins to actually go (and I come from an Italian family). You can tell all this by the over hour long time it took me to write what will likely be my poorest blog review… Okay, maybe that medal’s already been given to one of my How I Met Your Mother or New Girl reviews. Anyways, to make a long story short, no Haven review tonight, unless I wake up fully rested in the middle of the night (okay, the middle of my night, aka most people’s day). Okay, I’m signing off now before I write any more ramblings down.

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