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Archive for the ‘Blossom’ Category

by Judi

I’m going to start with this- casting is right up there on the list of Things In Hollywood That We Take For Granted. It’s kind of like the CIA- when everything’s working as it should, you don’t hear anything about it (case in point- casting, while being a HUGE portion of the entertainment industry, is not an available category for the Emmy’s or Oscars or any Hollywood award). The only time you hear about it is when something goes horribly awry. And I’m not just saying this because I happen to know a pretty amazing casting director in real life (Hi Beth! Ahem). Sadly, for every perfectly cast ensemble (Seinfeld, Mulder & Scully, Arrested Development) there is at least one bona-fide head scratcher, a casting decision that makes you wonder if this person had some blackmail photos in their pocket when they went to the audition.

Welcome to When Things Go Awry.

5. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as Henry VIII on The Tudors (2007- Present)

Perv Who Enjoys Chicken

Perv Who Enjoys Chicken

Sexy Times McGee

Sexy Times McGee

This one is pretty obvious, essentially because we know that Henry VIII was a fat, pervy bastard. And while Rhys-Meyers gets a point for being a bastard, may I remind you that it isn’t pervy behavior if the guy is sexually attractive. “Perviness”, along with its slightly incestous cousin “The Ick”, is directly proportional to how revolting you find the person (consider Chris Rock’s take on the matter- “If Clarence Thomas looked like Denzel, this never would’ve happened.”) and so Showtime’s decision to give British history the “old Showtime treatment”, short of hiring the wretched Diablo Cody to write the thing, is nothing short of ridiculous.

He’s also kind of a terrible actor. There, I said it. I hope my Bend It Like Beckham DVD didn’t just burst into flames or anything…

4. Jennifer Love Hewitt as Melinda Gordon on Ghost Whisperer (2005- Present)

Jennifer Love Hewitt has always made me laugh. Not in like “She’s the original Tina Fey” way or anything. More like, she was the theater kid I used to laugh at even though I was a bigger loser than she was. Things have not changed much in our respective hierarchy but she still makes me laugh. She’s just so earnest, trying to come off  as vulnerable, whether it’s to husband Jim or Bailey, with her big hair and her big boobs getting all in the way. I guess casting her in a ghost drama on CBS makes sense (it is CBS after all, not exactly a stable of our finest actors.) but this show would be so much better if Melinda Gordon was played by someone who didn’t crack me up for all the wrong reasons. And for God’s sake, can we dress her APPROPRIATELY for once? Why is she always running around in sundresses in the middle of winter? But that’s a topic for another Friday…

This show really is just a Lifetime movie that’s lasted for four years, isn’t it?

3. Michael Stoyanov as Tony Russo on Blossom (1991-1995)

2835Right off the bat, Tony Russo is a strange choice for a sitcom character, being a recovering alcoholic and all in The House That Quirk Built. Add Six and Joey’s “WHOA!” and Dad’s piano-playing and we’re left to wonder what we’re supposed to make of Tony exactly. Michael Stoyanov, though well-meaning, seems confused about this as well and I think he might be wondering what he’s doing cast as Joey Lawrence’s serious older brother when he could be doing Off-Broadway somewhere.

2. Daphne Reid as Vivian Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (1993-1996)

Here’s an interesting decision. Take a character on a hit sitcom and cast a hilarious actress in the role. Then, after three years, recast the smart, feisty actress with the comedic equivalent of a modern-day, rich June Cleaver. While I love June Cleaver as much as the next person, I do not want to watch her partake in zany antics or, worse, sit on the sidelines like a piece of melba toast while everyone else has all the fun.

Let’s go to the video tape.

1. Evangeline Lily as Kate on Lost (2004- Present)

Evangeline Lilly Biography

On paper, Kate is a fantastic character. She comes from a broken home, she killed her abusive stepfather by BLOWING UP THEIR HOUSE and then went on the lam, ends up on a tropical island and becomes a kind of GI Jane of the Jungle, surviving capture and getting rescued and losing her kid and TIME TRAVEL and a romantic triangle to boot.

Which is why Evangeline Lily brings me so much pain. I want to like Kate so much but from the very first episode, Lily was just wrong for the role. I mean, she’s certainly pretty (no one is disputing that) but, in Kate, I wanted more than just “pretty” and “freckles.” This character needed grit and Evangeline Lily has about as much grit as overcooked oatmeal. What makes this all the more evident are the well-cast roles of Sun and Juliette, who managed to actually elevate their characters into something else entirely, something infinitely more interested than what was written. As opposed to Lily, who just seems to be holding on for dear life.

Watch clip.

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I’m partly ashamed of exactly how I decided that I desperately needed to know what ever happened to Kelly Brown, but I believe the thought process to be nearly as valuable as the information regarding the whereabouts of Ms. Brown. Here goes:

While watching the Merecedes episode of The Golden Girls on the Hallmark channel last night, a commercial (not surprisingly) for denture adhesive came onto the screen. . .

OBVIOUSLY, this little ditty reminded me of a very special episode of Hey Dude! when Ted is leaving the Bar None Ranch and serenades his fellow employees to the same tune featured in the above commercial for Sea Bond– Bye bye Brad! Bye bye Melody! See ya Mr. Ernst! See ya Mr. Ernst! How I could possibly remember a 30 second scene for 19 years is a mystery, but not nearly a big of a mystery as I was about to discover when I began researching the cast of Hey Dude!

Melody (Christine Taylor) is the easy one. Apparently the only break-out star from the early 90’s Nickelodeon gem, Taylor married actor Ben Stiller and has appeared in dozens of semi-decent movies since Hey Dude went off the air.

Mr. Ernst (David Brisbin) has appeared on like, every show the 90’s had to offer from NYPD Blue to The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ellen, Seinfeld, thirtysomething and more. He even did 19 episodes of ER.

Ted (David Lascher) ended up on Blossom, Clueless and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. And will likely play the role of the romantic lead’s best friend in my first Lifetime MFTVM.

Now here’s the mystery: What in the hell every happened to BRAD? DANNY? LUCY? BUDDY?

Not one of these “actors” ever worked again! How is this possible? Fine, these people weren’t the greatest thespians in the world, but come on! They couldn’t even appear as a suspect on Law & Order? I’ll give you Danny and Buddy. They clearly won some kind of Nickelodeon casting sweepstakes, neither of them were playing a role, so much as they were playing themselves but in a dude ranch setting. Lucy I could give or take, I never really identified with her because she seemed old. Brad (Kelly Brown) on the other hand, I feel like was a real talent.  

However, Hey Dude! remains the ONLY acting credit to her name. I feel like she was the beautiful, feminine 90’s version of Jo Polniaczek (Nancy McKeon who still appears somewhat regularly on television).

I am thoroughly saddened by the disappearance of Kelly Brown, and her absence from my television screen. Furthermore, it is upsetting to find ONLY the following information about her current whereabouts, courtesey of Wikipedia. . . 

After Hey Dude, Brown left acting, got married, and started a family. She is last known to be living in upstate New York.

–BEAL

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Courtesy of the AV Club. I love you, AV Club, this is awesome…

Leonard Pierce
January 28, 2009

Mayim Bialik established herself in the public consciousness at the tender age of 15, when she landed the lead role in the 1990 sitcom Blossom. Initially catching its audience because of a favorable time slot, Blossom became a success on its own merits thanks to its clever format, winning cast, and emphasis—unusual for the time—on two female characters in the lead roles. Bialik guest-starred in a number of the biggest television comedies of the day, worked with Woody Allen before her 21st birthday, and inhabited, in Blossom Russo, a character who became synonymous with the phrase “a very special episode.” After largely leaving show business behind to concentrate on her academic career, Bialik staged a mini-comeback in recent years, appearing in Fat Actress and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Blossom is finally seeing a DVD release, as Bialik finds her place in a new Hollywood.

Beauty And The Beast (1987)—”Ellie”

Mayim Bialik: That was done by the same company that produced Blossom. I would have been 11 or 12, I think—right around the time I started acting. I remember… not much. I remember having to wake up early, and I was playing an underground urchin-child, so I had to wear a lot of heavy clothing.

I actually remember that John Laroquette episode she was on. Read the rest of the interview and good times here.

– Judi

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