performer | Alan Cumming
Width | peacock traitors
the ring | “The Grand Finale” (January 12, 2023)
the performance | It’s rare that we honor a reality TV host as Top Performer of the Week, but then again, most reality hosts aren’t Cumming the Fabulous.
In Peacock’s new quiz series, the actor has taken on a dazzling persona as he leads players in a devious game of lies and deceit. Cumming gave his best “murder mystery dinner party hostess”, a character who was both an unfazed bystander and a cheeky commentator. His hands-off attitude and clever style were the whipped toppings and cherries placed on his performance sundaes, going beyond mere hosting duties. Make no mistake: he came to entertain.
In the high-stakes finale, the actor puts his West End and Broadway skills to work, adding heaps of flair and subtle comedic timing to his role. Dressed in the finest Scottish fashion–which included traditional kilts, hats, and more–the Cumming Doll mastered the ultimate round table for game and festivities like modern-day Willy Wonka. every line he said (Julius Caesar, anyone?) and the signal he made was an over-the-top camp welcome and plays at every turn. From completely tongue-in-cheek monologues to setting the stage for fire-lit end-game eliminations, the actor has turned heel from melodramatic flourishes to seriously dangerous demeanor. After all, in the end, a quarter-million-dollar donation wasn’t a laughing matter for the show’s contestants.
The series could have hired anyone to do this traitor– an affair, but hiring an actor of Cumming’s caliber was a bold choice that paid off in spades. Not only did he seem to have a blast about the 19th century castle that was his stage, but his energy was productive and infectious. And we certainly can’t say that about any TV host.
honorific | Within about half an hour of screen time The last of usAt the premiere, Nico Parker totally captured our hearts…and then smashed them to smithereens. The young actress admitted she felt the pressure of anticipation while filming her own spin-off of the HBO series, and it’s understandable: Sarah, Joel’s doomed daughter, is a darling among those who’ve played the video game the show is based on. But Parker need not worry. In the space of a few scenes, she easily manages to make Sarah a sunny, self-reliant teenager who loves her dad fiercely. And when Outbreak Day arrived, her wide gaze and hesitant dialogue explained the character’s growing fear and terror at all that was unfolding (and exploding!) around her. By the time she clutches co-star Pedro Pascal’s shirt, sobbing and howling in pain from Sarah’s fatal wound, it’s official: Parker is a star in the making.
honorific | It seems Dr. Randolph Bell has been around for a long time the residentHe’s cocky and intimidating for the Big Bad – and yet, in Bruce Greenwood’s deft hands, this now tender and compassionate version of the character remains just as compelling as he was during those villainous days. During the (series?) finale on Tuesday, Greenwood showed us quite a few different bells: a distraught grandfather, terrified that his young granddaughter’s cancer has returned; a no-nonsense surgeon, enraged to learn a colleague was operating while on drugs; And a cautiously optimistic MS patient is forced to contemplate the next phase of his life with a chronic illness. Greenwood shifts emotions with ease, allowing us to marvel again at just how far Bill has come, and how beautifully Greenwood portrayed his redemption.
honorific | That’s the thing about Brian Dietzen and Katrina Law Great scene on me NCIS: all of us He knew Where was she going. An earlier exchange explained that Jimmy was quietly struggling to have Jess share a movie night with him and his daughter. Nevertheless, Dietzen and Lou – who imbued this relationship with so much sweetness and sincerity – took those materials by heart and High make it painful fact. Jess So Strong that when Lou’s chin begins to twitch while broaching the “last bridge” that Jimmy must cross, the one that “will hurt the most,” He knew The acting magic was coming. Dietzen, in turn, did a lot of Jimmy’s reflexes, and you’d probably think he’d keep looking good for the match. But when Jimmy spoke, Dietzen’s voice broke and he nodded, “It’s so hard,” All Bets are off. And All Tears came.
What performance(s) knocked your socks off this week? Tell us in the comments!