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Jennifer Coolidge and Selena Gomez among THR Critics’ Picks for TV Stars – The Hollywood Reporter

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Jennifer Coolidge, The white lotus

Ask any group of White lotus fans to list their two or three favorite performances of Mike White’s comedy, and you’ll likely get endorsements for almost every actor in the set. It’s hard to imagine, however, such a list not starting with Coolidge as Tanya. It is a career turning point for the american pie stage thief and ensemble favorite Christopher Guest, with Tanya starting out as a seemingly familiar lush and boozy Coolidge hedonist, to slowly let the actress pull off those layers of excess and expose the inner sadness we wouldn’t have never attributed to the life of Stifler’s mother. This grieving, loving woman begins as a character to be laughed at and, instead, becomes a woman to be cried for. – DANIEL FIENBERG

Selena Gomez, Only the murders in the building

The magic of Only the murders in the building lies in the chemistry between his three tracks, but Gomez deserves special mention for his fun performance as Mabel. Even though the character keeps his cards close to his chest, burying his secrets deeper and wanting to under-react, Gomez’s eagle-eyed gaze catches ours, making us wonder what’s going on beneath his. Her Mabel is a youthful counterpoint to her older friends, ironically instructing them in millennial slang or teasing them with her tongue-in-cheek snark, but she carries a sense of melancholy that makes her feel like an ancient soul. Whether she makes us laugh or breaks our hearts, she is pure charisma. – ANGIE HAN

O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sstir

The Apple TV + drama deserves full kudos for the perfect cast of its young baseball players, which includes several actors who have never acted professionally before. But the rock at the center of the team is Jackson like Ike, their coach, mentor and sometimes father figure. Jackson takes on the lead role with the ease of someone who knows he can grab the audience’s attention without making a big deal out of it. Ike combines the basic decency of a Coach Taylor type (right down to his extremely adorable chemistry with Christina Jackson, who plays his wife, Tonya) with the irritability of a man still haunted by disappointments and failures. Although Ike can be watched, he never feels distant thanks to Jackson’s performances. Jackson doesn’t just operate at the highest level – he does it with a style that feels downright effortless. – AH

Devery Jacobs, Dogs Reservation

When it comes time to hand out casting awards, the conversation should start and end with Dogs Reservation casting director Angelique Midthunder, who was tasked with finding a quartet of presumably teenage native actors. In the first eight episodes of Sterlin Harjo’s FX on Hulu for half an hour, each of its young stars wears episodes, and whether it’s Paulina Alexis’ entirely sui generis comic book readings or the consummate sincerity of Lane Factor or D’Pharaoh Woon-A – Tai’s brooding charm, they all shine. We set Jacobs apart because while she is extremely funny when needed – the episode set around the local medical clinic is the show’s standout comedy – Elora Danan carries much of the emotional weight of the show with her heartbreak. on the death of a close friend. one year before the start of the series. Jacobs, originally from Quebec and part of the Mohawk Nation, is a star among the stars here. – DF

Lee Jung-jae, Squid game

Of all the miserable souls of Squid game, none endures a more dramatic journey than Gi-hun. Depending on the episode, he’s a hopeless loser or an unlikely hero, a broken shell of a man, or the incarnation of flame-haired justice. What remains consistent is his position as the emotional center of the series. It’s a testament to Lee’s work that he’s able to exert such a strong and consistent gravitational pull, even though his character goes through so many different modes. Lee plays Gi-hun with the slumped shoulders of a man who’s been shoved by life, but also with the naive smile of one who hasn’t completely given up. His face remains an open book even as the corners of his mouth start to sag, reflecting our own angst and anger at what he and his teammates are forced to endure. Narratively and thematically, Squid game lives or dies by its ability to make us care about humans trapped in this inhuman system. Lee makes it unthinkable that we could ever fail. – AH

Nick Mohammed, Ted lasso

Jason Sudeikis, Brett Goldstein, and Hannah Waddingham all landed well-deserved Emmys for the first season of the Apple TV + comedy, but the second season’s most compelling arc belonged to Mohammed’s Nate. The actor performed a precise 12-episode heel twist that left some viewers feeling betrayed as a beloved underdog turned into a bubbling cauldron of bad decisions and vicious stabbing. Through subtle costume changes, the cushioning of his eager to please line readings, and gradual hair bleaching that devoted fans picked up on at different stages, Mohammed was able to transform an adorable Ewok into the season’s Darth Vader. without sacrificing the indices of these. recognizable traits that made him a favorite in the first place. – DF

Kayvan Novak, What we do in the shadows

It is likely that the stars of the FX series have not broken into individual recognition of awards as it is almost impossible to choose between the impeccable bombast of Matt Berry, the puppy enthusiasm of Harvey Guillén and the quirky romanticism of Natasia Demetriou. It would be fair to pick Mark Proksch for Colin Robinson’s latest energy-draining arc, but when you think of the name “Colin Robinson” there’s a good chance you’re saying it with your own Nandor the Relentless voice, so … Advantage, Novak! Nandor was put to the test in this fall’s episodes, suffering from a doomed romance, doomed gym membership, doomed aerobics flirtation, and doomed attempt at “super sleep” . Taking a character generally known for his gigantic stature and absurd accent and giving him a real heart, Novak convincingly and hilariously answered the question, “What would a former vampire having a midlife seizure look like?” “- DF

Marguerite Qualley, Housemaid

The plot of Housemaid Seems designed to elicit sympathy: Who will feel nothing for the sweet single mother fleeing an abusive relationship in the face of unimaginable risks? But it takes a special performer to make it as raw and real as any life we’ve witnessed firsthand. Qualley’s finely tuned nuances of work in what might otherwise have come across as a smug sermon. Housemaid demands that Qualley plunge headfirst into the depths of Alex’s misery, and she behaves like a woman barely pulling herself together by sheer force of will. Her huge eyes betray pain or panic or terrified hope, yet even Alex herself does not dare to let herself be felt. But her elastic, expressive face also retains a playful character that refuses us to reduce her to the sum of her circumstances – no matter how hard the world works to achieve it. – AH

Alain Ruck, Succession

The collective casting of Succession never seems to lack praise. And yet, in typical Connor Roy form, Ruck rarely seems to be the one who gets his due. Fortunately, the Conheads have something to celebrate in season three, as the “less relevant” Roy – the half-brother with no serious intention to take over daddy’s business – finds himself with real leverage for once. . Ruck brings a new glimmer of confidence to the character, letting go of Roy’s cruelty underlying his typically sweet and good-natured demeanor – though he continues to embrace the tragicomic idiocy that makes Connor a bag of easy boxing. Write down Connor’s aspirations for 2024 if you like; her family seems to already have it. But it’s impossible to sleep on Ruck’s memorable performance as the Most Forgettable Roy. – AH

Rosa Salazar, New cherry flavor

If you have a project that requires ambitious public buy-in, having Salazar as your lead is a tremendous boon. In the case of Netflix New cherry flavor, you’ve got a story that includes witchcraft, zombies, women delivering kittens out of their mouths (and other orifices), Hollywood rulers, and all kinds of other unsavory elements. If the show worked for you, it’s probably because of Salazar’s wide-spread acceptance of the ever-growing insanity. Her deadpan expert gives audiences permission to laugh at uncomfortable supernatural events, and she takes her character on a very plausible journey from optimistic artist to soulless femme fatale chewed on by Hollywood’s dream factory, then makes us wonder if that darker side has always been there. Holding his own face no less stripping than Catherine Keener, Salazar is formidable. – DF

This story first appeared in a November independent issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, Click here to subscribe.

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