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Guest Star Goodness

Cortney’s Comedy Corner: Guest Star Goodness [New Girl, The Mindy Project, Trophy Wife, The Crazy Ones] 

Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/FOX

When it comes to comedies, casting is crucial. An unfunny lead or unbelievable sidekick can easily kill a show. So while I value and appreciate the actors who make us laugh week to week, it’s always nice when a show throws a guest star in the mix. And this week’s comedies did not disappoint. Without further ado, my favorite guest stars from the week:

The Mindy ProjectTimothy Olyphant

Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/FOX
Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/FOX
I love what Mindy does with her guest stars. She’s had everyone from Seth Rogen to Ellie Kemper (with reports of Anna Gunn and Jenna Elfman in the near future) and for the most part, I’ve been totally on board (the exception being James Franco, I just couldn’t like his Dr L., no matter how much I tried). And Timothy Olyphant was no different. Playing Graham, a grungy skateboarder (a far cry from his usual dapper businessman or rugged Justified cowboy) who romances Mindy, Olyphant totally owned the part and his earnest delivery made even the most ridiculous lines sound genuine. From dining and dashing to having seen a pregnant mermaid (don’t worry, it was consensual between her and the sea captain), Graham’s insights were far from logical, but you never doubted that he truly believed what he was saying.
Graham: “I believe the universe is a mirror and reflects what you put out there.”
Mindy: “I like that.”
Graham: “So if I get health insurance, I’m gonna get hurt.”
Mindy: “Nope, got dumb again.”
But it wasn’t his brain that interested Mindy, who was concurrently trying to prove that she was not picky when it came to men:
Mindy: “You know, Graham, I think that’s gonna have to be goodnight. My body is very attracted to your body but when you speak, my brain gets angry.”
His ripped, scarred and tattoo’d body had Mindy making googly eyes at him and I’ll admit, when I saw him at dinner, I couldn’t deny that he cleaned up well. Unfortunately, her sexual attraction wasn’t enough.
Mindy: “I’m a woman of science and you’re a man of non-sci….nonsense.”
We can’t blame her. He was dumb. Real dumb. But Mindy’s attempt at “slumming it” and Olyphant’s turn as a 40-year-old skateboarder was more than worth the trip down the half-pipe.

The Mindy Project airs Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c.New GirlTaye Diggs

Photo Credit: Adam Taylor/FOX
Photo Credit: Adam Taylor/FOX
When you need a guy to play sexy, charming and suave, there is no one better than Taye Diggs. As Artie, Jess’ local coffeeshop owner (who just happens to jet off to Brazil at a moment’s notice), the Private Practice alum played the role to a “T” and I can’t blame Jess for being downright giddy around him. The way he says “Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers” could make any girl swoon! However, what started off strong, got a little creepy once they got back to the loft and Jess found him naked in her bed. Don’t get me wrong, Taye is a good looking man, but when he started gesturing with his leg and stretching awkwardly, I found him much less endearing.and significantly less attractive.  But a huge kudos to all the actors in these scenes. I cannot even begin to fathom how they managed to keep straight faces during these takes. From the suggested menage a trois to Nick stripping down, I know I couldn’t do it. In fact, I’d even be willing to buy the dvd just to see these on the blooper reel

New GirlDamon Wayans Jr

Photo Credit: Adam Taylor/FOX
Photo Credit: Adam Taylor/FOX
So this guest star deserves his own special category. Originally part of the main cast, Wayans Jr appeared in the pilot only to have his other show, Happy Endings, get picked up requiring him to back out at the last minute. And I for one, have been long awaiting his return. As Coach, the guys’ former roommate (and Jess’ for two weeks, although he has no recollection of her whatsoever despite having witnessed the take-down of Bin Laden together), Wayans is confident, charming and requires all the other guys to really step up their game. With his absence being described by his dedication to a relationship, Coach returns post-break-up to take the guys out for a night of fun. From calling Winston “Shrimp Forks” to facing down his ex’s new boyfriend, Coach was a great addition to the group. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t love that he turned Nick in to a bit of a jerk at first, but I loved when his true feelings came out at the end and the boys (soon to be men) bonded. Watching them man-fight outside the police station and then swerve-run away from the cops was silly good old fashion fun and if anyone could pull it off, it’s these four. And because I feel Wayans Jr’s return was slightly overshadowed by Diggs, I’m happy Coach will be around all season long.

New Girl airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on FOX.Trophy WifeNat Faxon

This guest star may not be as recognizeable as the others, but as the star of former FOX sitcom Ben & Kate, I enjoyed what Faxon brought to the mix. Playing Sad Steve, Pete’s awkward boss who hooks up with Jackie, I felt like Faxon was a perfect match for Pete’s second ex-wife. I’ll be honest, Jackie has been my least favorite character so far…I like quirky but they’ve often pushed her in to the realm of downright annoying, so to find someone who can mirror her and also keep her somewhat in check was a delightful surprise. Michaela Watkins knocks it out of the park when it comes to kooky, so it couldn’t have been easy to find someone who could keep up. But Faxon did just that. They were both awkward, both nervous, both nerdy and both people you’d never want to hang out with at a party, but they fit. And as silly as it was, their bread pun-versation at the restaurant where Jackie told Pete and Kate to leave still made me laugh.

Jackie: “Guys, I think I can take it from here. Why don’t you take this bread and roll.”
Steve: “You’re a rye-ot.”
Jackie: “Challah!”
Steve: “Nothing ventured, nothing grained, right?”
Jackie: “Well, here goes muffin.” {Kisses Steve}

Trophy Wife airs Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c on ABC.

The Crazy OnesJosh Groban

Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/CBS
Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/CBS
Whether you listen to his music or not, Josh Groban is one of those seemingly down to earth guys that you can’t help but like. He’s shown time and time again that he can make fun of himself and that he’s game for anything, so when I heard he’d be guest starring on The Crazy Ones, I didn’t know what to expect. But as usual, Groban went off-type and really managed to deliver. Playing Danny, Sydney’s former coworker and ex-jingle writer turned musician, Groban was required to show off both his singing and acting chops. Penning a song that repeatedly plays throughout the episode and can’t help but get stuck in your head (“Sydney, you’re one of a kind. Sydney, you’re so fine!”), it becomes clear that Danny thought that they were more than just coworkers. His obvious affection for her continues to ramp up as Sydney’s coworkers begin to put him in stalker territory. Eventually, the agency ends up at Danny’s CD release party in an attempt to get the rights to his song and that’s where Groban really gets to belt it out. After being rejected by Sydney, his newest song “I Barely Knew You” turns him from an ex-jingle writer to an out-and-out musician. Groban had a chance to act with most of the cast, but it was his bathroom/office interaction with Robin Williams that was by far my favorite. As I’ve said before, it can’t be easy to keep up with Williams, but the singer definitely stood his ground. And to return the favor, the episode ends with Williams singing alongside Groban at the keyboard for some amusingly (and hopefully improv’d) jingles. Groban said he’d love to be back and I don’t think the fans will mind one bit.

The Crazy Ones airs Thursdays at 9/8c on CBS.

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1 Comment

  1. Betty Nussman

    I hope Josh Groban returns as a character in The Crazy Ones. It was my fist watch of the show and Josh Groban fit in perfectly. David E.Kelly has an uncanny sense of Josh Groban’s talent. When Robert Downey Jr. could not perform in Ali McBeil, David transformed the script to include an introducion to Josh Groban for the 1st time;I was hooked on his character & his voice (although I truly thought such a super sound could not be coming from this scrawny kid’s voice). In The Crazy Ones I really liked the vulnerable, sensitive character of Danny & especially the true pop songs he sang that JG really doesn’t do. (Did Josh actually write them? His comic humor can be very weird and unlikable on some of the other comedy shows he has appeared. Here he was awesome; his character and the use of his voice was super. I believe David E. Kelly will bring Josh Groban back to this show for more episodes. He should be Josh’s manager with the positive presentations he makes for Josh. BRAVO David!!!!

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