Matt stands up for Veronica

July 14, 2006 at 9:15 pm | Posted in Veronica Mars | Leave a comment

Matt Roush fends off an attack on Kristen Bell in this week’s Ask Matt column (the quote is after the jump).

Question: I keep reading how TV critics are upset about actors they think were snubbed, like Kristen Bell and Hugh Laurie, but as an actress myself, I’m really not surprised. Both are perfectly cast in their roles, but neither part requires much range or versatility. Bell is cute and sweet, and has a wry way of delivering certain lines, but she doesn’t do anything I don’t think a thousand other actresses could do as well, or better. Likewise, Laurie as House is insufferable and endearing despite his gruff exterior, but he is not required to stretch. I liken their performances to Candice Bergen’s as Murphy Brown: perfect casting, but not Emmy-worthy (yes, I know she won several, but that was before the new system was in place). She’s always had a wooden quality to her acting, but it worked with Murphy Brown. In fact, the only snub I don’t understand is Edie Falco’s (even critical darling Lauren Graham’s lack of a nomination doesn’t surprise me, based on her submission of a heavily dramatic episode in the comedy category). I guess my point is that I think many TV critics are mistaking great characters for great actors. The two are many times mutually exclusive. — Nancy

Matt Roush: How can I say this respectfully? Hogwash. To not acknowledge the emotional range that Bell brings to Veronica, who masks great pain and alienation with her witty bravado and courage, is to patronize her for her youth (which the Emmys are expert at doing, harking back to Sarah Michelle Gellar). And you tragically simplify Laurie’s work as House, which again reveals a depth of character that goes way deeper than the gruff sarcasm on the surface. These are star performances, as is Graham’s. These people inhabit their roles so deeply that I’m frankly astonished an actor would condescend to them by making it seem that they’re somehow being cast for type, and that what they’re doing isn’t all that distinguished because it seems so effortless. The mind reels. And this really is my last word on the Emmys this week.”

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