Amrie’s Take on TV: Best Actors of 2007

best actors tv 2007

Here we are, three weeks from the end of 2007. Feels like the year flew by, doesn’t it? Is it too early to start talking bests and worsts, favorites and least favorites? If it is, who cares ha, let’s discuss, shall we?

In the first of a three part column, I want to talk about my favorite actors and the characters they played in 2007. I’m sure I’m missing some of your favorites; hell, I’m missing some of my own favorites, but I had to narrow it down or the list would never end!

Michael C. Hall, Dexter Morgan, DEXTER
Can you imagine any other actor playing Dexter? Michael C. Hall is funny. And attractive. And endearing. I love this character. No matter how deeply disturbing, or dark, the character and show are, I am completely intrigued, enlightened, obsessed, you name the word of praise, I’ve used it to express my feelings about it. Just today, I asked my roommate Colleen why I was so incredibly “on his side”, meaning, why do I root for Dexter? Plain and simple, it’s the person playing him. I wouldn’t have any interest in relating to him if it wasn’t for the beautiful and fractured and breathtaking way MCH plays it.

Matthew Fox, Jack Shephard, LOST
I watched Party of Five. I know Matthew Fox had a lot of meaty storylines to work with, what with Daphne the pregnant stripper and all of the Kirsten problems. But I didn’t realize that when Lost started in 2004 that Matthew Fox as Jack would blow me away on a constant basis. He’s damaged. He’s angry. He’s sad. He’s jealous. He’s gullible and vulnerable and full of doubt and extremely stubborn. When he cries, I want to cry. When he’s fired up, I’m fired up. His intensity keeps me hooked. When the show wasn’t working for me, Matthew Fox still was. And he’s super hot, am I right?

Kyle Chandler, Coach Eric Taylor, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
Coach Eric Taylor is hands down my favorite character in the history of my TV obsession (and that’s saying a whole lot. I’ve been hooked on TV since before I can remember. Lots of characters have come into my life in that time)! He’s full of love for his family, for his team, for his town. When he took the job in Austin, I was with his family as they counted the seconds until he returned to Dillon. His marriage to Tami Taylor is the stuff of which dreams are made. They fight, but deep down there’s a true bond and I learn more from watching these characters than any other TV marriage we’ve seen in recent years. He doesn’t always know the right things to say, but he finds a way to say them. I don’t have enough good things to say about him. He’s the best.

Lee Pace, Ned the Piemaker, PUSHING DAISIES
I found my obsession with Pushing Daisies early in the program’s buzz, long before the ABC premiere. That said, I only fell in love with it, originally, because I loved Lee Pace as Aaron Tyler on Wonderfalls. I was so glad that this talented actor was given the chance to show more people just how fabulous he can be. He’s sweet. He makes me want to die and have him bring me back to life only to love me and never touch me and yes, that’s going to extremes, but to put it mildly, I want to be the Chuck to his Ned. There would be no Pushing Daisies without Lee Pace, and that is a sad, sad thought.

Zach Gilford, Matthew Saracen, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
Matt Saracen is a stuttering mess. Or at least he was back in the early days of Friday Night Lights. Now, he’s becoming a Smash-wannabe who is trying to live more like a hotshot QB1 than the down to earth, struggling to help his grandmother, sweet boy that he used to be. It’s a testament to Zach Gilford’s ability to cross back and forth between teenage lothario and darling grandson that I still love his character. Hopping between Gidget and his grandmother’s live in nurse? Telling Julie Taylor off in one of the best scenes of the season? Sure, Emmy voters tend to ignore the younger actor, but I wish they would stop that next year and see that Zach Gilford can do more with a facial expression than most people his age.

The Jasons (Isaacs and Clarke), Michael and Tommy Caffee, BROTHERHOOD
I, like many, only got hooked on Brotherhood because it aired on Showtime on the same night that Dexter did. It was easier to record both shows, watch them as Showtime intended as an intense 2 hour block of crime, and family struggles, and dirty gritty life. Did I ever expect to love the Caffee brothers as much as I do? The Jasons look at each other with such fire. Their interactions with everyone, with family and friends and frenemies and enemies, everything about them is amazing. There the most basic of relationships and they struggle through them, at the end of the day, just trying to make their own lives better. Here’s hoping that there is one good thing to come out of the strike – better recognition for a show that slowly made its way onto my top 10 list.

Eddie Izzard, Wayne Malloy/Doug Rich, THE RICHES
The show isn’t the greatest show on the air. The cons tend to out weight the pros sometimes. But there is no argument that Eddie Izzard is turning in a performance of his career. His Wayne/Doug character breaks into random speeches meant to inspire and push his family towards greatness (in the world they’ve stumbled into) and I’m inspired. I want to see this Malloy family succeed as Riches. Eddie Izzard (and his on screen wife played by Minnie Driver) will keep me coming back.

Chi McBride, Emerson Cod, PUSHING DAISIES
I’ve watched every show that Chi McBride has been in. Sometimes, I hated the shows. Sometimes, I hated his characters. But never have I hated Chi McBride or the way he plays them all. On Pushing Daisies, the character of Emerson is by far (next to only his character on Boston Public) my favorite I’ve seen him play. He’s funny, he’s the perfect foil to The Piemaker. I enjoy almost everything he says. Love him.

Michael Emerson, Ben, LOST
His eyes amaze me. He says more with a creepy stare than any other creepily staring actor of the modern age. Most of his best acting has been the looks he gives to other characters. He gives me chills he’s so creepy. That’s definitely saying something about how fabulous an actor he is, when everything I’ve seen of him off the set of Lost prove that he couldn’t be a nicer person. I feel for this horrible character. Part of me wants him to succeed, wants to believe what he believes. It’s crazy and I love it.

Hugh Laurie, Gregory House, HOSUE
The show tends to fall into the formulaic. Patient X has disease. They scramble to diagnose. Patient X miraculously survives, or tragically dies, and we all learn something about ourselves. But Hugh Laurie is electric on screen. He imbues life into every scene he’s in. He’s caustic, he’s hilarious, he’s incredibly attractive, he’s just everything you want in your curmudgeonly genius of a doctor.

Honorable mentions –
Kiefer Sutherland, Jack Bauer, 24 – he turned a lackluster season into something so much better because he’s just that good.

David Boreanaz, Seeley Booth, BONES – he’s so funny. And his relationship with Brennan is the stuff of TV magic. I honestly can’t wait for the day they make it as a couple.

Zachary Levi, Chuck Bartowski, CHUCK – this character was tailor made for Zach Levi. No one else could have done it justice.

Jeffrey Donovan, Michael Westin, BURN NOTICE – who doesn’t love this man? I never would have watched this show if it wasn’t for him and his delivery and just everything about him.

Adam Baldwin, John Casey, CHUCK – no one delivers a one-liner like Adam Baldwin does.

Denis Leary, Tommy Gavin, RESCUE ME – he’s made something out of nothing. Tommy Gavin is a shell of a man these days, and Denis Leary plays that so well!

Tony Shalhoub, Adrian Monk, MONK – some people aren’t the biggest fan of Monk, but I am. He’s just so good.

James Roday and Dule Hill, Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster, PSYCH – best crime fighting duo in a long time. Each episode gets better and better.

?What about you guys? Who are your top guys this season? Who did I forget?

Stay tuned next week for the Best Actresses of 2007!
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  • Kylen

    I agree whole-heartedly with this list. Well done. I would also like to throw an honorable mention to Donald Sutherland, who leads the Darling family, steals every scene, and has incredible chemistry with every character on Dirty Sexy Money. I’ve been a fan of Donald’s son for a long time, and now I am finally understanding the brilliant breeding.

  • I cannot believe I left Jesse Plemmons off my list!! I want to add him to honorable mentions because he was handed a huge story to handle, and he’s handled it!! Love him as Landry Clarke on Friday Night Lights!!

  • Less Strike News

    Not sure if this is just drama actors but some hilarious comedy actors were left out of this 2007 List…in no particular order:

    Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)–his ranting and raving is pure comedy gold
    Tracy Morgan-Just the way he delivers a line makes me laugh
    Steve Carell (The Office)-That’s what she said
    John Krazinski-Can also say so much with his eyes
    Rainn Wilson-Plays idiot better then anyone in recent memory
    Josh Radnor (HIMYM)-Very underated…very funny
    Jason Segal-Doesn’t get the acclaim he deserves… Slap Bet anyone?
    Neil Patrick Harris- His performance is legend(wait for it) ary
    Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)-Come on, the guy is hilarious
    Ricky Gervais(Extras)- I will miss this show!

    As for drama actors left off….
    Terry O’Quinn (Lost)–Gripping in every scene
    Isaiah Washington (Grey’s)–I know, I know but he was so believable playing that character. He was strong part of Greys in early 2007.
    James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano)-We will miss you

    Honorable Mention (performances I like that fall short of the higher accolades)

    Mohinder Suresh—just making sure you are paying attention
    No, um….
    Patrick Dempsey–Great in the surgery scenes, can do without the Meredith mush
    Gaius Charles (Smash from FNL)–I am captivated by everything he says. He is a strong young actor
    Jesse Plemons (FNL)–Landry handled his fall 2007 storyline very well
    Brad Leland (FNL) Long live Buddy Garrity!
    Dan Byrd and Adhir Kalyan (Aliens in America)-Work really well off each other

  • Josh

    the only people i see you forgot to mention and frankly im surprised are, Neil Patrick Harris from HIMYM and Alec Baldwim. Both shows which they are on would be far far less entertaining without them in it. That said though I do have to give the cast of each credit where it is due. Also, along with Alec Baldwin how in the world could you over look my favorite comedic actor right now Kenneth the Paige! No one on tv is better than him right now.

    If Tina Fey doesnt win an emmy I think i’ll end up just boycotting the show in the future. No one one tv doing comedy right now is funnier than that woman. Others looking for golden globes and emmy nods are:
    Mary Louise Parker (Weeds)
    America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)
    The Cast of Desperate Housewives
    The Cast of Samantha Who?
    Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)

    For drama I’d say Glenn Close is almost a shoe in for an emmy nod along with sally field, other could be:
    Jamie Murray (Lila Tourney from Dexter; cause was anyone on tv easier to hate?)
    Minka Kelly (FNL)
    Tami Taylor (FNL)
    Chandra Wilson (Grey’s Anatomy)
    Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy)
    Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl)

  • See you guys are making me open a part of my brain that I obviously wasn’t connected to while writing the list. Agree with you on the Alec Baldwin, Jack MacBrayer, Neil Patrick Harris, John Krasinski slights – at the very least they should have gotten an honorable mention! I can’t believe I didn’t include Jason Segal. And Ricky Gervais is my hero – I hope if I ever meet him he forgives me for excluding him!

  • I agree most with:
    * Michael Emerson (Ben; Lost)
    * Hugh Laurie (House)
    * Zachary Levy (Chuck)
    * Dennis Leary (Tommy Gavin; Rescue Me)

    Don’t forget about:
    – Edward J. Olmos (Admrial Adama; Battlestar Galactica)
    – Billy Campbell (Jordan Collier; The 4400)
    – Jack Coleman (Noah Bennett; Heroes)
    – James Spader (Alan Shore; Boston Legal)
    – Christian Clemenson (Jerry Espenson; Boston Legal)
    – Half the cast of Men In Trees
    – Half the cast of The Shield

  • Good list. 🙂

    Unfortunately there are so many that I could no way whittle it down to a small handful! lol

  • Josh Emerson

    Like was already said, Alec Baldwin and Neil Patrick Harris are two huge omissions! For me, Alec is the very best of the year. Period. He’s just too great.

    I’m with you on the guys from Pushing Daisies. I’m in love with that show. I also would’ve put Zachary Levi up on the main list. I loved him back on Less Than Perfect and he’s great as Chuck. Such different roles too.

  • Amrie,

    Great column and choices all around.
    I love reading everybody’s comments. Especially since if you combing your picks with everyone else’s — pretty much ever actor who appeared on the small screen should have been recognized on your ‘Best Of’ list. Everyone except Jim Belushi and a few CAVEMEN. Will ACCORDING TO JIM ever get any respect? 🙂

  • CC

    I can’t imagine Pushing Daises without Lee Pace. Hes just so perfect in that role and helps the show have its heart. I tuned in because of Wonderfalls as well but I’ve found him to be that and so much more in this current role.

  • Gemma

    Kyle Schmid (vampire Henry Fitzroy on Blood Ties) is my nomination for one of the best actors this season. For a young man who would only have been about 21/22 when the show was filmed, Schmid has done a brilliant job all season when you consider the demands on him due to the character he played.

    He has, by turns, excellently portrayed the arrogance that would be inherent in someone raised to be a possible supreme ruler of their country, convincingly carried himself with the gravitas and world weariness (in some cases) of someone who has been around for nearly 500 years, whilst also giving us the glimpses that remind the viewer of the boy Henry was when he was ‘turned’ at the age of 17.

  • Elizabeth

    Paul Adelstein on Private Practice — who would of thought he would be the reason why so many people enjoy the show?

    Isaiah Washington on Grey’s — regardless of his personal issues, he is a great actor, and Burke was such an awesome character. For example, his last episode where he was practicing his vows in the O.R…? Left me speechless.

    Dave Annable on Brothers and Sisters — completely transformed Justin Walker, and made what could have been a really tired/cliche story line into something really amazing

    Pretty much any guy on Lost…Ben, Charlie (!), Sayid, etc.

  • My Hanh

    Matthew Fox? That one escapes me. Just seems like an arrogant aging jock/prick.

    This whole list skews a litte…old?

  • foxylovesme

    So, so glad to see Matthew Fox on the list. =D And Kyle Chandler. Both so well deserved. 🙂

  • Mel

    I can’t take a best actor list seriously without Jensen Ackles on it.

  • shooosha

    Matthew Fox is the best! He is the best actor, and he is soooooo HOOOOOOT! Yummy!
    And of course,Hugh Laurie, the funniest man on the planet.