As you may have perhaps gathered, the Better Half and I like to watch a certain amount of television. While I also enjoy more solitary pursuits like running and reading, when it comes to how we like to unwind at the end of the day, it’s kind of nice to lie on the couch with a diverting program or two. Our tastes diverge a bit (I like to hassle him that his taste in television is awful… because it is), but we can reliably agree on sitcoms.
One of the shows we like is “Raising Hope,” largely on the strength of the performances of Martha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt as the titular toddler’s young grandparents. (They’re hilarious.) Plus, any show with opening credits that read “Introducing Cloris Leachman” has found a soft spot in my heart. It’s no classic, but it’s enjoyable and consistently funny and so we’ve become regular viewers.
Of course, like a great many television watchers nowadays, much of the time we record it to watch after the original broadcast. And because of missing the tail end of shows in the past due to weirdness with how they were scheduled vis-à-vis exact half hour increments on the clock, we have set the DVR to record five minutes into the next show. This is how I’ve gotten introduced to the show “Ben and Kate,” which looks amusing enough but hasn’t become one that we actually watch. (Except for the first five minutes.)
I don’t have much to say about the show per se, which is understandable since I don’t really watch it. However, the first time I caught a little snippet I was immediately drawn to the English actress who plays… I don’t know who she plays. But she’s funny, and I knew I’d seen her in something before. One short Internet search later, and voilà — Lucy Punch. Turns out I’d seen her in a couple of things (“Being Julia” and “Hot Fuzz”) and had liked her performance in both of them. Upon figuring out who she was, I turned to the Better Half and said what I always say under similar circumstances.
“I’m glad she’s getting work.”
Every so often I’ll come across a character actor or ensemble that, for various reasons, I simply like. Maybe I just loved the show, and want everyone associated with it to do well. This is especially true of shows that didn’t enjoy the viewership and success they deserved. (For this reason, I am happy when anyone from the cast of “Firefly” gets work, even those whose politics I despise.) Maybe I really liked their performance in something. This is especially true of a show where you wouldn’t expect to see really good acting. (For this reason I am always happy when the quite surprisingly good Amy Acker from other Whedon shows “Angel” and “Dollhouse” gets work.) Maybe they’re both excellent actors and starred in something I loved. (For this reason I am happy whenever I see Olivia Williams [what the hell, let’s just make it a Whedon extravaganza… she was excellent in the aforementioned “Dollhouse,” and also the beloved “Rushmore”] gets work.)
Do other people do this? Am I the only one who notices supporting players and is happy when the good ones make it in the biz? Is there some kind of equivalent in sports, where people root for some really talented but non-famous player?