You’d think the ensemble cast for Argo could not be challenged, but that would be a mistake. At every location, meeting, and level of government, Zero Dark Thirty is populated by familiar faces. And interestingly, many (not all) of these actors are prominently known for their television roles.
Jessica Chastain: She’s amazing. And while she is starring in basically every film that comes out these days, some people (like me!) might remember her role as Veronica Mars’s disappeared pregnant neighbor in the season one episode “The Girl Next Door.”
Jason Clarke: I associated Jason Clarke with his starring role on the defunct show, The Chicago Code. I championed that show until the bitter end, so I hope Jason Clarke at least gets a big film career as a consolation prize. Bonus!: I remember where I saw him most recently: in Texas Killing Fields being hunted by…Jessica Chastain.
Kyle Chandler: He really wins this year because he is also in Argo. Of course, his prominent television role is Friday Night Lights (I know, I know, I need to watch) but I can’t help but constantly think of his stint on Grey’s Anatomy. Remember how that one time there was a bomb and Kyle Chandler needed to diffuse it?
Jennifer Ehle: I honestly can’t look at her without thinking about her role opposite Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice.
Harold Perrineau: Lost. Oz. Sons of Anarchy. The Unusuals. (And Wedding Band? Sorry, Wedding Band fans — it’s a goner.)
Mark Strong: You might know him from every film ever, but his role in Kick-Ass sticks out to me.
Jessica Collins: One of those, “don’t I know her from something?” The answer must be I know her from Rubicon. Yet another show I watched to the bitter end. It really just served to prove that AMC can and will ax shows.
Fredric Lehne: You may know him from every television show ever: American Horror Story: Asylum, Lost, Supernatural, etc. Seriously, he is the epitome of the character actor.
Mark Duplass: How can you not love him?? He’s making his mark on TV (The League, The Mindy Project) and in film (Safety Not Guaranteed, Your Sister’s Sister).
James Gandolfini: Tony Soprano himself!
Stephen Dillane: You may also know him from everything in the world but these days I tend to shout out (mentally) “Stannis!” whenever I see him. So, Game of Thrones but also Hunted, John Adams, etc.
John Barrowman: a.k.a. Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who and Torchwood, as well as his recent gig on CW’s Arrow. Singer, actor, host and all-around constant personality…in Zero Dark Thirty. Randomly great.
Joel Edgerton: Discussion of all other roles must be preempted because I just discovered (remembered/had a flashback to) the fact he is “young” Uncle Owen in the Star Wars prequels. I instantly seized upon a mental image of the trading card I have (yes, I collected Star Wars cards but I was waaay more into my Lord of the Rings collection…) and knew this to be true. And then my mind exploded. I guess I should quit wondering where this Joel Edgerton guy came from if he has actually been on the fringes all these years.
Chris Pratt: Parks and Recreation! But before Parks and Rec, my thought would have been Everwood! Wow, that really takes me back…
Taylor Kinney: This guy pops up on The Vampire Diaries, then starts dating Lady GaGa, and now has a starring role in Chicago Fire. So I imagine he made some kind of deal with the devil.
Christopher Stanley: Honorable mention since whenever I see him I can only think of Mad Men; “Henry Francis.”
Mark Valley: Human Target, Fringe, Boston Legal, and Body of Proof apparently, etc. All I can think about for some reason when I see him is that he was married to Anna Torv. But not any longer…
As usual, Parks and Recreation is on fire this season (and as a matter of fact made me cry a few weeks ago), so after this week’s particularly strong episode (“Leslie vs. April”), I just couldn’t resist posting some of the most ridiculously hilarious moments. It is also worthwhile to note how the show seamlessly ties in the same themes across its multiple narratives to form one coherent half hour. Most sitcoms struggle to cohesively integrate B (and sometimes C) plots around their A plot. On Parks and Rec, Leslie and April are the stars of the half hour, but both Andy, Tom, and Ben all experience forward momentum in their own arcs. This episode focuses on personal growth; whether it’s finally showing initiative or presenting new job opportunities, Pawnee is a-changing, and yet it seems like a natural transition.
Tom and Ben
After getting out from under the dead weight that is Jean-Ralphio, Tom’s Rent-a-Swag business is actually coming together, so much so that Ben is willing to help him out — even though he just accepted the accounting job he turned down last season. Doors just continue to open for Ben; Tom asks him to be his CFO, he gets offered a job at Sweetums, as a news correspondent, and a management position at Urban Outfitters (Pawnee has an Urban Outfitters?!) while Tom cannot find any backers for his business. However, Ben decides that accounting is too boring (especially since there is no A&E show about it) and he decides to help Tom and maybe take one of the other positions offered to him.
Tom: (to Ben and Chris) Well, well well. If it isn’t Mr. Looks and Professor Books. (points to Chris). He’s looks.
Ben: I got it.
Tom: Of course you do, Books.
Ben: What’s the new company?
Tom: We specialize in making stacks on stacks on stacks on stacks.
Tom: It’s like The King’s Speech. But the first part, before he’s fixed!
Leslie and April
April finally shows some initiative by proposing that Pawnee create a new dog park. Unfortunately, the best local for the dog park appears to be Lot 48, a site Leslie has been trying to develop into a park for the entire series run. Her new position on the city council gives her a closer proximity to the issue, since April brings it up at the meeting. Leslie and April may spend the majority of the episode at odds, but they reunite to take down Councilman Jamm, who wants to exploit the discussion of Lot 48 to build a Paunch Burger there.
Leslie: I don’t want to whip out the legalese on you right now, but I’ve got dibs.
Leslie: (showing April a site designated as Zone 14B, Industrial Waste Cleanup) There’s something about this place…just a really good energy here, ya know? Lots of natural light.
Leslie: Ron, thanks for agreeing to see me.
Ron: I didn’t, you just walked in and started talking.
Leslie: I don’t have time for a history lesson.
Leslie: Those were distraction waffles?! I thought they were friendship waffles!
Ron: Breakfast food can serve many purposes.
Guy at Human Farm: Here’s your animal feed. DON’T feed the animals.
Ann: I hate Paunch Burger but if there was one in my backyard, I would eat there like every night and that’s no good.
Leslie: I have an idea. It’s very uncool. But it’s not illegal, technically. But it is…a dick move.
Andy (and Chris)
Since beginning his regime to become a police officer, Andy hinted to his colleagues that perhaps they should steal something from his desk so he could have experience solving a crime. When he realizes his computer is missing, he instantly begins interrogating the office, revealing how unprepared he truly is for this work. When Chris brings an actual police officer in to report the crime, Andy realizes it isn’t exactly the exciting career that he imagines. Chris offers Andy a part time job as a City Hall security guard and he accepts it as a sort of proving ground; should he pursue the idea of becoming a cop?
Chris: Fun fact: Ben just got an amazing accounting job. Regular fact: I have to go to a meeting. Un-fun fact: My uncle just had a stroke. Well, I’m off.
Andy: (after realizing someone might be inviting him to investigate his missing computer) A game…is…the foot.
Andy: (to Chris) You’re as guilty as you are sexy.
One year later, and mission accomplished: literally more pop culture was brought to DC in the form of Parks and Recreation filming! But seriously, for a year I have used this blog as an outlet for mostly all entertainment-related raves, rants and curios that crossed my pop culture-raddled brain. And I hope to continue with the same vigor in the next year. I would say grad school is slowing me down (it is) but I am writing this instead of working on a paper, so clearly I know where my priorities are.
Leslie: Andy, will you be Iceland?
Andy: The bad guys for Mighty Ducks 2? Don’t think so.
Leslie: Okay, how about you be Japan?
Andy: The bad guys from Karate Kid 2? Even worse. How about Germany? They’ve never been the bad guys.
That. Was. It. Two of my favorite things, Parks and Recreation and International Relations, thrown together for 25 minutes of hilarity. Since I participated in a number of simulations this summer, it also reminded of how personalities usually trump the real world in these situations. Dominant personalities with an agenda will rise to the occasion (like Peru or Denmark) where in the real UN this would obviously not happen, even in a less extreme form. We got a real dose of what is in the spectrum of reality (Russia and China coming up with their own treaty), impressing me even further with the depiction on the show. Regardless of the silliness of Denmark declaring war on Peru, “BREAKING NEWS” type situations that derail all of the progress you have made so far on a treaty typically do occur in simulations. There was so much to love about this episode.
The first thing you should learn: if you are France, you say no to everything.
That’s the one place Ben Wyatt can have legit street cred.