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THE PERFORMER |: Jennifer Coolidge

SHOW: |: White lotus

THE EPISODE |: “Arrivederci” (Dec. 11, 2022)

THE PRESENTATION |: Give us a moment. this week we mourn the loss of a legendary television character. We were honestly shocked to see Mike White kill off Coolidge’s gorgeous girlfriend Tanya McQuaid in the Season 2 finale of the hit HBO drama, just because she’s been the main attraction for the past two seasons. But at least Coolidge went out in style, giving Tanya a surprisingly resilient but hopeless swan song.

The finale put Tanya in grave danger as she gathered enough clues to realize that her new gay lover, Quentin, was conspiring with her husband, Greg, to kill her and claim her vast fortune. We were impressed with Tanya’s detective skills as Coolidge showed us a refreshingly strategic side to the usually clueless gossip. His line readings were still very entertaining; “These gays. They are trying to kill me.” will live in meme heaven for all time, and we loved the sprinklings of physical comedy that Coolidge added. (Tanya not-so-subtly walked away from her new gay friends to call for help… and then promptly dropped her phone overboard into the water.)

Coolidge even got to play the role of action hero when a tearful Tanya grabbed a gun and fired wildly, mowing down her would-be assailants in the crossfire. But of course he had to add a punch, and Tanya asked the dying Quentin: “Is Greg having an affair?” (Ha!) Tanya met her end, however, when she tripped trying to get out of the boat and drowned, which was actually quite a fitting fate for our crazy Tanya. We hated to see him go, but Coolidge’s fun, fiery performance of Farewell gave him a much-deserved send-off.

HONORABLE MEMORY |: Lizzy Caplan’s Libby has been a fun and insightful narrator throughout Hulu’s season. Fleishman is in trouble, but Libby is in a bit of trouble herself, and Kaplan was great this week as Libby’s own midlife crisis suddenly caught up with her. Libby was relishing the opportunity to reunite with her college friends, while ignoring her husband Adam, while Kaplan displayed a violent indifference. But really, Libby missed her old life and freedom, which Kaplan spilled in a confused, tearful monologue with Toby. He even got to play with younger Libby in flashbacks, tapping into the wide-eyed youth that older Libby is so desperate to recapture. Fleishman’s conflicts are largely silent and internal, but Kaplan informed us that there are serious emotional fireworks going off inside these unfulfilled adults.

The Cleaning Lady Season 2 Finale Martha MillanHONORABLE MEMORY |: The cleaning ladyThe sophomore finale was an emotional ordeal, particularly for Martha Milan’s Fiona. Over the course of two harrowing hours, Milan channeled fear, determination, uncertainty, frustration and about half a dozen other emotions as Fiona and Tony ran out of options, resulting in Fiona’s arrest and eventual deportation. The actress shone brightest, however, when jailed Fiona spoke face-to-face with her son Chris, begging him not to follow her out of the country if she was deported. “Every sacrifice I made, every lie I told, every toilet I cleaned, it was for him. youshe told him, Milan’s voice breaking with urgency. Here’s hope The cleaning lady returns for a third season as Fiona; We suspect Milan have much more glorious heartache in store for us.

Mallory Johnson in KindredHONORABLE MEMORY |: We had high expectations for FX Relative, Octavia E. The first screen adaptation of Butler’s acclaimed novel, and star Mallory Johnson did not disappoint as the time-traveling heroine Danan. We locked in the first few seconds of Tuesday’s series premiere as Dana lay on the floor processing the excruciating pain of having just been whipped and subsequently thrown back into the present. With almost no dialogue, Johnson expertly conveyed the raging desperation and growing frustration Dana felt in this harrowing moment like a seasoned screen vet, despite this being her first television role. And as Dana wobbles over time in later scenes, Johnson delivers a beautifully layered performance that would have made Butler proud.

Which play(s) knocked? your socks off this week? Tell us in the Comments!


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