As we're heading into a rerun bump, it seems a good time to make note of some of the things that I have been liking about TV. Below, some of the actors who make me glad I'm watching. As they say on "DWTS," in no particular order . . .
after the jump . . .
Mayim Bialik, "Big Bang Theory." The former "Blossom" star has been endlessly delightful as Sheldon's serious scientist friend. The episode where she tried to bond with the other women was terrific, and showed the way Bialik is hitting a lot more than one note.
Michael Imperioli, "Detroit 1-8-7." Can't say that I love the show, but I like it well enough. And a steady cast is topped by Imperioli, a buttoned-up, tortured detective who tries never to say more than he has to -- and makes us long for the moment when he will open up. Imperioli was good as a very different character on "The Sopranos," of course, but I think he took some keep-it-low-key lessons away from his time on "Law & Order," and they're serving him well here.
Melissa McCarthy, "Mike & Molly." Eternally lovable because of "Gilmore Girls," she now has what may be her best TV role. Look at the episode where Molly starts playing high-school girl in bed with Mike. The giggle alone was perfect.
Alison Brie, "Mad Men"/"Community." The ensemble on both of those shows is more than a little impressive, and Brie fits very well in each. With "Mad Men" on hiatus (and her role there limited) I want to give special praise to her work on "Community," where she's at times the funniest and most serious person onscreen -- simultaneously.
Heather Morris, "Glee." As Brittany she's funny enough. But since the Britney episode this year I have found myself paying more attention to her dancing. Which is terrific. I don't know if they're finally giving her more on-camera space, or if I'm just watching more closely. Either way, she's one of the bright spots this year, even if the year itself has been really uneven.
Ty Burrell, "Modern Family." Do I really need to elaborate?
Alan Cumming, "The Good Wife." As campaign expert Eli, he's smart, he's wily, he's very dangerous. And Cumming, an actor who seems to have worked everywhere from indie films to blockbusters (and right now in theaters with "Burlesque"), makes the character consistently watchable.
Tom Bergeron, "Dancing With the Stars." As comfortable as I am with Jeff Probst, as amused as I can be by Phil Keoghan, Bergeron is the best reality-competition host on TV, period. He has just the right blend of kindness and irreverence, and is even more entertaining during awkwardness and glitches than when the train is running right.
Scott Caan, "Hawaii Five-O." I can't explain why I keep watching what is the TV equivalent of a Big Dumb Action Movie. It may be all that Hawaiian scenery, which keeps making me wish I was back there. But when I do watch, I most enjoy Caan's Danno, outspoken, abrasive and doing far more to keep things interesting than Alex O'Loughlin's wooden McGarrett or Daniel Dae Kim's not-much-to-do Chin Ho.