The What the *#@#%! Were They Thinking? Award nominees
But some names did emerge, which I'll list after the jump. The Squadders will choose the winner, and you'll get a chance to select the Readers' Choice for this award in the poll at the end of the list. So, here are the four people whose casting made us wonder just what the heck people in Hollywood are thinking:
Michelle Ryan (Bionic Woman): She was an obvious nominee, as many blame her wooden performance for the show's demise. It was a promising premise: a remake of a camp classic with producers from Battlestar Galactica behind it. But they picked the wrong star in Ryan; she was so busy trying to squelch her British accent that she didn't infuse Jaime Sommers with any warmth, emotion, or... well, any kind of expression whatsoever.
There were two signs that Ryan wasn't a good fit. The first was that people loved her in the episode where Jaime goes undercover as a Brit, where she could speak in her natural voice. The second was that fans were regretting the producers didn't cast Katee Sackhoff, who played bionic-woman-gone-mad Sarah Corvus, in Ryan's role. When people are trying to replace you with someone from your own show, that's a pretty good indication that you've been miscast.
Britney Spears (How I Met Your Mother): The most highly-publicized stunt casting incident of the season also happened to have the biggest split in opinion. Many people think that Brit-Brit did a decent job in both of the episodes she was in; others thought she did OK on the first episode and poorly on the second; still others thought that she was terrible and had the comic timing of a tree sloth. Upon reflection, I fall in the second camp, though I think that even her second episode wasn't that bad.
But what puts her in this category is the whole idea of why she was on the show in the first place. Was she a great comic actor? No. Did she mesh well with the ensemble? Not really. No, she was there to boost ratings for the show and rehab her disintegrating public image, and those two factors disappointed many of the show's very loyal fans.
Parker Posey (The Return of Jezebel James): Yes, the show was an all-around mess, with flat jokes, an intrusive laugh-track, and a premise that was about as convoluted as sitcoms can get. But having the usually-reliable Parker Posey in the lead of this disaster made things even worse.
This is a woman who has been hilarious in roles romantic and quirky alike, and she's fit in well with the improvisational ensemble in Christopher Guest's movies. But, for some reason, she couldn't wrap either her mind or her lungs around the twists and turns of Amy Sherman-Palladino's signature dialogue. The character of Sarah Tompkins was supposed to be a bit of a scattered mess, but Posey played her as someone who can barely keep it together, making you wonder how the character was ever able to start her own imprint for a major book publisher.
Kristen Bell (Heroes): This is one where I had to rely on my fellow Squadders for help, since I don't watch Heroes (yes, I know...). She came on the show last year to play Elle Bishop, who has awesome powers but who is a bit mysterious.
From what I've been seeing, the reason why Kristen's casting wasn't a mistake wasn't because of any issue on her part, though one reader said that she acted like an "animated mannequin." No, I think it's because it was too soon for her to take on another role in a cult hit so soon after Veronica Mars was cancelled; fans of both shows -- which is a pretty large group -- continued to see Kristen as Veronica and not Elle, causing a distraction. Hey, a woman's got to work, but I wonder if she should have gone in a completely different direction for a year or two first.
There were a few other names bandied about, James Callis from Battlestar Galactica and Susan Misner from New Amsterdam being the most notable, but there wasn't enough of a consensus among either the readers or the staff to include them. So, who's your choice? Let me know by responding to the poll below.
|Michelle Ryan||437 (41.9%)|
|Britney Spears||385 (36.9%)|
|Parker Posey||124 (11.9%)|
|Kristen Bell||96 (9.2%)|