Sebastian Stan-Political Animals, Once Upon a Time-Some would have expect Sigourney Weaver to be the most talented performer on Political Animals (and she was solid), but the best performer on the show was her drug addict gay son, played by Stan. Stan’s struggle with addiction, and coping with his being the first openly gay son of a President, and part of a famous political family was nothing short of amazing.
Stan makes this for his role for his maddeningly good scene stealer in Once Upon a Time as the Mad Hatter; he is so charismatic, and there is something about this guy that draws you in above most performers on television; he is a true scene stealer.
Sam Waterston-The Newsroom-Another scene stealer in television was Sam Waterson’s alcoholic mentor Charlie Skinner on The Newsroom. When the show was facing mass criticism (just haters) people were unanimous that the best part of this show was Waterston’s performance, and they were right about that.
Julia Louis Dreyfuss-Veep-Elaine be gone! Julia Louis Dreyfuss is one funny ass lady, and playing a female Vice President who is constantly ignored by Potus is one funny running gag. Dreyfuss had a pregnancy scare, and insulted other politicians time after time, and never made her performance a gimmick; she has great comedic time, and is one of a kind!
Lena Dunham-Girls-Dunham’s performance is so genuine that you almost feel awkward an intruder on her personal experiences. Dunham is not only the lead on Girls, but she created writes, and directs for the show. This quadruple threat has proven her talent is not just behind the camera, but that her unique point of view provides her the opportunity to break ground with her acting.
Julianne Moore-Game Change-Moore’s Palin is more frighteningly real than Tina Fey’s mockery. Moore steals the show with ever key mannerism, facial expression, and inflexion with her voice. This performance is raw, powerful, and shows the good the bad, and the ugly of this real life persona.
Jonathan Banks-Breaking Bad-For Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, this season belongs to Mike. Banks silent brilliance contributed to an incredible dynamic of this show. Banks is incredible in this role, and it’s often performances like these that are ignored, but he is proof silence is golden.
Sarah Paulson-American Horror Story Asylum and Game Change-Sarah Paulson like Sebastian Stan has played two extremes this year. Like Stan she is in my book one of the most under rated actresses working on television today, and a name most folks should remember.
In American Horror Story: Asylum Paulsen is great as a lesbian committed by her partner against her will; she plays terrified well, and along with playing one of the best characters of the season in the show. The scene where she is forced to grope the naked man was one of the most painful to watch, but she nailed every moment, and terrified look.
In Game Change Paulsen has a smaller role, as she tries to prepare Sarah Palin for the election. My favorite scene with her was where she tearfully admits to Woody Harrelson’s character she did not vote, what a great moment, and she is off the charts one of the performers of the year.
Kerry Washington-Scandal-After watching the episode “Happy Birthday Mr. President” I could keep this woman off this list. Washington has always been one of my favorite actresses; she always steals the spotlight. Whether that was in Ray or For Colored Girls, Washington is a force to be reckoned with in anything she does, and as Olivia Pope the “fixer” she give one great performance!