5 Must See TV Stars

must see tv stars

A great TV actor can make an entire series. They can overcome shaky writing, poor supporting characters, and even lackluster directing. Throughout TV history, there are countless cases of TV actors carrying mediocre shows and making them good, or taking a good show and making it transcendent. While the 2011 TV season has its fair share of duds (I’m most definitely looking at you, Eddie Cibrian), there are plenty of actors who are absolutely crushing it this year. Given the state of TV these days, the work of these fine actors is to be celebrated. Here are five actors that you should be watching:

Simon Baker

There’s a chance that Simon Baker may be more valuable to his show than any other television actor going. If you removed Baker from the show and replaced him with an average actor, THE MENTALIST is borderline unwatchable. Baker is the epitome of a one-man team. The show asks him to go in a lot of different directions, and he delivers every time. He’s funny, charismatic, and has an excellent feel for the moment. His emotions always match the stakes of the scene. There are many deserving male leads who deserve Emmy nominations, but the fact that Simon Baker has only one nomination is incomprehensible to me.

Claire Danes

HOMELAND (Showtime) "Grace" Episode 2 (3)

Thanks to Showtime being in only 18 million homes, a lot of you guys are missing Claire Danes’ performance in HOMELAND. Unlike Baker, she is fortunate enough to have Mandy Patinkin and Damian Lewis to help her. However, the fact that she has Patinkin and Lewis on her show makes it even more impressive that her performance stands out. She owns every nuance of this performance. It can’t be easy to play a hyper-intelligent analyst of the CIA that is also a crazy person. Speaking of Emmys, you can go ahead and write Danes’ name in pen for a nomination.

Josh Charles

Josh Charles is a guy who has always been respected as an actor. However, until recently, Josh Charles was threatening to become a That Guy (Guys whose name you don’t know, but you recognize them when you see them). His turn on THE GOOD WIFE has erased that fear completely. He has given a excellent performance on a show filled with strong acting. He routinely outshines Julianna Margulies in their scenes together (not an easy feat). I am glad he finally was recognized with an Emmy nomination this past year. Congratulations Mr. Charles. No one will ever confuse you with a That Guy again.

Norman Reedus

THE WALKING DEAD Cherokee Rose Season 2 Episode 4

I have taken my fair share of shots at THE WALKING DEAD recently, but one thing I cannot disparage is the performance of Norman Reedus as Daryl. Granted, some of his appeal may come from the fact that the other actors aren’t exactly putting on acting clinics, but Reedus’s work still needs to be recognized. He has managed to transform this racist hillybilly character into someone loved and rooted for by the audience. Also, he seems to be one of the few characters on the show that is capable of common sense thinking when faced with a zombie apocalypse. He should get at least a Golden Globe nomination for that alone.

Kelsey Grammer

If you aren’t watching what Kelsey Grammer is doing on Boss, then you are missing out on one of the best performances of the television season. You may have questions about the storylines or the pace of the show, but you cannot question Grammer’s performance. Because of his many years on CHEERS and FRAISER, Kelsey Grammer was labeled by some people as a good comedic actor. However, Grammer is far more than that. Nobody steps in and steals a scene from him. He has maybe the most commanding presence of anyone on television not named Jon Hamm. If you’re missing out, go find this show on the interwebs. You’re welcome.

Now it’s on you guys. Who are the actors you enjoy seeing the most? Are you enjoying the work of these five? Let’s talk it out in the comments section or on Twitter.

The TV Czar