THE ARTIST | Patty Guggenheim
THE SHOW | She-Hulk: Lawyer
THE EPISODE | “Isn’t that real magic?” (September 8, 2022)
THE PERFORMANCE | She had us at, “and a Y, but that’s not where you think.”
When Mystic Castle magician Donny Blaze first took Madisynn King out of his audience for a spin, his drink almost splashing out of his glass, you might have groaned at the first hint of his tipsy vocal fry. But Guggenheim instantly made the party girl hilarious specific with the rhythm of his speech and his intonations. (Seriously, who else notices, “Ew,” when facing an inter-dimensional portal?)
Then when Madisynn toppled through another portal and nearly landed in Wong’s lap? Just like the Sorcerer Supreme tried to binge The Sopranos in his Kamar-Taj cradle? We were off to the races, as the MCU’s most unlikely friendship was forming (blurted Soprano spoilers be damned). There was a quiet sparkle in the way Guggenheim – who once played a girl from Florida – clearly recounted how Blaze “sent me to a different dimension, then a talking goat helped me escape a pit of washed in exchange for six drops of my blood. “, while being distracted by a broken dress strap.
Guggenheim’s best showcase came when attorney Jen Walters/She-Hulk reluctantly called her to testify in court, as “Wongers” (A-plus straight man Benedict Wong) sought to stifle the act of Blaze, dropped out of Mystic Arts. The way she casually recounted the pact she made with a “land of fire” demon “that I can not chat” was a hoot, and yet it paled in comparison to her detailing the emotions she felt during her portal jumps: “At first it was fun. So scary. So fun Again. So scarybut in a fun way!”
All told, Guggenheim’s Madisynn was one of the first truly contemporary characters to enter the MCU in quite some time – someone who, for better or worse, felt real and wasn’t carefully cast. by injection to serve a purpose by heart. She is neither a scientist nor a doctor nor a superpowered being. She’s just a girl from Florida who just shares popcorn and a It’s us frenzy with his Wongers. And maybe some yak milk too. Case closed!
HONORABLE MENTION | Dragon HouseEarly episodes of Big Lannister Energy were sorely lacking, a deficit that Jefferson Hall made up for twice in the hour on Sunday. Playing twins Tyland (standing, driven) and Jason (smarmy, titled) Lannister, Hall gave us a look at his considerable range. But we’d like to focus on the absolutely entertaining way he, as Jason, attempted to woo Princess Rhaenyra. Hall mixed the arrogance we recognize from House Lannister with Jason’s naked ambition, which bordered on buffoonery. (Need a laugh? Go back and watch how his face changes as Rhaenyra turns her back on him.) The episode left us very excited to see what Hall will do when the spotlight is on Ser Tyland.
HONORABLE MENTION | This week The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power found Arondir nearly at his breaking point after the wood elf was captured by Orcs and forced to labor at one of their camps in horrific conditions. In a powerful scene that revealed his fierce warrior spirit, the chained elf took on a Warg – the same beast that nearly killed Aragorn in the The two towers – to help his friend escape, only to watch them die. While we really enjoyed those acrobatic moves that inspired the same awe we felt with Legolas in Peter Jackson’s films, we were most impressed by the fire in Ismael Cruz Córdova’s eyes and the mighty roar of his lungs as the elf fought back. With a will stronger than mithril, Arondir is quickly becoming one of our favorites to watch.
HONORABLE MENTION | It’s always bittersweet to watch children grow up, but it was especially hard to watch What we do in the shadows‘ Colin Robinson steps into manhood this week – just because it was such goofy fun to watch Mark Proksch play him through every stage of his goofy teenage years. Colin began this week’s finale as a brooding, explosive death metal teenager, and Proksch captured that angsty age perfectly with hunched shoulders, sneers, and eye-rolls. It also struck an unexpectedly poignant note when Colin discovered his unfortunate fate as an energy vampire. By the time he reverted to his familiar form as the painfully dull adult Colin, it almost felt like two different actors, since Proksch was so compelling as “Baby Colin.”
Which performance(s) hit your socks this week? Tell us in the comments!