THE ACTOR | Jennifer Coolidge
THE SHOW | The White Lotus
THE RESULT | “Arrivederci” (12/11/2022)
THE PERFORMANCE | Give us a moment: We’re mourning the loss of an iconic TV character this week. We were honestly stunned when Mike White killed Tanya McQuoid in the Season 2 finale of HBO hit dramedy Coolidge’s delightfully goofy socialite just because she was the main attraction for the last two seasons. But at least Coolidge went out in style and gave Tanya a surprisingly robust but hopelessly inept swan song.
The finale put Tanya in serious jeopardy as she gathered enough clues to realize her new gay bestie, Quentin, was conspiring with her husband Greg to kill her and claim her vast fortune. We were impressed by Tanya’s detective skills as Coolidge showed us a refreshingly strategic side of the normally clueless git. However, her line readings were still incredibly hilarious – “Those gays! They’re trying to murder me!” will live on in meme heaven forever — and we also loved the splashes of physical comedy that Coolidge added. (Tanya, not-so-subtly, sprinted away from her new gay friends to call for help…then promptly dropped her phone over the side of the boat into the water.)
Coolidge even got to play an action hero, with a sobbing Tanya grabbing a gun and firing wildly, mowing down her would-be attackers in a hail of gunfire. But of course she had to add a punchline when Tanya asked a dying Quentin, “Is Greg having an affair?” (Ha!) However, Tanya met her end when she slipped and drowned trying to get off the boat, which was actually a perfect fitting fate for our dazed Tanya. We hated to see her go, but Coolidge’s hilarious, fiery farewell performance gave her a very fitting farewell.
AWARD | Lizzy Caplan’s Libby has been an entertaining and insightful narrator on Hulu all season Fleishman is in trouble, but Libby is in trouble of her own, and Caplan was great this week when Libby’s own midlife crisis suddenly caught up with her. Libby relished the opportunity to reconnect with her college buddies while ignoring her husband Adam, with Caplan displaying a stinging callousness. But really, Libby missed her old life and her freedom, which Caplan poured out to Toby in a rambling, tear-choked monologue. She even got to play a younger Libby in flashbacks, capitalizing on the wide-eyed youthfulness that older Libby is so desperate to reclaim. Fleischman‘s conflicts are mostly quiet and internal, but Caplan let us know that these unfulfilled adults have some serious emotional fireworks going on.
AWARD | The cleaning ladyThe second finale of was an emotionally draining ordeal, particularly for Martha Millan’s Fiona. Over two harrowing hours, Millan communicated fear, determination, insecurity, resentment and about half a dozen other emotions as Fiona and Thony ran out of options, leading to Fiona’s arrest and eventual deportation. The actress shone brightest, however, when a jailed Fiona spoke one-to-one with son Chris, imploring him not to follow her out of the country if she was deported. “Every sacrifice I’ve made, every lie I’ve told, every toilet I’ve cleaned — it was for she‘ she told him, and Millan’s voice cracked with urgency. Here is hope The cleaning lady returns for a third season, as does Fiona; We suspect Millan has much more glorious heartache in store for us.
AWARD | We had high expectations for FX relationship, the first screen adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s acclaimed novel, and starring Mallori Johnson as the time-traveling heroine Dana did not disappoint. We were locked in for the first few seconds of Tuesday’s series premiere as Dana lay on the floor processing the excruciating pain of having just been whipped and then thrown back to the present. With virtually no dialogue, Johnson expertly conveyed the frantic desperation and growing frustration Dana felt in that harrowing moment as she ruled the screen like a seasoned vet, despite this being her first starring role on television. And as Dana was torn through time in the scenes that followed, Johnson gave a beautifully layered performance that Butler would be proud of.
Which performance(s) knocked your Socks out this week? Tell us in the comments!
https://tvline.com/2022/12/17/jennifer-coolidge-performance-white-lotus-season-2-finale-tanya-dies/ Jennifer Coolidge’s appearance in the White Lotus finale – Tanya dies