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Acting on Glee: And the Award Goes To...


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#1711

manningstar

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Posted May 17, 2012 @ 4:22 PM

I was so incredibly impressed with Chris Colfer in Props. He had fantastic nonverbal acting in the first scene in Sue's office when she was trying to convince him to wear the dress. The Snooki portrayal was hilarious and so different from Kurt's character, as was his amazing transformation into Finn. It was hard to tell in some of the group shots that it was even a different actor playing Finn. I think that is an amazing testament to his acting ability, especially considering that he is so much shorter and smaller than Cory. I also thought Mark and Dot were amazing in Props. Jenna was okay, but I found the scenes with Jenna and Lea during the body swap to be a bit jarring and odd. Neither of them rang true enough to me as the other character for the scenes to not just seem weird. Mark and Cory as Blaine and Kurt were pretty jarring, too, which I thought was mainly just because they looked so big and wrong in those clothes, but then again, as I said, Chris was able to rise above physical differences with his acting to just embody the character.
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#1712

Colonel Green

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Posted May 17, 2012 @ 5:24 PM

Jenna was okay, but I found the scenes with Jenna and Lea during the body swap to be a bit jarring and odd. Neither of them rang true enough to me as the other character for the scenes to not just seem weird.

Jenna wasn't strictly playing Rachel, though, she was playing Tina-as-Rachel, since Tina was still herself.

For Lea, perhaps Tina just has so little development that there's no much to work with in terms of mannerisms or characterization.
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#1713

a finn gleek

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Posted May 17, 2012 @ 5:40 PM

I think Dianna and Naya (and Vanessa, but we didn't see much of her) were the best in the freaky Friday thing. Although, Dianna probably had the easiest job, because overdoing Sugar is nearly impossible. But Naya was fabulous.
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#1714

marymonroe

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Posted May 18, 2012 @ 1:23 PM

For Lea, perhaps Tina just has so little development that there's no much to work with in terms of mannerisms or characterization.

Lea had absolutely nothing to work with they even had to revert Tina back to different clothing to differentiate. Lea had to play her as shy and insecure.
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#1715

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Posted May 21, 2012 @ 5:28 PM

Man, it must have been so fun for Dianna, who is used to playing the rather stoic, serious Quinn, to finally be able to let loose and get silly playing Sugar. I could tell she was having a lot of fun doing it, which made me enjoy it all the more. She and Cory were my favourite body swappers. Cory just got everything right with his Kurt. The voice, the hand movements, the way he sits, the looks he gives Blaine, everything was perfect. Cory as Kurt and Mark as Blaine was the first time I actually enjoyed Klaine! They were soooooo cute together.

Harry with his squinty-eyed dread flip was hilarious, too. Haha.

I was quite surprised by how well Jenna did, too. I think she is by far the worst actor on set. Her line delivery is often stilted and awful, and she doesn't bring much character to Tina, but she impressed me tonight. Most of the time her line delivery was actually pretty spot on, so good for her.

Mark, who isn't a very good actor either, also shined pretty brightly during Props. The fake crying was a little forced, but that whole dumpster scene and the locker room scene afterwards were beautifully acted, even if he did squint his eyes a little too much.

Dot... there are no words. She's just a star. What a wonderful job they did casting her.
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#1716

Sara2009

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Posted May 21, 2012 @ 5:38 PM

I know he only got a couple moments, but I thought Matthew Morrison did a great job playing Sue in "Props." Much like Cory and Chris, he got the body language down especially.
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#1717

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Posted May 22, 2012 @ 11:02 AM

I actually think Lea did a great job as Tina, especially in their scene together. It was a lot of tiny things, but if there's one thing Lea excels at, it's mimicking, and I thought she really brought it. It was the way she was standing, her hesitant phrasing, the shy ducking of her head, and the half-smile that Jenna does.
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#1718

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Posted May 22, 2012 @ 2:32 PM

I loved Chris as Finn, even just sitting down he screamed "Finn". The "boobs" quip was a great line reading.
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#1719

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Posted May 23, 2012 @ 6:32 AM

Both Lea and Cory were amazing in their break up scene. I almost felt Finchel feelings which is saying something considering I have been waiting for them to break up since the start of the season.
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#1720

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Posted May 23, 2012 @ 7:03 AM

I agree about the car scene. Lea was especially brilliant every time Finn threw another curve ball at Rachel, first breaking up, then the army... Pretty much the only thing that has made Finchel almost bearable (sometimes) is that Lea and Cory are such good actors.

I also thought Lea, Chris and Cory were all good in the letter scene, especially when Rachel announced she got in. They all sold their respective feelings well, Rachel was happy for herself but clearly upset about Finn and Kurt, Kurt was devastated (or no, not really, he didn't actually much seem to care which I found weird) about not getting in and perplexed about how he should feel about Rachel's success and Finn was disappointed for himself but clearly very happy for Rachel.

Edited by a finn gleek, May 23, 2012 @ 7:06 AM.

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#1721

dippychik

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Posted May 23, 2012 @ 9:42 AM

I also thought Lea, Chris and Cory were all good in the letter scene

I liked that scene too. They were all so good at projecting so many conflicting things. It actually really highlighted to me that the three of them are the best actors in the "kid" group (though Naya is almost there)
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#1722

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Posted May 23, 2012 @ 9:53 AM

Chiming in that Lea and Cory acted the ever loving fuck out of that scene in the car. You could feel the crushing weight of it coming down on them. I didn't necessarily like the scene or the words they said, but those were A+ performances.

And, especially if this is the end of the line for him, I also want to give props to Mark, who may not be on the level of the above (or Chris or Naya) but has had an oddly strong season, acting-wise. Odd because first he got what ended up being an awful clusterfuck of a storyline, and then he got nothing for a huge chunk of the season. But whatever they threw at him he managed to sell, and do it with charm and likability. Be in love with Shelby? No problem. Play with a baby? Born for that. Do nothing in the background? Milked it as much as he could. Get an actual story arc with both comedy and pretty heavy drama? Nailed it.
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#1723

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Posted May 23, 2012 @ 11:41 AM

Lea and Cory were great in the car scene. Lea just slowly getting it this is actually happening. Plus I love she isn't afraid to ugly cry.
Also liked that once she got to NY she almost forgave herself and started to be happy.

The letter opening was another great scene.

Mark was pretty good but I thought the Quinn/Puck scene was flat, I think Dianna acted as if she had one foot out the door the second half of the season.

One more I love Mr Shue face when he saw the if kids singing Sit down your rocking the boat.

Edited by marymonroe, May 23, 2012 @ 11:41 AM.

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#1724

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Posted May 23, 2012 @ 12:18 PM

Screw comedy, this episode should be submitted to the Emmys for Lea's dramatic acting. The letter scene with her and Cory and Chris showed why they are the "go to" persons when it comes to the dramatic heavy lifting of the show. The conflicting emotions all three show in that scene is pitch perfect, that is what IMO is nuanced and subtle acting just with their facial expressions. (I liked Kurt's quiet and undramatic "I didn't get in". The devastation is all in his face but internal and bubbling under the surfaces as opposed to buckets of tears.

The car "break down" scene between Rachel and Cory it was painful to watch in a good way.


Utter failure again was Darren in his scene with Kurt about being apart. Is the character just withdrawn, or is is that Darren can't pull in the poignancy and wistfulness and sadness needed for that scene? His line readings are just so flat.

The less said about Heather's line readings, the better.

Matt was very good, as always. The MVP for most improved IMO is Mark Sallign, his screen prescense has jumped up leaps and bounds and his line readings are more interesting.

Dianna Agron was fine, and her scenes with Jane had a nice quiet energy to it. Their chemistry was believable and understated enough so that the drama was not overwhelming.
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#1725

Colonel Green

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Posted May 23, 2012 @ 12:38 PM

The less said about Heather's line readings, the better.

Given the material, I have a hard time blaming her. I thought Naya wasn't at her best reacting to that either, or maybe the whole scenario was just not condusive to good acting.

I liked Gloria Estefan's work as a guest star, incidentally. I was a bit worried since you never know whether musicians can act at all.

Mark definitely has moved to a different level in the last few episodes, to my considerable surprise. Good stuff.
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#1726

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Posted May 23, 2012 @ 1:21 PM

Plus I love she isn't afraid to ugly cry.


Yes! The ugly crying brings so much more emotion to the table. I could not care less about Finchel at all, but I teared up a tiny bit just watching Lea Michelle cry. She's a fantastic crier!
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#1727

gfa

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Posted May 24, 2012 @ 4:58 AM

I also thought Lea, Chris and Cory were all good in the letter scene

I liked that scene too. They were all so good at projecting so many conflicting things. It actually really highlighted to me that the three of them are the best actors in the "kid" group


Couldn't agree more. They have acting chemistry in spades, it's a pity they haven't allowed these 3 to get more scenes together. I think they've had a total of 5 scenes for the entire 3 seasons: 2 in IKAG, 1 in Yes/No and 2 in Goodbye.

As annoying as it is that Kurt [appears to have] been reduced to Rachel and Finchel's gay sidekick lately, I still have a soft spot when all three of them get to interact like this.

Edited by TWoP Howard, May 24, 2012 @ 9:45 AM.
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#1728

JessKM

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Posted May 24, 2012 @ 6:50 AM

Lea and Cory nailed the car scene. They really did a great job and I loved how real it felt. Lea sold the whole 'can't believe this is happening right now'. You could just see Rachel slowly start to realise what was really happening.

[I think that] Lea, Cory and Chris really are the best actors amoung the "kid" cast - especially Lea.

Well done to the cast.

Edited by TWoP Howard, May 24, 2012 @ 9:45 AM.
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#1729

TWoP Howard

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Posted May 24, 2012 @ 9:47 AM

Peopleócaring deeply about this show or the characters does not make your opinions about them facts. Donít write your posts as if you think they are, please (and donít cop out by sticking YMMV or IMO in willy-nilly, either).

#1730

JessKM

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Posted May 24, 2012 @ 5:58 PM

People—caring deeply about this show or the characters does not make your opinions about them facts. Don’t write your posts as if you think they are, please (and don’t cop out by sticking YMMV or IMO in willy-nilly, either).


I totally agree. My apologies for that. I didn't intend for it to be stated as fact. Thanks for the heads up.

Once again well done to the cast. I think they have all stepped up in season 3.

Edited by JessKM, May 24, 2012 @ 5:59 PM.

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#1731

talktothemoose

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Posted May 24, 2012 @ 9:57 PM

The less said about Heather's line readings, the better.


Given the material, I have a hard time blaming her. I thought Naya wasn't at her best reacting to that either, or maybe the whole scenario was just not condusive to good acting.


I have trouble with Naya's dramatic moments a lot. She is right on the mark when it comes to comedy, but I feel like she's hit or miss with drama. I think Santana's a good character for her because she tends to over-act a lot, and Santana (like Sugar) can go over the top and still be believable. But when they give her drama, I feel like she can't hack it sometimes.

Agree with all the Lea/Cory praise for the car scene. Lea, especially, hit that one out of the park. The look on her face when she realized what was happening along with the freakout where she tried talking over him to make him stop... it was just all really, really good. I've always felt Cory was the strongest actor with Lea in second, but with this scene, I think she edged him out a little bit. Really, truly amazing. A high (acting) point in an otherwise disappointing episode.
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#1732

gfa

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Posted May 25, 2012 @ 12:59 AM

Even though this season has made me sick to death of Finchel scenes and Finchel drama, I really have to give props to Lea and Cory for selling the acting. I might groan when a Finchel scene comes on, and wish for it to be replaced with something else, but the one thing I thankfully don't have to worry about is poor acting in their scenes. If Finchel were played by more mid tier actors in this cast, AND they got as much focus as they did this season, I would've gone crazy, but Lea and Cory manage to do the best with the material given, so I thank them for doing everything in their capacity to make Finchel more bearable.

I wish Lea and Cory could be on another show playing another couple who hasn't been screwed around with like how Finchel has been screwed by the writers, because that car scene would've been so much more powerful if they weren't Finn and Rachel.
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#1733

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Posted May 25, 2012 @ 11:42 AM

Cory Monteith does some amazing acting work as Finn. It's awe inspiring how no matter how douche bag Finn acts, Cory pulls it off.

Even in this last episode, Cory is selling Finn's sacrifice so it isn't until after the fact that you realize he did it in such WTF douche bag manner of sending Rachel off..LOL. But he makes you see how Finn is hurting while letting go of Rachel. Great job Cory !
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#1734

Colonel Green

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Posted May 25, 2012 @ 4:59 PM

I have trouble with Naya's dramatic moments a lot. She is right on the mark when it comes to comedy, but I feel like she's hit or miss with drama. I think Santana's a good character for her because she tends to over-act a lot, and Santana (like Sugar) can go over the top and still be believable. But when they give her drama, I feel like she can't hack it sometimes.

I agree that I've found some of her moments this season haven't worked, but I tend to assign responsibility for that to the writing, because the writing for Santana has been especially horrible this year, whereas last year she had some of the better writing on the show. I think Naya may be less able to try and salvage bad writing than some of the other actors (though I think there's a pronounced limit to how much any actor can do in that regard; however good Lea or Chris are, and they're very good, they can't fundamentally alter a bad story if it's bad).

I thought Naya did some of her best work ever in Mash-Off, but that that story derailed thereafter, and the few times that Santana was treated as a serious character this season were so disconnected. Like, in the scene with her abuela, Naya's being asked to, in the space of like two minutes, create this whole relationship with a character the audience has never met (or even really heard of) before, and then sell the tragedy of abuela's rejection (which the writers will never follow through on). To make the obvious comparison, to Preggers, Chris got two scenes with Mike O'Malley before the big revelation, and most of the rest of what he did that episode revolved around his relationship with his father (and Burt got a sort of 'solo' scene watching him from the stands). Even that, arguably, could have been better if we'd seen Burt in an earlier episode, but as it was it was generally judged more than sufficient to give Burt and Kurt's relationship weight, to let the audience get a natural-seeming sense of what their relationship is like, and to convey the stakes (ie, we're led to believe that Burt is a homophobe and will react badly).

I thought two scenes with her mom were slightly better, since they had a more comic touch, but they're still so breakneck that I couldn't find them natural. Like, in the initial Breadstix scene, in the space of about 40 seconds we have Santana suddenly declaring she wants to go to New York and be famous, Brittany telling Santana that she's not graduating, Santana being upset about this and saying maybe she should stay in Lima, and Santana's mom then saying she wants her to go to college.

The first Breadstix scene with Brittany in Pot 'o Gold is actually the same; after several episodes of keeping the audience in the dark about what's going in with Santana and Brittany, they're suddenly dating, and all the issues from last season that were built up so much are dismissed without so much as a handwave. And this, again, lasts about a minute and a half. There are moments in that scene, like the "I wish you'd hold my hand", that should be really moving, but Santana's reaction shot is about two seconds (and scored to really cheesy Italian music).

Compare any of these moments to, say, the Rachel/Finn conversation in the car in Goodbye, which had tons of buildup (though, in the case of Finn's army swerve, still not enough, I don't think), and lasted like three minutes, and didn't have half as much on its plate as the earlier Breadstix scene with Santana, Brittany, and Maribel, or the abuela scene, or the Breadstix date from earlier.

Pretty much all Glee stories could be said to have problems like this to one degree or another, but I found Santana had probably the worst of it this year. Her handful of dramatic scenes are short, lacking setup, and as a consequence crammed full of exposition that should have been dealt with in earlier scenes. There's just not much room to breathe and actually act.
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#1735

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Posted May 25, 2012 @ 5:51 PM

Pretty much all Glee stories could be said to have problems like this to one degree or another, but I found Santana had probably the worst of it this year. Her handful of dramatic scenes are short, lacking setup, and as a consequence crammed full of exposition that should have been dealt with in earlier scenes. There's just not much room to breathe and actually act.



That is a good point, that Santana's dramatic moments lack the setup and any followup. Naya Rivera can't convey everything in those short scenes so it looks as if the actor is misfiring when IMO it's that there is too much ground to cover in a poorly written moment. The abuela scene Santana had to convey all this initial love for a character we had never met before and the big reveal and the devastation within a couple of minutes.
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#1736

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Posted May 25, 2012 @ 7:12 PM

Colonel Green, that was my biggest problem with Naya's portrayal of Santana being outted. We see Shue, Sue and Burt sit her down, then cut from 0 to 60 and she's suddenly having a complete breakdown. Her acting was solid, but she had no breathing space to allow viewers to process her emotions, which can leave the audience unsatisfied; which many interpret as a shortcoming in the acting of a scene.

Edited by spanky91088, May 25, 2012 @ 7:13 PM.

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#1737

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Posted May 26, 2012 @ 6:33 AM

Great observations, Colonel Green! One of my constant complaints about Glee, specifically this season, is that the pacing often feels harried and scenes(and scene partners) are not given enough time to breathe and find a rhythm together to play out the big emotions the writers intend or elicit from the audience the reaction they are going for. Using the Finchel car scene is a great example. Cory and Lea played every single stinking beat of it. But they were given the luxuary of time to do so. I think it might have clocked in at about 4 minutes. That's a marathon in Glee standards, when they usually try to do their storytelling in (unfocused and unsatisfying) sprints. To bring this back to acting, it is hard to criticize some of the actors for the seemingly odd choices they make because they are often being asked to convey so much with so little time.

That's also why I have to give much praise to Jane, Matt, Lea, Chris, and Cory who more often than not make it work. Especially Jane! MVP for sure!

Edited by Mnemosyne78, May 26, 2012 @ 6:34 AM.

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#1738

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Posted May 26, 2012 @ 8:25 AM

Absolutely agreed.

IMO, the problem with this show starts and ends with writing. Period. Singing is great, production is great, acting is great (well, not everyone, but good enough most of the time). The writing is what makes this show so infuriating to me...it just doesn't make any freaking sense!

I was rolling my eyes at most of the graduation ep, but I bawled during the car scene with Lea and Cory. They nailed it....broke my heart.
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#1739

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Posted May 26, 2012 @ 8:32 AM

I agree that the lack of buildup to certain scenes works against the actors in some cases, but I still don't think Naya's got the dramatic capability that some of the others do. I do, however, think she can sell it like no other at certain times. One of the saddest/most dramatic moments on this show occurred during Sexy with Santana and Brittany in the hallway where Santana tells Britt she loves her and Britt says they can't be together because of Artie. To me, that is some of Naya's best acting ever, as well as one of the best scenes on the entire show. So I know she can do it, I just don't think she does it with 100% consistency.

I will say, though, that the reason Finchel comes across as always hitting the mark dramatically is probably to do with the fact that Cory and Lea are both capable of selling anything that's put in front of them. This is my opinion, of course, and I'm sure other people see it differently, but when you compare that to the rest of the couples they've got an obvious advantage.

I don't like watching Klaine scenes because Darren's acting makes me cringe. Putting it up against Chris seems to make it even more glaringly obvious because Chris is so strong. The same with Brittana. I think Naya's brought down sometimes by Heather's acting. Hell, even Samcedes was difficult to watch during their few scenes because Chord is so much stronger in that field than Amber is. Lea and Cory, though, have the benefit of both being two very strong actors who can do comedy, can do drama, can do whatever, no matter how bad the writing is or how awful any particular scene is making their characters seem.
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#1740

Colonel Green

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Posted May 26, 2012 @ 8:59 AM

For the people generally held to be lower on the acting totem, like Heather, Jenna, Mark, etc., I think the show's setup works against them more strongly than it does the actors who may be more naturally talented. The show has no table readings, minimal communication with the writers in general (Darren said in one interview that nobody spoke to him about Blaine before he started in the role), a frequently hectic production schedule (particularly in Season 2), and writers who aren't generally ranked highly on character consistency -- that's an uphill climb before you even start.

I always think of the script pages released for Original Song, including the Brittany/Santana locker scene, where all of Santana's lines come with descriptions of what she's feeling when she says them, and Brittany's are totally blank. No indication whatsoever of what she's feeling there or what's going on in her head.
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