Performer of the Week: Justified's Mike O'Malley

mikeblogA weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars

THE PERFORMER | Mike O’Malley

THE SHOW | Justified

THE EPISODE | “Decoy”

THE AIRDATE March 19, 2013

THE PERFORMANCE | It speaks volumes about the quality and daring of O’Malley’s work on Justified this season that he’s making such a (wonderful! awful!) impression as Theo Tonin’s slimebucket henchman Nicky Augustine. This is the show, after all, that gave us Margo Martindale as the fearsome Mags Bennett. Its bar for villains is set high. Real high.

Yet, in this week’s exceptional episode, O’Malley made Nicky so skin-crawlingly vile during his misogynistic tete-a-tete with Ava that when she pulled a gun on him, you could almost hear every viewer at home shouting, “Do it! Shoot!”

Perhaps especially impressive is the fact that O’Malley’s performance here is a full-on 180 from the role for which he’s best known: Kurt’s dad – perennial Father of the Year Burt – on Glee. That he can not only make us forget Burt but make us forget Burt and absolutely loathe Nicky is the kind of feat that deserves recognition.

What performance knocked your socks off this week?



Comments (53)

  • He was so evil and especially disgusting with Ava, but I will forever love him for being Kurt’s AWESOME father on Glee.

    Comment by Ruby – March 23, 2013 04:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yeah, i have never seen him in Glee, or Glee in general, but he is one bad@ss character in Justified. I remember in one episode this season he calmly talked to an FBI Agent before shooting him in the forehead mere seconds later.

      Comment by ThatJustifiedFan – March 25, 2013 10:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Lisa Edelstein should’ve been performer of the week on Scandal! She did an amazing job on the show. The table scene between Lisa and Kerry Washington was the best scene that I’ve ever scene between two women in a very long time. Lisa E totally did some amazing acting. To me,I think this is the best acting in her career on a tv show. She deserves the recognition on this one. I really hope she returns to tv soon in a major role. She’s been missed!

    Comment by Kelly – March 23, 2013 04:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I totally agree. I always liked her but i didn´t know she could be that great in drama. She totally killed it. She should have made this list.

      Comment by Sam – March 24, 2013 02:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I still prefer Mike O’Malley from “Spill Your Guts.” MO!

    Comment by Meg – March 23, 2013 04:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Fantastic show! Fantastic Season! Fantastic choice! Nicky is a d**k! O’Malley deserves the spotlight!

    Comment by Wow – March 23, 2013 04:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sory but Patton Oswald as Constable Bob was legendary.

    Comment by Vicki (@Vics02) – March 23, 2013 04:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Holy crap. When Bob was choking out “Drew-bacca!” and “Drew-mama!” I wanted to kiss him right on his bloody, broken mouth.

      Comment by aunt_deen@comcast.net – March 23, 2013 05:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Ditto to Patton Oswalt as well. When he was getting the crap beat out of him you really felt for the character. Comedians always make great actors.

        Comment by Rjrtist – March 23, 2013 08:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I find myself laughing at the great lines delivered so well on Justified more than I do at most sit-coms.

        Comment by The Beach – March 24, 2013 06:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • My thoughts exactly. Constable Bob by far.

      Comment by bob – March 24, 2013 07:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • HIs scenes with Raylan have been magic. I hope they find a way to keep him around for future seasons.

      Comment by Magically Suspicious – March 25, 2013 06:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • YES!!!! Couldn’t agree more

      Comment by Monte – March 25, 2013 09:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • He’s come a long way since “Yes, Dear!” LOVE him!

    Comment by valeriel40 – March 23, 2013 04:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • My thought exactly! I still love watch the reruns of Yes Dear, it never gets old to me

      Comment by Ram510 – March 23, 2013 10:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • My thoughts exactly…..what a great underrated actor. Miss him on Glee. I could not believe it was the same actor when I watched Justified. WOW!

      Comment by Ethel – March 24, 2013 04:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • He’s a great actor. I’m glad he’s on a show that doesn’t suck.

    Comment by Mark – March 23, 2013 04:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would never have picked him for this tiny part. Even just from this show. Super lame choice.

    Comment by kat – March 23, 2013 05:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • And yours is a super lame post.

      Comment by JA – March 24, 2013 04:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • kat = failure in life

      Comment by Brad – March 27, 2013 10:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Pretty much everyone on Justified was stellar this week. I would also give a shout out the Sandra Oh for Grey’s and Adan Canto for The Following.

    Comment by DarkDefender – March 23, 2013 05:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ya know, add Sara Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw for Grey’s too.. They were awesome.

      Comment by DarkDefender – March 23, 2013 05:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Indeed. Here! Here! Easily one of the best written series on television.

    Comment by Kaulbach Kurt-James – March 23, 2013 05:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Best known for Kurt’s father on Glee? What about Yes, Dear and My Name Is Earl!

    Comment by Bender – March 23, 2013 05:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • To me he’ll always be known for Guts!

      Comment by Bartleby – March 24, 2013 05:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes! When I see him I always remember Yes Dear.

      Comment by Kim R – March 24, 2013 06:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • His role on Glee actually got him a lot of attention from critics as well as an emmy nod so it makes sense to say it is what he might be most known for. At least recently anyway.

      Comment by Lydia – March 24, 2013 07:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Actually I wanted her to set him on fire, but it would have been too obvious after dumping brandy on him.

    Comment by scorpionglow – March 23, 2013 05:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • My thoughts exactly. With that lighter in one hand….I was so intent on what I thought she should do, I didn’t even see the gun until she had it in his face. I thought. YES…that works for me!

      Comment by Karen H in NC – March 24, 2013 05:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I knew she was armed. I thought “Shooting him might also ignite the brandy, go for it!” It was such an uncalled for set of insults that I know I wouldn’t have been able to be that calm about it.

        I think in the Elmore Leonard aspect of things, she will either be sorry she didn’t do what she felt in the moment or something else will happen. I don’t think that guy is going back to Tonin, except maybe in a body bag.

        Comment by scorpionglow – March 24, 2013 10:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nicky was great, but Rachel Miner deserves some recognition for her last turn as Meg on Supernatural. Naturally, that show kills the female characters with the most personality and keeps the annoying ones around.

    Comment by Amy – March 23, 2013 06:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Constable Bob underestimate him at your own peril…

    Comment by Winso – March 23, 2013 09:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yeah he made an amazing show host on Nickelodeon. Haha! Interesting to see that he’s doing different things now.

    Comment by sarah – March 23, 2013 09:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Seriously did nobody at TV Line watch the last episode of Spartacus? Manu Bennett is the only actor who should be called the performer of the week.

    Comment by Talia – March 23, 2013 10:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I was totally about to say this as well. He completely blew me away this week.

      Comment by Vanessa Atkins – March 24, 2013 03:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I used to really dislike Mike O’Malley. He always played the same kind of schlubby jerk on sitcoms. When he got the role of Burt on Glee, that was the first time I liked him in anything. I don’t watch Glee anymore (it’s just a terrible show now), but I was interested in how O’Malley was going to do on Justified where the bar is raised pretty high. He’s fantastic in it. All he needs is great material and a strong director.

    Comment by Rowan77 – March 23, 2013 11:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • O’Malley was good, but Nicky Augustin is pretty close (albeit, worse than) to O’Malley’s spy character, Raymond Carter, from the short lived “My Own Worst Enemy”. Based on that, I at least knew how much terrible he could pull off.

    Comment by Deion – March 24, 2013 01:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I never would have believed O’Malley had the Chops for Drama after such schlock as Yes Dear but he actually is convincing in the role. Kudos to him and TV Line for recognizing it.

    Comment by Paul – March 24, 2013 10:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Manu Bennett of Spartacus!!!

    Comment by King – March 24, 2013 12:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • He’s a really good actor.

    Comment by Tabs – March 24, 2013 01:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The cast of Justified is one of the most underrated right now … everyone was on fire this week … the phone call between Tim & Colton was phenomenal. We’re so used to Olyphant & Goggins being great that we tend to overlook everyone else.

    Comment by Dave – March 24, 2013 03:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m really happy to see Tim getting more screen time. I love his character.

      Comment by The Beach – March 24, 2013 07:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I concur. I always enjoy the Tim character….some great one-liners

      Comment by Eva – March 25, 2013 09:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m sure O’Malley was great but I think that Lisa Edelstein should have gotten a meantion here. She totally killed it on Scandal. Every scene with her was beyond awesome, I enjoyed every second she was on the screen. What an outstanding actress!

    Comment by Jess – March 24, 2013 03:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t watch Justified but my pick for performer of the week would be Lisa Edelstein. She and Kerry Washington took my breath during their heart to heart with the bottles of wine. What a brilliant mirror scene with Liv & Fitz and the client & her husband that morphed into the best moment two female characters shared on TV in ages. Kudos to the writers and both actresses.

    Comment by Laura – March 24, 2013 04:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • when I first saw him, I immediately thought of Glee….but the second he started speaking, I forgot all about it. He’s so evil yet so subtle. The screen with Ava was some great acting, but also some great writing. Justified is such a great, yet underrated, show!

    Comment by Eva – March 25, 2013 09:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Patton Oswalt for sure

    Comment by tom moran – March 25, 2013 09:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’ll may say it when Raylan or Boyd puts a bullet between his eyes

    Comment by James Lewis – March 25, 2013 09:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • O’Malley was great with Ava and that line as Ava is making her way out the door “OK I see what you like about her” could have been Raylans.

    Comment by sam – March 25, 2013 12:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • For the next week must be Manu Bennett from Spartacus please!!

    Comment by Ivo – March 26, 2013 06:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think it has to be a tie between O’Malley and Patton Oswalt, both for their work on Justified. They each had a stand out episode, and have both been great additions to an already incredibly awesome show.

    Comment by dizzylucy – March 26, 2013 08:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Joelle Carter really deserves more praise for what has certainly been the most exciting portrayal of a character this season on JUSTIFIED.

    Comment by Austin – March 29, 2013 09:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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