TVLine's Performer of the Week: Susan Lucci

Susan Lucci Devious Maids Performance

A weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars

THE PERFORMER | Susan Lucci

THE SHOW | Devious Maids

THE EPISODE | “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

THE AIRDATE | June 22, 2014

THE PERFORMANCE | There’s nothing funny about a life-threatening kidney disorder — unless, of course, that illness happens to befall Devious Maids‘ Genevieve Delatour. In that case, it’s hysterical.

Lucci has always balanced Maids‘ unorthodox regiment of comedy and drama, but never as successfully as in Sunday’s episode, which finally found the widowed millionaire confronting her mother about making her life a living hell. Did we mention her mother is played by Oscar nominee June Squibb?

From Genevieve’s delightfully absurd denial — when told that facials won’t cure her kidney disorder, she responded, “Are you sure? Have there been studies?” — to her eventual defiance of her mother, Lucci’s delivery captured every gradual stage of a desperate daughter arriving at her wit’s end.

Maids also isn’t afraid to allow Lucci the occasional over-the-top moment of pure soapy goodness, the kind of fare she turned into an art during her decades on ABC’s All My Children. This week’s example: “If you can’t be bothered to even pretend to love me, well, you can just go to hell!” she shouted at her mother, mere seconds before said mother dropped to the floor from a presumed heart attack.

Of course, it wasn’t a heart attack, and that’s when Lucci’s comedic chops returned. “It was coronary angina, some minor problem with her heart,” Genevieve announced upon her return from the hospital. “I tried to tell the doctors she doesn’t have one, but they wouldn’t listen.”

After a little nudging from her Pine Sol-scented pal Zoila, Genevieve eventually decided to make amends with her monstrous mother; and although Lucci flashed her megawatt smile throughout the entire finale scene, the rage lurking just below the surface was still palpable — and appreciated.

untitledHONORABLE MENTION | On Showtime’s period thriller, Penny Dreadful, Eva Green is so freaktastic that to hold a candle to her, an actor can’t be good, he must be great. And we’re as surprised as anyone to be saying this, but former teen idol Josh Hartnett is great. First, he bowled us over in “Possession” with the tenderness that his sharpshooter character, Ethan, showed Green’s poor, possessed Vanessa. So soft was his voice, so gentle were his eyes, they could have been blankets in which he was wrapping her for protection. And then, when he revealed that Ethan wasn’t Ethan at all but the demon who sought to make her the mother of evil? Hartnett mixed a cocktail of menace and seductiveness that was so potent, we damn near forgot whether we were supposed to be rooting for Vanessa to surrender or resist! In short, a revelation.

unnamed-1HONORABLE MENTION | When Continuum debuted, it asked how a woman catapulted 65 years back in time might somehow return to the future and reunite with her husband and son. But as Season 3 gradually nullified that endgame, Rachel Nichols — perhaps no more so than in the finale — showed us a Kiera upended but ultimately unburdened by the decision to accept that her future with a family was in some ways now just a “dream.” In the season’s final hour, Kiera committed to a plan that would thwart Present Alec’s Halo launch, and in doing so derail the timeline that leads to her dystopic yet love-filled future. That impossible choice crystallized at the climax of the two Alecs’ rooftop fight to the death, when Nichols registered Kiera’s moment of mourning for one Alec, followed by her confidence in choosing the other. Continuum is very much Kiera’s journey, and Nichols’ performance makes clear what an emotionally arduous one it is.

Which performances rocked your world this week? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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30 Comments
  1. V says:

    How is Eva Green not Performer of the Week is beyond me. You either hate her or you are puppies of network television. Just saying.

    • Amy says:

      They recognized her a few weeks ago, and they try to avoid repeating performers – or so it seems. I wouldn’t say they hate her when they’re praising her in Josh Harnett’s paragraph.

      • V says:

        Thanks for replying much nicer and more logical than the person below you. I do know they did but I also noticed that TvLine tends to choose Performer of the Week from network tv shows. Perhaps not in Susan Lucci’s case but TvLine does tend to lean more/promote/give attention to/review network shows more. Oh well.

        PS: “puppies” was an honest typo. I did mean “puppets”

    • jennvozik says:

      when none of the performers mentioned are on network television and one is on the very same show YOU mention, your comment about puppies (and I’m pretty sure the word is puppets) is an an all around Epic Fail. Just saying.

  2. Roger says:

    YAY for Rachel Nichols!

  3. Coal says:

    I don’t think any of us would have believed that in our lifetime Erica Kane would be awarded performer of the week (Yeah, I took it there) and it only took her two season, unlike the Daytime Emmys.

  4. Christy says:

    Thank you for acknowledging Susan Lucci! She’s amazing on Devious Maids and I hope she gets recognized on July 10 when the Emmy nominations are announced!

    • dude says:

      She won’t.

    • Robert says:

      I enjoyed her performance in the episodes with yer mother and I agree she should receive a emmy nomination. I do have to say I disagree with the advice Zoila gave Genevieve about turning the other cheek. I say the only way to deal with a monster like her mother, is to keep a long distance and no contact unless it is absolutely necessary!

  5. TinLV says:

    Susan Lucci has always been underrated as an actress. She got overlooked all those times for the Emmy because she made it look too easy. But effortlessly staying totally in character for 25 years has to be hard. I love her on Devious Maids. The part is perfect for her. .

    • dude says:

      I don’t think you can call her underrated when she is considered the Queen of Soap Operas. She’s probably the most famous soap star of all time.

  6. Ed says:

    I was never a fan of Susan Lucci until she guest starred in Hot in Cleveland which proved to me she was hilarious. Being on Devious Maids she is able to showcase both her comedic and dramatic talent. She’s one of the reasons I watch devious maids. Love her

    • ChrisGa says:

      Yeah, up until Devious Maids, I thought her best acting showcase was those HIC episodes(playing a heightened version of herself of course, but still…..). I’ve loved her on DM and the relationship between Genevieve and Judy Reyes’ Zoila is my absolute favorite on TV right now.

  7. bj says:

    It’s great to see Rachel Nichols recognized. She’s great in this show.

  8. Shaun says:

    I don’t think anyone on Devious Maids should ever be recognized…..except for how horrible the show is,lol.

  9. CJ says:

    Susan Lucci was great this week, but for me the performers of the week were the cast of Rizzoli and Isles. They did such a phenomenal job bidding farewell to a beloved character and a cherished friend. I don’t know how they were able to keep it together as well as they did. Beautiful, heartbreaking episode.

  10. Robby Horine says:

    Good for Rachel. Continuum is the best sci-fi show on air right now. Hopefully Space and SCi-Fi (I refuse to use the ‘y’) agree on a 4th and 5th season.

  11. Sean T says:

    I was really hoping Merrit Weaver from Nurse Jackie would have gotten an honorable mention, but I have a feeling she is going to knock it out of the park next week. Her face when she connected the dots was heartbreaking!

  12. april-ann says:

    TV must be firmly into summer rerun hell for Susan Lucci to even be considered performer of the week.

  13. Tina Meyers says:

    Susan Lucci is TIRED, STALE & OLD!

  14. SMcMary says:

    I was hoping Geoff Stults might get at least an honorable mention for the last episode of Enlisted. His expressions watching the Kabul stationed troops’ greeting on screen to the scenes on the beach with Cody and his brothers were very moving.

  15. S. says:

    Angie Harmon for “…Goodbye.” Awesome throughout, but especially at there at the end.

  16. Cas says:

    So I have never seen Susan Lucci in anything (never watched Soaps) but she is my favorite character in Devious Maids. I’m not saying the show deserves awards or anything as it’s just your average night time soap but she is by far one of the best characters on the show IMO. She makes me laugh and can be completely serious in the same scene. They really should never let her go.

  17. H.Houston says:

    Angie Harmon – no one is more deserving of this honor… her amazing performance during the show and doing the double duty of eulogizing her detective partner and real life friend… was touching and heart breaking.

  18. me says:

    Continuum was good on its first season. The current season had one good episode. There are only two current science fiction shows that I really like and rooting for at the moment: Person of Interest and Continuum. Even if we disregard effects, cinematography and other production details, I don’t think they are on the same level creatively, especially these later episodes. I really hope the writers get to do greater things on the next season of Continuum.

    P.S. Falling Skies is going nowhere with the current season as well, I hope to be proven wrong though.