Emmy Rossum Shameless Performance

Performer of the Week: Emmy Rossum


THE SHOW | Shameless

THE EPISODE | “The F Word” (Jan. 24, 2016)

THE PERFORMANCE | Sunday’s episode of Shameless was titled “The F Word” after a scathing song written by Fiona’s estranged husband, Gus. While “The F Word” stood for nothing nice between the ex-lovers, Emmy Rossum’s emotional display during the hour was rated F for fantastic. Though we’ve come to expect that kind of stellar work from the actress — this isn’t her first time as our Performer of the Week — watching her nail a challenging scene still leaves us in awe.

Rossum didn’t just show an outpouring of feeling; she kept her emotions in check as she coldly told Debbie she would need to find another place to live if she planned to keep her baby. You could tell it was killing Fiona to be so harsh with her sister even before Rossum dropped her character’s mask once alone and let the tears flow.

At that moment, Fiona’s boyfriend Sean showed up. All the terrible events of the day — Gus’ revenge song, the confrontation with Debbie — finally caught up with her as Fiona crumbled, confessing her own unexpected pregnancy. Then, with calm and resolve, she informed Sean, “You don’t get to have an opinion” about her decision to have an abortion or the fact that she doesn’t know the identity of the child’s father. Fiona might’ve been filled with uncertainty, but we’re sure Rossum’s performance was worthy of praise.

American CrimeHONORABLE MENTION | More than halfway through Wednesday’s American Crime, suspended basketball captain Eric Tanner came clean to his coach that he was the one who had sex with Taylor Blaine at the captains’ party. But Eric’s anxiety and guilt over the situation was evident long before he confessed, thanks to Joey Pollari’s captivating, layered performance. Throughout the hour, Pollari communicated his character’s inner conflict with moments both small (the way he nervously cracked his knuckles) and large (his hospital-room breakdown after attempting suicide for his homosexuality). The actor infused his performance with such subtlety that we’d be content to rewatch the episode over and over just to catch every nuance.

HONORABLE MENTION | POTW-Tennant-Jessica-JonesThroughout Jessica Jones’ run, David Tennant’s Kilgrave was a deplorable predator — enigmatic, maybe, but certainly not a villain to sympathize with. But in the pivotal episode “Sin Bin,” light was shed on his dark origin story. As “Kevin” was held captive by Jessica on the heels of his begrudging role in quelling a hostage situation, Tennant showed us his alter ego’s confusion with the turn of events, puzzling aloud, “You even made me a hero!” Kilgrave echoed that stance upon reuniting with his parents — “I save children!” — before tearing into his folks for abandoning him as a child. When his mother sought to console her boy, Tennant’s unflappable baddie flinched at the touch, before slipping into sobs: “I’m sorry I hurt you, mum!” Alas, a hurt then really came, as “Kevin” compelled his folks to kill themselves with scissors, Tennant making vividly clear the stubborn rage of betrayal.

London Spy 21_6_15 hi-3137.jpgHONORABLE MENTION | We’d have given London Spy‘s Ben Whishaw kudos based solely on the tense opening five minutes of the series’ second episode. As Whishaw’s Danny exited his apartment carrying a cryptic clue from his possibly murdered boyfriend and wove his way through a series of streets and alleyways to avoid detection, the actor’s haunted eyes and physical twitchiness turned every inhabitant of England’s biggest city into a potential enemy. Amazingly, though, Whishaw was just getting started. The actor proved to be the emotional core of every scene of the BBC America thriller’s hour, adroitly juggling a litany of tasks while somehow managing to make us wonder about the reliability of his character’s point of view. In a series built on a deliciously uncertain foundation, it’s Whishaw’s magnetic performance that keeps the house of cards from tumbling down.

Which performances knocked your socks off this week? Hit the comments!

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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  1. Mr. Tran K says:

    David Harewood’s performance on Supergirl was outstanding but I’m really bummed he wasn’t one of the honorable mentions.

    • Phun says:

      Thank you! I was going to say the say thing about David Harewood and his portrayal of Martian Manhunter and the dealing with the decimation of their race was really heartbreaking. And even Calista Flockhart and the way she portrayed Cat Grant meeting her son Adam, the anxiety and the reveal of never having a chance to put his picture on the refrigerator! Wow! At least one, if not both performances from Supergirl were worthy of at least an honorable mention.

    • Lillie says:

      Agreed that Supergirl has missed out in the past few weeks. Jeremy Jordan easily could’ve gotten a kudos for Childish Things and both David and Calista brought me to tears this week. Hoping that the next stellar performance from Supergirl won’t go overlooked.

      • Phun says:

        I said the same thing last week that Jeremy’s performance on Childish Things was excellent and worthy of at least an honorable mention. Oh well… At least the fans recognize their great performances. :)

    • Carm says:

      I totally agree!

  2. Danyelle says:

    Seconding the love for Emmy, such an unsung actress. Really breaks the heart. And great for remember Kilgrave, Tennant was craaaazy good there!!!

  3. Matt C. says:

    Joey Pollari really did an amazing job this week. He showed real layers beyond the stereotypical douche-y athlete that the first 3 episodes made him out to be. I actually felt sympathy for Eric thanks to his performance.

  4. spindae2 says:

    Joey Pollari nailed it. The stages of his breakdown were amazing, step by step. Can’t wait to see where this will end.
    Lily Taylor also delivers week after week but it would be way to random to feature her here every week.

    • misery chick says:

      Agree with you both, Matt C and spindae2–out of so many amazing and brilliant performances of this cast, Joey Pollari was heartbreaking. Coach Dan’s reaction to Eric’s confession was devastating and added yet another layer of angst to/for poor Eric.

      Such a difference from last season in that this plot is extremely accessible fairly quickly into the season. I just hope that Timothy Hutton’s (whom I have ADORED since “Ordinary People”) role as Coach Dan will have more ‘meat’ like his role in last season. But that’s just being nitpicky, I know!

  5. Brian says:

    Will never get why Emmy Rossum and her show Shamelesss is ignored by the Emmys.

    • Jack says:

      It’s because they’ve been submitting that show in the comedy category. The show is clearly a drama, and that is where Emmy shines. Hopefully they decide to change that because based on this episode alone she should be nominated

  6. Couldn’t agree more about David Tennant’s acting in Jessica Jones, every role he’s in is more memorable than the last!

  7. Lilly77 says:

    Ben Wishaw is amazing. Loved London Spy until the fifth episode, where the whole story went crazy and ended up completely ridiculous. Now I have to go back and watch every movie and show Ben Wishaw’s been in before.

    I also agree with everyone about David Harewood’s performance on Supergirl. At present, I think the show is fine, but I’d much rather watch a show about J’onn J’onzz instead.

    • The Beach says:

      I had never heard of London Spy until an article in TVline turned me on (no pun intended) to it. I’ve only seen the first 2 eps and really like it. Sorry to hear that it goes off the rails at the end.

  8. HAP says:

    Emmy Rossum has been the centerpiece of Shameless, now in its 6th season. Yet, she has never received a nomination for a Golden Globe, nor an Emmy. Do not understand that. Maybe they should have her sing in an episode. She has a fantastic voice.

  9. Andy97 says:

    The entire Suits cast for a complete edge of your seat episode on Wed. Love that show!!!

  10. Cobra says:

    The entire cast of “Suits” nailed it this week.

  11. Sandy Duncan's Eye on Network TV says:

    Emmy Rossum is incredible and she deserves at least a nomination for Shameless. Her category is usually full plus the stupidity of changing Shameless from Drama to Comedy didnt help. I am also disappointed that the show continually makes Fiona continually undermine her own happiness.

    • Joey says:

      Showtime just wants to pad their nominations by submitting it as a comedy because that way William H. Macy and Joan Cusack are guaranteed to get nominations, whereas for drama, Emmy Rossum, Jeremy Allen White, and Noel Fisher aren’t 100% guarantees even if their performances are fantastic season after season.

    • Mark says:

      Yes, yes and yes.

  12. Hodan says:

    Emily Bett Rickards was amazing this week as well playing both Felicity and Goth Felicity.

  13. Jan says:

    Emmy is awesome. She’s the main reason Shameless works.
    I agree with Pollari, as well.

  14. valerie tower says:

    American crime is killing it. Love the cast and storyline. Nice shout out. I’m memorized by felicity Huffman.

  15. lesigh says:

    Bummed that Emily Bett Rickards didn’t get an honourable mention. She killed it on Arrow this week when she had to play two Felicitys with most of her scenes against the other Felicity.

  16. Ellen says:

    Eliza Taylor’s performance in this week’s episode of The 100 was amazing. She is always on point with her acting. Would love to see her get recognized. Not to mention Alycia Debnam-Carey as Lexa. Both ladies bring it, especially when they play off each other.