Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer

TVLine's Performer of the Week: Melissa McCarthy

THE PERFORMER | Melissa McCarthy

THE SHOW | Saturday Night Live

THE EPISODE | Feb. 4, 2017

THE PERFORMANCE | How can we be certain that McCarthy’s SNL parody of White House press secretary Sean Spicer wasn’t merely flawless but genius? Donald Trump — who’s complained on Twitter about everything from Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of him to daughter Ivanka being (cough) “treated so unfairly” by Nordstrom — was reportedly so perturbed by the funnywoman’s impression that he made the “unpresidented” decision not to tweet about it!

Then again, we were already pretty sure that McCarthy’s rageful take on “Spicy” went beyond merely hilarious by the time she’d made us laugh so hard, we’d spat out our cinnamon gum twice: first, when she had the flack apologize to himself on behalf of the press — and reject the apology! — then, when she managed to keep a straight face as she pulled out a piece of plastic poop as a visual aid to explain that her boss would not be “da turd”… er, “deterred.”

Throughout the eight-minute sketch, McCarthy nailed not only the combative tone with which Spicer addresses the media but also his habit of blaming reporters for questioning statements that he and Trump have made (which is all it takes, you know, to make them “facts forever”). For this magnificent achievement, we not only anoint her Performer of the Week, we offer her a standing ovation lasting a full 15 minutes.

KARLA SOUZAHONORABLE MENTION How to Get Away With Murder has taken its time letting the reality of Wes’ death sink in. In Thursday’s episode, it was Laurel who finally came to understand the gravity of her boyfriend’s murder, and Karla Souza delivered series-best work as a grieving young woman with no closure. Alternating between anger (“You’re all vultures glomming onto someone else’s tragedy!” she screamed at Wes’ funeral attendees) and devastation (sneaking into Wes’ apartment, putting on his shirt and weeping), Souza gave us a gut-wrenching glimpse at just how unraveled Laurel has become — and how desperately she’s trying to mask her pain.

Jensen AcklesHONORABLE MENTION  During this Thursday’s Supernatural, Dean’s inability to remember his own name – or much of anything – led to a performance we won’t soon forget from star Jensen Ackles. As the hunter faced himself in the bathroom mirror, we looked on in awe as he came to the terrifying realization that his own identity was slipping away. “My name is Dean Winchester,” he desperately repeated to himself until all he was left with was three scary words: “I don’t know.” More than his infamous single perfect tear, it was the fear and sadness in Ackles’ eyes in that moment that reminded us why he is an unforgettable — and underrated — talent.

Lili Reinhart RiverdaleHONORABLE MENTION | As Riverdale‘s Betty Cooper, Lili Reinhart is the epitome of the classic girl-next-door. (Like, she literally lives next door to Archie.) But Miss Goody Two-Shoes went bad this week… and Reinhart rose to the challenge. In her quest to get revenge on a chauvinist football player, Betty went way overboard, and Reinhart’s unhinged intensity made the scene legitimately terrifying. And when Betty heard not-so-flattering rumors about her sister Polly, the pain that flickered across Reinhart’s face let us glimpse the deep wounds beneath Betty’s polished façade. Reinhart’s exploration of Betty’s hidden depths has quickly emerged as one of Riverdale biggest selling points.

Which performance knocked your socks off this week? Tell us in 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. Brooke says:

    She was joyous to watch. I don’t know how she didn’t crack up and break character.

  2. Kristy says:

    Ummmm….Gina Rodriguez didn’t even get an honorable mention?!? Seriously?!?
    I know the reaction scene to (spoiler) only lasted 30 seconds. But that scream tore my heart into a million pieces.

  3. YASS says:

    Gina Rodriguez’s scream alone was worth a mention. Hopefully next week.

  4. bluji says:

    Karla Souza deserves that honorable mention, that funeral speech was amazing.

  5. HTGAWMFan says:

    Yes, Karla Souza!!!!!!!! She was outstanding. She deserved an Emmy for this performance!

  6. Jane says:

    Thank you for the honorable mention for Jensen Ackles. He’s been bringing a full intensity and superb portrayal of Dean Winchester for every 253 performances in the last 12 years. This past week’s effort ranged from childish delight to full-on existential horror.

    Also kudos to Mellisa McCarthy for her blistering ‘Spicey’. I rewatched multiple times to catch all the bits. Excellent add for the SNL outting.

  7. Kevin says:

    Melissa McCarthy deserves to be the POTW for her parody as Sean Spicer and SNL should bring her back as host and join the Five Timers Club. No love for Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime performance?

  8. Dakota says:

    Mellissa McCarthy was awesome. Even Spicer almost cracked up at her portrayal.

    Jensen Ackles is a treasure that should be protected at all costs. He never backs down from giving his best no matter the challenge. Underrated is an understatement.

  9. patrickmaloney33 says:

    It is criminal that there is no mention of Legion’s Dan Stevens!

  10. patrickmaloney33 says:

    It is criminal that there is no mention of Legion’s Dan Stevens

  11. bridgetlf says:

    Jeff Perry was brilliant on Scandal. He deserved at least an honorable mention. Brian Letscher was terrifying as the scorned lover seeking revenge. Both performances deserved some recognition.

  12. Priya says:

    Jensen Ackles so deserves that honorable mention. He was so amazing in that episode. I wish his acting was appreciated more

  13. Ron says:

    This. So much this. Melissa McCarthy as Sean ‘Spicy’ Spicer is literally my new favorite thing in the world. I hope she doesn’t start coming back regularly, because I don’t want it to get old–even though this administration gives us so much material, that I think it’ll always provide for satiric hilarity. But having her reprise ‘Spicy’ every once in a while definitely needs to happen.

  14. Raul Jimenez says:

    What I loved about Melissa McCarthy was that it was hilarious in a Kate McKinnon/Amy Poehler Hillary Clinton way.

  15. Leo Berry says:

    Karla Souza deserved this 100% An Emmy worthy performance

  16. Bob says:

    Jensen 100% deserves that mention. His performances over the past 12 seasons have never been any less than spectacular. Also, I’m appalled that Gina Rodriguez isn’t here!!! Her pain on this week’s JTV was almost tangible. I’m still reeling from it. Side note: HOW DARE THEY?!

  17. Patricia Munoz says:

    Jensen Ackles was amazing like always, he deserves an emmy for years of making us to cry, to laughs and broken our hearts.

  18. Jamie says:

    Yes yes absolutely to both Melissa McCarthy and Jensen Ackles. Melissa had me in stitches – that impression was one of the best I’ve seen in years. And Jensen broke my heart – how terrifying to feel your mind slipping away like that, and he nailed it.

  19. Larc says:

    Karla Souza was way better than usual, but no way was her performance up to the level of Jeff Perry’s on Scandal. Maybe hers was a bigger improvement over her norm than Perry’s over his since he’s simply a better actor than she is.

  20. Larc says:

    I think that would mean permanent disappearance for Rosie. But I’d be OK with that.

  21. Mare says:

    Yes, I totally agree with Jensen Ackles!! He was truly amazing!

    • Livie says:

      I will never understand the love for Jensen Ackles. He’s a mediocre actor at best. He has nothing close to the skill set Bryan Cranston or Mandy Patinkin do. I think as someone else said, his good looks telegraph to some as good acting.

  22. Angela says:

    Yes to Souza and McCarthy. Such great performances.

  23. MLD says:

    Agree with Jeff Perry in Scandal.

  24. Flávia Danielli says:

    #JensenAckles And a very talented and very handsome perfect acto THE BEST

  25. Tai says:

    Except Gina already got PotW in November. And Melissa McCarthy was hilarious.

  26. Mindy says:

    Dan Stevens should have gotten Jensen Ackles’s HM. Jensen is the perfect soap actor but Dan has real talent.

  27. Leonard Dickson says:

    Take up for your fellow Republican, there, Rob Horine. Jensen’s political persuasions are well known around town and I can tell you first hand that it hurts him. Honestly, I’m glad. Everyone from my grocer to my dentist to my trainer are on the same page as I am politically and if they aren’t I fire them and find someone who is.

  28. fiberlicious says:

    I don’t understand why James Spader is never mentioned. He is consistently superb.

  29. Phun says:

    Well deserved for Melissa McCarthy’s performance on SNL. She was AWESOME!

  30. Happy to see Jensen here. He’s been amazing as Dean Winchester for 12 years and he was outstanding in the Dean-centered “Regarding Dean” episode.

  31. Neha says:


  32. Terry Perry says:

    Years ago Carol Burnett was ask when she would return to TV she Said I CAN’T people today are different they Don’t laugh everything is Political. People just are not the same today.

  33. PR says:

    Karla Souza was OK. But Cicely Tyson’s few short scenes with Viola Davis were a master class in acting. They’re remarkable individually and together.