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The TVLine Performer of the Week: Paddy Considine

paddy-considine-house-of-the-dragon-season-1-performance

THE PERFORMER | Paddy Considine

THE SHOW | House of the Dragon

THE EPISODE |The Lord of the Tides” (Oct. 9, 2022)

THE PERFORMANCE | King Viserys may be dead, but Considine’s excellent turn as the decrepit royal in his final days will live in perpetuity. The dying Viserys was a wasting, decaying spectacle whose proximity to the grave was made all the more believable by the show’s top-notch makeup and prosthetics efforts, as well as the use of a body double in various scenes. A lesser actor might’ve been swallowed whole by the combined, ghastly effect. But Considine’s genius lay in the way he allowed Viserys’ physical decline to be the catalyst for the king’s emotionally stripped-down plea to his fractured family.

In the dinner scene on the monarch’s final evening, despite Viserys’ stooped physicality and rasping voice, Considine kindled the character’s fundamental spark into one last blaze. The king’s desire for a unified family became brilliant in its intensity, with Considine excelling even as he collapsed back into his chair, moaning a little, showing us how much the effort took out of the dying leader.

Though time and disease ravaged Viserys’ body, he was never more himself than in that entreaty during the last supper. So many props to Considine for making the conflicted, complicated man someone on whose words we hung until the very end.

Andre Braugher The Good FightHONORABLE MENTION | The Good Fight this week dialed Ri’Chard Lane’s bluster dial down from an eight to a three as the firm’s flamboyant new partner fought to procure for his ailing 11-year-old nephew a life-saving bone marrow transplant, and Andre Braugher seized the opportunity to show us the human being behind the showman. Throughout the uncharacteristically short 40-minute episode, the Emmy-winning TV vet imbued his outsized character with rare vulnerability, with Braugher grounding Ri’Chard’s steely resolve with subtle notes of panic and worry. And when the raging egoist expressed gratitude to his colleagues for pitching in on the seemingly impossible (yet ultimately successful) mission, Braugher suffused the gesture with such authentic, heartfelt emotion we found ourselves, for the first time, viewing Ri’Chard as a full-fledged member of the family.

The Patient Ezra Andrew LeedsHONORABLE MENTION | So far on The Patient, we’ve only seen Alan’s son Ezra, played by Andrew Leeds, locked in a bitter estrangement with his father via flashbacks. So it just about ripped our hearts out this week to see Ezra dutifully putting up flyers in hopes of finding his missing father, with Leeds revealing that underneath all the resentment, Ezra still cares deeply for his dad. Leeds also shined as Ezra shared his conflicted feelings about Alan with his wife, and he even picked up a guitar and sang a sweetly wistful rendition of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” — the same song his father sang with the doomed Elias a few weeks back. The Patient can be a dispiriting watch at times, but Ezra’s dedication to his father — and Leeds’ gently powerful performance — offered us a slim, and much appreciated, ray of hope.

Midnight Club Episode 7 AnyaHONORABLE MENTION | In Episode 7 of The Midnight Club, we viewed a world in which Anya overcame her terminal illness. In what was ultimately revealed as a dream state of sorts, Ruth Codd shined as her character struggled with a nasty bout of survivor’s guilt that left her almost beyond repair. During an emotional phone call with an estranged friend, the actress’s lip quivered and her voice grew shrill, as we both saw and felt her pain compound. Codd never once let up, as Anya recounted her former club members’ deaths to her therapy group, and later listened through tears as those same members (who were actually still alive) regaled her with a story of a happy future that would never be. The performance elicited a kaleidoscope of feelings — grief, hope, despair, love and more — as Codd undoubtedly solidified herself as the series’ scene-stealing standout.

Which performance(s) knocked your socks off this week? Tell us in Comments!