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EW Community MVP of the Week: Jonathan Groff

MVP of the Week | Week of Mar 19–25

The EW Community was built by and for people who love television. And we, the writers of the EW Community, especially love it when we get to witness brilliance in our favorite medium. Every week, we are blown away by a few showstopping performances.

In this regular column, “EW Community TV MVP of the Week,” we honor the actors who gave this week’s most commanding performances.

MVP of the Week:

Jonathan Groff as Patrick Murray
“Looking for Home”

Looking‘s love triangle between Patrick, Kevin (Russell Tovey), and Richie (Raúl Castillo) spent all season building to a point of no return. The proverbial other shoe certainly dropped in this week’s season finale (now, with the exception of an upcoming special, the series finale after HBO’s cancellation announcement earlier this week). Patrick moved in with Kevin, but they didn’t even make it through the first night without getting into a serious argument over Kevin’s still-active Grindr profile and the revelation that he was hoping for an open relationship.

While not everything Patrick said during the argument was fair, Groff’s vulnerable and earnest portrayal made you ache for him as he realized the move, and perhaps the entire relationship, was a mistake. Patrick has always been a painfully real character whom you can’t help but root for—despite his frequently questionable choices.

At the end of the episode, when he leaves Kevin and finds himself in Richie’s barber chair, ready for a new hairstyle that seems to symbolize a larger change, Groff’s subtle sadness speaks volumes. While he is relatively new to TV, Groff has been beloved in the theater community for nearly a decade. The show may be ending, but his time in the spotlight is surely just beginning. —Erin Conley


Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
The Walking Dead, “Try”

Perhaps we should have waited until after next week’s season finale to acknowledge Andrew Lincoln, but we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to remark on that emotionally and physically brutal last scene in Sunday’s “Try.” Say what you will about The Walking Dead‘s trajectory this season, but that entire sequence is the kind of television you watch with one hand over your eyes and the other covering your mouth.

Even as the episode builds to its climactic ending, the audience gets a glimpse of Rick coming unhinged. His creepy chat with Carol as they watch Jessie on her porch, the moments with Jesse in her garage, and even the few minutes leading up to the fight scene suggest a turn in Rick’s psychology. Andrew Lincoln executes that shift immaculately.

Right up to the moment when Michonne hit him, the audience is completely invested in this character turn. Well done, Mr. Lincoln. Well done, indeed. —Sundi Rose-Holt


Rose McIver as Liv Moore
iZombie, “Brother, Can You Spare a Brain?”

Photo credit: The CW

Like Kristen Bell before her on Veronica Mars (Rob Thomas’ other sleuthing leading lady), Rose McIver has no problem chewing the scenery when needed. She has fun with every line in this episode, making the somewhat lackluster murder-of-the-week go from meh to hilarious. Not to mention her ability to traverse some tricky emotional ground with aplomb. One second, she’s a bicurious artist jonesing for some hot lovin’; the next, she’s mournful and contemplative when reflecting on what it exactly means to move on from her once-perfect existence and accept her new “life.” —Brandi McCormick


Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, “Love in the Time of Hydra”

Photo credit: ABC

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) is a great character, but unfortunately, she doesn’t have a lot of range. Specifically, the character’s range is surly through ragey. Recently, we were treated to a lighter side of May when she was reunited with her ex-husband, Dr. Andrew Garner (the undivorceable Blair Underwood). Dr. Garner’s superpower is the ability to make May smile and laugh. Remarkable!

In S.H.I.E.L.D.’s most recent episode, Wen finally got to show off her acting chops as she played both Agent May and Agent 33, a good-guy-turned-bad-guy-turned-amnesiac who’s maybe in love with Grant Ward. She also has a damaged version of May’s face stuck on her own. Got that?

Agent 33 is as vulnerable as May is strong, as evidenced by her pitiful, insecure attempt at seducing Ward while wearing Skye’s face. Yes, Chloe Bennet was technically playing 33 during that scene, but Wen was providing the voice, so I still give her credit. Come at me, bro.

It was great to see another side of Ms. Wen. Hopefully we can look forward to seeing more vulnerability from her characters in the future. —Jenn Rose

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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