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EW Community MVP of the Week: Bob Odenkirk

MVP of the Week | Week of Mar 26–Apr 1

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:

Bob Odenkirk as James McGill
Better Call Saul, “Pimento”


What more can we say about Bob Odenkirk’s turn as the beleaguered Jimmy McGill, aka the-soon-to-be-but-not-quite-there-yet Saul Goodman on AMC’s Breaking Bad spinoff, Better Caul Saul? Words like “brilliant,” “spirited,” and “heartrending” come to mind. Odenkirk has taken a step back from the Saul we met in Breaking Bad to give us his origin story. He’s no longer the caricature of a weasel lawyer, but instead, a dogged, persevering, down-on-his-luck man just trying to make his big brother proud.

Odenkirk is one of those truly delightful actors who can so seamlessly tiptoe on the line between comedy and drama. His acting chops are superb, particularly in this week’s penultimate season one episode, “Pimento.” You can see the determination in his eyes to do the right thing, to impress his big brother. Then he flips it on a dime; it’s not just determination but chest-thumping confidence as he strides into HHM and demands an office next to his brother, Chuck. And then again, in an instant, it’s confidence twinged with a knowing disappointment. Though he huffs and puffs and fights for his seat at the big-boy table, deep down he knows he’s up against a monster. Little does he know that monster would turn out to be his own brother.

And that’s where Odenkirk’s MVP status really shows itself. In one of the more powerful scenes I’ve seen in recent television, Jimmy’s entire world is shattered when he discovers it’s been his brother all along who has been sabotaging his dream of being a bona fide lawyer. At the climax of this heartbreaking reveal, the twinkle in Jimmy’s eyes is one of unprecedented hurt and betrayal, but Odenkirk’s delivery is one of fiery anger and disgust. The look on his face is enough to just kill me dead. It’s fantastic. Odenkirk shines the brightest here, which is saying a lot, since every scene he’s in is pure excellence. —Brandi McCormick


Mark Hamill as James Jesse
The Flash, “Tricksters”

CW/Diyah Pera

Since its premiere last fall, The Flash has had its fair share of villains. Each week, another one pops in to wreak havoc on Central City. This week, it’s James Jesse’s turn. Mark Hamill shines as this evil genius, manipulating Detective West and The Flash from the very start. His outrage over a copycat bomber is a perfectly convincing ruse that distracts the police from his planned jailbreak. The copycat was actually Jesse’s handpicked accomplice, and also turns out to be his son. Once out of prison, “The Trickster” wastes no time connecting with his son and carrying out a scheme to steal money from all the attendees at a Central City mayoral event. The Flash arrives in time to foil the plot, but nothing could ruin Hamill’s brilliant performance. —Tamar Barbash


Kirk Acevedo as José Ramse
12 Monkeys,


Kirk Acevedo has been the dark horse of the season on 12 Monkeys. Acevedo’s Ramse started out a minor character, only having scenes in the future. As the season progressed, Ramse quickly became a more central character. At first Ramse’s loyalty was to Cole and Cole’s mission of saving the world. Now Ramse has taken a different path. He has emerged from being Cole’s protector to being Cole’s main adversary. He is The Witness, the man who is responsible for setting the entire apocalypse in motion. He has betrayed Cole in every sense of the word, all to protect the new person he is loyal to: his son (who exists in the future). Kirk has had to portray this challenging and divided character, and he has done so flawlessly. It has been a joy to watch him every week. We can’t wait to see Cole and Ramse go head-to-head in the upcoming 12 Monkeys finale! —Lauren Gallaway


Holly Taylor as Paige Jennings
The Americans, “Stingers”


If there was one element in her life that Paige Jennings had become certain of, it was her belief in the church. Hoping her parents would follow suit, Paige recruited both Philip and Elizabeth to support her as she found her faith and made the choice to be baptized. Although Paige was finally finding her footing, one fact still bothered her: Philip and Elizabeth’s secrets.

This week’s somber episode of The Americans was a master class in acting. A slow burn of questions and answers finally came to fruition as Paige forced her parents’ hand, leading Philip and Elizabeth to finally reveal their true identities to their daughter. Holly Taylor portrayed Paige in a relatable and mature way—one that has surpassed various teenage actors on television today. Her immediate struggle to come to grips with her parents’ confession and her decision on how to handle such damaging information will continue to amplify, keeping us invested in Holly’s beautiful characterization of Paige. —Erin Resnick


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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