Year in Review: 10 Best Newcomers, Part 2

90210 - Jessica Lowndes as Adrianna Duncan

Whenever Shenae Grimes squints her little eyes or opens her mouth on 90210, I kind of want to tear my eyes out. Luckily, there's also characters on the show like Adrianna, as played by Jessica Lowndes. The Canadian actress has recently been upgraded to a regular, and it's easy to see why. Her drug-addicted wannabe-actress poor-little-(not?)-rich girl routine is actually believable; Lowndes has quickly turned Adrianna from one of the show's villains into a compelling and likable character. The actress previously appeared briefly on Greek and in the film The Haunting of Molly Hartley, but I can already tell that 90210 will be her big break.

Privileged - Lucy Kate Hale as Rose Baker

I commented how much I enjoyed Hale's performance when Privileged premiered, and my feelings have remained the same. Her performance as the more vulnerable of the Baker sisters is definitely one of the stronger ones on the show. Hale seems to have the "little sister" role down, as she previously appeared as Lena's little sister in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, as well as Jaime Sommers' little sister in the defunct Bionic Woman.

Chuck - Ryan McPartlin as Captain Awesome

Granted, Chuck premiered in 2007, but in 2008's Season 2, Ryan McPartlin's role as Captain Awesome has been gradually expanding, and I couldn't be happier about it! In the small scenes that McPartlin has, he demonstrates a charming screen presence (and not just because of his big smile and pretty abs) and skillful comedic timing. He's a great addition to Chuck's supporting cast and a talented actor in general, so I am glad he is receiving bigger roles these days than his previous credit of "Gentleman" on an episode of Mad Men.

The Secret Life of The American Teenager - Shailene Woodley and India Eisley as Amy and Ashley Juergens

I have many issues with The Secret Life of The American Teenager, including some of its wooden dialogue and implausible teenage interactions. However, one thing I will admit is that both lead Shailene Woodley and India Eisley as her sister Ashley have done a great job with the material that they have been given. Both have proven themselves as talented actresses. Amy's tearful confessionals could drive me to laughter if they were being delivered by someone less talented, but Woodley makes a pregnant, confused band geek as believable as that character could be. I also love the spunk that Eisley adds to the show as Amy's surprisingly insightful kid sister.

The Big Bang Theory - Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar as Wolowitz and Koothrappali

TBBT is also a show that technically premiered in 2007, but this season supporting characters Wolowitz and Koothrappali have really evolved into "part of the gang". Much like Ryan McPartlin on Chuck, I think that both Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar have superb comedic timing. They have done a lot with small supporting roles and its a great contribution to the show. Nayyar really shined in the episode where he got drunk, lost his inhibitions and invited Penny to his awards ceremony and I love any scene where Helberg yells at his unseen mother.

Have more awesome newcomers to discuss? Share in comments!

2008: Year in Review


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Jan 1, 2009 8:00AM EST

I love Rose! She's has such an adorable character!

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