Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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That Guy Salute: Amanda Seyfried

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on June 12, 2007

Lacey Chabert: still sucks

I tried watching the second season premiere of polygamy melodrama Big Love the other night. I still find the show’s existence sort of jarring, since it doesn’t appear to have any particular audience–it’s too weird and culty for religious people, too slow for Sopranos fans, too staid for soap watchers and too dorky for hipster approval. The only people I know who watch it did so because it directly followed The Sopranos, now without even that, who knows what kind of people are going to be tuning in. Personally, I think the show’s sort of interesting–I mean c’mon, what a premise–but still a little too puzzling and obscure to be really involving in any way.

However, the show does ahve one big draw (besides the consistently kickass Harry Dean Stanton, who makes anything watchable) in the form of the ridiculously hott and slightly spooky Amanda Seyfried, who plays Bill Paxton and Jeanne Tripplehorn’s conflicted daughter Sarah. I’m not totally sure what her character’s deal is–I missed most of the last season, and all I really got from this episode is that she isn’t digging the whole Mormonism (or whatever it is they call it on the show) thing so much any more–but Seyfried remains a compelling presence regardless.

It’s not so much that she’s a great actress, or even a particularly good one. Seyfried just happens to have a particular skill when it comes to playing wild, vapid party girls–maybe not so much on Big Love, but certainly in just about any of her other roles. She broke out in in 2004 by playing Fourth Plastic Karen Smith in Mean Girls, more or less holding her own against Lindsey Lohan and Rachel McAdams, but shortly afterwards landed the role she’s probably best known for, Lily Kane on Veronica Mars. Lily, who was murdered before the first episode, and whose mystery was the impetus for most of the first season’s events, became a sort of 21st century Laura Palmer, and Seyfried was a pretty worthy successor to Cheryl Lee–beautiful, wild and appropriately haunting.

Since then, she’s had a bunch of similar roles, from guest spots on House and Wildfire (though not even Seyfried could get me to watch that fucking show) to supporting roles in films like Nine Lives and Alpha Dog, in most of which she plays variations on Karen and Lily. It’s unlikely that once her education years are over that we’ll see her doing much graduating to roles like college professors and troubled mothers, since I sort of doubt she has the range of someone like McAdams. I am sort of looking forward to her wild college years, though–sign her up for the next Brett Easton Ellis film adaptation or something.

One Response to “That Guy Salute: Amanda Seyfried”

  1. Al said

    Yeah, you nailed it with Big Love. I watched every episode last season and just couldn’t muster the energy to watch the opening episode on Monday. The basic premise is: Guy Has Three Wives; It’s Much More Boring Than You Would Think, and It Really Kinda Sucks.

    You didn’t miss much with Seyfried in Season One. She seemed “conflicted” the entire season and the show didn’t have much room for her to do much else than feign conflicted-ness. She worked at some sort of fast food joint and met a girl whose Dad is a cop. Her friend either figured out Seyfried’s family’s polygamy or Seyfried told her, so there were also some inconsequential arguments amongst Seyfried and her friend, but nothing really came of it.

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