THE PERFORMER | Billy Crudup
More from TVLine
THE SHOW | The Morning Show
THE EPISODE | “Update Your Priors” (Wednesday, Nov. 1)
THE PERFORMANCE | Something incredible happened midway through the penultimate hour of The Morning Show Season 3: For the first time, possibly ever, UBA’s CEO was rendered speechless. Former network executive Cybil Reynolds had just divulged Paul Marks’ plans to sell off UBA for parts as soon as he acquires the legacy media company, and there stood Cory Ellison short-circuiting.
It was an incredible piece of silent acting by Crudup, whose larger-than-life, on-screen persona is something of a legend when it comes to bloviating. But in that moment, he had nary a morsel of self-righteousness to spew. He’d been cut at the knees — and there was no pretending otherwise.
As Cybil painted Cory a catastrophic picture, we watched as his eyes turned in a million different directions. He stood there, taking it all in, quietly seething. At one point, Crudup squinted to convey discomfort, as if all the blood in Cory’s body had made its way up to his frontal lobe. Then his eyes widened and he looked, dare we say… petrified. When he finally zeroed in on Cybil, we saw in his eyes a man who realizes he’s been thoroughly defeated. The rug’s been pulled out from under him, and his efforts to save UBA (and himself) from extinction have backfired.
We can only imagine how much physical pain Cory was in after punching a wall. But we could absolutely feel the pain of betrayal when Crudup proceeded to drop the mother of all F-bombs. Conversely, it took all of two words for Crudup to establish a man running on empty. After an explosive exposé was brought to his attention, making him out to be just another Hollywood predator, his assistant ran in, and all Cory could muster was a languid “Now what?”
Cory’s never been worse for wear. Crudup, on the other hand, has never been better.
Scroll down to see who scored Honorable Mention shout-outs this week…
HONORABLE MENTION: Allegra Edwards
Even on a series with clever quips, AI characters and two Robbie Amells, Allegra Edwards was a total scene-stealer during Upload‘s sixth episode. The actress nailed the comedic and emotional beats of her character Ingrid’s drunken meltdown as she confronted her ex Nathan. Edwards was hysterical while gleefully showering Nathan with random sand and brought the laughs as she mimicked the model strut of the vacant women he used to date. Then, just when we thought Edwards was going to leave us in tears from just laughter, she brought out a surprisingly tender side of Ingrid. When she found out that her dad wanted her dead, Ingrid tearfully admitted that she just wanted someone to be proud of her. Allegra Edwards, we are so very proud of the vulnerability, growth and wit you’ve brought to Ingrid’s arc.
HONORABLE MENTION: Diane Guerrero
Doom Patrol fans have always been able to count on Diane Guerrero to blow them away with an explosive, expletive-heavy speech — of which her character has had many over the years — but it’s important to note that the actress also excels in quieter moments, including the painful self-realization Jane reached in Thursday’s penultimate episode. The long-awaited declaration of her abuse was as satisfying as it was devastating, a line Guerrero walked with incredible precision, culminating with that hauntingly beautiful final sequence in the Underground between all of the personalities. The fact that Guerrero did all of this while simultaneously playing an elderly version of Jane is further proof of her brilliance.
HONORABLE MENTION: Ernie Hudson
Herbert “Magic” Williams’ steady composure unraveled in this week’s Quantum Leap, with portrayer Ernie Hudson delivering a powerful performance that hit right to the core. As Magic watched a terrified Black teen hide from the cops, Hudson’s horrified expression encapsulated that paralyzing, deer-in-the-headlights feeling of knowing something bad is about to happen and being unable to stop it. And when Magic later explained why that moment triggered memories of his own experience with police brutality during the long, hot summer of 1967, we were moved by the actor’s misty eyes and shaky voice which masterfully illustrated just how exhausted and heartbroken the admiral was that so little has changed since then. The NBC drama may be rooted in science fiction, but Hudson’s performance this week — which showcased a man teetering on the edge of sobriety — was as real as it gets.
HONORABLE MENTION: Nicholas Lyndhurst
Nicholas Lyndhurst has been a delightful surprise as Frasier’s professor pal Alan on Paramount+’s revival, proving to be a very worthy scene partner to Kelsey Grammer with his exceedingly dry British wit. This week, he was in rare form as Alan tried to schmooze his way into an exclusive club at Harvard, with Lyndhurst employing a deft bit of physical comedy when Alan got his hand stuck in an antique metal glove for the entire episode. He fired off a barrage of tart verbal zingers as well with impeccable comedic timing, and he even showed us a (slightly) softer side of Alan when he reluctantly admitted how much his friendship with Frasier means to him. There’s no replacing Niles Crane in our hearts, of course, but Lyndhurst is coming damn close.
Best of TVLine