Watercooler: Allison Janney, You Are My Sunshine
Well it's official. Allison Janney can do everything. Act. Sing. Ice skate with Smurfs. Hell, she even makes Mr. Sunshine watchable.
Last night, the multiple-Emmy winner once again saved the show with a pitch-perfect performance of the musical variety as her whacked-out Sunshine Center owner, Crystal Cohen, reunited with her former husband. And this wasn't just some ex-husband. It was Billy, her third of six, the one who apparently mattered, and he was played by singer-songwriter James Taylor.
Turns out, their marriage — and musical career ("we were like Ike and Tina Turner, but without the edge and with none of the hitting") — collapsed after Crystal left him for the Center's original owner, and the shame has haunted her ever since. In hopes of gaining the always dreadful "closure," our girl dragged Ben to spy on Billy at his bar, where Crystal eventually joined her ex for what turned out to be a lovely duet on Leon Russell's "A Song for You." The sublime showcase for Janney's Broadway-honed chops stood out in harsh relief to the absurd b-plots involving lingerie-clad football bimbos, Mark Zuckerberg wannabes and, truth be told, the rest of the show's generally unlikable other characters.
So amen to the divine Miss J. Her reigning awesomeness doesn't make up for Sunshine bumping Cougar Town, but it sure makes these dark nights without Courteney Cox's comedy a bit brighter.
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