THE PERFORMER | Gillian Anderson
THE SHOW | American Gods
THE EPISODE | “Come to Jesus“ (June 18)
THE PERFORMANCE | Is there anything that livens up an American Gods scene more than the captivating, off-kilter addition of Gillian Anderson’s Media? We think not, especially given the X-Files alum’s highly entertaining performance in Sunday’s Season 1 finale.
When Media showed up as Judy Garland in her Easter Parade attire, all doe-eyed and delicate, Anderson was the picture of turn-of-the-century femininity. And we marveled, in part because she so thoroughly wrapped the New God in this old-school persona and in part because Anderson-as-Media-as-Garland was Ziggy Stardust light years away from the guises we’d seen her adopt before.
Remember, for a moment, how the actress glided about Easter’s patio in the finale, dancing with Technical Boy’s faceless Fred Astaires. Juxtapose that with Anderson’s knowing, slick take on David Bowie in the back of the limo in Episode 5… or with her cooing sexpot take on Marily Monroe at the police station… or with her bawdy, black-and-white rendition of I Love Lucy‘s Lucille Ball at the beginning of the season. Anderson has a Tatiana Maslany-like ability to disappear within a character within a character. And after years in quiet, buttoned-down roles like The X-Files‘ Dana or Hannibal‘s Bedeila, it’s refreshingly fun to watch her cut loose a little.
In other words: You’ve come a long way, Scully.