Open Letter to Ron Livingston
Bless your heart, Ron Livingston. You just may be the most persistent man in television. It seems you keep showing up in new series each year or so, only to have that series go down in the proverbial flames right before our eyes. And yet, you continue to try again. You find another interesting project to which you can lend your talent, and you bring the very most of whatever the character requires. You never seem to phone it in. You always seem to be giving each new role your absolute best, and each new character seems to have even more depth than your last. This can’t be all good writing — for in truth, some of the writing hasn’t been good at all on one or two of your series. I feel certain the depth comes from you. And that is what keeps me returning to each and every new series in which you star.
But Ron… it’s getting a bit ridiculous now. And I’m not sure my heart can continue to withstand the pain of investing fully in one of your new shows only to have it pulled away from me — from us! — yet again. I’m almost to the point of not wanting to watch at all for fear that I may lose you once again to the black hole of defunct series. But I can’t not watch! You have brought to me some of the best characters in all of television (and movies, too!), and I just feel I owe it to you to follow wherever you lead. How empty my life would have been without your Capt. Nixon in Band of Brothers or your portrayal of every office drone’s hero in Office Space. My television landscape would never have been the same without Standoff, and I wouldn’t have cared one bit for Sex and the City except that your Jack Berger was so ridiculously frustrating to watch. And now you’ve brought to me Defying Gravity, a series I honestly didn’t think would interest me at first but which quickly crawled beneath my skin solely because of your baseball-loving Maddux Donner. For a series that didn’t quite have a good grasp on what it was trying to become — for, really, there was no need for that supernatural/alien contrivance known as Beta; it could have been so fantastic all on its own simply by focusing on the human relationships of a crew out on a six-year space mission — your presence held the entire ensemble together and gave the series weight. I fear I may lose it, as well, just when I had become fully engaged. And honestly, I can’t take much more of this.
I’m thankful, Ron Livingston, that you continue to pursue film roles, as well, so that I’m not forced to wait two or three seasons at a time to find you appearing in another 8-13 episode mid-season replacement series. I love seeing you pop up where I least expect you, as in this summer’s The Time Traveler’s Wife. But I do hope that your day will finally come when the right TV series presents itself and you have a chance to play out a character to its fullest. That time seems to have arrived for your buddy (and one of my favorites) Michael Cudlitz in Southland, and I do hope it arrives for you very soon, as well. For I truly enjoy you when you’re around. And I honestly can’t take much more of these series cancellations. Here’s hoping Defying Gravity gets another chance. And if not that, then something even better for you, Mr. Livingston. You’ve earned it!
image via 1416 and Counting