In praise of 'CSI"s Marg Helgenberger

164544__marg_lAs someone who obsesses daily over TV performances I love (Medium‘s Jake Weber) and loathe (Reunion‘s wooden Amanda Righetti), there’s nothing I enjoy more than finding out I’m not alone. So imagine my delight when I discovered TV Tattle‘s link to a love note written by The Boston Globe’s Matthew Gilbert to Marg Helgenberger (left), who plays CSI‘s Detective Catherine Willows.

Here’s what Gilbert has to say: ”Marg is the show’s essential bolt of rock ‘n’ roll. Exuding sex, self-confidence, and experience, she never pales beside the gaudy guts spread before her like rotting fruit at a picnic. She holds her own against even the most savage killers, shooting snide comments at them like a stripper fending off a pushy customer.” He goes on to praise the actress’s ”almost drag-queen-like fierceness” and calls her ”a worthy member of the rare group of network TV actors who do quiet battle against TV’s strong generic tendencies.”

And you know what? Gilbert’s totally right. Helgenberger brings a snap, crackle, pop to her scenes that few crime procedural worker bees possess. What about you, PopWatchers? Are you ready to join the Helgenberger love-in? Is she’s TV’s best tough cookie? Who is your unsung TV hero?

addCredit(“CSI: Michael Yarish”)


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  • dwill

    I must admit that even though i dont watch ER as much as i used too, Maura Tierney’s Abbey Lockheart is still the most real and enjoyable character on that show. She is an amazing actress!

  • OSman

    I say Sandra Oh is the best actress on television!
    The whole crew of Greys Anatomy is the besttt

  • lovetv

    Sarah Chalke on Scrubs is a great comedienne and never gets any attention or press.

  • kj

    i love marg helgenberger…she’s the smartest, sexiest woman on television. when looking at the candidates for best actress in film this year, seems all the good roles are on tv. veronica mars…allison dubois, just to name a few.

  • Jonathan

    yeah, Marg Helgenberger is awesome on CSI. great actress.

  • Debbie

    I have been watching Marg since she was on Ryan’s Hope. She has come a long into stardom and deserves it ! Love that red hair too.

  • Paul TV-holic

    My thoughts on the best are:
    1) Marg Helgenberger on CSI
    2) Sandra Oh on Grey’s Anatomy
    3) Maura Tierney and Parminder Nagra on ER
    4) Patricia Arquette on Medium
    5) The Koren actress who plays Sun on Lost
    6) Marcia Cross and Felicity Huffman on Desp. Housewives

  • donner

    I love CSI, its the only one of the three that I watch because I like ALL the cast members…I like Gil the best, but I do enjoy how Katherine takes him on – getting in his face and telling him how it is when he’s oblivious to the world…Sara tends to get whiny and the guys are kinda doofy but Katherine knows what’s going on and she’s not afraid to say it…dig her…

  • Joan

    F u c k that give me a porn star

  • beezy

    I agree with all the comments above, but have
    to add Enrique Murciano who plays Danny on Without a
    Trace. Every scene that he’s in is better for it.

  • lauren

    I have really loved Marg since China Beach. She’s always been fun to watch.
    Another one is Yunjin Kim for Lost. So underappreciated as well…

  • Frank

    Yunjin Kim from Lost should get a mention also. Marg is great too. I have been a fan for years. I do miss seeing Gillian Anderson every week on X Files. She was the Best!

  • riley

    Mandy Patinkin. He is the best actor on television.

  • Tara

    Thank you for mentioning Parminder Nagra – she is amazing and the reason I keep watching ER.

  • Kprocter

    Marg is fine but the better female CSI is Emily Procter on CSI Miami. She beats out Marg by a mile

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