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December 09 2009

Michelle Trachtenberg gets praise for Mercy role at TV Worth Watching. Featuring picture of Michelle in Hello Kitty scrubs.

Here's the paragraph that mentions Michelle:

"The rest of the Mercy cast is similarly likeable, especially Michelle Trachtenberg as naive Chloe Payne, a newbie nurse who's all heart, if somewhat unbelievably clueless about certain things (like expecting to be taken seriously after wearing Hello Kitty smocks to work). I've always felt that Trachtenberg came on too strong as cloying supernatural construct Dawn on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I find her annoying in her recurring Gossip Girl role of rich witch Georgina Sparks. But I enjoy watching her balance the twin pressures Chloe faces as she tries to build both a grown-up career and an adult personal life, often flailing or failing at both but never growing cold or cynical in the face of multiple defeats."

There's also some praise for Jaime Lee Kirchner, who played Rayna in Dollhouse ep "Stage Fright".
Hello Kitty Scrubs? Is she the "Zoey Barkow" of "Mercy". There's much to like about Shotime's Nurse Jackie, but she's got to be the best.
Just watched my first episode of it tonight. It's a good performance by Michelle, definitely. I can see why the reviewer likes her. It might be her best work. I'm going to have to check out at least a few more episodes.
That quoted paragraph contains both why I like to watch Mercy when I catch it, and why I've only seen the occasional episode or scene and ultimately can't be bothered with the show on the whole.

Michelle Trachtenberg is delightful, charming and heartwarming as Chloe. She's the only character I like. The only one who feels real and whole. The rest of them, while performed by good actors, I find to be obnoxious, self-obsessed Drama Junkies. The show itself, while well produced, contains too much cliched, forced and manufactured drama. Because Trachtenberg is so likable to me, I'd gladly watch more and suffer through all that other garbage. Unfortunately, as said paragraph mentions, the character is always being humiliated, dismissed, disrespected or just more or less crapped on, by her "friends" and by life.

The character is perpetually cheery in the face of much adversity, but I don't have any fun just sitting back and waiting to reach her breaking point, all the while she struggles to be accepted and not viewed as another cliched, dumb, naive farm girl.

I do disagree with the text strongly in one area. To me, the problem with Dawn Summers was never Michelle herself or her performance. This is why I roll my eyes when people immediately yell at Dawn to shut up or go away during those sing-alongs, as if just the sound of her voice could warrant so much venom.

Michelle, as Dawn did fine with the material and character she had to work with. The problem lies in that she wasn't usually given much to work with. Because the writers could never fully decide how old Dawn was, and sometimes could not properly write for that age when they did decide, the character was often a scattered mess of half-formed ideas, inconsistent actions and flat-out uncharacteristic behavior.

I love Dawnie, which is why it pained me so much to watch her potential go to waste or never fully realized. She was often used more as a prop or MacGuffin to elicit a certain response from other characters or to move plots and dramas in directions to better suit their through lines. Meanwhile, Dawn herself was directionless, or viewed as in the way, until the latter half of Season 7 where she was almost completely cast aside and forgotten.

I really love what they're doing with her in the Season 8 comics, except they're not digging deep enough. Too often, we're getting aftermaths of events, rather than seeing them take shape and grow over time. And, when we are given those elements, they're usually being told to someone else, and once again, it becomes about the other person and their reactions, how it affects them, more than Dawn herself. Anytime we get some Dawnie Downtime, the writers gloss over it like flipping by the Discovery Channel, as if to say, "So that happened.... Back to Buffy's endless running and moping about feeling disconnected and finding the answer in random, uncharacteristic sex, and Willow's retread over the same material she dealt with and overcame in Seasons 6 & 7. Oh! And don't forget, Xander is STILL the whipping boy he claimed he would no longer be all the way back at the top of Season 5! Sure, he's gained some respect and seriousness, but he's still not really learned a damn thing or grown much beyond that. Also, we have even MORE characterless, unappealing Lemmings/Girls to distract you from the dullness, by being dull. What's that? You miss the time when a handful of issues felt like a full episode of the show, instead of being crammed down into single issues? Fear not! Our epic "Retreat" arc is made of much, er, arcyness! What? Boring and plodding!? How dare-- Huh? Oh, you want the comics to be more like Brian K. Vaughn's "Faith & Giles" arc, where old ground was being covered again, but at least something good was coming out of it, like closure and character progression. Yeah, we'll uh, get back to you.... Are you at least interested in who Twilight is? Kind of? Only in a passing capacity of morbid curiosity, but you're getting bored with it.... I see. But you're still reading? Oh! It's the ONLY comic you're reading! NICE! That must mean we're doing something right, we-- I see. You just really like Buffy, will follow her through pretty much anything, no matter how stupid or mundane. And you love Jo Chen's covers and the occasional appearances of Cliff Richards' art. And The Chain was awesome and moving. Got it." :)

Wow, that started out as me talking about how much I enjoy Michelle Trachtenberg on Mercy, and somehow devolved into an off-topic, imaginary rant/conversation I was having. Sorry about that. It's late/early and I should probably be sleeping. Goodnight. :)
Agreed. The Dawn storyline in the comic has felt too "storyliney" if that makes sense. But we're only a Joss one-shot and two full arcs until the end. So hopefully, the nonsense will stop.

I don't think they ever found a good way for Dawn to work since "The Body," so glad Michelle is doing something right with Mercy.
I have to agree with you Kungfubear about poor Dawnie in S7. (Haven't read any of the comics so can't comment on those)
When the Potentials started turning up and Buffy started her boot camp Dawn should have been a key (he he...) part of the team. She had had more vamp face time than any of the girls and the end of S6/start of S7 showed her doing more and more, but she was just pushed to one side and forgotten.
I was expecting this to become an issue, maybe part of the season's arc, but it just kinda went nowhere. Apart from Xander's little talk in Potential it was never mentioned.
This show is just awful..I watched all the episodes so far, but it makes me want to rip my eyes out.

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