Thursday Open Thread: Guest Stars

Pardon me if I’ve already went with this post already, but it’s something that’s been on my mind recently.

Does anyone feel like they’ve just been inundated with guest stars recently? It seems like every time I turn on a show, I see an old, familiar face playing a brand-new character. It feels like guest stars are the new black.

Thumbs up or thumbs down: What do you think of guest stars?

I think guest stars can be a fun surprise sometimes, but nowadays, you know months ahead of time that stars will be on a particular series. Don’t get me wrong. I realize that I help with the buzz a bit (I had a special post on Summer Glau being on Big Bang), but now they’re everywhere. Big Bang is certainly takes advantage of having people like Eliza Dushku, Wil Wheaton (repeatedly), and other guest stars all over it, and Glee is another. Heck, even How I Met Your Mother is a cuprit.  It did bothered me that Community got a wee bit harped on for bringing Betty White on in its premiere, and yes, Community has had its share of stars (something that makes sense for something that leans so much on movie jest), but I don’t think that show is nearly as bad as others.

I just wonder why people can’t depend on their cast anymore. Are they not pulling the audiences anymore? Do they just not have the talent? They’re now used as publicity ploys that bug me a lot. Instead of seeing a conveyor belt of guest stars, I’d much rather see a quality show that can depend on its main contingent.

But what do you think? Thumbs up or thumbs down? And why?

image from

See? There you go. Two in one! Though, Stella was really a recurring character, so maybe she doesn’t count…


5 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread: Guest Stars

  1. I agree with you, so I would say thumbs down. I remember shows, like Friends, having guests stars on every other week (that might be an exaggeration, but that’s what it seemed like!). And in a way, it becomes more about the guest star than the actual show.
    The Office had an episode a year or two ago where they had Jessica Alba and Jack Black as guest stars, but it had nothing to do with the episode at all. I think Jim, Pam, and Andy were watching a movie with them in it. It just seemed pointless.
    So unless if fits within the storyline, I’m not a fan.

  2. This gets tiring. Thumbs down. As much as I love Community, they do it a lot. They had Anthony Michael Hall on as a bully last year, and there were tons of other guest appearances that I can’t remember. Anyway, it gets tiring. If you want to bring in a well known face to play a full or part time character, fine, but enough with the constant, one and done guest spots.

  3. Sometimes it’s really funny and silly, like Brad Pitt on Friends, but sometimes it is just. so. forced, like Madonna on Will and Grace (W&G is the worst offender of all shows ever – although Matt Damon was awesome…). I am not usually a fan unless it actually makes sense in the plot line (Maury Povich on HIMYM worked, Regis did not).

  4. There are really two cases to argue, one is where the network or someone forces it on the show and it just seems thrown in. The other is when the guest asks to be on the show, or the writers write the episode specifically for them. It also depends on the caliber of the guest star. One show that does it perfect almsot every time is 30 Rock. Mostly because the guest can play themselves (in the case of Brian Williams frequent pop ins) or if the role is written well for them, as in the case of Matt Damon as Liz’s airline pilot bf.

    Glee is hit or miss. Britney was horrible, but the latest with Gweneth Paltrow was great. And i dont know if this counts, but when Kristen Cheneworth was on was some of the best episodes.

  5. Off-topic, but thanks for reminding me that I’m behind on Glee! Look for a catch-up post in the next few days.

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