Why the "Community" star is television's baddest good girl
She didn’t snag an Emmy nomination Thursday — despite being in the cast of both a beloved comedy and a critically acclaimed drama series. But “Community” and “Mad Men’s” Alison Brie is nonetheless having a swell week.
First, a clip of her doing a rocking karaoke duet of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” last month with Emily Blunt in Ann Arbor, Mich., went viral, proving her adorable shamelessness knows no bounds. Then GQ answered America’s prayers and served up a black lingerie-clad Brie getting spanked with the business end of a hairbrush by her “Community” costar Gillian Jacobs. Take that, Betty White.
What is it about the fresh-faced Brie that makes her such a standout? Well, the looks don’t hurt. Like Katy Perry, she’s got the kind of doe eyes and formidable rack that would make a manga character jealous. But more than that, Brie isn’t just another hot chick lucky enough to land on a sitcom.
In her relatively short career, the 27-year-old actress has managed to carve out a distinctive niche for herself as the most winningly uptight woman on television. On “Mad Men,” her buttoned-up Park Avenue princess, Trudy Campbell — the Charlotte York of the Beatles era — has dazzling, youthful spark, touching naiveté and, increasingly, deep wells of inner strength. But it’s on “Community,” as the studiously “irony-free” Annie Edison, a woman who boasts, “I like being repressed! I am totally comfortable with being uncomfortable with my sexuality!” that Brie really shines. Troy and Abed may get all the attention, but Annie is the show’s most reliably warped scene-stealer.
In letting her often exasperating characters fall just shy of unlikable, Brie somehow manages to make them vulnerable and real and eminently appealing. How can you not love a lady whose “Community” back story of losing her virginity to a gay man, in a closet, to the strains of Madonna’s “Erotica,” was based on a mortifying incident from Brie’s own freewheeling college years? That she’d turn her sexual disaster into a comic bit is hilarious, that it happened in the first place is close to brilliant.
What makes Brie fantastic is her unique knack for being smart, sexy and utterly weird at the same time. She brings to mind Susan Sarandon’s Janet Weiss — a woman who’s one part uppity priss, one part wanton sexpot. Few performers of either gender could get away with her commitment to playing both parts so convincingly — and be so wickedly funny while doing it. And though she may not get awards for it, there’s nobody else out there so beautifully comfortable being uncomfortable.
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Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
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Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
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A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
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Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
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Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
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O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
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Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
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When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
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A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
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