The Year’s Most Underrated TV Actors

As last week’s Golden Globe nominations reminded us, our favorite entertainers don’t always get the recognition they deserve. So, as part of Flavorpill’s end-of-year extravaganza, we’re tipping our woolen winter hat to ten TV actors who did a fantastic job in 2011 but, so far, aren’t getting a lot of credit for their success. While some play minor characters who always shine, others have been overshadowed by famous co-stars or are standouts on shows most critics and awards voters don’t take seriously. Let us know which television actors you don’t think are getting their due in the comments.

Taissa Farmiga, American Horror Story

A few months ago, we praised Taissa Farmiga’s Violet Harmon for being one of the best kid characters on TV — and that was before, you know, most of what happened to her this season. It’s easy to see why Farmiga is getting less than her share of praise; when your show is the creepiest, most over-the-top hour of TV every week, viewers can be too busy WTF-ing to think much about the performances. And then there are her big-name cast mates; Jessica Lange is getting a ton of well-deserved attention for her Tennessee Williams-worthy Constance, and who isn’t fascinated to see Connie Britton transform from Friday Night Lights’ Mrs. Coach to a pregnant woman slowly being driven crazy by the spirits who haunt her home? But what’s great about Farmiga is how subtle and believable she is as Violet, a depressed teenager who is bullied in school and turns to a dangerous, ghostly boyfriend to help her through familial chaos.