23 Actors Saddled with Terrible Roles

at .  Updated at .

Whether it's finding they're on a losing show or that the part they're playing on an otherwise decent show just doesn't suit them, sometimes actors get a bum deal.

Yep, this slideshow comes after the fiasco that was True Detective. Those actors got a bum rap if ever we saw one.

Related: 13 TV Shows That Need to Crossover

Maybe the role looked great on paper, and it's not living up to the expectations set when the actor signed on. Or maybe the actor loves the work they're doing and the delivery just isn't up to par.

Who knows? All we know is when we watch(ed) these 23 actors in these particular roles, we know they're destined for better things.

Agree or disagree?

1. Halle Berry - Molly Woods on Extant

Yes, Halle Berry mentioned that television is the new frontier in entertainment, but it doesn't appear she's going to get there, even playing astronaut Molly Woods on Extant. It was a drag. Berry worries, cries and fights with the best of them, but it's not a role that's going to win her any awards. And remember, Berry's an Oscar-winning actress. She's no slouch. Extant, however, was cheesy summer fare and will never be anything more. Sorry!

2. Gary Sinise - Mac Taylor, CSI: NY

Gary Sinise is an Oscar nominated and Golden Globe winning actor who finds himself choosing roles on procedural television. He obviously likes the roles. However, they can't possibly challenge him as an actor. It's the same week in and week out. They're never going to win him an Emmy. Up next for the actor? Leading the next Criminal Minds franchise, Beyond Borders.

3. Shailene Woodley - Amy Juergens, Secret Life of the American Teenager

Watching Shailene Woodley in Secret Life of the American Teenager would have given none of us the impression she could have pulled of the feat she did in The Descendants. There were so few expectations placed upon her as an actress as Amy Juergens that she must have honed her skills elsewhere. Whatever she did, it worked, and she's gone on to be one of the most sought-after young actresses on the market with mad skills. Wow.

4. Dean Norris - Big Jim Rennie, Under the Dome

Dean Norris' Big Jim Rennie became THE reason to watch Under the Dome in its third season, so that says something. He acted the hell out of it each and every week. I can't imagine anybody else playing the part. However, it's far below his talent level. Then again, maybe he just enjoyed playing Big Jim as much as we enjoy watching him. If so, kudos. Job well done!

5. Hugh Jackman - Nicky Fontant, Viva Laughlin

THIS is an example of a role that must have appealed to Hugh Jackman on paper on every level. With his love of the stage, getting to sing and dance in a television show? Score! Just looking at the image says in an instant it's a dog. The previews, the description – everything to the audience screamed stay away. And that's what they did. In droves. Two episodes aired before it the Oscar nominee's project was yanked from the schedule.

6. Jennifer Love Hewitt - Riley Parks, The Client List

There's not a lot we can say about Jennifer Love Hewitt chosing to play Riley Parks on The Client List. OK. I can say it took me a little longer than it should have to find just the right photo. Maybe it was as fun to wear the outfits as to look at them? {{gulp}} JLove DID find a husband and father for her children on set. That's a plus. The character and story were absolute trash. And I reviewed it! Yep. Watched and reviewed. Still, hot as she is, JLove deserves better than this garbage.

7. Colin Farrell - Ray Velcoro, True Detective

If you've never seen Colin Farrell in In Bruges, speed up your effort to do so. If you thought he acted the hell out of the garbage he was given in True Detective, you ain't seen nothin' yet. The man has range from funny to driven to angry to so emotionally overwrought you'll be in tears. Here's hoping True Detective Season 2 was an anomaly and we'll never suffer through such torture at the expense of great actors again, because Ray Velcoro was a mess and Farrell deserved better.

8. Patricia Arquette - Avery Ryan, CSI: Cyber

Patricia Arquette won the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in 2015, and she had to go back to work on CSI: Cyber, the CSI nobody believes is even true to the franchise. Heck, it barely skims what we would consider Cyber crime. To it's credit, they realized it needs a kick in the pants and made some casting changes going into the second season. To Arquette's detriment, that means she was the co-lead. That's hardly a step up.

9. Donal Logue - Harvey Bullock, Gotham

Harvey Bullock was not the right character for Donal Logue. Logue's underutilized across the board and doesn't get a chance to infuse the fole with his special brand of humor, either. In fact, I can think of several recent roles in which he fared better, including Vikings, Law & Order: SVU, Copper and Terriers (SOB!). The man deserves the world. Write it for him.

10. Debra Messing - Laura Diamond, The Mysteries of Laura

The only mystery here is why Debra Messing took the role of Laura Diamond. She's a schlep of a cop and mother. She's a mess. She's not quite funny enough or brilliant enough to hold the entire series together. Messing, however, should be enough. She just can't rise above the writing. Winning a Primetime Emmy for Best Actress says she's good enough, and we agree. Just not here.

11. Robert Patrick - Cabe Gallo, Scorpion

There is just something about procedural roles that don't lend themselves to showcasing the best of the actors who get them. Robert Patrick seems underutilized as Cabe Gallo. He's just there. There appears to be little challenging the man. Maybe he's enjoying it. Not every job can be non-stop from start to finish. It doesn't stop us from wishing for more.

12. Lorraine Bracco - Angela Rizzoli, Rizolli & Isles

Rizolli & Isles wasn't a terrible show, but Lorraine Bracco was saddled with a terrible role as Angela Rizzoli. She's an Oscar nominated actress for her role in Goodfellas. She counseled Tony Soprano for years. She's an amazing actress relegated to whining and idiotic jokes at her expense as the mother of one of the titular characters. She still has time to get out and find a rewarding role, so get out, Lorraine, get out!!!

13. Scott Bakula - Dwayne Pride, NCIS: New Orleans

NCIS: New Orleans doesn't seem up to the same standard as the others in the franchise. As such, neither does Bakula's lead character of Pride. We're thinking of his amazing roles in Looking (RIP) and Men of a Certain Age. This man can act. Will he ever get the chance to show what he can do on NCIS:NOLA??

14. Sarah Michelle Gellar - Bridget Kelly/Siobhan Martin, The Ringer

Lucky Sarah Michelle Gellar! She played not one, but two terrible characters on The Ringer in 2011! Honestly, it didn't stop me from watching, but not writing the parts up to her acting chops was probably part of the downfall of the series. Neither character stood out in any way, both maudlin and lost. Didn't the writers see what she had done with Buffy? The girl has range! Hopefully someday she'll find a role that gives her that again.

15. Milo Ventimiglia - Sean Bennigan/John Doe/Drew, The Whispers

Alright, so The Whispers gave to us sexy Milo Ventimiglia. He was also brooding and wounded. And not alone in having a bad role on the series, but we're picking on him because we can. We expect better from Jess Mariano and Peter Petrelli. We had it before, we want it back.

16. Alexis Denisof & Cynthia Watros - David & Elizabeth Wilson, Finding Carter

This is a two-fer, because playing the parents of twins, one of whom was kidnapped at a young age and returned, definitely sounded challenging on paper. Then Alexis Denisof and Cynthia Watros, both of whom are truly excellent actors, were given the MTV spin. As were we viewers. The series is barely a shadow of its original self. If we're shell-shocked, imagine how they must feel. They must hope their characters are killed off and the birth mother gets permanent custody.

17. Michelle Fairley - Margaret Langston, Resurrection

Can you imagine going from Game of Thrones to Resurrection? We're betting Michelle Fairley was a bit gobsmacked, as well. The show was a mess, her character was flat out crazy and the only good thing was she was gone before the series was ultimately cancelled. Consider it a win, Michelle!

18. Kate Walsh - Rebecca Wright, Bad Judge

Kate Walsh is a Bad Judge...of follow-up roles to her time on Shondaland! She hasn't picked a winner since she stopped playing Dr. Addison Montgomery, which she did fabulously. Is it ever too late to pick up the phone and call your old pal to ask if there's room for you in that world? Or any Shonda production? Or...maybe a new agent. Someone is steering Walsh in the wrong direction if she though Bad Judge was a Good Move.

19. Kevin Bacon - Ryan Hardy, The Following

Oh what a mess Ryan Hardy wound up to be on The Following. OK, he was a mess before the show began, but the show kind of collapsed around him, taking Kevin Bacon and his Ryan Hardy with it. This might be a case where the show was worse than the particular role, but it still counts. Bacon went down on a sinking ship. With his incredible movie career, he deserves better (and apparently he's getting it with his latest movie role!).

20. Gillian Anderson - Meg Fitch, Crisis

Gillian Anderson generally has a knack for picking fantastic roles, so we can forgive her this mistake. We're still going to note it, however! In 2014, Crisis was one of two series that were similar, dealing with hostage situations and involving the President of the US in some way. Anderson's role was small and didn't emphasize her talents. Maybe that's why the series failed. Why on earth would you overlook GA when you have her on hand?!

21. Toni Collette - Dr. Ellen Sanders, Hostages

Toni Collette is another actress who generally picks great roles, but went down the wrong path in 2013 when she joined Hostages, the second series on the subject that year. Interestingly, the two shows also shared something else. One had Dermot Mulroney and the other Dylan McDermott, the two actors people confuse. Again, this was a case of the show dragging the star down no matter what. Sorry Toni!

22. Grace Saif - Ani Achola, 13 Reasons Why

Poor Grace never stood a chance. The writers of this ludicrous series thought it would be a good idea to immerse a new character in the "Who Killed Bryce Walker?" Mystery and the fans reacted negatively. The issue here is that the character was terribly written, and people failed to recognize that Grace was just an actress doing a job.

23. Matthew Lintz - Henry, The Walking Dead

The character of Henry essentially carried on the mantle from Carl when Chandler Riggs' alter ego was killed off. Lintz was a decent enough actor, but the character was an annoying piece of work who failed to follow orders.

Wait! There's more! Just click "Next" below:

Show Comments
Multi-Show, Photo Galleries
Extant, CSI: Cyber, The Mysteries of Laura, Rizzoli & Isles, True Detective, Gotham, Scorpion, NCIS: New Orleans, The Whispers, Finding Carter, 13 Reasons Why, The Walking Dead
Related Photos:
Multi-Show Slideshows, Extant Slideshows, CSI: Cyber Slideshows, The Mysteries of Laura Slideshows, Rizzoli & Isles Slideshows, True Detective Slideshows, Gotham Slideshows, Scorpion Slideshows, NCIS: New Orleans Slideshows, The Whispers Slideshows, Finding Carter Slideshows, Photo Galleries Slideshows, 13 Reasons Why Slideshows, The Walking Dead Slideshows
Related Posts:
Created by: