when it comes to casting, my mother’s pet peeve is that “newborn” babies in movies or television shows are almost always too old. it’s a guarantee: if you’re watching a tv show with my mom, and they trot out what’s supposed to be a newborn child, she’ll eventually shriek, “THAT’S not a newborn! that baby is at least a month old!” it’s become a bit of a joke in the family, actually, as everybody…waits for it…. =P

MY one and only pet peeve is when the casting directors fail to match the ethnicity of the actor to the character. and when family members (like siblings) in shows or movies don’t look like each other.

ok. my TWO pet peeves are: failing to match the ethnicities and supposed familiy members that look like random people plucked off the street.

wrt the first one — failing to match the ethnicity — i’m not even talking about politically correct casting like idris elba as heimdall. i’m just talking about baaaad casting.

take the new-ish tv show gotham (which is pretty okay, btw!). there are two characters — two mob bosses, heads of italian “families” — sal maroni (played by david zayas, on the left below) and carmine “the roman” falcone (played by john doman, on the right):

maroni and falcone

what? am i the last person on the planet to know what a southern italian looks like? you want an actor to play a mob boss, you get somebody resembling james gandolfini or al pacino, not a puerto rican guy just ’cause he’s a bit swarthy. (>.<)

zayas is an old spanish family, and david zayas looks almost completely spanish to me (perhaps with a little irish thrown in there? he’s puerto rican — could be!). the only way he could possibly pass for italian is if you (or the casting director) can’t tell your southern europeans apart. and, as much as i love david zayas, his nuyorican accent really gives it away. he doesn’t sound AT ALL like he’s from little italy!

and john doman? doman’s originally from pennsylvania, so he’s likely some sort of northern european mix — english? scots-irish? german? doman is an old anglo-saxon name meaning “judge” (doom-man, like the domesday book), so he’s probably part english anyway. he sure ain’t sicilian! no matter how good he looks in those suits. (~_^)

i very much like both zayas and doman in whatever they do, but i find it very distracting when obviously non-italians play mob bosses. but maybe that’s just me.

the kid playing the young bruce wayne — david mazouz — is sephardic jewish, and that certainly doesn’t fit that old english surname (“wayne” as in “wain,” as in a wagon), but he’s a cute kid, so it’s hard to complain. (^_^) and anyway, batman’s creators were jewish, so maybe he ought to be played by a jewish actor! (~_^)

like i said, the show’s not bad! pretty solid performances from most of the cast — ben mckenzie as jim gordon and donal logue as harvey bullock, for instance. the sets and locations are pretty gothic, which is nice. and the cars are AWESOME!

the absolute best, though, are the performances of cory michael smith as edward (“the riddler”) nygma and robin lord taylor as oswald (“the penguin”) cobblepot. taylor IS the penguin! (^_^)

oh, and sean pertwee — son of the third doctor — as alfred is terrific, as well! he can buttle for me anytime. (~_^)

(note: comments do not require an email. alfred pennyworth.)