All you have to do is look at the recent work by Timothy Omundson to understand what he’s talking about when he says he likes to change his look.
On “Psych,” his Detective Carlton Lassiter was so clean-cut that he made most straight-laced people look like hippies. On “Galavant,” his beard and hair fall somewhere between “Duck Dynasty” and homelessness.
Omundson jokes that his beard is more famous than he is.
As soon as each season of “Psych” finished, Omundson grew his “hiatus beard.” His hope was that one season would start with his character showing up in the scruffy state with the excuse he had been undercover.
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That never happened and it wasn’t until “Galavant” that Omundson could let his flocks fly.
“I get bored and so I like to change my look as much as I can,” Omundson says. “I have found that parts where a beard is appropriate prove to be more interesting to me.
“On ‘Psych’ I had been doing the straight guy for six months, so why would I want to do the straight guy again?”
The second season of the short-run series “Galavant” airs Sundays through Jan. 31. It will be the last time this season to see Omundson play one of his favorite roles.
The ABC musical comedy takes a look at the efforts of the title to regain his true love. At the same time, he’s helping King Richard (Omundson) get his crown back. This is all done to the music of Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.
Along with his eight-season starring role on “Psych,” the Seattle native has worked on “Judging Amy,” “Jericho,” “SeaQuest DSV,” “Jack & Jill” and a host of other TV shows. Nothing has compared to getting the chance to sing and dance his way through the forest on “Galavant.”
“This is the greatest season of television I have ever worked on in terms of the quality of the show itself and the enjoyment,” Omundson says.
One of the delights has been the guest stars. Omundson was excited and nervous that Ricky Gervais was in an episode. He wanted to be able to keep up with the comic when it came to improvising material.
When Gervais arrived on the set, Omundson didn’t go up to him immediately. Finally, he walked over and said “Oh, you must be Ricky.”
“He gave me that look of, ‘Oh, it’s on now,’ ” Omundson says. “When you are an actor and get to work with people you admire so much, it’s a very strange thing. You have to act like you don’t give a damn but it is so exciting.”
Because of the quality and fun, he wishes there were more episodes of the series each season. He understands that the demands of the musical numbers take too much of a toll on the songwriters and cast to do more.
The beard was up for as many episodes as it could get.
It’s all politics
Showtime’s “The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth” features Bloomberg Politics managing editors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann and campaign strategist and media advisor Mark McKinnon. The documentary series will follow the 2016 race to the White House.
One area of examination is the booming world of social media.
“There’s incremental differences, but I think there have not been any fundamental changes. There were two weeks where everyone thought Meerkat was going to revolutionize the election, and now it’s sort of gone away,” Halperin says. “So there’s incremental changes in social media.”
The biggest change he has seen is in the campaign of Donald Trump. Halperin forecasts that win or lose, people are going to write Ph.D. dissertations about how Trump talks about what many people are thinking about so effectively.
Another big change that has already been spotted in the 2016 election is how the candidates are taking more advantage of free publicity that comes in the form of news channel interviews and talk show appearances.
McKinnon says, “I think that’s driven largely by the fact that, as we’ve looked at the American electorate and communication strategies over time, what the American public really hungers they just don’t believe anything that they hear or see from politicians, particularly if it’s paid for. So they are looking for anything that they view as authentic.”
- 8 p.m. Sundays ABC (Channel 30.1)
The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth
- 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan 17, Showtime