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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Channel Surfing's Secondary Character Hall of Fame: Jeffrey Rosso

At least through one season, my favorite character on "Six Feet Under" has quickly become Frederico Diaz, a skilled restoration artist played brilliantly by Freddy Rodriguez.

Rico doesn't get a whole lot of screen time. He's never been heavily involved in any of the main plots. He often delivers a memorable one-liner during the five minutes he's engaged in meaningful conversation ... then goes back to rubbing diaper cream on some dead guy's cheeks.

Ultimately, like all good secondary characters, Rico's an important part of the scenery that maximizes every opportunity given to him. Which got me thinking -- who are some of my other favorite secondary characters throughout TV history?

So in what will hopefully become a regular installment from all of our bloggers, I'm inducting the first member of the Channel Surfing Secondary Character Hall of Fame.

Seinfelds and Sopranos need not apply. These are the folks who do the dirty work; characters who made an impact or stole scenes without getting all the fanfare of big, bold letters in the opening credits.

Our first inductee:

Jeffrey Theodore Rosso

Stats: Hippie guidance counselor played by Dave (Gruber) Allen on "Freaks and Geeks;" 10 episodes, 1999-2000.

Lead singer of rocktageous Grand Funk Railroad-loving cover band, Feedback.

Idealistic do-gooder who believes in the best from McKinley High's teenagers. Also claims to have the best job in the world.

Delivers a mean rendition of "I'm Eighteen" by Alice Cooper during guidance sessions. Lends a copy of "American Beauty" by the Grateful Dead to Lindsay Weir.

"Got it on" in a van at Woodstock.

Why he's worthy: Perfectly straddles the line between out-of-touch buffoon and caring counselor who really believes he can influence angst-ridden teenage lives. Tries to be cool ... but not too cool. Instantly captivating due to his laid-back delivery and demeanor. Plus, you can call him Jeff.

Quintessential scene: In "Tricks and Treats," Lindsay and her "freak" friends go out for an evening of Halloween hi-jinx, eventually settling on Mr. Rosso's house. When they obliterate the pumpkin on his front doorstep, Rosso finds the smashed remnants, says "Not cool," and brings out a fresh, replacement pumpkin without batting an eyelash.

Quotable: "I. Have. Herpes. It doesn't hurt that much, but believe me, you don't want it."

Lindsay Weir: "Can I please go now?"

Rosso: "I just blew your mind, didn't I?"

-- Thomas Rozwadowski,



I'd have a hard time choosing between Mr. Rosso and Harold Weir. His cutting remarks perfectly balance out his wife's naivete. "In and out, in and out ... in and off!"

By Anonymous mary, At August 6, 2008 at 12:21 PM  

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