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In the world of entertainment, your face is everything. This may surprise you, but let's be honest, it's not your voice that really matters, look at Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber. They don't have the pipes of say, Jennifer Hudson, but you can bet their shows are bigger. And it's not your talent that matters either. Case in point? The entire cast of Twilight. Minus Anna Kendrick, because she actually has talent in addition to her distinctive face. No, what really matters is your image, your face. Sometimes it seems like actors and actresses just blend together in a big steaming pile of hotness sometimes, but every once in awhile, a distinctive face jumps out at you.
Take Jensen Ackles for example. He has one Distinctive Face.
The guy is all chin, and all pout. He was on soaps like Days of Our Lives (which got him not one, not two, but three Daytime Emmy noms) and Dark Angel for a few years, and even Dawson's Creek, before guest starring on CW's Smallville. Audiences liked him so much he got his own show on the CW that same year, Supernatural, which has been so successful that it's now in its sixth season.
Supernatural follows two brothers, Sam and Dean, as they travel around the country in their dad's '67 Chevy Impala fighting supernatural evil. The greatest shows that have lasted longest on television are almost invariably relationship-based. Lost? not about mystery or mythology, it's about people. X Files? Not about aliens- it's Scully and Mulder that kept that show alive. Supernatural is the same way; it's about the relationship between two brothers, it's about family. It's also about Ackles making this face:
Which he tends to do a lot. About every other scene. The best part of Supernatural is the strange ease with which the writers and actors poke fun at themselves. In season four the show took on a whole new dimension when the brothers discover by accident that a series of "fiction" books has become popular that actually documents their lives in impossibly accurate detail. Is something...supernatural going on? Well of course. The rest of the season mixes comedy with the show's normally serious story arc as more about the books and their mysterious author comes to light. The show's writers do as much as possible to tear down the fourth wall as the brothers attend a convention for the books, are confronted by their own fans, and discover slash fanfiction written about them on the internet. In a particularly hysterical episode the book's author tells his fans, "It's not jumping the shark if you never come back down." If only Lost had discovered its comedic side and could have addressed how Kate always managed to keep her legs shaved...but I digress. Ackles is at his best here on a show that celebrates cheese, caters to its fans, and gives him plenty of reason to make that brooding face.
He can show off that pout any time he likes as far as I'm concerned. Ackles has done a few movies, but nothing huge. His role as Priestly from the Indie film Ten Inch Hero garnered great reviews, but the movie never got a wide theater release, so no one saw it. No matter, some actors are meant for television. Like David Duchovny of X Files or Nathan Fillion of Firefly, Ackles is meant for it. Here's to hoping he and his distinctive face will grace our televisions for years to come.
Suggestion: Go to YouTube and search for funny moments from the show, particularly the episodes "Monster at the End of the Book" and "Tall Tales"