5 Roles Proving James Van Der Beek is Perfect for CSI: Cyber
Not too long ago, if you had told me that there may be something on this Earth that would convince me to watch a new entry in the CSI franchise, I’d have laughed in your face. Not that there’s anything wrong with CSI, but I got burnt out on it long ago. However, casting news broke yesterday that has me possibly changing my mind. James Van Der Beek, still known best for Dawson’s Creek 11 years after its conclusion, has taken on the role of FBI Special Agent Elijah Mundo (which sounds like something you yell while doing a cannonball into a pool) in the midseason spinoff CSI: Cyber (ugh, that title). EW has this to say about his role:
“Mundo is a savant when it comes to weaponry, vehicles and bombs. A self-proclaimed action junkie, Agent Mundo will often put himself at risk to seek permanent justice…”
While it’s true that JVDB has chosen his share of less-than-stellar roles, the guy deserves to be on a show with some staying power. He has charisma to spare, and he can be hilarious too, making fun of himself with the best of them. But you don’t have to take my word for it – check out these five television parts that prove JVDB’s ready to roll as an ‘action junkie’.
5. Criminal Minds, Tobias Hankel/Charles/Raphael
In this two-episode guest-starring stint, JVDB menaces as a drug addicted serial killer with Dissociative Identity Disorder, one of whose personalities thinks he’s an avenging angel (so, light and fluffy stuff). The character is best remembered for kidnapping fan-favorite regular Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) and forcibly addicting him to drugs. While this time JVDB will be one of the good guys rather than the one they’re chasing, this clip shows that he can be threatening while wielding both a gun and some questionable facial hair.
4. Friends With Better Lives, Will
CBS’ quickly canceled multi-cam sitcom had JVDB playing a recently divorced gynecologist whose cockiness masked his utter ineptitude with women. While the show wasn’t anything groundbreaking, it was funnier than its ratings would suggest, and Will’s acerbic yet affectionate platonic relationship with fellow single friend Kate (Zoe Lister Jones, another actor in need of a good home) was the absolute highlight. The show even gave JVDB’s character a chance to impersonate a law enforcement officer – although let’s hope Agent Mundo’s a bit better at it.
3. How I Met Your Mother, Simon Tremblay
As the Canadian rock star who broke teenage Robin Scherbatsky’s heart, this was perhaps the douchiest of all of JVDB’s many hilariously douchey roles. He could probably tap into Simon’s clueless intensity, but even more importantly, check out how well he rocks a leather jacket – which is practically a uniform for any Television Law Enforcement Bad Boy – in the video for Robin’s breakup anthem “Sandcastles in the Sand.”
2. Dawson’s Creek, Dawson Leery
Dawson Leery gets a bit of an unfair bad rap. As the ostensible center of Kevin Williamson’s teen soap, the character as written was sometimes gratingly annoying and self-obsessed (as teenagers oft are). However, despite his navel-gazing, Dawson was essentially a good guy who just didn’t get the girl, with a somewhat naive sense of honor and right and wrong. See him react below to a perceived betrayal by best friend Joey – will he be so black and white in Agent Mundo’s pursuit of justice?
1. Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, James Van Der Beek
This cancelled-too-soon single camera sitcom is my absolute favorite of all JVDB’s forays into television. He co-starred with Dreama Walker and Krysten Ritter, both funny performers in their own right, as a heightened version of himself (a la Matthew Leblanc in Episodes). “James Van Der Beek” vain, womanizing, materialistic, selfish, insecure, and never fails to steal any scene he’s in. Plus, “James” has a motorcycle in his living room, which is an indispensable accessory for any self-respecting “action junkie.” Watch as “James” shares his thoughts on national security policy during a photo shoot for a faux issue of People’s Sexiest Man Alive.
So there you have it – this may be the role that television has prepared JVDB for his whole career. CSI properties aren’t necessarily a slam dunk anymore, so it remains to be seen if CSI: Cyber offers novel enough material to stick around for a while (the failure of Intelligence last season doesn’t portend well.) But hey, some JVDB is better than none, right? Did I miss any of your favorite JVDB television roles? Let me know below.