Where has Justina Machado been hiding?

Justina Machado knows how to work

How hard is it to act in Hollywood? Hard apparently. In this week’s Clacking in Color, the hip column celebrating ethnic diversity on television, writer Jaylen Christie spotlights Justina Machado, a chick that’s really working hard for the money!


You know, one of the things that I enjoy about watching television is discovering hidden gems — actors and actresses that possess immense talent but, for some bizarre reason, aren’t the stars of their own programs. I think we’ve all seen these capable individuals pop up in sitcoms or dramas, and we wonder to ourselves who, what, when, and where the hell they came from. Well, this week’s Clacking in Color is about one of those enigmatic performers — Justina Machado.

Machado was given a two-episode story arc and managed to knock it out of the park like an athlete on steroids.
Who is this woman and why haven’t I heard of her until recently? Anyone that knows me knows that Desperate Housewives used to be my shi…um, show. Yes, it used to be my show. During its eighth and final season, Machado guest starred as the enraged wife of a creep that one of the housewives killed. Machado was given a two-episode story arc and managed to knock it out of the park like an athlete on steroids … or maybe Lance Armstrong on dope. During her story arc, I honestly remember stroking my chin and asking myself, “Who the hell is that chick?”

I shrugged it off thinking to myself that I’d never see her again, that Machado was just one of those many struggling artists trying to climb out of the deep dark abyss of non-recognition. However, I was pleasantly surprised and equally pleased to see her pop up in Private Practice as Dr. Sam Bennett’s new main squeeze — a pity he dumped her in the final episode of the series though. Nevertheless, she did leave a lasting impression.

The woman is talented, folks.
So, what is it about Justina Machado that does it for me? Well, she is pretty so there’s that. She is also of Hispanic descent which means she garners points for contributing to ethnic diversity on TV. However, despite these things, I’d say it all boils down to her aptitude. The woman is talented, folks. I’ll admit that I haven’t seen her in much else. Nevertheless, a quick trip to Wikipedia indicates that she’s been in quite a bit including — NYPD Blue, Ugly Betty and Six Feet Under.

Perchance that’s a testament to her talent. Heck, I’d like to think so.

I distinctly remember the scene of Machado nearly kicking down Teri Hatcher’s door in Desperate Housewives in order to find her missing husband and, I quote, ring his neck like a chicken. Hell, I thought the lady was serious. Also, did anyone see Machado tell off KaDee Strickland’s Charlotte in Private Practice? Now, how awesome was that?

I don’t know how it is to be an actor or actress in Hollywood. I’m not sure I want to know. I imagine it must be challenging. In fact, I don’t even think that’s the proper word. Maybe traumatic is. However, it’s nice to know that Machado is making a name for herself. She’s clearly getting steady work and in this economy, that’s a good thing. It’s moments like these where I wish I was a successful screenwriter and show runner a la Shonda Rhimes. If I were, I’d cast Machado as a lead character in a drama. I think that would be cool. Yet I digress.

Maybe there’s some good to flying under the radar. After all, the gossip columnists aren’t all over you and you can also avoid negative attention. Who wouldn’t want that? I always said that if I made it to Hollywood, I’d want to be an actor and not a celebrity. There is a definite difference. That’s what Machado is — an actress and not a celebrity.

And there ain’t a damn thing wrong with that.

Do you enjoy reading Clacking in Color? Jaylen sure as hell hopes so. Keep up with his opinions and ponderings by following him on Twitter @thesuperflynerd!

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Photo Credit: ABC

3 Comments on “Where has Justina Machado been hiding?

  1. I recognized her right away from her very long stint as Rico’s wife from Six Feet Under. She has a good body of work on that program, Jaylen. I suggest you give it a view.

    Personally, I don’t see her as a lead in a program. She is terrific as a supporting actress for all the reasons you mentioned above. Strong characters, strong presence, solid acting. I much prefer her as an actress … and not a celebrity.

  2. Hardly an avid watcher of TV programs but an avid reader of this column. It was nice for you to turn the spotlight on somone who rarely gets it.

  3. I have seen Justina act and found her to be very good at what she does. I agree with you that there is a difference in being an actor and a celebrity. An actor, I believe, is taken more seriously than a celebrity. And we all want to be taken seriously…….right?

    Keep on clacking and I will keep on reading!!