I've become, more than anything else, an enormous fan of Jessica Walter, whose brilliant portrayal of monster mother Lucille Bluth is the heart (a cold, controlling heart, but still) of the show's dysfunctional family circus. She plays Lucille as a carnival of couture, cocktails, and collagen; despite being about the dressiest part imaginable, it's one that requires a total lack of vanity, and Walter comes through.
I always enjoy seeing a longtime trouper get a break. Walter's career, which stretches back to the early sixties, has been mostly a matter of guest shots, disposable-girlfriend roles, and movies of the week: a working actress, but not a particularly prominent or even interesting one. It's as if the chance to play Lucille unleashed something in her, a lifetime's worth of observation of California dragon ladies and West Coast pretension that all came together at once.
She'd bloomed like this only once before, really, as the sweet-faced psychokiller in 1971's Play Misty for Me (she's seen here menacing co-star and fellow B-list survivor Donna Mills). It got her a Golden Globe nomination, but not all that much more.