An Appreciation of Britney Spears’ Brief TV Career

While Britney Spears has acted only a handful of times on American television, her cameos often have as much quality as Crossroads, and her comedic presence is a gosh darn delight every time. (She was also pretty charming pre-fame in this sketch with Chistina and Justin when the three were on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club.)

I’ve never been a big fan of Britney Spears–as a teen I channeled my rebellion into voting for Limp Bizket on TRL–but Britney’s stint on Jane the Virgin this month was a heavenly blessing. She was as joyous and charming as the show. She was a gift! She was the queen! She was everything we need in a household name guest star.

Will & Grace, Season 8, Episode 16, 2006. “Buy, Buy, Baby”

Britney is Amber-Louise, Jack’s new cohost on his OutTV show, “JackTalk.” Unfortunately the network is now owned by conservatives, allowing a delicious opportunity to feed Britney a brand of satire the rest of us could have only dreamed during her pro-Bush halcyon years.

How I Met Your Mother, Season 3, Episodes 13 and 19, 2008. “Ten Sessions” and “Everything Must Go”

Britney is Abby, the sweet, naïve receptionist at Stella’s dermatology clinic. Stella and Abby meet Ted when Ted comes in for a tattoo removal. Ted falls for Stella. Abby falls for Ted. Barney eventually strings Abby along and breaks her heart because he’s a sociopath.

Glee, Season 2, Episode 2, 2008. “Britney/Brittany”

Britney plays herself in Glee‘s dedication to the star’s musical career. Britney appears in the hallucinations of Brittany, and self-actualizations follow.

Jane the Virgin, Season 2, Episode 5, 2015. “Chapter Twenty-Seven” plays a version of herself and it has all of the Glee that her previous cameo lacked. In this universe, Britney is Rogelio’s mortal enemy following a humiliating teleprompter slip-up.

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