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Thursday, August 24, 2006

25 Best Characters on TV

Well, everyone else is putting out their list since James Gunn started (brother of Sean (Kirk on Gilmore Girls) and husband of Jenna (Pam on The Office) who both could land on the list easily) so why not I?… since I love putting out lists so much, here is mine:

25 Best Characters on TV

What is “Best”? Not sure. Favourite? Best acted? Best written character? A little of the three. I shifted between leads only, to favourites, and settled on this:

These are the indispensable characters, who without, would change the defining quality that makes their respective TV shows great. The show could possibly still continue, are have another actor play them, but would lack something magical that these characters (and actors) currently bring to their shows. Some are quite obvious leads (Ed on Ed, Veronica Mars on Veronica Mars, House on House) but I’m not holding that against them since they ARE the show. I also have to continue to follow the show (or at least when it was on) because the character alone has to make it interesting enough even when the show around starts losing me (Det. Vic Mackey on The Shield, Dr. Christian Troy on Nip/Tuck, David Fisher on Six Feet Under). I tried to also stick to one character per show, because really, usually one great character is surrounded by many others (Emily Gilmore, Logan Echolls, Buffy Summers, Vince Tyler, Samantha Jones etc) but I wanted to share the wealth. Here they are in no particular order. I am also including cartoons.

1. Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls – Balancing her daughter and her chosen world of Stars Hollow with her mother Emily and her roots, she accepts all her faults, lives by her guilty pleasures and still lives (mostly) morally without losing any sense of fun.
2. Chloe O'Brian on 24 – Quirkiness and humour in an intense show.
3. Veronica Mars on Veronica Mars – Do not attempt to stop this girl.
4. Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show – Commanding yet loving matriarch who never sweats the small stuff.
5. Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties – Snappy, young and energetic and makes a young republican downright lovable.
6. Lucy Ricardo on I Love Lucy – Downright hilarious woman.
7. Ed Stevens on Ed – He is the best friend everybody wants.
8. Special Agent Dale Cooper on Twin Peaks – The “straight-laced” FBI agent who comes to the aid of the mysterious oddballs in Twin Peaks might actually be the most mysterious oddball of them all.
9. Captain Jean Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation – Authoritative and fatherly.
10. Jack Bristow on Alias – Authoritative if not a very good father, yet still fiercely protective of his loved ones.
11. Lisa Simpson on The Simpsons – The intelligence and sensibility of the Simpson clan and the show.
12. Miranda Hobbes on Sex and the City – The cynical successful woman who eventually learns what’s actually best for her and not what she thinks is best for her.
13. George Constanza on Seinfeld – Kramer may have been crazy but George was the despicable person in all of us, and we all laughed.
14. Phoebe Buffay on Friends – Always silly. Always completely charming and hilarious.
15. Dr. Gregory House on House – The biggest asshole of them all and yet we are still mesmerized.
16. Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Gawky and awkward sidekick grows into her own (semi-) confident being.
17. George Michael Bluth on Arrested Development – He’s just the heart and soul of a crazy show.
18. Jim Halpert/ Tim Canterbury on The Office (US/UK) – The everyman in every office played to wonderful romantic perfection in a realistically absurd and dull world.
19. Stuart Alan Jones on Queer as Folk (UK) – Fierce, unapologetic male hormonal stamina at it’s most fascinating.
20. Wilma Flintstones on The Flintstones – The bedrock of the show.
21. Carmela Soprano on The Sopranos – The small framed woman who can stand up to Tony and anchor him (and the show).
22. Sophia Petrillo on The Golden Girls – Picture this, Sicily…
23. Det. Lenny Briscoe on Law & Order – That’s what a real cop felt like…a little tired, a little suspicious, but a workhorse nonetheless and incredibly missed.
24. Harold Abbott on Everwood – The great cynic who is really a romantic at heart, much like everyone who fell under the spell of the smart but simple show.
25. Murphy Brown on Murphy Brown – She was the show about a show staring her.

Almost mades: Seth Cohen on The OC, Spike on Angel (haha. That’s how I can sneak him onto the list), Niles Crane on Frasier, Fox Mulder on The X-Files, John Locke on Lost, C.J. Cregg on The West Wing, Alexis Carington on Dynasty, Dr. Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy, Carla Espinosa on Scrubs.

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