Many of us watch television on a regular basis to escape the monotony of our lives for an hour or so each and every week. As we watch these shows we come across numerous characters; some that are incredible and mesmerizing, and others that are simply subpar and altogether lackluster. Today I had the strange inclination to share with you some of the incredible characters that I have come across in the last couple of years; characters that have captivated me in some way and left a lasting image of the true variation and complexity of human nature. While you may not know or agree with all of my selections, these characters are in my mind some of the best creations on TV. They are in no particular order and this list is simply part one. The entire list is much longer.
1. Valerie Marks – Played By Desi Lydic on Akward
One of the greatest gems I have ever found while cruising the endless channels on my television is the hilariously naïve and socially awkward, yet entirely genuine Val. Every perfectly written word that leaves her mouth and enters the world is genius in its own right. Never before have I come across a character that can continuously deliver an unyielding stream of words that brings nothing but a smile to my face due to the sheer ridiculous nature of what is being said.
2. Olivia Pope – Played By Kerry Washington on Scandal
If there is one word to describe the character if Olivia Pope, it would be intense. Olivia is a high-powered independent woman who not only gets results, but isn’t afraid to push the limits of the law and her intellect. She is on a perpetual quest for truth and will stop at nothing to find the answers she needs. Her determination and adaptability make her intriguing and a welcomed addition to the ranks of strong female lead characters.
3. Max Black – Played By Kat Dennings on 2 Broke Girls
If you’re looking for sugar and spice (and the queen of one-liners) you have Max, a sharp tongued waitress with a soft spot that few get to see. This girl lives and breathes sarcasm, something that I not only appreciate, but fully respect. While the storyline of the show could (in my opinion) use a little work, the character of Max is entertaining and well worth a half hour of your time.
4. Emily Thorne – Played By Emily Van Camp on Revenge
I think that what initially drew me to the character of Emily Thorne was her undeniable complexity. She not only wows the show’s fan base with her wicked intelligence, but the seemingly endless layers of her personality. While she may be arguably unstable, there is no question that her boundless intellect paired with her endless supply of surprises make for an exciting show.
5. Phil Dunphy – Played By Ty Burrell on Modern Family
Who doesn’t like a good laugh? Modern Family’s Phil Dunphy is by far one of the funniest television characters I have ever come across. He plays the goofy and usually clueless dad that many of us either had or wished we had. While the show has numerous characters that rely on one another to make a cohesive whole, Phil is more or less the heart of the show; the person who brings together the various elements of the story to deliver the comedy and emotion that any good show needs. Without him, we simply have just another average sitcom.
6. Sue Heck – Played By Eden Sher on The Middle
Sue is the type of person that many of us wish we could be; the type of person who no matter how many times she gets knocked down, she continues to get back up every single time with a smile still intact. While she may be a bit naïve and unquestionably a socially awkward misfit, her unparalleled strength of character and endless optimism make her a beacon of light in the darkness.
7. Walter Bishop – Played By John Noble on Fringe
Eccentric does not even begin to describe the wonderful and usually erratic behavior of Walter Bishop. After experiencing the aftermath of his quest to play God, we are left with a kind-hearted genius humbled by the workings of the world around him. His loving nature, well developed back-story, and seemingly limitless supply of peculiar information make him a treasure to the sci-fi fan base.
8. Santana Lopez – Played By Naya Rivera on Glee
There is nothing I love more than to come across a strong character who epitomizes the duality within all of us. Santana in many ways reflects two conflicting sides of human nature: the tough and fiercely independent side that the world sees versus the caring and gentle side that her loved ones see. While her approach to most people is somewhat hostile and unexpectedly entertaining at times, she is (in my mind) a strong role model for young lesbians and young women in general who must stand tall in a world filled with discrimination and bigotry.
9. Karen Cartwright – Played By Katharine McPhee on Smash
In my mind Karen Cartwright is the epitome of an American sweetheart. Her gentle demeanor and natural sweetness make her a glowing personality to watch. She’s a small town girl in the big city trying to navigate the ups and downs of life while reaching for her dreams and maintaining who she is in a world that is sometimes cold and overwhelming, something that many of us can relate to. Her sincerity and integrity paired with her natural talent make her the type of person that we want and need to root for.
10.Mozzie – Played By Willie Garson on White Collar
The character of Mozzie is one that any show like White Collar (one with slightly disjointed episodes) needs. He is a consistent splash of color that negates the sometimes dull effect of a show without a direct and continuous storyline. His paranoid delusions and idiosyncrasies add the small touches of humor that any show needs. His oddities make not only the character interesting, but the show more interesting as well.
After sharing with you some of the characters that captivate me, I’m curious to know which characters you connect with and why. Feel free to share. Chances are that some of your selections are already on my list.
Until next time…stay classy.
– C.M. Berry