The 20 Best Characters on TV

May 26, 2012 § 4 Comments

I love television. If you’re reading this then I’m guessing you do too. So, I’ve compiled a list of what I believe to be the very best characters in television. You will most likely agree with some and disagree with others – as is life. These are the characters I believe make the TV shows they star in worth watching, even though there are so many more I would have loved to add to this list.

20. Jack Bauer (24)

I feel sickened that I have to put Mr Bauer at number 20 but I’d say his personality isn’t as diverse as the following favourite characters. However, how could I not include a character that valued honesty and patriotism above everything else. Who saved thousands of people on countless occasions, spent a few years being tortured in China and still came out fighting. This is the man who rescued his family, stopped a nuclear bomb, recovered from a heroine addiction, stopped a fatal virus, uncovered a government conspiracy, stopped the release of biological weapons and ran away from the US government seeking revenge. If there was a list for the top 20 bad ass characters on the box then you can guarantee Jack Bauer would be number one.

Best moment: Jack Bauer showed how much of a true American hero he was when he had to reluctantly kill CTU Regional Director, Ryan Chapelle for the sake of his country.

19. Moss (The IT Crowd)

So, many people may claim that Moss shouldn’t be in the top 20 because he is a stereotype of what a geek is. However, it takes a true character to still be a stereotype whilst offering a completely different personality to anything that has ever been shown on TV before. He is funny, awkward, socially inept but also kind of cool.

Best moment: When Moss enters a Countdown competition and is challenged to play Street Countdown at the 8+ Club.

18. Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City)

You will probably be either applauding or rejecting my decision to have Carrie in my top 20, but like it or not Sex and the City would be nothing without her. This show is one of the first TV shows with a strong leading lady and this show is god damn funny.

Best Moment: When she works as a model on a fashion shoot and falls on the catwalk in front of the audience. She recovered in the best fashion only Carrie Bradshaw could.

17. Tobias Beecher (OZ)

What I love about Beecher is the development of his character over the seven seasons. At first he starts out as this quite weak and naïve person who has been thrown into this crazy, violent world, but he rises up, goes a bit mad for a bit, and then becomes a harder version of the character that we fell in love with. Oz was a fantastic TV show, but Tobias gave it a heart and made me actually care about his freedom in comparison to most of his inmates.

Best moment: When he finally stands up to Schillinger in Season 1 and throws the chair through his cell.

16. Chandler Bing (Friends)

Ask anyone who the best character in Friends is and they will most likely say Chandler. While I love all of them individually, it is Chandler’s personality that stands out amongst the others. You couldn’t help but root for him even though at times he didn’t deserve it – remember how he cheated with Joey’s girlfriend Cathy?

Best moment: The episode where he tries to keep his relationship with Monica a secret and ends up kissing Phoebe and Rachel to cover it up.

15. Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory)

What would The Big Bang Theory be without Sheldon Cooper? He is everything we don’t want in a friend, yet we all want to be friends with him. He’s rude, he’s sarcastic (without trying) and he’s selfish – and yet we still love him.

Best moment: When he flees Pasadena after his apartment is burgled and attempts to start a new life in a new city, only to be robbed the minute he steps in the coach station.

14. Liz Lemon (30 Rock)

Unlucky in love Liz Lemon is the sensible one at The Girly Show, which is saying something. Her lack of style, self respect and her ability to always fall for the wrong man makes us love her all the more. She’s awkward, she’s silly but she’s strong – and we love her because there is a Liz Lemon deep down inside all of us.

Best moment: When Liz meets Oprah on a plane only to realise that it wasn’t the chat show host at all.

13. Roger Sterling (Mad Men)

The silver fox is the king of one-liners. When he’s not attempting to woo a new woman then he’s dumping one. His eye is always firmly on his next conquest or the next glass of scotch, but he’s honest and smooth and you can see exactly why all the woman fall at his feet.

Best moment: When Roger is sick in front of an office full of clients after climbing hundreds of stairs.

12. Christopher Maltisanti (The Sopranos)

He killed gangsters. Dealt drugs, beat his girlfriend and even got her killed – so why the hell do we all love Christopher so much? However, you can’t help but root for the aspiring writer and want him to be Tony’s go-to guy when things get a little tough down in New Jersey.

Best moment: When he shoots the pastry guy in the foot for not serving him quick enough.

11. David Brent (The Office)

Everyone works with someone like David Brent. You know the guy, he thinks he’s funny and craves attention. That is the reason why he is such a fantastic character as he is extremely realistic and a little too close to home.

Best moment: It’s hard to choose one but I love the moment when he jokes with Dawn that she’s fired and makes her cry (or when he sings Free Love Freeway).

10. Carrie Mathison (Homeland)

There is no character like Carrie on TV. Her obsessive nature cause by bipolar ultimately makes her the best in her field – but it also makes her the biggest liability. She’s almost like a female Jack Bauer, except smarter and with less brawn.

Best moment: When she begs Brody’s daughter to ring her Father to stop him committing a terrorist attack on the Vice President.

09. Maggie (Extras)

I love Maggie for everything she is – silly, dim and kind. Her friendship with Andy is heart warming and her naivety is endearing. Jensen really does hold her own against Gervais whose characters have a tendency to dominate the scene. She’s like a brainless Liz Lemon which makes her character even more likeable.

08. Don Draper (Mad Men)

What’s smooth, stylish and charming? Don Draper, that’s what. This confident, handsome and no-nonsense character makes the 1950s look cool, and makes alcoholics look sexy. While you can’t help but hate his philandering ways, his dedication to his children and his job makes him both likeable and attractive. Men want to be him and women want to be with him.

Best moment: When Don meets Roger and begs for a job.

07. Tony Soprano (The Sopranos)

Tony Soprano kills mobsters. He takes money from the poor. He runs a strip club. He cheats on his wife. He likes ducks.
Tony Soprano doesn’t take bullshit. He swears a lot. He kills his family members. He can drive a girl to suicide. He gets a little bit dizzy.
Need I say more?

Best moment: When Tony kills Ralphi.

06. Dexter Morgan (Dexter)

This serial killer is one of the most complex characters on TV – even he doesn’t have a clue who is. The fantastic thing about Mr Morgan is that he constantly learns things about himself every season, and often discovers that he is more human than he gives himself credit for. Therefore, he takes us on a journey each episode.

Best moment: When Dexter headbutts Doakes.

05. George Costanza (Seinfeld)

There is no one in the world that is more unlucky than George Costanza. This pompous idiot doesn’t deserve half of the good looking girls he manages to bag, and he still always messes it up or doesn’t want them. While many people would argue that Kramer is the true comic genius of the show, I would fight until the death that George is the true comedy talent. In fact, they should have just renamed the show to George.

Best moment: I was in a pool!

04. Ari Gold (Entourage)

You won’t find snappier dialogue than Ari Gold’s. He loves good rant and isn’t afraid of saying what he feels – unless he needs to lie to a client to keep them onboard. The family man with a mouth as dirty as a swamp, you won’t find a more passionate and ruthless man on TV.

Best moment: When he gets Lloyd back together with his boyfriend Tom in Season 4.

03. Walter White (Breaking Bad)

There’s only so much a man can take until he decides to sell drugs with a former student – and that moment was when Mr White was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The once mild mannered goes all gangster to make sure he makes enough drug money to fund his medical treatment. Think Jack Bauer except on the wrong side of the law and a cool nickname.

Best moment: When he battles two gunned men unarmed in a parking lot and wins.

02. Omar (The Wire)

Omar is a gangster who dislikes any form of profanity and lives by a strict moral code. He’s a proud gay man who doesn’t care about the world knowing about his sexuality – and this can only be admired in such a violent and unpredictable gangland world. His intelligence ultimately makes him a force to be reckoned with. Like Batman, you don’t see him coming, but you know about it when he arrives.

Best moment: When he goes out to buy some cheerios in his bathrobe.

01.    Niles Crane (Frasier)

You’ve either just wholeheartedly agreed with my number one choice or feel like throwing your computer across the room. If it’s the latter then you clearly have never seen Fraiser, and if you have then you really don’t appreciate it. Niles Crane is the ultimate character because at every point in this long series he offered us something new whilst always remaining true to the original character in season one. He can be many things at one – a hopeless romantic, a pompous fool, a selfish idiot and incredibly intelligent. He is also one half of the best TV romances of all time, and one half of the best brotherly-love relationships ever.

Best moment: When he can’t see how Daphne has put weight on and keeps feeding her chocolate.


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§ 4 Responses to The 20 Best Characters on TV

  • Sheldon Cooper is my favourite too! Also, the best moment is the same episode where he gets robbed. But, I just couldn’t stop laughing when the “Electrifying Net” falls on him!!…..”I am not the master of my own bladder”… lol

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