Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My Favorite 25 TV Characters

This week's fad appears to be making this list - naming your favorite 25 television characters of all time. And now that I'm proficient with the list-making, can do!

I should mention that this seems to have started, or least my interest was piqued by it, with the one the only Joss Whedon making a list of his own... In which he names not a single one of the characters he created. Which sure, tis humble and all, but I call bullshit. Love ya, Joss, which is why I cannot let such a blasphemous list stand!

Now, at times it's seemed as if I watch too much television, but I actually have a pretty limited scope. I watched some as a kid, and then I didn't watch much TV at all through college, really, and then post-college I got into a few specific shows pretty hardcore. The list shall reflect my smaller-than-most (and, yup, decidedly Joss-centric) preferences, then.

There are also rules to making the list. They are as follows:

No puppets or cartoons.
No mini-series.
No reality show people.
All characters must be regulars on the show.

Anyway, let's get on with it!


25. Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula), Quantum Leap - One of the first shows I was addicted to. I think I was a little bit in love with Scott Bakula. I haven't seen the show since it was on originally, but man was I obsessed.

24. Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox), Family Ties - I was, unfortunately, a child of the 80's, meaning I pretty much wanted to be Alex. P. Keaton in Middle School. I still tear up when I hear that song from the finale ("What do you think / I would giiiive at this moment..."), when Alex had to choose who he loved. God I'm a dork.

23. Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage), The Wonder Years - I may've wanted to be Alex Keaton, but in reality I was a bit closer to Kevin. Which is wonderful, in retrospect. Just replace Winnie Cooper with Sean Jones (...sigh...) , and there ya go.

22. Peg Bundy (Katey Segal), Married... With Children - Okay, so I had this dream while this show was still on that Peg Bundy was my mother and I was sitting beside her in a hospital bed as she died. I still remember her bouffant hair-do all matted down on the pillow and all the tubes... it was awful. Loved her ever since.

21. Darlene Conner (Sarah Gilbert), Roseanne - There was this episode where the whole Conner family was going to be in a commercial for the restaurant, so Roseanne made them all act unlike themselves, and Darlene had to wear some frilly girly dress and her hair in pigtails, and when they finally saw the commercial everyone else had been edited out and it was just this slow-motion shot of Darlene in this get-up smiling and eating a french fry and I swear to god I still laugh uncontrollably just thinking about it.

20. Capt. Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), Firefly - Mmm Captain Tight-Pants.

19. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon), Nip/Tuck - Mmm Doctor No-Pants.

18. Sharon Tyler (Katie Finneran), Wonderfalls - The lesbian sister who stole the entire far-too-short-lived show for me. She turned putting on a seatbelt whilst angry into slapstick gold.

17. Mr. Eko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Lost - Jesus-stick!

16. Elaine Benes (Julia Louis Dreyfus), Seinfeld - My favorite Seinfeld moments all involve Elaine. Probable fave - throwing George's toupee out the window, screaming, "I don't like this thing! And this is what I'm doing with it!" Or something like that.

15. President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell), Battlestar Galactica - Like Joss Whedon said in his own list, this is the role McDonnell was born to play. Yet another reminder that Emmy voters are complete and utter buffoons.

14. Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), Veronica Mars - Let's not embarrass myself again.

13. Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter), Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel - I went into watching Buffy with some sort of completely unfounded hatred of Charisma Carpenter. I'd never even seen her in anything; I just, for a reason I cannot even remember any more, hated her face. It was about the time (Season 3, episode called "Lover's Walk") that she discovered Xander was cheating on her with Willow and she fell through the floor and was impaled by a steel bar that she won me over. Yes, that's what it takes for me to love you! Impaling!

12. Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan), Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Willow probably would've placed higher if they didn't do that horrible "magic = drugs" storyline in the 6th season where all she did was breathe through her mouth. Other than that irritating character moment, I adore Willow. Willow and Tara forever! Then not. Sigh.

10/11. Marshall Flinkman (Kevin Weisman), Alias + Chloe O'Brian (Mary Lynn Raskjub), 24 - TIE - Let's hear it for the computer geeks! The two best things about their respective shows. They steal every shot they're in. And when they're in danger, I am more frightened than any other time.

9. David Brent (Ricky Gervais), BBC's The Office - Oh... awkward. Gervais is a genius.

8. Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty), The Golden Girls - My favorite Golden Girl, the one with the most inappropriate one-liners to clutter my childhood.

Be well, Estelle!

6./7. Anya (Emma Caulfield), Buffy the Vampire Slayer + Winifred Burkle (Amy Acker), Angel - TIE - My favorite side-ladies of the Whedon 'Verse. Both of whom met horrific ends. Damn you, Joss.

5. Dr. Kimberly Shaw (Marcia Cross), Melrose Place - OHMIGOD SHE TORE OFF HER HAIR. The craziest bitch to ever not really exist.

4. Tim Canterbury (Martin Freeman), BBC's The Office - I am still in love with Tim. Those final scenes of "The Office Special"... goosebumps still.

3. Pee Wee Herman (Paul Reubens), Pee Wee's Playhouse - My childhood personified. Scary, I know.

2. Jerri Blank (Amy Sedaris), Strangers With Candy - Inappropriate. Disgusting. Mean. Infected. Clueless. Amy Sedaris, will you marry me?

1. Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Buffy the Vampire Slayer - I could write hundreds of words saying everything I adore about Buffy, but I'll spare us both. She is a perfect creation, an icon for our age, and SMG hit practically every note just right. Love.


Kyle said...

Amazing choices. One minor quibble: Emma Caulfield doesn't get her own rank? No one cared when Cordelia went off with Angel because Emma's portrayal of Anya erased any memory left by the vacantness of Charisma's vaccuousness. Emma possess that rare ability to make a throwaway line funny ("I'm thinking about buying something very expensive. Maybe an antelope"). What's more, she was completely human (distraught at the end of "Hell's Bells", the fruit punch monologue in "The Body") which is saying something for a character that is a demon and, in fact, one played by an outspoken conservative (which might be the same thing). Love her. Apologies for the rant...

JA said...

Oh believe you me, I ADORE Emma Caulfield, and have gone on and on about her before.

Here's a handy link to said adoration -

- scroll down to where I talk about 'The Body" and "Selfless" for the Caulfield love.

I agree completely with you on every single count.

But I also adore Amy Acker as Fred on Angel, and I couldn't choose between the two whom I loved more. So they do each have their own spot on the countdown, just... depending on my mood, I might love one more than the other at any given moment.

DL said...

I know it's predictable but Buffy, Willow and Anya would be my top 3. And yes, I would be tempted to put Emma in the top spot just for that whole "I mean, I knew her, and then she's, there's just a body, and I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead anymore!" scene. Brilliant.

And seeing a picture of Sophia from Golden Girls cracks me up everytime. Thank god for reruns or I would have never discovered the comic genius of that show.

Christopher said...

Oh my god I love, love, love your choices! But where is Nelly Olsen from Little House on the Prarie. The loss of her on any list makes it less. Although I admit when I see the show now I can't help but scream with laughter over how awful the whole series was. I'm so glad Kathey Segal made it. She was the one who truly made that show. Just the right blend of trash and sas.

Anonymous said...

no Mulder??
no Scully??



JA said...

All I watched of The X-Files, really, was the final couple of terrible seasons, I got onto that bandwagon late. Scully came very close to making the list but... didn't. I know, I'm a monster...

If it weren't "show regulars" that had to make the list, the mother from that X-Files episode "Home" that lives under the bed with her inbred murdering sons would've been Top 5, though.

StinkyLulu said...

Call me a fadster...

I'm so impressed that you did pics & commentary. And your list makes me regret that I didn't include PeeWee. Almost did...

Excellent list.

DL said...

Omigod, I just noticed what that picture of Buffy was. Heehee, that's one of the funniest things she's ever done.


i love this list! we should hang out more on each other's blog--oh, wait.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Great list!

Am loving the love for many of those people.

Anonymous said...

Going along with your Buffy theme, I would have to put Giles on the list. His presence grounded the show and made it more than just a really smart show for teenagers. Giles had some of the most heartbreaking scenes in the entire show. Otherwise, great picks!


JA said...

dl I could NOT resist using that picture, it's one of my favorite scenes in the whole show.

TM - I hear ya on the Giles love. ASH is the man. I forced myself to step back on the Whedon characters because honestly, my entire list could've been just characters from Buffy, Angel and Firefly. I mean, no love for Xander and Tara and The Mayor and Giles and Dawn (yes, I loved Dawn) and FAITH and Gunn and SPIKE and Angel himself and Jonathan!!! and DRUSCILLA and Wesley and HARMONY and Zoe and jane and Wash and KAYLEE and Simon and River and good god I could go on I LOVE THEM ALL.

homeslaughter said...

Amy Acher should be at #4.
Giles is pretty much a straight man for the Scoobies, doesn't rate.
Any new suggestions that I might make would make me sound old.