Today I am going to share with you my top ten favourite television characters of all time. This list may seem controversial but I have my reasons. You’ll probably notice a theme with my choices. I tend to gravitate towards the anti-heroes. Those we love to hate. The type you tend to start off disliking but by the end, you cannot get enough of seeing them on your screen. Before we begin, I want to shout-out Dave Santia and Nick Lacke Art for allowing me to use their awesome artwork. Please check them out. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
1.) Benjamin Linus – LOST
My absolute favourite television character is Benjamin Linus (played by Michael Emerson) in LOST. He doesn’t appear until halfway through Season 2 but when he does, the story really begins. Emerson was made a series regular after playing Ben so successfully and intriguing the fans. In 2009, he won a Primetime Emmy for the role and was nominated in 2010 at the Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actor but lost to John Lithgow in Dexter. Furthermore, Benjamin Linus was named the number one greatest villain in television history according to Rolling Stone magazine. He is the ultimate master manipulator, skilled in game theory and reading people. Ben is not afraid to use everybody around him to get what he wants; continuously exploiting various characters of the show with his extensive background knowledge of them. Why is he so likable then? Aside from his charisma, deep down he has a heart and we get to witness it in fleeting moments. We are also given an episode of his backstory, outlining what made him this way. If you don’t feel sorry for him after watching it, you never will. The saddest moment however (scene below), is when he realises the ruler of the island, Jacob, never cared for him. In a blind rage, mixed with heartache, he stabs the powerful figure to death. LOST is my second favourite television series of all time and he is a good 95% of why. If you want to watch the series, let it be because of him.
2.) Will Truman – Will & Grace
My favourite television show in the entire galaxy is Will & Grace. It always will be. I can quote every single line, tell you the name of the episode, what the character wore etc. In short, I’m a super fan. I love all the characters but Will Truman (played by Eric McCormack) has my heart. He’s highly neurotic, controlling and uptight but when the chips are down, he always comes through for his friends. If you didn’t know, this series follow the close relationship between a gay man and a straight woman. Will’s entire life revolves around his best friend Grace. He even refuses to date anybody without her approval first. As is expected, when Grace begins to pull away to pursue a serious relationship, he struggles to let go of her. I cannot watch their fight without tearing up. It’s quite serious for a sitcom. Will learns to grow as a person, when he is forced to grow apart from Grace. I can relate to him in a lot of ways. He’s truly one in a million.
3.) Naomi Clarke – 90210
Naomi Clarke (played by AnnaLynne McCord) is the only woman I would have a lesbian relationship with. Fact! She is the stunningly beautiful Queen B of 90210 (the remake). Once again, she is a character you love to hate. Our introduction to her is not a particularly favourable one. She’s portrayed as conceited and quite nasty. However, she ends up becoming one of the best and most likable characters in the show. This character is the definition of growth. She makes plenty of mistakes but always recovers from them. Furthermore, she has an incredible wardrobe and a confidence that is infectious. You cannot help but feel like an independent, bad-ass watching her. She is why the show is so incredible. Honestly, the first three seasons are the absolute best and I’ve re-watched many times. Every scene with Naomi will have you wanting more.
4.) Logan Echolls – Veronica Mars
Veronica Mars fans will agree that Logan (played by Jason Dohring) is the best boyfriend she ever had. They will also shed a tear thinking about his very last moments when the show was rebooted a few years ago. I’m still not over it and never will be! As is the running theme in my list, he is not very likable in the beginning. He’s sarcastic, spoiled and insensitive. However, that is just a mask that he wears. We learn that behind closed doors, he is physically abused by his own father. Logan and Veronica share a bond that was born out of tragedy, after somebody very close to them was murdered. Through the search for answers, they fell in love and thus hit the charts as one of the best television couples in history. Even when Logan shows his softer side, he still retains his dry sense of humour. I honestly live for him. He makes me excited to re-watch the series and believe me, I’ve done so many times.
5.) Emily Gilmore – The Gilmore Girls
This may be a controversial opinion but Emily Gilmore (played by Kelly Bishop) is the best part of The Gilmore Girls and you cannot change my mind! I sound like a broken record here but she’s the character you love to hate. You want to slap and hug her at the same time. She is the mother of Lorelai Gilmore and the proud grandmother to Rory Gilmore (who in my opinion, is a very unlikable character). Emily has some brilliant one-liners. My absolute favourite quote is when her husband Richard says to her: “only prostitutes have two glasses of wine at lunch” to which she responds: “well, then buy me a boa and drive me to Reno because I am open for business!” Like any anti-hero, you warm to them overtime, especially when you realise why they behave in the manner they do. Emily struggles to maintain a relationship with her daughter because they are from two completely different worlds but despite it all, she loves her fiercely. When Lorelai ran away from home as a teenager to have Rory, it broke Emily’s heart. She spends a lot of the series trying to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Granted, her methods are not great but we see the intention and that’s what matters.
6.) Marie Barone – Everybody Loves Raymond
There are so many lovable characters in Everybody Loves Raymond but none make me chortle quite as hard as Marie Barone (played by the late Doris Roberts), the matriarch of the family. She loves her children – Raymond and Robert – to death, (albeit one a bit more than the other) can’t stand her husband Frank and possesses a strong rivalry with her daughter-in-law, Debra, who will never truly be good enough for her son. My favourite moment is when she ironically doles out marriage advice, which turns out to be unexpectedly wise. I honestly believe Doris may have been one of the greatest actors in sitcom history. She received five Emmy Awards for her role as Marie and honestly, five wasn’t enough!
7.) Dexter Morgan – Dexter
I recently ranked the entire series of Dexter, which you can check out here. If you didn’t know, this dark comedy television show follows a “lovable” serial killer named Dexter Morgan (played by Michael C. Hall) whose victims (in his opinion) deserve to die. Masking as a law-abiding citizen and working as a forensic analyst at Miami Metro PD, Dexter spends his spare time indulging in his deadly addiction, whilst trying to keep his ‘hobby’ a secret from the outside world. He’s the antihero we cannot help but root for. I adore his sarcastic, internal monologue and dark sense of humour. I always found it ironic that he referred to himself as a monster, when he’s the exact opposite. He is such a complex, interesting character and one of the most iconic in television history.
8.) Randall Pearson – This Is Us
I have said this many times but This Is Us is a very rare series in television history, that I don’t believe will come around again. The characters are so deeply flawed and real. We cannot help but love them with all our hearts and souls. Randall Pearson (played by Sterling K. Brown) in particular, is lovable from childhood to adulthood. In short, he’s the perfect man. The way he speaks, moves, cares for his family, strives to do better and lives is truly admirable. He’s an important character, not just because of his race but because he is a heterosexual black male that is not afraid to show his emotions. He has anxiety, panic attacks, cries openly, pushes for perfection and feels with his entire being. I’m proud of this show for sharing that with the world. He is extremely relatable but also the type of person that could only ever exist in fiction because who is that well-rounded physically and mentally? Nobody!
9.) Sam Gardner – Atypical
Atypical is an incredibly underrated series and definitely one that deserves more attention. The protagonist, Sam Gardner (played by Keir Gilchrist) has autism and the show revolves around his life, family, school and relationships. Aside from the fact that Keir’s acting is worthy of winning multiple awards, his character’s growth is incredibly significant. The person he is at the beginning of the show, is vastly improved by the end. I want to stress that by improved, I mean he has mastered better coping strategies to deal with the outside world. Those with autism should never be expected to conform to neurotypical standards. Rather, I have found in my research, it is their wish that the neurotypical world adapt better to them. Sam is lovable just as he is. He’s blunt, intelligent, curious, introspective and passionate. I love that Atypical doesn’t make light of his disability but rather highlights the positives of being neurodivergent. I would be remiss not to share his incredible graduation speech, which serves to show how far he has come in the short time we have seen him on screen. I hope all those with autism are given the compassion and understanding they deserve. It seems that people have the time of day for them, if they are romanticised and presented in this way but in the real world, their struggles are typically dismissed or misconstrued. It’s a sad fact. I’m forever grateful for this program’s representation.
10.) Tommy Egan – Power
Last but not least, we have Tommy Egan (played by Joseph Sikora) from the Power franchise. You may also recognise him from Ozark. He’s a smooth-talking drug dealer and gang leader from Queens that gets a little trigger happy when things spin out of control. His personal installment, Power Book: IV Force Season 1, just ended and it was a joy getting to see him on my screen every week, calling the shots. He’s reckless, hilarious and somehow always finds himself at the wrong place, at the wrong time. He would be such a fun character to play and Joseph does it perfectly. This show is 100% worth watching. It is excellent!
TOP 10 HONOURABLE MENTIONS…
1.) George Costanza – Seinfeld
2.) Louis Litt – Suits
3.) Niles Crane – Frasier
4.) Zahid Ahmed – Atypical
5.) Ruth Langmore – Ozark
6.) Chandler Bing – Friends
7.) Tyrion Lannister – Game of Thrones
8.) Dorothy Zbornak – The Golden Girls
9.) CC Babcock – The Nanny
10.) Tony Johnson – Afterlife
I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you agree with my choices? Who are some of your favourite television characters? Thanks for reading! A big thank you to Dave and Nick once again.
Peace & Love xoxo