Anyways, I got to thinking about stand-out characters during Vulture's Drama Derby. I mean, the president is weighing in...
Some characters never got enough show to develop and/or turn into all time stand-outs (see: Mal from Firefly, The Piemaker on Pushing Daisies, Harriet Hayes on Studio 60, Ben Hawkins and Justin Crowe on Carnivale, the Flight of the Conchords, Jaye from Wonderfalls, Veronica on Better Off Ted, Alpha on Dollhouse - he could have been such an awesome recurring villain!). Length of time is also why I'm not including miniseries in this list. Some characters were on shows that lost their way (Niles Crane on Frasier, Sylar on Heroes). And some are really very good, and given another season or two might crack the list (Sherlock, Fiona and Lip on Shameless).
And there are those I have yet to see: Starbuck, Tyrion Lannister, the Gilmore girls, Kalinda Sharma, Patty Hewes, Buffy, Carrie Mathison, Angela Chase, Coach and Mrs. Taylor, Don Draper, Eddy and Patsy, CJ Cregg, the Sopranos, Vic Mackey, Malcolm Tucker, John Luther, Bernard Black, Roy and Moss. [Blog quiz! How many of those tv shows can you name?] Maybe the guy with the mask on Boardwalk Empire. Or someone from Freaks and Geeks. Or Weeds. Parenthood, Happy Endings, Raising Hope, or Cougar Town. Or Spaced (I tried! I didn't get into it.) And I have to finish Six Feet Under and Farscape before I feel qualified to pick anyone from those shows (though I'd lean towards Claire and Aeryn or Chiana thus far). And I've actually never seen all of The Prisoner, either. But Number 6 should probably be included under protagonists.
The honorable mentions: Lafayette from True Blood (his ghost storyline from last season was terrible for poor Lafayette. That said, we'll always have the AIDS burger. (Bonus points for Jason's giggle at the end.)) Burt Hummel on Glee. Burt and Kurt are responsible for most of Glee's better moments (Santana and Lea Michele ballads are the rest). Nathan from Misfits. A slew of SNL recurring characters. Ron Swanson (See also: this). Jack Donaghy. Boyd Crowder (a character so beloved by the end of the pilot that they brought him back from the dead). Maxwell Smart. Chris Keller on Oz. Benjamin Linus, John Locke and Desmond Hume from LOST. But without further ado, my list:
The rich, complex protagonist:
in a hat and I'll be happy. Put him in a western and I'll be happy. Put him in a drama about conflicted cops and possibly redeemed bad guys, blood ties and blood feuds, and the communities of Appalachia and I'm completely sold. Raylan is a US Marshall who errs towards shooting first and who can't escape his past in Harlan County, KY.
At least she is hilarious.
Kermit - The Muppet Show. The straight
The... other kind of protagonist:
Jerri Blank - Strangers with Candy. "Hello, I'm Jerri Blank and I'm a 46-year-old high school freshman. For 32 years I was a teenage runaway. I was a boozer, a user, and a loser. My friends were dealers, cons, and 18 karat pimps. But now I'm out of jail, picking up my life exactly where I left off. I'm back in high school, living at home, and discovering all sorts of things about my body. I'm finding out that though the faces have changed, the hassles are just the same."
The off-the-wall sidekick:
Ignore the punctuation and enjoy.
This will always be one of my favorite things ever. He's the idiot
Another clip reel: enjoy.
Hey - the second reference to the Breakfast Club in links this post.
whiny, selfish, foul-mouthed, manipulative.. actually Archer is basically the same character in a super-spy body.
Gob - Arrested Development. It's an illusion, Michael. A trick is something a whore does for money. Or candy!
For those rants.
her hangups could be heartbreaking.
The category by herself:
ever so close. Those two were the real breakouts from last season. The ones that inspired the most water-cooler talk and the most edge-of-your-seat viewing. In the end, though, Constance got a little more time, a little more scenery to chew, the best lines, and a SAG and Golden Globe to show for it.
The morally grey:
analysis of the Wire as a Dickensian piece of literature actually nails Little's mythic status thus; "The reason that Little so closely resembles a Brontë hero is of course that the estimable sisters were often not writing in the Victorian paradigm at all, but rather in the Gothic. Their heroes were Byronic, and Lord Byron himself took his cue from the ancient tradition of Romance, culminating in Spenser’s Faerie Queene, but originating even further back. Little would not be out of place in Faerie Queene, and even less so in Don Quixote: an errant knight wielding a sword, facing dragons, no man his master. The character builds on the tradition of the quintessential Robin Hood and borrows qualities from many of the great chivalric romances of previous centuries. Meanwhile there is an element of the fey, mirroring Robin Hood’s own predecessor—Goodfellow or Puck—and prefiguring later dashing, mysterious heroes who also play the part of the fop, as in The Scarlet Pimpernel."
family was homophobic (link NSFW. Its QaF. Duh.). There is a reason when Michael and Justin created a gay superhero, they based it on Brian.
most of the fun lines?