Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

My 50 Favourite TV Characters – Part 5

10. Dr. Gregory House

Series: House (FOX)
Portrayed by: Hugh Laurie

What sets House apart from the droves of other medical dramas is one thing and one thing only, which is the character of Dr. House. His sarcastic wit keeps the show humming. He is a bitter man with a prescription drug problem who over analyzes all of his relationships with people. He may not seem to change a lot throughout the course of the show, but if you look deeper there is some character growth going on there.

9. Ari Gold

Series: Entourage (HBO)
Portrayed by: Jeremy Piven

Ari is the ultimate depiction of the foul-mouthed, a-hole Hollywood agent. His ravings and rantings draw us in like moths to a lamp. He is so much fun to watch and laugh at, and after a while we end up really caring for him as well. We want him to succeed as much as Vince and the boys, but we also don’t want him to lose too much of his jerkish ways.

8. Det. Jimmy McNulty

Series: The Wire (HBO)
Portrayed by: Dominic West

McNulty is a very interesting character. He is a true cop, ‘real police’ as they say. He genuinely cares about taking down the bad guys and making cases. He’s a brilliant cop, while at the same time being a destructive personality. Jimmy has a tendency to implode completely and wreck all sorts of relationships with people. But no matter what crazy stuff he does (and by the fifth season, he does some crazy, crazy stuff), we know he’s genuine and so we keep cheering for him.

7. Jack Bauer

Series: 24 (FOX)
Portrayed by: Kiefer Sutherland

Jack Bauer is the ultimate TV badass. He is an unstoppable force against terrorists. He is uncompromising and willing to do what no one else is in order to stop whatever threat the day brings his way. Internally he always struggles with trying to define himself as a good person while having to reconcile the terrible things he’s done and live with all the people that he has hurt. He is a great tragic figure while also being a kickass action hero.

6. Michael Scott

Series: The Office (NBC)
Portrayed by: Steve Carell

Michael Scott is the heart of The Office. When the show was first going to be adapted from the highly popular British series, many wondered if they could pull of the genius of the David Brent character a second time. What ended up happening was that they created a character who still resonates with David, but his entirely his own character. Michael is ridiculous in his own, unique way and we end up caring about him much more than we should.  Carell is brilliant in this role which is entirely his own.

5. David Brent

Series: The Office (BBC)
Portrayed by: Ricky Gervais

David Brent is a marvel of a character. He doesn’t elicit our sympathies in the way that Michael Scott does. Instead he is uncompromisingly self-centered and oblivious to any negative side to him at all (which is a pretty big side). He reminds me much of George Costanza; a character who may be deplorable but we just can’t stop watching him. David Brent is one of the great TV creations.

4 Josh Lyman

Series: The West Wing (NBC)
Portrayed by: Bradley Whitford

Bartlett’s young, hothead adviser Josh is arguably the central character of this fantastic series. He is rash and headstrong and always up for a fight with congressmen, senators, republican lobbyists, or whoever it is that stands in his way. He is a bit of a scatterbrain (especially with women) but is brilliant at what he does. In the later seasons of the show, we see him take on a candidate of his own to groom and campaign for. Josh is the most watchable character on a show full of watchable characters.

3. Jack Shephard

Series: Lost (ABC)
Portrayed by: Matthew Fox

Lost is full of interesting characters who each have their own unique stories and niches, but Jack is the rock of the series. He is the tie that binds them all together. From the opening shot to the closing, Jack has been at the heart of this epic story. He emerges early as the leader and struggles with that role up until the very end. His determination and stubbornness may get him in trouble, but it also keeps him going. He is Lost’s most important character; the reluctant hero till the end.

2. Fox Mudler

Series: The X-Files (FOX)
Portrayed by: David Duchovny

Fox Mulder is certainly one of the most familiar characters to me out of this whole list. I have watched his quest on the X-Files since I was young. Familiar characters become old friends in a way, and Mulder was certainly that. He was a man driven by the demons of his past, and his mission is only fueled by the revelations he finds along the way. Yet despite his singular motivation, he is also well-defined outside of that as a loner in his real life, a thorn in the side of authority, and a man with a big sense of humour. But ultimately it is his relationship with Scully which makes us truly care for him.

1. Homer Simpson

Series: The Simpsons (FOX)
Voiced by: Dan Castellaneta

I couldn’t help it. I had to put Homer at the top. He is simply the funniest character on TV. He is loud, obnoxious, self-centered and dumb, but that’s why we love him. He pulls off each of those traits with a sort of comedic grace which is rarely seen. And deep down we know that he cares about Marge and the kids which I think is what ultimately wins him over to our hearts. He may not be the deepest of characters, but he is certainly one of the most familiar and definitely the funniest that has ever graced the small screen.

5 Responses to “My 50 Favourite TV Characters – Part 5”

  1. Fox Mulder should be #1 but if he’s second to Homer Simpson, that’s ok by me.

  2. Kudos for recognizing the Wire – especially McNulty. Incredible show and so sorry it’s not on anymore.

  3. Great list, I love how the top ten is mostly badasses and comedians. Good call putting Homer at number one, he’s been consistently funny for the past twenty years.

  4. […] My 50 Favourite TV Characters – Part 5 – . . . at #1, and master of all that he surveys, Homer Simpson.  […]

  5. Did you ever wonder how Jack Bauer got his pants on with balls that big?

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