My Favorite TV Characters

With the insane number of media outlets flooding our lives nowadays with new television shows, series, documentaries, and movies, it's hard to know where to start with watching TV anymore. I watch on a number of different outlets, including Netflix, Hulu, and regular old cable, but I often find myself getting into bed and struggling with how many options I have regarding what to watch as I doze off. I can never decide which of my dozens of TV shows to resume or to just start a whole new show.

Among all the shows I watch, or have watched, regularly, there are a few standout characters I have utterly adored for one reason or another throughout my experience of the show as a whole. Some are classic favorites among all viewers, and some are smaller scale TV names, but maybe it will inspire you to pick up a new show or even just find more appreciation for the individual characters in the shows you already watch.

I absolutely adore a well-created and developed character as I follow him or her throughout a great TV show. The characters are what completely make the show -- that's something that can't be denied. A television show's overall character and vibe is emitted through the individuals it portrays, and the writers of these shows, along with the actors who help bring them to life, have created unique individuals who are never to be forgotten, thanks to their brilliant lives captured on film throughout a series. They've all shown inspiring character development and contributed to each show in a way no other character could, whether they're the star or a supporting role. I'm drawn to each of these characters for a variety of ways, but the common thread is that they all help to build content that I love and can't help but be drawn into.


Who: Chandler Bing

What: One of the Friends. And, in my opinion, the funniest.

Why: Some of the show's greatest lines come from Chandler Bing -- or should I say, Chanandler Bong -- and his unique perspective adds charm and humor to an already wonderful group of people on one of history's greatest TV shows. He's so classically funny but also so kind and comforting. He's the ultimate husband to Monica and a key member of the friends who provides support and advice to anyone who ever needs it. He lives to make them all happy, even when they bicker. I need someone like Chandler in my life, because of his devotion and love, and also because his witty sense of humor simply never fails to crack me up. But until I find my own Chandler, I'll just keep watching reruns on Netflix and never tire of the same lines I always find so funny.


Who: Jesse Pinkman

What: Walter White's second-in-command on Breaking Bad.

Why: This show features a lot of intensity, as it revolves around a chemistry teacher's scheme to make and sell meth, plus deal with all the repercussions and dangerous situations that come with that responsibility. Through all the seriousness and angst, Jesse offers some comic relief without even knowing it. Thinking he's a total badass at all times, he's a little naive and makes the perfect youthful counterpart to Walter's greater life experience. The two complement each other as a drug-dealing duo and battle it out together in this unreal series. While the plot itself keeps you on your feet and doesn't really ever let you settle down, Jesse brings the stress level down a notch with his funny moments that are fortunately frequent. He also shows some insane character development as the series goes on, with his initial role being a naive young drug dealer who knew nothing of the true drug world that lie beyond his small community, and evolving into a true drug lord who is able to navigate even the most dangerous of situations and the most powerful of drug dealers the world has to show him. He is tested in countless ways as he and Walter dig deeper into their roles as meth creators, and each episode ends up just going by faster and faster, until you realize you've spent a whole day binge-watching.


Who: Joanna Gaines

What: Designer and cohost of Fixer Upper with husband Chip.

Why: Joanna has the ultimate farmhouse/midcentury modern fusion style and she uses her insane skills to take extremely outdated homes in her hometown of Waco, Texas, and turn them into stunning masterpieces. She's the only one on this list whose character isn't an act for the screen. Her marriage with Chip and the family they've created are nothing short of perfect and I truly want to be her when I grow up. She's classy, confident, and strong, and clearly knows exactly who she is, both as a designer and as a TV personality. Her ability to re-craft existing floor plans is clearly second nature, and you can see the wheels spinning as she walks into a space and begins to reimagine its second life as each episode begins. Joanna obviously lives to make other people the happiest they can be, seen evidently in the amount of personalization and effort she puts into every home design and remodel, all the way to her own home where she gives everything to raise her four (soon to be five!) children into happy and inspired people. 


Who: Fitzgerald Grant

What: President (current then former) of the United States and Olivia Pope's boytoy in Scandal.

Why: If Fitz ran for president today, he'd have my vote in a heartbeat. I have no idea how he is as a politician, but as a political drama character he slays. Plus, to be able to reign in the unconquerable Olivia Pope proves he's the real deal, since she seems to back down to absolutely no one throughout the course of this dramatic series. He's kind and gentle while also emanating power and control over the nation he rules and the woman he loves. Every scene featuring Fitz and Olivia is compelling and powerful, and his character is dynamic and leaves everyone on their toes throughout this already unpredictable series.


Who: Robin Scherbatsky

What: The superwoman best friend who dates and/or marries both eligible bachelors in the group on How I Met Your Mother.

Why: This show sets it straight in episode one: Robin is NOT the mother. There is no denying that Ted loves her, but his love subsides when she chooses to marry Barney instead. Through all the crazy relationship drama and unpredictability, she remains a static character, emitting strength and confidence as an anchorwoman who follows her heart from beginning to end of this indescribable series. This show has meant so much to me for so long, and I've always truly admired the incredible writing and powerful motifs that both continue from the very first scene to the very last. Robin is one of the brightest gems in the whole series, holding it together through nine seasons just by being herself and following her passion. She knows what she wants out of life and she doesn't let anything get in the way of achieving it, whether it's moving to Japan for an anchor job or standing strong in her opinion on having children, even if it causes the end of a relationship. She's also got a wickedly quick sense of humor that can keep up with -- if not challenge -- any character on the show, making her even more of a total catch, even if she's Canadian.


Who: Creed Bratton

What: No one really knows.

Why: He is perhaps The Office's most obscure and mysterious character, but he undoubtedly adds an interesting spin to every situation in which he's involved. Every comment he makes causes everyone to question his background and what he spends his time doing outside the office. He seems to answer every question in a slightly odd way, and there's no denying he's likely been involved in some highly illegal activities in his past. He still appears as innocent and kind as can be on the surface, however, until you ask him just the right question. He's the ultimate question mark, but the office seems to embrace him for that without questioning anything about him, even though he can't really seem to get anyone's name right. 


Who: Phoebe Buffay

What: Another of the Friends who brings her free spirit into the group.

Why: Phoebe is the ultimate free spirited human we all need to see as a role model in life. She's fun-loving, happy, and spontaneous, even despite coming from tragedy earlier in life. She is the positive vibe the friends often need throughout their stressful times and she's nearly always around to help with her comforting advice and quirky jokes. She's totally cool with herself as she is and doesn't try to change anything in order to fit in or to please other people. Plus, her relationship with Mike is nothing short of #goals. I could only hope to have someone chase me to Bermuda just to confess his love, even while she's on another date. Phoebe is just worth a trek like that; she's cool as a cucumber and emits all the positive vibes you'd ever want to be around.


Who: Luke Curran

What: Roommate and best friend from Lovesick.

Why: Everyone loves a good British sitcom, and this one provides all the comforts and woes that come along with being in love (or, at least trying to be). Luke is the devoted best friend who arguably shares the starring role due to his exuberant personality that steals the spotlight more often than not. He's super cheerful and out there at all times, elevating the often subdued vibe to an excited and fast-paced one. He's confident with himself and who he is, but clearly has no idea what he's doing in regards to navigating his love life. He's a bit clueless when it comes to tuning into what girls are thinking and that appears in many of his relationships. He is able, however, to capture girls' attention by just being his charming and cheerful self, even if he sometimes takes his cheerfulness too far and ends up weirding them out. He's the ultimate best friend to Dylan, who gets down in the dumps over his love life much more frequently, and makes for an excellent counterpart for his more chill roomie. 


Who: Nick Miller

What: One of the guys in the loft from New Girl.

Why: Nick Miller is probably one of the strangest characters ever created, but they have made him into a completely unique human who is utterly true to himself and an extremely identifiable character who remains static through the show's 7 seasons. It's amazing to me how they created such a strange person who has become such a familiar and normal presence on the show, to the point where his odd behavior and random thoughts are just expected and keep elevating the show, and Nick himself, to new heights. Someone even made a list of motivational Nick Miller quotes paired with beautiful photos. He is completely satisfied with himself as he is and lives life the way he wants to, which we all could learn a lesson from. Though he's messy and has very strange and frustrating living habits, the loft would not be what it is without his presence. The way he handles his dating life is extremely odd and questionable but it seems to work for him, as he gets to date many beautiful girls who like him for his quirky self.


Who: Titus Andromedon 

What: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's unforgettable roommate and friend.

Why: Titus is simply the greatest, and he knows it. His flamboyant and exuberant personality lights up any room and he draws all eyes, always dressed to the nines and dishing out sass like it's his job. His jokes and quips are just second nature to him and he doesn't even expect a laugh but rather just keeps on going about his crazy life. He and Kimmy make the perfect duo taking on New York City, especially with her naivety and his complete confidence walking the streets and dominating the city as the great presence that he is.  


Who: Jack Pearson

What: The father of "the big three" and devoted wife to Rebecca on This Is Us.

Why: Though I'm only partway through Season 1 of this emotional rollercoaster of a show, Jack is already one of my favorite television characters of all time. He's the most devoted and loyal husband, no matter how hard life gets for him and Rebecca, and the greatest father and role model to his three children, helping them navigate each of their totally different lives that bring about unique struggles. Whether it's helping Kate feel confident about herself while at the pool as a child, helping Randall find an outlet to bring him closer to his own heritage, or supporting at Kevin's high school football games, he's there for these kids in a way rarely seen on TV. And through all of the ups and downs and flashbacks and flash-forwards, he is the ideal human in so many ways.


Who: Derek Morgan

What: The sexiest FBI agent on Criminal Minds. And maybe ever.

Why: Murder mysteries already rock, but add Derek Morgan into the mix and you've got the ultimate TV entertainment. He solves these mysteries in the suavest, most efficient, and most intriguing ways ever seen on TV. Each episode begings with a new and exciting murder mystery presented to Morgan and his team, and his stability and level-headedness often leads the way in solving some of these excruciating cases. His ability to snap into action mode is nothing short of incredible and he always comes out on top. Not to mention his incredible kindness and warmth shown to all people he works with and his close relationships with his tightly-knit onscreen team. I think I melt every time he calls Penelope his "baby girl."


Who: Phil Dunphy

What: The All-American, confident, and sometimes dorky dad of three on Modern Family

Why: Because he creates his own life mottos, buys alpacas, and lives to see his family succeed and be happy. Phil clearly values family relationships over all else and his efforts to keep his family close make for the most entertaining parts of this show. Whether it's dealing with his wild-child oldest daughter, the disapproval of his father-in-law, or his wife questioning all his decisions, Phil remains strong and true to himself throughout the entire series and provides comic relief in all situations that could bring stress upon the family. He's a classic dad, complete with the jokes and dance moves and all, and the Dunphy family couldn't be luckier to have him as head of their household. 

Tori BilasComment