Characters are a vital part in storytelling and it is no different when it comes to TV shows. They drive the plot and have a huge impact on whether or not I enjoy a show. If the plot begins to get slow I may stick around purely for a specific character’s development or presence.
1. Jesse Pinkman – Breaking Bad
A high school dropout and meth dealer who partners up with his ex-chemistry teacher to produce crystal meth. He is funny, kindhearted and at first his character acts as the comic relief but Jesse’s story arc leaves us rooting for him after the difficult emotional obstacles he faces.
2. Annalise Keating – How to Get Away with Murder
A criminal law professor who is known for being an amazing lawyer and tough on her students. Annalise is cool and calm, but once provoked or lied to she brings out her feisty side. Throughout the series we learn about her struggles and how she manages to conquer any challenge that comes her way.
3. Stiles Stilinski – Teen Wolf
The sarcastic and witty best friend of Scott McCall, who is the first to know about his werewolf transformation. Where he lacks in supernatural abilities he makes up for with his knowledge about the supernatural world and strategising plans to stop forces of evil coming to Beacon Hills. Honestly, Stiles is the reason I still watch Teen Wolf as the plot lines were dragging within the middle of the series.
4. Lorelai Gilmore – Gilmore Girls
Probably the coolest mum on TV! Lorelai’s friendship with her daughter Rory is such a lovely dynamic. She made a life of her own when she became pregnant at 16 and ran away from home. She is a single mother with an unhealthy obsession with coffee and her pop culture references and witty responses makes every interaction enjoyable to watch.
5. Elliot Alderson – Mr Robot
Elliot is works at a cyber-security firm by day and is a vigilante hacker by night. He suffers from social anxiety and various other issues but nothing will stop him from taking down the large corporation E Corp. Elliot is a complex narrator and as an audience we left vulnerable to the way he portrays the world around him.
6. Alicia Florrick – The Good Wife
I stumbled upon The Good Wife randomly on Netflix a few years ago and Alicia’s character growth was such a great experience to witness. She starts as a smart quiet woman standing by her cheating husband to becoming a fierce and independent mother improving her career as a lawyer.
7. Jake Peralta – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
All of the characters in Brooklyn Nine-Nine bring such interesting qualities that contribute to the storylines but Jake makes this list. Although immature at times, he expresses his emotions through his humorous jokes and is determined to be the best detective in the 99th precinct of the NYPD. He very much enjoys the thrill of being a detective but hates anything to do with paperwork.
8. Brooke Davis – One Tree Hill
Brooke is another character whose development left me in awe. She started out as the popular party girl who only cared about herself and turned out to be a loyal, selfless friend to all those who were close to her. She faces many struggles at home and in high school but overcomes them and is destined for success as she grows older.
9. Charlie Kelly – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Charlie is the janitor at Paddy’s Pub and is known as the ‘wildcard’ within the group. He is an alcohol and substance abuser, who often has to shout to get his point across. This show is so unique and most of the characters you love to hate, but Charlie and the way his mind works is fascinating. His illiteracy, his play ‘The Nightman Cometh’ and his mundane ‘Charlie Work’ are all highlights of the series.
10. Leslie Knope – Parks and Recreation
If I could I would put all the characters from Parks and Recreation on the list but for now I shall settle for Leslie Knope. She is the cheerful deputy head of the Parks and Recreation department in Pawnee, Indiana. Her positive attitude and obsession with filing systems means that whatever she touches is bound to be successful. She cares deeply for all those around her and is extremely passionate about her work.
There seems to be a theme of loyal sidekicks, the comic relief or strong individuals within my top 10. Which TV characters would make it onto your list?