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The 25 Best Characters on TV

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Frank Underwood
Kevin Spacey as Selina Meyer
Entertainment Weekly recently published its list of the 25 Best Characters on TV right now. The criteria were simple: the character had to be fictional, had to be on a show that is currently airing, and had to be characters that we all love (or love to hate) right now -- not some random date in the future. There are some interesting choices and I'm sure as many as these will infuriate you as will delight you.

After it published the list, EW asked its readers, both in print and on line, to vote for the winner. The website claims that it received "zillions of tweets and nearly 75,000 votes" to determine the winner. To say that I was surprised by the result is putting it mildly.

What about you? Did the magazine get it very right or very wrong? If anyone watches the show in which the winning character is featured, I would love to hear your opinion. In the meantime, the top 25 are:

25: Best Superspy: Philip Jennings, The Americans (Matthew Rhys)

24: Best Dude: Adam Sackler, Girls (Adam Driver)

23: Best Slacker: Erlich Bachman, Silicon Valley (T.J. Miller)

22: Best Adman: Roger Sterling, Mad Men (John Slattery)

21: Best BFF: Ilana Wexler, Broad City (Ilana Glazer)

20: Best Boss Lady: Diane Lockhart, The Good Wife (Christine Baranski)

19: Best Fool: Louie, Louie (Louis C.K.)

18: Best Straight Man: Captain Ray Holt, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Andre Braugher)

17: Best Politician in a Comedy: Selina Meyer, Veep (Julia Louis-Dreyfus)

16: Best (S)Mother: Norma Bates, Bates Motel (Vera Farmiga)

15: Best Political Operative: Mellie Grant, Scandal (Bellamy Young)

14: Best Teen (Cheerful Division): Sue Heck, The Middle (Eden Sher)

13: Best Outlaw: Boyd Crowder, Justified (Walton Goggins)

12: Best Blowhard: Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report (Stephen Colbert)

11: Best Dad: Phil Dunphy, Modern Family (Ty Burrell)

10: Best Lothario: Sterling Archer, Archer (H. Jon Benjamin)

9: Best Politician in a Drama: Frank Underwood, House of Cards (Kevin Spacey)

8: Best Jailbird: Sophia Burset, Orange is the New Black (Laverne Cox)

7: Best Time Traveler: Ichabod Crane, Sleepy Hollow (Tom Mison)

6: Best Manly Man: Ron Swanson, Parks and Recreation (Nick Offerman)

5: Best Love Junkie: Mindy Lahiri, The Mindy Project (Mindy Kaling)

4: Best Clone: Alison Hendrix, Orphan Black (Tatiana Maslany)

3: Best Sword Swinger: Arya Stark, Game of Thrones (Maisie Williams)

2: Best Brain: Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch)

1: Best Teen (Angsty Division): Tina, Bob's Burgers (Dan Mintz)

ChrisB is a freelance writer who spends more time than she ought in front of a television screen or with a book in her hand.


  1. While I adore Alison the best clone is Helena(seestra!).
    Whew some love for Ray Holt, that's great. Braugher delivers deadpan jokes well. Hence the "straight man" label. Holt has a husband, so he's not straight in the common sense of the word. I was hoping Kyle Secor could be cast as the husband. Ha.
    Maybe he could play an old flame.
    But, yeah interesting list.
    Sophia from Orange-much love.
    Also-yay-Ichabod Crane.

  2. As long as Ichabod Crane is somewhere on the list, I'm okay with it. You'd think that I'd know more of these winners, though. Maybe my television choices are too rigid?

  3. Although I don't watch all of these, I've seen an least one episode of 16 of them. Not the winner, though. (Billie, I'm wondering if my TV choices aren't rigid enough:).)Yay for the shoutout to Silicon Valley, and thank you again, Chris, for letting me know of its existence!


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