One week, zillions of tweets, and nearly 75,000 votes later, our readers have spoken—and here’s who you have named the Best Character on TV Right Now. The winner? Well…
Tag: Best Characters on TV (1-9 of 9)
For fans of The Americans, it’s tough to pick between the Jennings parents. Both Philip and Elizabeth are so essential, so scary, so Russian. Yet we must choose only one to be the show’s best character, because, well, who doesn’t love a good game of spy-vs.-spy? And as great as both are, I’d say Matthew Rhys’ Philip has the edge over Keri Russell’s Elizabeth. Even if just by a (wig) hair.
Like his wife, Philip contains murderous multitudes: He’s a walking, running, snarling one-man show with own dense cast of characters. There’s Clark Westerfeld, the square C.I.A. bureaucrat who sometimes treats his wife—yes, a second wife—to wildly passionate romps in the hay. There’s Scott Birkeland, a Swedish intelligence officer who also plays the long con with women (all in the name of intel, natch). Those are just a few of his best undercover personae—only the most diligent KGB desk jockey could keep count of the countless wigs, mustaches, and turtlenecks Philip has sported to fool his marks.
But that’s not why he’s the best character on the show. READ FULL STORY
Mad Men is a show built almost entirely on the solid concrete foundation of its stellar character work. Sure, the dialogue is as sharp as a man in a grey flannel suit, and the metaphorical portents thrum like elevator winches—but when it comes down to it, Matthew Weiner’s dense, literary series rises and falls on the strength of the people inhabiting its world, particularly those scuttling down the corridors of Sterling Cooper Draper Price.
So naturally, when you see a headline like the one above, you might think, “No, dummy, obviously Don/Peggy/Sally/Joan/California Pete/Ginsberg’s nipple is the best character of Mad Men!” You wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. But while Ms. Olsen will always be series MVP to me, this past season belonged to Roger Sterling, SCDP’s preening cock-of-the-walk.
Roger has always been one of the show’s brightest spots, sashaying in with his half-inebriated insouciance and a fistful of sardonic one-liners. Roger’s self-ascribed lot in life is to stay on the sidelines, skating through in the wake of his father’s influence and looking at the world as one big variety show he can have fun watching, even if he never feels the need to jump onstage. READ FULL STORY
First of all, we know: everyone is awesome on The Good Wife. (We love you, Alicia and Eli and Jackie and Finn and Will Gardner’s Ghost!)
But on this year—and certainly we can all agree that the show’s fifth season was truly extraordinary, as well as ridiculously snubbed by the Emmys—it was Diane Lockhart who managed to get even more awesome. After all, she had a lot to contend with: She was up for and lost a Supreme Court nomination. Her fourth years left to start a competing company. There’s a Game of Thrones-like power struggle threatening her future at the firm she created. READ FULL STORY
No character from Orange Is the New Black’s stellar first season had more Netflix viewers buzzing than Sophia Burset, the prison hairdresser whose trailblazing storyline flipped the TV game on its head. That’s why, when Sophia largely missed out on the action in season two, many fans still couldn’t stop thinking about her. (Go ahead—admit that you missed her, too.)
It was a testament to her sheer magnetism that Sophia’s moderate absence on the second season of Orange was so noticeable. There’s a theory that perhaps she was sidelined so that the show could let other actresses (who didn’t steal the show in season one) shine and dive into their backstories, since Sophia had an unforgettable first year. But that theory doesn’t hold up, since almost everyone had a major arc this year except Sophia. It’s upsetting, but it’s also important to recognize that perhaps there’s some logic to that: Sophia’s absence from the prison rivalry war that cast a shadow over season two is in line with the character, and perhaps with actress Laverne Cox herself. READ FULL STORY
They’re both the leads on political series. They both crave power. They’re both the focus of this week’s EW cover story on The 25 Best Characters on TV. But what would happen if House of Cards‘ Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) ever met Veep‘s Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus)?
“I’m not even sure she’d be alive,” laughs Spacey. “First of all, Frank would probably find a way to manipulate the little guy that carries her purse around. So I’d have a mole in her office. I do have this hilarious notion that at some point on either of our shows we should be walking down a hallway and having a discussion and pass each other, and just stop, and then keep going.” READ FULL STORY
It might be hard to remember now, but the fifth season of Parks and Recreation ended with a cliffhanger. Andy (Chris Pratt) found a pregnancy test, and viewers didn’t know who was going to have a baby.
The sixth season started, and the woman in question turned out to be Diane Lewis (Lucy Lawless)—yes, Ron Swanson was going to be a dad.
On a sitcom like Parks and Recreation, there tends to be a clear line between the especially over-the-top minor characters (from Jean-Ralphio to councilman Jamm) and the more stable leads (Leslie Knope, Ben Wyatt). For most of the show’s history, Ron Swanson has been moving from the first category into the second. This season, he fully arrived—kid in tow, miraculously not leaving his quirks behind. READ FULL STORY
Okay, okay, we get it: You love Tyrion.
And with good reason. We love Tyrion, too! And Brienne, and Jaime, and Sansa, and everybody else who has a continuing story on Game of Thrones. Any one of them conceivably could have appeared on our list of the 25 Best Characters on TV Right Now. (Fine, that’s an overstatement; nobody’s voting for Ramsay Bolton, right?)
So naturally, when it came time for EW‘s TV staff to decide which of these fascinating creations is currently the show’s best, things got a little contentious. (See more about the list’s criteria here, where you can also vote for your favorite TV character.) In a tiebreaker vote, though, the choice became clear: Arya beat Tyrion, and by a fairly wide margin. READ FULL STORY
The answer: Slowly, carefully, and by following a rigid set of criteria. As EW‘s TV editors wrote in their call for submissions, for the purposes of this list, “characters must be current, fictional, recurring, and awesome. No reality, no one-offs, no finished shows, no pilots, no scrubs (a scrub is a guy who can’t get no love from me).” We also enacted a strict one-character-per-show policy, and decided that only characters whose arcs are ongoing would be eligible. And while these rules meant disqualifying several staff favorites—sorry, Rust Cohle, Molly Solverson, Yvonne “Vee” Parker, and Walter White—we’re still plenty happy with our final results.
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