2011 had a lot of good television. One thing that makes the television good is the likable/badass/hilarious characters that we’ve come to love, hate, or even love to hate. Whether it be new or old, we had some of the most powerful performances this year and it’s quite difficult to rank them all. And with each show having at least 5 main characters, choosing 10 characters from the best shows on air was rather difficult. What made this even harder was that I had to balance the 2010-2011 midseason line ups with 2011 fall tv line ups, but ultimately everything eventually fell into place as I realized clearly who was better than the other. Hit the jump to view the rest.
10. Schmidt – New Girl
Everyone is probably slapping me on the hand for not putting the title character Jess on here. Truth be told, I’m losing interest in New Girl. Zooey Deschanel’s character is burdened with carrying the weight of the show mainly because her costars are just so…BORING. CeCe is just a pretty face, Nick is a whiny man child, and Winston might as well not be there. The only one worth redeeming is Schmidt, who’s douchey and metrosexual attitude is rather hilarious and the most delightful to contrast with Jess’s kind character. So why choose Schmidt over Jess? Because I’ve seen Jess a thousand other times in movies like Elf and 500 Days of Summer in form of Deshanel’s tired indie card. At least Schmidt’s character is slightly refreshing and new.
9. Penny Hartz – Happy Endings
There are 6 people to choose from the show Happy Endings, but deciding which one to choose wasn’t too difficult when I really thought about it. Alex, while extremely pretty and adorable, is the butt of a lot of jokes. Dave can be a little bit whiny. Brad and Jane are hard to isolate without one complimenting the other. Max can be a wee bit obnoxious every once in a while. So that leaves the hyperactive and colorful Penny Hartz. The ‘Phoebe’ of the group, she’s usually on her own/being paired up with the ‘Joey’ of the group, Max. Regardless, she brings her own modern flair reminiscent of the colorful Phoebe.
8. Brother Sam – Dexter
Dexter hasn’t had moral compasses stick around for a while, because most of them are either dead, they die, or they leave him. So this season’s rather lackluster drama did have one interesting new character. Mos Def’s Brother Sam, a reformed convict who’s turned to God, was an interesting foil to Dexter’s morbid outlook on life. He tried to convince Dexter that he had a light in him, which was important for Dexter to wrestle with considering him raising his son. But just as similar to all of Dexter’s guiding lights, they eventually leave him into the dark.
7. Tate Langdon – American Horror Story
There are a slew of ghosts, demons, humans, and deformed people on American Horror Story that I could’ve chosen from. But by far the most interesting is the demonic and evil Tate Langdon who haunts the house with a murderous thirst. I won’t give too much away, but those who watch AHS, you know what the man has done and is capable of doing.
6. Shane Walsh – The Walking Dead
For a rather lackluster first half of the 2nd season of The Walking Dead that spent most of its time arguing with an old man at a barn, there was one redeeming factor: the man that kept it all interesting. Clearly he’s a villain, but gosh darn it, he’s the only person on the show remotely interesting and he keeps the plots moving. He even spurred the best moment for the midseason finale at the barn. You might hate him, but gosh darn it if he isn’t the most interesting character on that show. In all seriousness, no one else on the show comes even close to being half as compelling as Shane.
Hit the Next Page for the Next 4