Television has brought some very compelling characters to life, irrespective of whether they become a part of our fond memories or make a niche for themselves in our darkness. What is it that makes these characters live on for years after the primary run of the series? There could be several factors leading to it, like, the intensity of the show, character sketch, dialogues or the performance of the actors.
We have enlisted the characters, by sometimes agreeing and sometimes disagreeing with the critic reviews and ranks by websites dedicated to this purpose.
Read and let me know in the COMMENTS section what your list would be!
My definitive list of the 20 greatest television characters-
20. Dustin Henderson
Played by: Gaten Matarazzo
Witty, clever, and by far the funniest member of the gang. Gaten Matarazzo has made an adorable character with one of the most innocent smiles and winning sarcasm. He’s geeky, loyal and proud, there has never been a dull moment when he’s around. From the very first season Dustin is the most sound and decorous representation of sanity among the other characters. Dustin’s character is more focused and is often an observer and a protector of the unity within the friend group. There could be more action by Dustin in the upcoming seasons (Season 4) of Stranger Things.
19. Lucifer Morningstar
Played by: Tom Ellis
You may not contradict to the fact that this comic adaptation is not a very entertaining series, but Tom Ellis’ Lucifer is certainly a fascinating character. Lucifer is the fun-loving ‘devil’ who is by far one of the charming characters in this list with his bewitching RP accent. Tom Ellis plays the role of Lucifer quite convincingly. He has the perfect blend of everything for which Lucifer is known for, but yes he’s not blonde. The hedonistic charm, the arrogance, the rage, you name it and Tom has it. The series is heading to its finale, where we could probably see some excellent performance by Tom Ellis.
18. Cersei Lannister
Game of Thrones
Played by: Lena Headey
Let’s just forget how this series ended, but it is impossible to neglect Lena Headey’s performance as Cersei Lannister. From a cunning sister to a caring mother to a merciless queen, she has played each and every part very beautifully. However, she is also arrogant and self-centered to a fault, which has proven to be one of her greatest weaknesses. The truth is, Lena Headey had to showcase a bold character who also is a weak, fearful, delusional and tearful woman that is in no control of her actions. The character was perfectly developed and probably hated by the almost all the viewers.
17. Mr. Bean
Played by: Rowan Atkinson
Isn’t the name an enough description? This show is a classic. It’s always difficult to make someone laugh and he made billions of people laugh harder throughout his show. Without saying a word, he delivers a laughter overdose. His on-screen presence makes most of the people to forget their sorrows and just enjoy next half an hour. His character was so involving yet distant, He is obnoxious, crazy and sometimes seems stupid. Mr. Bean’s character was not defined by dialogues, Mr. Bean rarely speaks and when he does, only mumbles. Atkinson pulled out an unimaginable character who is often compared to Charlie Chaplin’s characters.
Original Star Trek series, animated Star Trek series and Star Trek: The Next Generation
Played by: Leonard Nimoy
A name you cannot pronounce S’chn T’gai Spock, is not just a character, he is a cult figure, Star Trek the original series showed an alien for the very first time to children when aliens were a remote reality. Calm, logical, cold and stoic character who is distant from other relations, Spock was probably the first character who became the cool geek when it wasn’t cool to be a geek. He dealt with racism and bigotry from both sides, not to mention widespread misunderstandings of himself and his culture. He was an outsider who was considered one of us. Eventually Spock became one of the most popular characters in the entire television history.
15. Saul Goodman
Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul
Play by: Bob Odenkirk
It is always difficult to put a Breaking Bad character in such lists without recognising the other brilliant performances. Jimmy McGill or (‘s all good man) Saul Goodman is a slick, scummy lawyer who remained consistently one of major attraction of Breaking Bad. His character is impetuous, inspired, angry and not afraid to let his darker side motivate him but in contrast he is also a good guy, but hasn’t learned the lesson of taking a moment and thinking about the bigger implications. The character’s past as shown in Better Call Saul were some moments of struggle and the development of how he became a dirty lawyer. Saul Goodman is a character you can identify and criticise at the same time.
14. Sheldon Cooper
Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon
Played by: Jim Parson
Probably the most popular character in the whole of sit-com industry, Sheldon Cooper is a genius who possesses an eidetic memory with the IQ of 187. He’s rigid, narcissistic, ridiculous, and awfully self-centered but the funniest character in Big Bang Theory who does not know what fun or sarcasm is. Parson’s character was perhaps the centre of something that advanced throughout the series. On rare occasion, Sheldon does show interest in relationships, but his vast knowledge of almost everything always fascinated the audience. Sheldon is one of the most celebrated characters in Comic Con.
13. Francis Underwood
House of Cards
Played by: Kevin Spacey
Frank is a character who gets power, as in he understands the nature of power, how to obtain it and how to exercise it. Political power or power in general, especially that of the highest order, demands ruthlessness. It is amoral. Underwood gets that. So here’s a person who would cheat, lie and murder his way to the top. He is said to unleash the darker side of people, he is a person who cannot be dominated even by the most powerful person. He’s definitely a character respected by many fans. Following a sexual assault claims against Spacey, Netflix cut ties with the actor and thus showing that Underwood died in 2017.
12. Jerry Seinfeld
Portrayed by: Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry is the most grounded character in the show, a figure who is “able to observe the chaos around him but not always be a part of it.” You may see him making stupid excuses to break-up with women almost every week. Jerry is generally completely indifferent to what goes on in his friends’ lives, seeing their misery as merely an entertaining distraction, as well as an opportunity for joke material. Though this sounds ridiculous, Seinfeld would make you laugh like you never did. It is always believed that Jerry Seinfeld experimented the composition of situational comedy with stand-up comedy.
11. Michael Scofield
Portrayed by: Wentworth Miller
The man is a genius. His plan to break his brother, who was wrongly accused of murdering the Vice-President of America’s brother, out of jail, was to tattoo an entire map of the entirety of the prison, as well as the actual blueprint itself, on his body. Michael is described as “always scanning the surroundings”, and “has the silky voice of a sociopath (and) the resigned stance of a long-distance runner”. He was always just one step ahead of everyone else. He was loyal, he was calculative, and nobody was a match for him. Miller’s iconic expressionless interactions soon became a fascination among the audience.