We all have our favourites and at this time of year it seems that everyone is making a “best of” list. We figured it was time to throw our hat in the ring and offer up a different take: that of the TV characters that bring us the most joy each week.
Are these the best, most complex characters on TV? Sure, some of them are, but that wasn’t the criteria we used to judge. Simply put, these are our favourite characters to watch and the ones that make weekly viewing experiences an enjoyable one.
For there’s something to be said for those types of characters don’t you think? You know, the ones that make us smile week in and week out, or keep us perched right on the edge of our seats wondering what they will do next? Yes, while they may have some flaws, these are the characters we most want to see when sitting down for some bonding time with our television sets.
So in no particular order, we give you our 15 Most Enjoyable Characters of 2014:
Danny Castellano – The Mindy Project
It’s pretty easy to see why Mindy Lahiri fell in love with Danny Castellano. Who amongst us is able to resist this loveable crank? Chris Messina’s gruff, super Catholic, smooth dancing doctor truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Sure he may be a bit of a mama’s boy but at the end of the day, even with all his quirks we wouldn’t want him any other way. It’s not only Danny’s dance moves that have us swooning (though more on that in a bit). The real joy usually comes in the small details of our “Dr. C;” you know, things like his magnetic red reading glasses or the fact that he can play “Let It Go” on the piano that really set him apart. But really, back to those dance moves because who doesn’t want to see more of this?
Felicity Smoak – Arrow
Thanks to the many crossover opportunities between Arrow and The Flash, we got even more Felicity Smoak than usual this year and that, my friends, is a very good thing. Sure Felicity may be gorgeous, but she always feels real and down to earth, and we love it when she gets her nerd on. The better half of Olicity seems to turn into a blabbering fool at times, but we can’t help but smile that she’s not afraid to speak her mind and give it straight to Oliver when the situation calls for it. Felicity has a great sense humour, but she also never fails to rise to the occasion when Team Arrow needs her most. Plus we’d kill for her wardrobe right ladies? We don’t know about you, but we always feel a little better knowing Felicity Smoak is on our side.
Leo Hendrie – Chasing Life
We won’t lie, we had the same impression as April Carver did when we first met Leo Hendrie early on in Chasing Life’s first season. He seemed like your typical spoiled and selfish rich kid. But as the layers to the Leo onion were peeled back, and we got to know more about him, we saw he wasn’t really the ass that he pretended to be. In actuality, Leo was a Robin Hood of sorts to fellow cancer patients, helping to make their last dreams and wishes come true, all while having the most upbeat outlook on a life that, due to his own brain tumor, seemed to have cut him a raw deal. But Leo is always there for April, and for viewers, to remind us that we should try to see the silver lining in all situations.
Gail Peck – Rookie Blue
Gail Peck has the market cornered when it comes to snarky one liners. She’s always been the source for some of our favourite zingers and we can’t help but feel a certain kinship to her and the hard exteriour she puts up to defend the heart of gold that lies underneath. But this past season felt very different for Gail. Sure, her jokes were still there, but we saw some serious growth in her which was very rewarding for long time viewers to witness. She figured out what she really wanted in her personal life, and her relationship with Holly was one of our favourites on TV. Not only did she figure things out romantically, but we really saw Gail grow as a person. She’s always been great with kids, perhaps because she’s always been a bit immature herself, but she seems poised to turn tragedy into something really great by going after the adoption of young Sophie. For both of their sake we hope it works out, let’s just also hope that Holly is somehow involved in it all as well.
Clarke Griffin – The 100
While most of the characters on this list bring us joy in the traditional sense, by cracking jokes and making us laugh, The 100’s Clarke Griffin brings joy by taking badass woman power to a whole new level. Clarke is the most awesome female character on a show that’s chock full of amazing and strong female characters. She’s a strong leader who makes the tough decisions (we’re still not ready to discuss that midseason finale) and all while looking like a total supermodel in the process. But don’t hate her because she’s beautiful. Clarke has some flaws, what great leader doesn’t, but she’s strong, compassionate and it’s just pure joy to watch her fight for survival every week on The 100.
Randy Hill – Enlisted
On a cast full of wonderful characters, the lovable puppy of a younger brother, Randy Hill always stood out. Thanks in part to sharp witted dialogue and plenty of belly laughs at his expense, mixed in with Enlisted’s great heart underneath it all, Parker Young gave us one of our favourite characters of the year. Young has great skill as a comedic actor, and make no mistake about it TV fans, he will be a big star one day. When that inevitably happens, we will always look back fondly on Randy Hill. He had a huge heart underneath that goofy exterior and we couldn’t help but smile whenever he was on screen. Oh except for when he was making us cry along with him to Toy Story 3:
Diane Lockhart – The Good Wife
In the six seasons that The Good Wife has been on the air, Christine Baranski has never failed to deliver as Diane Lockhart. While on the surface she would seem to pose a threat to Alicia Florrick, in actuality, she may just be her greatest ally. This season has brought a host of new challenges to the ever formidable and stylish Diane, but she’s rolled with every single punch that’s come her way with the same level headed thinking that we’ve come to expect from her. She built Lockhart & Gardner into one of Chicago’s top law firms and seems poised to do it again now that she’s merged with Alicia and Cary. She’s always been firm and ambitious, but Baranski also brings great heart to Diane. She’s a great female role model and who wouldn’t want her on the case?
Mellie Grant – Scandal
We’ve always loved Mellie but this season Bellamy Young took her to a whole new level as she dealt with the death of her son. Mellie’s never been your typical First Lady and that remained true as she worked through her grief in an array of bath robes, Ugg boots and plenty of buckets of fried chicken. Scandal can get pretty intense at times and Mellie brought some much needed comic relief to this season. She may have finally pulled herself together (and out of those robes) and is ready to get back to the political scheming. If you ask us Washington better be on the look out!
Molly Solverson – Fargo
Molly was one of the great television characters of 2014 no matter what list we’re talking about, and her portrayer, Allison Tolman was a revelation. Molly was always supremely confident, no matter how much opposition she received from fellow police officers, and it’s easy to see why: she was always the smartest person in the room. When Molly finally received vindication on her theories it was supremely rewarding, not only for her, but for viewers as well. It’s just a shame we won’t get to enjoy Tolman and Molly for a second season.
Maggie Caruso and Emma Crawford – Playing House
There are so many great women on television these days, but two of our favourites are best friends Maggie and Emma from USA’s Playing House. The Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair led comedy showcased the strength of friendships between women. We don’t know what we’d do without these ladies who not only taught us an awesome new language (“body be bangin” and “kewl” are now some of our everyday phrases right Jammers?), but also showed how friends can truly be your family. Maggie and Emma have an ease and flow together on screen that comes from the real life friendship between Parham and St. Clair and really makes viewers feel like we are all just hanging out with these awesome gal pals. Thank goodness USA is letting us all play together for another season!
Zeek Braverman – Parenthood
Let’s be honest, we would put the entire Braverman family on this list if we could. We love them all that much and we don’t know what we’re going to do without them when the show ends its run early next year. However, the final season has really belonged to the family patriarch, Zeek. His heart-to-heart conversations with multiple family members, from Amber to Drew to Joel, have never failed to leave us a weeping mess. Why is that enjoyable you ask? Because who doesn’t need a good cry every once and awhile?
Donna Meagle – Parks & Rec
Again, on a show like Parks and Recreation there are so many characters to choose from, starting with the awesomeness that is Leslie Knope herself. However, we can’t help but laugh whenever Retta’s Donna Meagle is on the screen. Donna’s not only got mad skills when it comes to social media and is a huge TV junkie herself, but she’s also taught us the importance of treating one’s self to the finer things in life and not taking crap from anyone. She may not get a lot of screen time, but whenever she is there she makes the most of it and always leaves us laughing. P.s. If you’re a TV fan and you’re not following Retta on Twitter then you’re doing it all wrong.
Severide – Chicago Fire
Despite dealing with tense situations and harrowing rescues week in and week out, Lt. Kelly Severide of Firehouse 51 always seems to leave us with a smile on our face. Make no mistake, his portrayer Taylor Kinney is definitely easy on the eyes and that’s enjoyable to watch in and of itself, but he’s also just a really great guy’s guy and the journey he’s been on this season has been satisfying as a viewer to watch. No one was more devastated by what happened to Shay than Severide, and while there were some bumps along the way, he’s finally found his footing and seems to have come through on the other end. We can’t wait to see how this more “grown up” Severide handles things in the New Year.
Helena – Orphan Black
My Helena how far we have come! Who amongst us didn’t used to get the crap scared out of them by Orphan Black‘s craziest clone? But in Season 2 we saw a different side of the Ukrainian. She became increasingly fun to watch and started cracking jokes along the way. Sure, we are still afraid at times (ok most of the time) that she may lose it and go batshit crazy on us, but for the most part, it’s clear she wants nothing more than to spend some good old quality time with her “sestras.” We can’t fault her for that now can we? So we’ll grab the powdered donuts and even though we’re still a little scared, Helena, we can hang out any time you want.
Rita Hendricks – The Fosters
We here at The TV Junkies have made no secret about how much we love Rosie O’Donnell as Rita Hendricks on The Fosters. In fact, we even have called for an O’Donnell led spinoff, but much to our chagrin she rejoined The View instead. As Rita, the leader of the Girls United group home where Callie stayed, O’Donnell gave us a warm, loving, empathetic and relatable character that shared a special and unique bond with Callie. Rita was there to guide Callie when all hope seemed lost, and we think we’d all do well to have someone like her in our own lives. Thank goodness, despite her duties on The View, O’Donnell will be back for three episodes in 2015. We can’t wait to visit Rita and Girls United once again.
Which TV character do you find the most enjoyable to watch? Was your favourite left out? Add them and your thoughts to the comments below!