Characters: what would a story be without them?
This series of articles will explore my most and least favorite characters from different literary mediums. I’m not taking poorly written characters here, but ones who – as written – are people I dislike. Sounds fun?
First up, TV shows!
(These are in no particular order. That would be too hard.)
Favorite: Shaun Spencer and Burton Guster from Psych
Yeah, I know, that’s two characters but you can’t have one without the other. If you haven’t seen this show, you should! It is my absolute favorite. Shaun and Gus are childhood best friends who together run a Psychic Detective agency in Santa Barbara, California thanks to Shaun’s heightened observational skills and Gus’s pharmaceutical knowledge. (Plus, occasionally, the supper sniffer.)
Seriously, this show is amazing. Characters, stories, humor, mystery, excitement – it has it all. I feel compelled to add Lassiter and Juliet to this list, too, but I’ll restrain myself…
Least Favorite: Rodney McKay from Stargate
I give the writers credit, I’m pretty sure we’re all supposed to dislike Rodney. But my dislike goes a bit too far I think… He irks me. A lot. A LOT
I don’t know how to describe the depths of my dislike for this character. If you have not seen him (in either SG-1 or Atlantis) just go watch for yourself. Only then will you understand.
Favorite: This kind of character…
There has to be a word for this but I am talking about characters like
Hogan from Hogan’s Heroes, Colonel O’Neil from Stargate,
Mal from Firefly… Each of those guys are a little different but they all have that something in common – that reckless bravery, that quiet selflessness I guess you could say.
I’m a sucker for a character like this.
Least favorite: This kind of character…
The bad a** whose rudeness is supposed to make them so. Captain Janeway from Star Trek Voyager and May from Agents of Shield are good examples of this.
Sorry, I can only think of female examples as the males don’t seem to make it into TV with this sort of attitude. Or maybe the male characters with the bad a** attitude are also cracking jokes where these women tend to be too serious…
Favorite: Teal’c from Stargate SG-1 and Spock from Star Trek
Ok, these two characters are fairly different but similar enough that I couldn’t choose one other the other. They are both strong, smart, intelligent, and aliens from cool alien cultures who help out their human friends in saving the galaxy.
I don’t know, they’re both fun characters.
Least favorite: T’Pol from Star Trek Enterprise
See, I’m not a fan of all aliens. T’Pol just… eh… she is annoying. She doesn’t come across as emotionally controlled like Spock does, she comes across as a stuck-up, insensitive jerk. Sorry, I can’t stomach that.
No one plays a vulcan like Leonard Nimoy.
Well, that’s my list!
No good women characters in TV on this list… hmm… I do like Zoe and Kaylee from Firefly. And the aforementioned Juliet from Psych. But I guess a lot of women characters in most literary works don’t resonate with me – that’s probably one of the reasons I want to write my own.
What are some of your most and least favorite characters in TV shows? Let me know in the comments below!