Another year has gone by and some great TV characters have emerged and stood out. Going from an initial list of 22, I have narrowed down my list to 12 of the best characters in the last 12 months. A mix of comedy, drama, action and even animation. Find out which 12 have stood out for me above the rest. I will say now there is a few spoilers ahead, so please be careful…
T.J. Miller – Erlich Bachman – Silicon Valley
This show is probably the funniest on TV at the moment. Filled with some superb characters and hilarious set pieces, it was hard to decide which actor really stood out most. While Richard has really grown in confidence and Gilfoyle continues to be blunt and side-splittingly funny, you can’t help but love T.J. Miller who continues to impress as Erlich. Whether he is stealing coconut water, trying to rip-off Big Head (in fact, puts Big Head in financial ruin) or even his interactions with the Pied Piper board, he is indeed the best character and does it with the least effort. Want more proof, just remember this from Season One “Richard wrote the code, yeah, but the inspiration was clear. Let me ask you something. How fast do you think you could jack off every guy in this room? Because I know how long it would take me, and I can prove it!”.
Jon Bernthal – The Punisher/Frank Castle – Daredevil
Last year, the main antagonist of this show made the list. This year, the semi antagonist/anti-hero has and does it just as well. From episode one, he is a force to be reckoned with. Straight away we see him come into conflict with Matt Murdoch and the two engage in some of the most engaging action ever seen on TV. Sod Batman v Superman, this was really the big superhero clash that March was going to give us and it delivered in every respect. Jon Bernthal did so well, that Netflix is working on a Punisher series! That is awesome! We see Frank Castle is a tortured soul and one that you will cheer for as he kills all the enemies in his path now and into the future.
Krysten Ritter – Jessica Jones – Jessica Jones
This character is truly a unique superhero. Most people go for the “with great power comes great responsibility” philosophy. Krysten Ritter goes 180 on this as one of the most reluctant protagonists to ever appear. She lost her family, was brainwashed by a psycho in a purple suit and adopted by a horrible step-mother. But, where Jessica Jones shines is in the fact that she does care about some people (her step-sister Trish and love interest Luke Cage) and the strength that they give her. Also, she will always help those who are truly in need, though sometimes it may take a while to happen. She won’t go down easy, and I can’t wait to see where she will be in season two.
Melissa McBride – Carol Peletier – The Walking Dead
There were many characters who could have been considered for this list again. The reason I chose Carol was because I feel she went through the most inner turmoil in this season. Her season long rival Morgan proved to her that she was maybe wrong in her actions, but also made her think more about what she wanted from her life. She begins a short romance with Tobin and saves Maggie from Negan’s soldiers, but she also loses her nerves and is unsure if she can protect anyone anymore. Her breakdowns are truly shocking for a character who has been very strong and this makes her more human.
David Harewood – J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter/Hank Henshaw – Supergirl
This is an actor who has previously portrayed Tuck in Robin Hood, Nelson Mandela, a Doctor Who villain (ish) and even appeared on Selfie (oh god why was that show ever made?). Truly one of his best performances is of him becoming the last green martian who aids Supergirl and is close friends with her cousin. As Hank Henshaw, we see J’onn save countless lives and protect the earth many times over. As J’onn J’onzz, he has become a great ally and helped Supergirl and her sister Alex more than any other being ever could. Let’s just hope Season Two will show more Martian Manhunter and possibly see him form the Arrowverse equivalent of The Justice League. (Which just to really make a go of it, would include: Arrow, Flash, Atom, Supergirl, Martian Manhunter, Black/White Canary, Firestorm, Mr Terrific and maybe Hawkman and Hawkgirl)
Andre Braugher – Captain Raymond Holt – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
After three seasons, the straight faced leader of the Nine-Nine has remained a favourite for many. He has become more relaxed and involved in the activities of his colleagues and still manages to stay as funny as he did in the first episode. He still tries to make Jake a better detective and is a father-figure to him when needed. He is a committed husband to Kevin which is indeed still the provider of some great scenes. Also, he considers an oboist a celebrity (which is funnier than it should be) and is at the end of season three placed into witness protection with Jake. Captain Holt will surely be suffering with this arrangement, but all for our amusement.
Rami Malek – Elliot Alderson – Mr. Robot
A hacker with people problems? Yeah you probably have seen that before. But not to this level! Elliot has to deal with social anxiety and clinical depression which clearly isn’t fun, and to see how he can possibly work with a group of hackers looking to clear all debt by taking down E Corp (or Evil Corp as it is referred to). He has few friends, Rami’s voice over fills in some of the gaps we don’t see on screen or find out in his interactions. Being part of fsociety is clearly important to him and seems to be feeding on his paranoia and delusion to get him to help the hacktivist group. Also, the biggest moments come from his interactions with Mr. Robot himself and that trip when Elliot goes cold turkey is striking and incredibly insightful.
Maisie Williams – Ashildr/Me – Doctor Who
Wait a minute, why not mention Maisie Williams as arse kicker Arya Stark (To be honest, she is now making her mark this season)? Well, she has had 6 years now perfecting that role. In Doctor Who, she becomes a recurring character in the form of Ashildr. When she first meets The Doctor, Ashildr is living in the time of Vikings and sacrifices herself to save her people. The Doctor revives her, and she later becomes a conflicted character. She goes against The Doctor and very much nearly destroys the world and inadvertently kills Clara. Hate her? Can you really hate her? She didn’t ask for immortality, but is the only one who will wait for The Doctor till the end of time itself!
Justin Roiland – Rick Sanchez – Rick and Morty
The only animated character to make this list, the foul-mouthed grandpa who is happy to bend the universe (and other dimensions) to his own will. Rick is fearless, a drunk and a loner. He has his grandson Morty by his side to help him feel more human and give some meaning to his existence. This is shown in full when he sacrifices his freedom at the end of season two to protect his family from any harm. Want more proof Rick is a good guy, his “only” friend Bird Person says about the good Rick has done and will do anything for Morty and Summer (including making a car that will murder anyone who poses a threat to his grandchildren).
Jaimie Alexander – “Jane Doe”/“Taylor Shaw” – Blindspot
A woman is found in a bag and has no memory of who she is and how she got there. “Jane” is brought to the attention of FBI agent Weller after his name is placed amongst the tattoos that nearly covers her whole body. What makes Jane great is that she is not so much a victim, but a vital asset for investigations in relation to the tattoos on her skin. Throughout the series, we see that Jane is capable of many styles of combat and is fluent in multiple languages. Whoever Jane turns out to be, I am sure there will be something big in store for Jane in the future and let’s hope they can keep the tension and excitement high for another year.
Teddy Sears – “Jay Garrick”/Hunter Zolomon/Zoom – The Flash
From the beginning of Season Two of the show, we got to see Jay Garrick. The original Flash in the comics, he really was set to be a big force in the show. Well, the twist in this tale was that Jay was actually Hunter Zolomon AKA Zoom! The character blends in so well initially and makes his mark as the hope/support for Barry Allen after he arrives from Earth 2. When he reveals himself as Zoom, everything changes. The man who seemed to want to help The Flash was actually wanting to defeat him all along. He loved Caitlin Snow and saved Barry, but was also happy to kill a time remnant of himself multiple times. Zoom truly made a huge impact in the show, and let’s see if he does come back as The Black Flash!
Kit Harrington – Jon Snow – Game Of Thrones
He managed to do two episodes of the show as a body lying on a table (we knew he wouldn’t stay dead), and then came back to life and begun making his plans to help his family and save his home. Where he has been a huge force and an almost untouchable character in the early series, we see his vulnerable side in Season 5 and this year continues to struggle with his own limitations and still find worry/fear with what has happened to him and what could happen. Also, Jon Snow continues to be one of the purest characters in Game Of Thrones and will probably be until its final episode when be either wins the game, gets killed again or becomes a dragon himself and destroys all that is in his path (I think that last one isn’t likely to happen).
Honourable mentions go to Tom Cavanagh for portraying another version of Harrison Wells on The Flash, Rhea Seehorn’s Kim Wexler in Better Call Saul, Sarah Wayne Callies in Colony and Idris Elba as Luther.
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove