I’m taking a look at the 100 best characters on TV right now, from a variety of shows. These are the funniest, most compelling and most complicated characters I’ve seen. Some are new and some of have been shining for years. Here are my choices for 90-81. And don’t forget to check out 100-91 here.
90. Rebecca Bunch (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
While Rebecca is heightened for comic effect, at the end of the day, her obsessiveness and anxiety is very relatable. As much as she makes us cringe from second-hand embarrassment, she’s also easy to root for.
89. Mariana Foster (The Fosters)
Mariana started off sweet and adorable, but more and more aspects of her character have been revealed as The Fosters unfolds. She’s stayed the prototypical teen girl character while always reminding the audience that there are a thousand things a teen girl can be.
88. Sara Lance (Legends of Tomorrow)
If it were up to me, every TV show would be about a badass bisexual assassin turned reluctant superhero. But, Sara Lance is more than one of the coolest TV characters ever. Even while doing extraordinary things, she’s always been written with genuine emotion. She was a stand out on Arrow and I can’t wait to see even more of her on Legends of Tomorrow.
87. Olivia Benson (Law & Order: SVU)
Olivia Benson is the reason audiences keep coming back to Law & Order: SVU even as many other shows have learned to copy its procedural template. Her character development and Mariska Hargitay’s performance have been the core of the show for seventeen seasons now.
86. Mindy Lahiri (The Mindy Project)
Mindy is a lot of things. She’s ridiculous and shallow, but smart and commanding of respect. She’s a hilarious character, who audiences identify with because of the way she stumbles through life.
85. Adam Goldberg (The Goldbergs)
Adam is a fairly unhappy child, who obsesses about film as an escape. Despite The Goldbergs‘ light tone, this quality brings a deeper emotional resonance to the show. The other characters are often funnier, but Adam brings it all together and serves as the emotional center for the show.
84. Clarke Griffin (The 100)
Unlike a lot of young adult entertainment, The 100 pulls no punches with how many difficult decisions Clarke has had to make. The horrors that she’s seen have truly weighed on her and transformed her, creating a satisfying TV viewing experience.
83. Louis Litt (Suits)
Louis is a fascinating character because he’s no more morally compromised than the other characters on Suits, but again and again he comes out as the bad guy. It’s easy to see why he would become bitter about how much people prefer Harvey. The fact that he maintains a lot of love for Harvey at the same time adds to how complex he is.
82. Anders Holmvik (Workaholics)
Anders might be the best example of how underneath all the partying and drugs, Workaholics is really a show about broken dreams and disappointment. Unlike his friends, he wears his ambition on his sleeve and those ambitions have shifted over the years from aspiring to be an Olympic athlete, to desperately hoping to get a manager position at his telemarketing job.
81. Matt Murdock (Daredevil)
Daredevil is a great example of how superhero shows can stay extraordinary while using a realistic style to great effect. We feel like we really see Matt Murdock stumbling and being uncertain about things, which makes the show hit home even with a premise that could easily have turned out silly.