Culture of Pop

The Best Characters on TV Right Now: 20-11

I’ve reached the top 20 in my countdown of the best characters on TV right now. Who made the cut on this list of characters who have stolen my heart? Found out below. And be sure to check out the previous entries in this series.









20. Terry Jeffords (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

On the surface, Terry is interesting because he’s a manly, sometimes aggressive guy who’s also often sensitive. But, beyond this he’s complicated for a multitude of things that make him a three-dimensional character. He’s one of the most fun and likable characters on TV.

19. Charlie Kelly (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)

Charlie has been one of the most uniquely funny characters on TV for over 11 seasons now without his brand of comedy growing stale. I never know quite what he’s going to say or do and it makes me laugh every time.

18. Sterling Archer (Archer)

Archer started off as a simple James Bond parody, but he’s now one of the most deeply complicated and emotionally rich characters on TV. He delivers great one-liners, but I’m also invested in his growth and seeing how his relationships unfold.

17. Jake Peralta (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

With his goofy immaturity, Jake started off seeming like a very typical sitcom protagonist. But, he’s proven himself to be uniquely considerate and thoughtful when it matters. In an ideal world, his respect for all of his co-workers wouldn’t make him stand out that much, but it does.

16. Amy Santiago (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

Amy is so many things. Smart and capable, but incredibly goofy. She’s relatable when she’s talking about being uncool, but aspirational when she’s catching bad guys. She’s a great, unique character who lights up the screen.

15. Garnet (Steven Universe)

Garnet is the most stoic character on the show, but manages to nail the most hilarious moments when she does let loose. Her backstory is beautiful and inner-strength makes her deeply admirable and exciting to root for.

14. Bertram Gilfoyle (Silicon Valley)

Most sitcoms have an asshole character, but Gilfoyle takes it to the next level with his deep instinct to be sadistic at all times. Stuff like casually pronouncing Erlich’s name wrong or making Richard throw up when it clearly doesn’t benefit him make him a wonderful menace who is casually destroying his friends for no reason. That’s what I like in a character.

13. Linda Belcher (Bob’s Burgers)

The way Linda wears her heart on her sleeve and is always high-energy provides a nice counterpoint to Bob’s more quiet, antisocial nature. But, like Bob, her deep love of her kids is what makes her so endearing to watch.

12. Suzanne Warren (Orange is the New Black)

Suzanne is a refreshing character because I haven’t seen anyone quite like her before. It’s been satisfying watching her go from desperate to please others to gaining her own sense of self-worth.

11. Ray Holt (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

To be honest, just go back and read what I wrote for Garnet. It applies perfectly to Holt.

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