Saturday, 5 July 2008

The 100 Greatest TV Show Characters Of All Time (Part 2)

95: Farscape: Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black)
So far every character we’ve met has been comedic, so applause for Aeryn Sun for being the first dramatic character on the list. She was a tough bounty-hunter type person, with a strict sense of morals which quickly dematerialised when she gave up on life in the barracks, and joined the ramshackle crew of Moya. She had no comprehension on humour, which made for great scenes between her and hero John Crichton, who she slowly developed a relationship with. And when it came to fighting: that’s when she shined.

94: Frasier: Martin Crane (John Mahoney)
Back to the comedy, and the first of the Cranes to make the list. Martin was the rough policeman father of Frasier and Niles, which in itself made for a brilliant running joke, as Martin punctured everything the pompous brothers planned with simple common sense and simple way of thinking. He was always the one who kept everything together in the end, fixing up the bungling that Frasier would inevitably do at some point during each episode. His relationship with his boys, who he always wanted to just play baseball and be manly, was touching, but the great thing was that if pressed between choosing his boys or his beloved recliner, you know that he would probably go for the recliner.

93: Marion and Geoff: Keith Barrett (Rob Brydon)
Marion and Geoff’s first series was made up of episodes only ten minutes long, but Brydon packed in more in those ten minutes than many could in half an hour. As Keith, divorced father of two “little smashers”, he was undoubtedly one of the most poignant roles in TV history, as Keith delivered monologues to his camera in which he was often optimistic about the most depressing things. You could see in his eyes that he was slowly dying because his ex-wife (the Marion of the title) wouldn’t let him see his kids. He was always positive about his life, even when everything was bad, and you couldn’t help but root for him throughout; he was easily one of the most likeable characters in recent screen history.

92: Charlie’s Angels: Charlie (John Forsythe)
The only character on the list without a body, Charlie makes this list purely due to the fact that he represents such an incredible mystery. He was never seen onscreen, but he commanded the attention whenever he appeared, as a voice only, through the central control desk. He would brief the angels on what they would have to do, and then he’d go. Simple. But the fact we never saw Charlie means that he was the subject of endless debate – who was he? Why did he have this agency? And that is why he deserves a place in this list, if not for the fact that he brought the world firmly into the age of female perms.

91: Everybody Loves Raymond: Robert Romano (Brad Garrett)
The problem with lead characters is that they have to support the show, and thus are in most of the scenes. The beauty of having supporting characters is that they can often simply walk in and steal the show with a short observation or one-liner. Robert from Everybody Loves Raymond one of the greatest examples of this sort of character in recent TV history, being able to saunter in to the main house whenever he wanted to and steal the show. Perennially seen as the second son in the family, he was jealous and critical of Raymond in a way the viewers only wished they could be. He had such a deep voice that every time he said something that seemed out of character he could get away with it, and he could make simple lines of exposition funny - which is handy, because after a while the show didn't have any actually funny lines left for him to work with.

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