Tuesday, 11 November 2008

The 100 Greatest TV Show Characters Of All Time (Part 6)

75: Hercules The Legendary Journeys: Autolycus (Bruce Campbell)
Hercules and Iolaus, the main characters in the series, were often bland and uninteresting, so it was up to the supporting cast to make the show fun. When it was thus announced that cult icon Bruce Campbell would be joining the case in a recurring role, then, it was met with huge excitement. And with good cause! Bruce stole every episode he was in as the slightly dim-witted but hugely talented master thief Autolycus. From framing Iolaus for robbery in his first appearance, to his grappling hook (in Greek times?!), he was a wall of stinging one-liners, slapstick, and of course the quivering eyebrow. Autolycus made a scene funny just by his presence, and that’s what makes his worthy of this list.

74: My Name Is Earl: Joy Turner (Jaime Pressley)
My Name Is Earl is a comedy made notable for it’s brilliant cast of characters, and Joy is the first of three to make it into this list (sorry to disappoint though, but Crabman doesn’t make the cut). The show is about a man, Earl, who tries to be a better person by making up for his past mistakes, and in many respects Joy is the anti-Earl. Gleefully nasty, she steals and lies and cheats her way through the show, manipulating people to do what she wants through sheer forcefulness, she is wholly unsympathetic, and her lack of respect for any of the other characters, her dominating presence, makes her the best bitch since Tanya Turner (#86). Whenever she appears, you know things are going to go wrong for Earl, and it’s constantly hilarious when they do.

73: Peep Show: Jeremy Osbourne (Robert Webb)
Before you ask: yes, they both make the list. Jeremy, ‘Jez’, is the quintessential slacker. He sits on his couch all day watching TV, listening to music and doing drugs, whilst having strange sex with kinky people. Sounds boring, right? Well no, because we hear everything Jez thinks, his neurotic worries about if he’s being indie enough, too indie, or just a bit weird, and his attitude to life is hilarious, as he tries to avoid the things that he hates but always manages to end up right next to them. Although not as neurotic as Mark, Jez is neurotic in a whole new way, which is why he’s made the list.

72: Scrubs: The Janitor (Neil Flynn)
The Janitor is quite low down, but then again he’s knocked Elliot and Dr Kelso and Ted out of the list, among several others, so when you think about it he’s done rather well for himself. Scrubs is filled with tremendous characters, but of all the supporting roles it is the Janitor who is best-loved. He hates JD, and sets out to foil and annoy him at every turn, in an attempt to destroy him. Whether this be by locking him in a water tower for an episode of by repeatedly causing JD to crash his scooter, the Janitor is always one step ahead. But there’s more! The Janitor is a repeated liar, telling people varying stories about his past, and nobody seems to know anything about him or his real life. Neil Flynn is known to make up many of his lines as he goes along, which makes the Janitor so unpredictable; who else in the history of TV catches squirrels, kills them, and stuffs them, so he has an undead squirrel army?

71: 24: Nina Myers (Sarah Clarke)
There aren’t many evil women out there, and I doubt anyone expected to see one emerge on 24. So when Nina came out at the end of season 1 as a baddie, everyone (and I mean absolutely everyone) was totally surprised by it. And as season 2 progresses, with her absence she took over the screen. People waited for her return, because now not only we knew she was a baddie, but Jack did too, and he wanted revenge. She did return, and she was totally evil. It was amazing how much menace Sarah Clarke could instil in her character. Every scene Nina was in, she seemed as if she could do anything, kill any character, cause no end of damage to Jack. Her unique brand of pure liquid evil elevated the show from a good one to a great one.

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