Sunday, March 28, 2010

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#1) Tony Soprano (Portrayed by James Gandolfini):

Makes sense that the best character on this list comes from the best television series ever, The Sopranos. If this pick came as a surprise to you, you're dumb. Tony Soprano is the only character to appear in every single episode of The Sopranos. Juggling all of the members of his crew, all of the enemies that pop up every season, and the wire tappers in the FBI, Tony Soprano has a tough life. It's no wonder that he suffers panic attacks every so often. Here's the difficulty with this final post on this list: if you've never seen The Sopranos, how do I convince you that he is the best character of the past 10 years (and probably ever)? 1] He curb stomps someones face. 2] He murders a former mobster turned rat in Waterville, Me. 3] He bangs strippers and Russian whores and one legged women, among many others. 4] He murders one of his best friends while having the shits from bad Indian food. 5] He shoots a certain someone in the face with a shotgun. These are just 5 instances out of 100s that I could mention, but it's not worth spoiling things for people who haven't seen this incredible series. You could write 20 page papers on how great his therapy sessions are with Dr. Jennifer Melfi (my PSN handle). You could write 50 page papers about the epicness of his arguments with his cunt wife Carmela. I'm on my 4th time through watching the entire series right now, and every time I click play I still become excited enough to have to change my underwear. Let's just say I've gone through a lot of pairs since Tony first graced the credits of The Sopranos, driving home into New Jersey, puffing on that huge cigar for the first time.

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#2) Nate Fisher (Portrayed by Peter Krause):

Arguably the main character of the second greatest drama in the history of television, Six Feet Under, Nate Fisher is the oldest Fisher son who originally didn't want anything to do with Fisher and Son's Funeral Home, but eventually came around and realized how beneficial emotionally being a funeral director can be. Part of why Nate is such a great character is that he is living each moment like it could be his last, due to the fact that he has arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a potentially fatal brain condition that causes seizures and strokes. If any show and character can teach you valuable lessons about accepting death, it's this show and this character. Another reason why he is entertaining is his numerous relationships with women throughout the run of the series. He always thinks things though logically, and he also has some epic fights with his on again-off again slut girlfriend Brenda. To bring it back to my main point, though, this show is about Death. Dealing with it, accepting it, and realizing that no matter what path you take in life, we all end up in the same place: Heaven, if you accept Jesus as your savior. Just kidding: I mean we all end up six feet under ground (well, unless you get cremated. Or your body is dismembered or never found. Or you drown and sink to the murky depths. Or...).

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#3) Walter White (Portrayed by Bryan Cranston):

Star of the best series on Television right now, Breaking Bad, Walter is a high school chemistry teacher who turns to cooking Meth when he gets diagnosed with terminal lung cancer (to provide money for his family when he dies). Safe to say, things don't go quite as planned. 2-time Emmy Award Winner Bryan Cranston is far from playing Malcolm's dad in this show: he kills, lies, and steals his way onto the radar of various drug dealers and DEA agents (including his Brother-in-law, played by the hilariously great Dean Norris). The show is unflinching and unforgiving, as is Cranston's performance as Walter. Breaking bad refers to Walter turning a 180 from honorable teacher, husband and father to hard-assed (literally and figuratively, as you can see from the picture above) Iron Chef of America's Meth. The show is ultimately about Walter and Jesse's moral choices: is making Meth to provide for your family any less "wrong" than making Meth under other circumstances? Even if it means people dying? Even if it means your family finding out? With Season 3 just beginning, I can't wait to see what Walter has in store for us viewers in the next few weeks. Above all, everyone has a little Walter in them; given the right opportunity, we all might break bad.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#4) Larry David (Portrayed by Larry David):

I'll be the first to admit that I enjoy Curb Your Enthusiasm more than Seinfeld. Although only winning once, the series has been nominated for dozens of awards, including 30 Emmys. Obviously, the series stars Larry David as a fictional version of Larry David (although I'm not so sure that the real life Larry David doesn't actually act pretty much the same [except a bit tamer]) getting into amazingly hilarious, neurotic, candid, awkward conversations and situations. Most of the show is improv--Larry just writes out the Plot and intersecting events. Each episode has an arc that ends with an incident (a sometimes predictable incident, although that doesn't make it any less funny) that pertains to an event that has happened earlier in the episode. There's really no point to talk about any specific episodes, only because there are over 30 or 40 that are so funny they make me giggle like a 10 year old school girl. Part of the reason of of why Larry is so funny is the interaction with the other characters, particularly Jeff, Susie, Cheryl, Richard Lewis and Marty Funkhouser. Whether Larry is listening to Porno Gil talk about sticking Tobasco Sauce up his ass to keep a boner, listening to Susie call him a sick fuck, or adopting a black family post-Katrina, his reactions are always priceless. Jeff Garlin recently said in an interview that Larry is working on Season 8, and I think that is prettttyyyyy pretttttyyyyy prettttty pretty good.

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#5) Titus Pullo (Portrayed by Ray Stevenson):

Although Rome only lasted on HBO for two seasons, the first season in particular (and especially the character of Titus Pullo) left a great impression on me. This is how T.V. should fucking be. The basis for this character is the actual Roman soldier of the same name, although the similarities don't overlap very much. Pullo is one of the most badass characters to grace this list: if you want proof, then just watch the awe-inspiring gladiator scene near the end of Season 1 where Pullo proceeds to decapitate some douche with his own shield and then fend off some big, bad, motherfuckers. He is also cool because he says the word "Cunny" when giving sexual advise, for example: "When you couple with her, there's a spot just above her cunny, it's like a little button. Now...attend to that button, and she will open a flower." Also: "That Gyppo Princess, now that's good cunny". See what I mean? He decapitates people, and says "Cunny" Wow. Rumor is that Rome is finally getting the attention it deserves and is being made into a feature film sometime in the near future. Let's all hope that Titus plays a main part, because HBO lost a lot of its orgasmic nature when it cancelled Rome (although the mojo will be back when A Game of Thrones premieres in Spring 2011), and it will be wonderful to see Pullo back on our television screens once again. My cunny's getting wet just thinking about it.

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#6) Eric Cartman (Voiced by Trey Parker):

Not only the best character on South Park, but also one of the most recognizable characters in all of television, Cartman is the son of a Hermaphroditic mother/father (as in his mom has both sexual organs and fucked herself to become pregnant). One of the most iconic animated characters of all time, Cartman is obviously foul-mouthed and says the most (awesome) politically incorrect things at all the most sensitive moments ever since the first South Park episode, "Cartman Gets An Anal Probe". Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park, actually named Cartman after a real friend that they had in high school, Matt Karpman, and he is also inspired by Archie Bunker. When speaking about the greatness of Cartman, it's impossible not to mention one of the most amazing half hours in all of television history, "Scott Tenorman Must Die" (Season 5, Episode 4): in this episode, Cartman brags to all of his friends that he has reached puberty, when if fact he just has bought pubes from a local 9th grader named Scott Tenorman. Feeling cheated out of $16.12, Cartman hatches a plan to get back at Scott Tenorman involving the band Radiohead, "Cancer...of the ass," and chili with bits and pieces of Scott's family inside. The episode is actually loosely based on Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, which involves a character tricking the mother of his daughter's rapists to eat her own two sons. I recently watched this episode and still came 12 times in 30 minutes, years after it was released. Screw you guys, I'm going home.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#7) Dexter Morgan (Portrayed by Michael C. Hall):

He's the Serial Killer but also the hero/protagonist of the story?? OMG what a novel idea!!!! LMFAO!!!!! But seriously, folks, I figure most anyone who is bothering reading this list knows this show is a great one. I thought the series had grown a little but stale (but still good) after Season 3 had ended, but Season 4 totally brought the show back to its roots (=greatness). Michael C. Hall is a goddamned treasure to behold when it comes to his characterization of the serial killer / family man, particularly if you are familiar with his work on Six Feet Under, the second greatest television drama of all time. Above all, Dexter has one major characteristic that most all of the characters on this list have (Dexter even more so): we can relate to them. I mean really, who hasn't wanted to murder someone through interesting and cruel devices of torture and power and watch them take their last breath and last blink of the eye as they gurgle, choking to death on their own blood, reliving their last moment on earth and realizing how futile life is, all while feeling the sharp metal edge of a blade through the skin, muscle and fat on their chest, their heart trying to continue beating but having trouble because the end of a knife is jammed into one of the ventricles, while probably voiding their last meals into their already piss-soaked trousers, the stench of shit suddenly thick in the air.

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#8) Jimmy McNulty (Portrayed by Dominic West):

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#9) Christopher Moltisanti (Portrayed by Michael Imperioli):

Chrissy is a great character in the greatest television series of all time, The Sopranos. Tony's "Nephew", you could call Christopher Tony's second-hand man, as Tony tries to help Christopher throughout a lot of the run of The Sopranos. Although Christopher occasionally feels belittled in Tony's (or any higher up's) presence, he is a loyal follower and even states that Tony is the man he'll "go to Hell for". Christopher commits the first murder in the entire series of The Sopranos, yet part of the reason of why he is so lovable is because he is such a dumb fuck sometimes. He's always irresponsible and frequently late to meetings and important get togethers. His frequent alcohol and drug abuse provide hilarious scenes, such as the dog incident, and Christopher has a huge pair of nuts on him that anyone wishes they could have a little bit of: for example, shooting the baker in the foot for taking too long (a nod to Goodfellas where his character gets shot in the foot) and some of the amazing things he says in the face of immediate danger, and his apologies to Tony when he royally fucks up. Now that the show is years over, I still miss the moments when he messes up and has to face Tony: "I'm sorry, T", he would say, looking like the sad sack of shit that he is, waiting for that one more chance to make it big.

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#10) Vic Mackey (Portrayed by Michael Chiklis):

On Bravo's show about the 100 greatest television characters of all time, they described Vic Mackey as a cross between Hannibal Lecter and Dirty Harry. Vic thinks that all of the crimes he commits are for the overall moral good, even if that means adultry, assault and murder. This makes him an amazingly profound character throughout the series that is The Shield. He is like Tony Soprano in a lot of ways, in the sense that he is introspective in the crimes that he commits, yet as he falls deeper and deeper into the seedy nature of Los Angeles, he can't pull himself out. Some of his best scenes are when he is interacting with the captain of "the barn", David Aceveda. Their interactions and arguments provide wildly entertaining episodes and provide his character with classic quotes that I won't forget anytime soon.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#10 and a half) Omar Little (Portrayed by Michael K. Williams):

So, I'll be the first to admit that I totally fucked up. Epic internet fail on my part. With the listing of the characters and moving all of the order and numbers around, I realized that I had miscounted and got one ahead of myself in the numbers game. So, good news for all, this is now a list of the best 21 characters. Boo Ya!!! One more for your reading pleasure. Anyways: Omar is the fucking man. A lot of people say The Wire is the greatest, most realistic show to ever grace the screen of our tellys. I wouldn't go that far, but the show is great, and it wouldn't be nearly as great without this gay, badass black man. He pulls some epic stick-ups, jumps off buildings, seemingly vanishes into thin air, and avenges the death of his boyfriend: all while wielding a sawed-off shotgun and a trenchcoat. How sick is that shit? Again, sorry about the mix-up in the order, but as Omar would say: "It's all in the game though, right?"

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#11) Charlie Kelly (Portrayed by Charlie Day):

Hello, Charlie Kelly here, local business owner and cat enthusiast. Is your cat making too much noise all the time? Is your cat constantly stomping around driving you crazy? Is your cat clawing at your furniture? Think there’s no answer? You’re so stupid! There is! Kitten Mittons. Finally, there is an elegant, comfortable mitten for cats…. I couldn’t hear anything! Is your cat one-legged? Is your cat fat, skinny, or an in-between? That doesn’t matter! Cause one size fits all! Kitten Mittons! You’ll be smitten! So come on down to Paddy’s Pub. We’re the hoooooooommee of the original Kitten Mittons. Meeeeeeeeeeowwwww!

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#12) John Locke (Portrayed by Terry O'Quinn):

I know, I know. Another Lost character. This is the final one on this list, aka the best Lost character in my opinion. Lost is a show that has so many likable people; however, since there are so many, it's tough to rank them as high as the major characters on other great shows. Plus, the show is on ABC (a network), so Locke or Sawyer or Ben Linus never reach the plateau of badass proportions that other characters can do on stations that allow violence, nudity, vulgarity and general bad taste (HBO, Showtime). I won't give away any spoilers here, and although I think that Season 6 has gotten off to a slow and potentially stupid start, Terry O'Quinn deserves the Emmy for playing Locke the way he has thus far. And for those who say I should stop putting the Losties on this list, "Don't tell me what I can't do!"

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#13) Jason Stackhouse (Portrayed by Ryan Kwanten):

Jason Stackhouse, a lot like Andy Bellefleur, provides most of the comic relief in True Blood. This is comedy that we really, really need after listening to that bitchcunt Sookie whine about Bill's vampire penis or whatever she does. Plus (another reason why he is high on this list), Jason bangs anything with a pulse, which means his character provides us with the honor of staring at a pair of beautiful titties every now and then. I was a little worried for Jason's likability throughout the beginning of Season 2 when he joins the Fellowship of the Sun, a cult (like any religion) against Vampires. But he pulls through in the end, smartens up, and lays the smack down on those religious freaks. There's a war goin' on, and you're either on the dark side or the side of the light. And there ain't no in between.

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#14) Jesse Pinkman (Portrayed by Aaron Paul):

For those who haven't seen Breaking Bad, the show deals with a high school chemistry teacher (Walter White) who gets diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and decides to start cooking meth to save up a bunch of money for his family when he dies. Jesse Pinkman is a former student of Walter's, and is heavily involved in the local drug trade. Their combo is one of the best in television right now, and all of their interactions are absolutely priceless. Jesse handles the "street" (selling) part of their drug operation, although sometimes (i.e. almost always) Jesse royally fucks up something important and Walt has to come to the rescue. This is the best show on television right now, and I can't wait to see what antics these characters get into when Season 3 starts at the end of March. My guess is that they will get into some precarious situations in which they better call Saul.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#15) David Fisher (Portrayed by Michael C. Hall):

For anyone who watches Dexter and hasn't seen Michael C. Hall's work in Six Feet Under, put the first season in your Netflix queue right this moment; better yet, buy the whole Six Feet Under box set if you want to see one of the most powerful/emotional shows in the history of HBO, or even television. David Fisher is the gay co-owner of Fisher & Sons (and Diaz) in a show that revolves around the business of a funeral home and the paths of the characters invested financially, physically and emotionally in the family-owned business. This character couldn't be much different than Dexter, and watching Hall's range is a wonder to behold. The scenes between David and his brother Nate (who we will see on this list at a later date) are some of the best between brothers on T.V. Also, on a little side note, at the beginning of every Six Feet Under episode, somebody dies, sometimes in amazing and creative ways. Fisher and Sons business is Death, and business was damn good from 2001-2005.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Top 20 Television Characters of the Past 10 Years

#16) James "Sawyer" [LaFleur] Ford (Portrayed by Josh Holloway):

Sawyer has one of the greatest character arcs of Lost in recent memory. When the show was on its first legs, he was shown as sarcastic and was the biggest asshole on the show, hogging all of the spare supplies of the crashed plane to bribe the other crashed passengers. However, it's been great entertainment to watch him become the big 'ol lug that we all love. Even Josh Holloway realized he was one of the biggest dicks on television. When he and his wife moved to Hawaii to film Season 1, he told his wife not to bother to unpack their boxes because he thought he would be killed off fairly quickly. Luckily for him (and for us), ABC realized the potential in his character. Here's to a satisfying final season, Freckles.