Yup, I’m gonna talk about guys, I know … Shocker! I don’t watch a lot of TV, but what makes me LOVE a television show is when I fall in love with the characters. Truthfully, this was originally going to be a list of both female and male characters, but out of fear of forgetting someone near and dear to my heart, it has been split by gender.
10. Crazy Steve/Spencer Shay
Let’s throw it back to Jerry Trainor’s roles in “Drake and Josh” and “iCarly.” Obviously “Drake and Josh” is a beloved favorite of many, but I can’t really say I ever particularly identified with either of the main characters. However, there’s a lot of Crazy Steve inside of me. Yes, behind this calm, level-headed façade is actually a mentally-unhinged man one wrong look away from screaming at you or throwing something into a wall.
I can’t talk about Jerry Trainor without mentioning his role as Spencer Shay in “iCarly.” Frankly, he is the show’s only redeeming quality. One of my most relatable moments is when Spencer is repairing his butter sculpture of himself and he says, “Don’t worry, Toasty. Soon you’ll be back and ‘butter’ than ever,” pauses in revulsion and says, “Thank God no one heard that.” Yeah, I’m definitely grateful that I am my only audience when I talk to myself. I feel you Spence.
9. Frank Underwood
Honestly Frank, I hate you. You are absolutely merciless and cold to the core.
I really hemmed and hawed about putting “House of Cards” character Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey on this list. Like I said, I hate him, but he’s such a compelling character that I couldn’t not write about him. Frank Underwood is one of the most menacing protagonists that I have ever observed, and the moments in which he addresses the viewer directly are downright chilling. I have enjoyed Spacey in other roles, but I commend him for his performance on this Netflix original series.
8. Steven Hyde
Another epic throwback, “That ‘70s Show” is something I can watch over and over again. I will always aspire to be chill as Steven Hyde, played by Danny Masterson, but I will refer you to character number 10 as to why that is in the realm of impossibility.
Squidward is my spirit animal. Voiced by Rodger Bumpass, he is an animated representation of Wrath, one of the seven deadly sins that I am definitely guilty of. My favorite part of my favorite episode is in “Band Geeks” when Squidward is warming up all the different sections and the percussionists’ sticks fly at him and pin him against the wall and he says, “Too bad that didn’t kill me.”
I was very upset when Coach, played by Damon Wayans Jr., left “New Girl.” Both times. My favorite thing about Coach is when he yells at people for crying. He really is being sympathetic and he truly believes that he can “coach” you out of being sad. Coach is the friend that’s always there to give you the kick in the ass you need.
5. Ross Geller
“Friends” was inevitably going to appear somewhere on this list and although Ross Geller, played by David Schwimmer, is not the funniest guy on the show, there is just something so pathetically loveable about him. Plus, he ends up with the hottest girl on the show so there’s hope for everyone.
He’s also a huge nerd, I am a huge nerd. His friends once asked him if he would rather give up sex or dinosaurs, and if you replaced dinosaurs with journalism, I would echo his silent reply.
4. Mark Sloan
Sorry Derek Shepherd, but I am definitely Team McSteamy. “Grey’s Anatomy” character Mark Sloan, played by Eric Dane, is immaculate. He is primed to perfection. He is sexy, charismatic and pretty much everything that would immediately capture my attention in a man.
I love his personality too, and his character is subtly complex. When we first meet Mark, he hides behind a façade of his only interest being sex, but there’s more to him than meets the eye.
I’m still mourning his death on the show after the plane crash and I don’t know if I’ll ever be over it.
3. Aaron Hotchner
“Criminal Minds” is hands-down my favorite show on television, and Aaron Hotchner, played by Thomas Gibson, has made me cry on multiple occasions. He is absurdly mentally strong, but he also shows this incredible vulnerability whenever his wife or his son is onscreen. Hotch’s loyalty is also unparalleled, there is no character or person I have met that will put himself between his team and a bullet like he does.
2. Adam Braverman
Adam Braverman, played by Peter Krause, is a pillar of morality. The producers of “Parenthood” and “Criminal Minds” should have a contest to see which one can make me cry more. This show is incredibly moving and I could write a novel about each of their characters, but it is almost as if Adam is without flaws. Despite his flawlessness, there is something so human about him that you forget you’ve probably never been mad at him throughout the course of the show. As a father, brother and son, Adam is simply unmatched.
1. Derek Morgan
I tried to avoid talking about more than one character from any one show, but making an exception for “Criminal Minds” feels justified, especially for Shemar Moore’s character Derek Morgan. He is the total package, with looks, athleticism, intelligence and a tireless work ethic. This character hits home very much for me, and it felt like a divorce when he left the show this past season, even given the understandable circumstances.
Derek Morgan had incredibly traumatic experiences as an adolescent and claims they had everything to do with making him who he is today. He an inspiring example of self-efficacy and the power of human will, and I will always look to him to remind me that scars show us where we’ve been, but they do not dictate where we’re going.