I watch a lot of television, I know, and there are a lot of great characters out there – and great actors who play them and get crazy recognition for their work. But what about the characters we often overlook because they fit so seamlessly into a show’s fabric? Here’s a list of eight characters I think deserve more!
1. Cary Agos – The Good Wife
I love Cary. Would totally marry him (maybe some of that love transferred over from Gilmore Girls, but I don’t care). He was introduced to the audience as Alicia’s foil in the firm (they had to fight it out for a position at Lockhart Gardner). Over the course of that first season, we came to see that Cary had a heart under that tough exterior that was vying for a job. He’s firmly embedded in the show’s core now, but he still seems to be overlooked, both by the firm and by the show’s writers. I’m excited to see what this upcoming season brings, because it looks like it’ll have a good, meaty storyline for Mr. Agos.
2. Winston – New Girl
Nick Miller gets all the love, Schmidt gets all the laughs… but what about Jess’ third roommate? Winston, the unlucky former basketball player, gets stuck with weird girlfriends and an inability to pull off a prank. I’m patiently waiting for the day when he gets to go from being the guy that loves baths to the guy who brings way more awesome to the table. He’s so silly, but so, so sweet. Winston, come live at my house!
3. Ann Perkins – Parks and Recreation
Ann Perkins, the calm in a storm of crazy. Is she still working at the hospital? Do we even care? This is what I mean. Poor Ann. She’s Leslie’s best friend, so she’s there for all of the freak outs and waffle binges and platonic flirting. She wants to have a baby so bad that she’s willing to ask her ex-boyfriend for a donation. I LOVE Ann and I love her deadpan reactions to the camera. I love her “feud” with April. I especially love that she can always get Ron Swanson to do as he’s told with her stern nurse voice. I love her awkwardness when trying to date. Basically, I would love to see more Ann.
4. Ted Mosby – How I Met Your Mother
I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say that the lead character can’t be underrated. Well, that’s easy. Look at his group of friends – they are all super awesome. The Barnstormer and RoRo. Lilypad and Marshmallow. It’s easy for a guy to get overlooked. It’s even easier when he’s the lone wolf in a pack of partnered off friends. Ugh, remember the red cowboy boots? Ted, what are you doing? Maybe now that we’re headed into the final season and we’ve seen the mother, things will buck up for Ted.
5. Penny – The Big Bang Theory
Penny wasn’t always underrated; she used to be the best part of the show. But when Amy Farrah Fowler and Bernadette joined the group (and brought the funny), poor Penny had to share the spotlight. Don’t get me wrong – she still has the best one liners on the show, but I feel like her life and storyline have both stalled. I love when the three girls gather to talk (complain) about the boys or go on road trips to Disney. And I love when Penny tries to help Sheldon. Maybe this season, she’ll be able to steal back some of that spotlight.
6. Shirley Bennett – Community
Shirley always cracks me up. Why does she always have her purse? Does she ever go anywhere without it? Will she ever run out of snappy comebacks? Jeff and Britta seem to get all the attention with their wit, Abed and Troy soak up the silly. Annie is just Annie. Don’t get me started on Dean Pelton. But Shirley… girl knows where it’s at. Don’t get her mad, though. I especially love when she chooses to show everyone just how awesome she really is underneath her quiet exterior. Shirley, can we be BFFs? You can say “That’s nice” whenever you want.
7. Dr. Webber – Grey’s Anatomy
I know, I know – I secretly love all the characters on Grey’s. I can’t help it. But behind Mer/Der, Calzona, Crowen, Jackson/April, Karev/Jo and Bailey (and Ben), there’s Dr. Webber. He’s been running that hospital since before you were born! He’s been working there since before that! I feel like Dr. Webber is the glue to that place – it literally would not run without him, even though he’s not the Chief anymore (I still call him the Chief, though). He often gets overlooked in the middle of all that romantic drama, but he sees everything and he knows everything. He takes young doctors under his wing and pulls them along. He’s like everybody’s pseudo-dad! Dr. Webber is the best. Now here’s hoping he’s still breathing!
8. Arlene Fowler – True Blood
Arlene does the best under-her-breath insulting the world has ever seen. She has a comeback for everything. I would watch a whole show dedicated to her and Lafayette, even though they kind of hate each other. No, especially because they kind of hate each other. With the giant cast True Blood has, Arlene doesn’t always get a lot of screen time, but when she does, she makes it count. Granted, she is a little bit self-righteous, but it is the South. And we’d all probably freak out if vampires were suddenly real, too.
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