Top 100 TV Characters of All-Time: Series Three

80. Sam Weir – Freaks and Geeks

Played by: John Francis Daley
Wanna watch?: Thank goodness for Shout! Factory fighting to get this series put on DVD despite the music rights issues. Without their persistence, none of us would be able to get our hands on this underrated series.

  • If you didn’t pick up on it from the title, Freaks and Geeks centers on a family with two siblings, Lindsay and her younger brother, Sam who are categorized into the high school social groups of “freak” and “geek” respectively. However, Sam never really came off as a geek to me – he was just a nice, mostly soft-spoken, undersized for his age kid. Of course, in high school those traits unfortunately lend themselves to being bullied. Honestly, Sam earned this spot on my list by just being so lovable. He’s the kind of kid every parent hopes for and was an incredibly loyal friend and brother. Just thinking about him in his powder blue “Parisian night suit” makes me want to hug the next geek I see.

79. Roland “Prez” Prybylewski – The Wire

Played by: Jim True-Frost
Wanna watch?: I believe BET is airing edited versions of The Wire. If you wanna watch the real deal, you’ll have to buy the DVD set.

  • Despite Prezbo being very intelligent, he was never really cut out to be a detective. He was too kind-hearted for the cruel realities of the Baltimore streets, which led him to become a middle school teacher. I never really had any strong feelings about Jim’s character until he became a teacher in season 4. Seeing him care about those kids so much and helping to give them an alternative to the street life was very endearing to me. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of nice guys, and out of a cast containing upwards of 50 characters, Prez was the sweetest.

78. Earl Hickey – My Name is Earl

Played by: Jason Lee
Wanna watch?: My Name is Earl is in syndication all over the place and all 4 seasons are available on DVD.

  • Earl was a low class criminal turned do-gooder after learning about karma from Carson Daly. In order to get karma working for him, Earl made a list of all the people he’d wronged and vowed to atone for his transgressions. Everyone loves a good comeback story and I loved getting to see Earl’s story unfold. Sure, he had his set backs, but at heart, Earl was a good guy. He loved his brother, Randy, and his parents. He cared for his conniving ex-wife, Joy and was great friends with the man his ex left him for, Darnell (see #83). I was sad to see this show get canceled unexpectedly.. I agree that the writing had gone downhill, but the moral fiber of this show was a nice change from the drivel that’s all over the networks nowadays.
    Best line, possibly ever: “I don’t have a gambling problem, I’m winning. That’s like saying Michael Jordan has a basketball problem.. or Def Leppard has an awesomeness problem.”

77. Bobby Singer – Supernatural

Played by: Jim Beaver
Wanna watch?: Supernatural just ended season 5 on the CW, but can be seen in syndication on TNT. Also, seasons 1 – 4 are currently available on DVD.

  • When it comes to supernatural hunters, Bobby is one of the best. Much like Jim Beaver, when we first met Bobby on Supernatural, I didn’t really think he’d stick around for too long. But, here we are at the end of season 5, and Bobby has become a major player in this whole defending-against-the-apocalypse  thing. After the death of John, Bobby became more than a well-trained friend to Sam and Dean, he’s become a surrogate dad to the boys. Bobby is that rational, reliable guy that our heroes depend on. Honestly, as good as Sam and Dean are, they’d both be dead right now if it weren’t for Bobby.
    If there’s something strange in the neighborhood, who ya gonna call? Bobby Singer!

76. Kenneth Parcell – 30 Rock

Played by: Jack McBrayer
Wanna watch?: 30 Rock is between seasons, but re-runs are airing Thursdays on NBC. Seasons 1 – 3 are available on DVD. There is no set release date for season 4 currently.

  • Who couldn’t love Kenneth? He’s the happiest, nicest, most naive guy on the planet. Watching Kenneth is like eating cupcake while sitting on a rainbow.. hugging a bunny.

75. Abed Nadir – Community

Played by: Danny Pudi
Wanna watch?: Community just finished their first season on NBC and has been picked up for a second season. No word yet on when season 1 will be released on DVD.

  • If Community ever gets canceled, I’m demanding an Abed and Troy spinoff! Abed is one of the funniest new characters on TV, and his relationship with Don Glover’s Troy character is quickly becoming one of my favorite TV friendships. I love that Abed can find a movie or TV connection to every situation in the show, which has not only been effective for his character, but has really made the show more interesting as a whole.
    Here’s hoping that Community keeps up it’s quality and Abed gives us more mafia related storylines next season.

74. Lindsay Weir – Freaks and Geeks

Played by: Linda Cardellini
Wanna watch?: Thank goodness for Shout! Factory fighting to get this series put on DVD despite the music rights issues. Without their persistence, none of us would be able to get our hands on this underrated series.

  • As mentioned in her brother’s write-up (see #80), Lindsay represents the “freak” clique of Freaks and Geeks. While her freak cohorts tended to have rocky pasts and dysfunctional families, Lindsay fell into the group in an attempt to find herself. What I liked about Lindsay though, is that she never lost her principle values. When things got out of control, Lindsay stood up for what she thought was right without worrying about what her new freak friends would think of her. In the end, they respected her for that.
    Even though Freaks and Geeks only ran for one season, it remains one of my favorite shows because of how well written the characters are. The series wasn’t a melodramatic as My So-Called Life or as far-fetched as Beverly Hills 90210, it really felt like high school no matter what social group you belonged to. Cheers to Lindsay for reminding us of our turbulent years, the good times and the bad.

73. Christopher Turk – Scrubs

Played by: Donald Faison
Wanna watch?: Scrubs is in syndication on about 500 different networks, so I’m sure if you looked for it, you could find it. However, if you’d like to buy the series on DVD, you may. They’re all available.

  • I don’t think about Scrubs too often these days, but there was about a two week span a few years ago that I spent every free moment watching the show. There are plenty of characters on the Scrubs that I really enjoy, but Turk seemed to be the most balanced of the group. He’s very logical, sweet and funny.. the perfect compliment to erratic J.D.. Man, I wish I had a “brown bear” just like him.

72. Chandler Bing – Friends

Played by: Matthew Perry
Wanna watch?: Another show that’s re-airing on every network imaginable and has every season available to purchase.

  • ..Or should I say, Mrs. Chanandler Bong? I know that you can’t really say any character on Friends was underrated, but I feel like if there was one, it’d be Chandler. I’m not quite sure why there aren’t more characters on TV with his sense of humor – so dry and sarcastic. I absolutely loved it. Plus, they did a great job at making him the perfect mesh of smart, nice guy who was kind of loser-ish and was still sort of a little boy trapped in a man’s body.. all of which made him endearing. Oh, I wish there were more men out there like Chandler Bing. “Whoa, short message!”

71. Will Smith – Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Played by: Will Smith
Wanna watch?:Fresh Prince airs on a few different networks, usually in the morning. If you wanna skip the hassle of finding it, you can buy all 6 seasons on DVD.

  • Dude, everyone loved them some Fresh Prince back in the day – black people, white people, old people, young people.. Will Smith was the man! He was so funny and charming and charismatic, but I never would’ve guessed that little Will Smith would’ve turned into an Oscar nominated actor. However, I think all of us will always kind of think of him as a poor kid from Philly who moved in with his aunt and uncle in Bel-Air.. I’m sure Phillip and Vivian are incredibly proud of the star he has become. (Yes, I get that Will Smith the actor and Will Smith the character are not the same people, but come on.. they’re pretty dang close.)
    Everyone together now.. “In west Philadelphia, born and raised..”

To be continued..

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