40 of the Most Interesting Characters and TV Shows of All Time

By: Lilli Keeve | Published: Aug 19, 2022

There was a time when many believed that television was a lower kind of art than film. A lot has changed, and many critics are asserting that television is now in its prime. While there are more excellent series than ever before, the best television shows have been around for a while. This is excellent news for those who are in the mood for a walk down memory lane.

There are many legendary personalities and unforgettable moments in TV shows. No matter how they were received at first, some TV series have had a profound effect that can still be felt to this day. There are TV characters who steal the show, whether they are the lead or a supporting player. These characters had the charm to enchant the world, and below, we celebrate the best of them.

Jack Bauer

There is no one more lethal and committed to his country than Jack Bauer, whether he is working for CTU or acting independently. Jack had a difficult television life and frequently lost people who were important to him. But when it came to protecting his coworkers, friends, and family members, he could be cruel and vicious.

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When fighting, he mostly employed the Krav Maga style. The Israel Defense Forces developed this technique for self-defense. It mixes a number of moves from Karate, Judo, Aikido, boxing, and wrestling.

Tyrion Lannister

In terms of intelligence and wit, Lannister more than made up for any physical deficiencies he may have had. He appears to be one of the few devoted and kind characters in this popular series. “The Imp” is appealing without a doubt, and if you ever find yourself in Westeros, it would be advantageous to get him on your side.

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Tyrion actually knows how to perform gymnastics, which is a quality that is almost completely overlooked in the HBO series’ depiction of him. In the Game of Thrones books, Tyrion actually lands in front of Jon Snow after flipping from a roof.

Omar Little

Who said evil people couldn’t be cool? Probably those who have never seen Omar Little in action. He routinely robs low-level drug dealers and is a legendary figure in The Wire. He is renowned in Baltimore for his distinctive duster, which he uses to conceal weapons and a bulletproof vest.

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This character had a lot of complexity, so even though we knew Omar’s story was not going to be a particularly happy one, there were times when we couldn’t help but cheer for him.

Tony Soprano

Being an Italian-American Mafia member, Soprano runs his North Jersey crime family with an iron fist, especially later in the series. Tony is a capo and the acting underboss for the ill DiMeo criminal family.

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Tony was a really cool customer, especially considering how he lived his life. Would you be that chill if you knew you could be attacked at any moment? Tony lived a life that was far from morally upright, and his relationships with his relatives, both close and distant, were rocky. However, Tony was generally caring and devoted to the people who worked for him.

Barney Stinson

Barney is renowned for his outspoken, cunning, and opinionated nature. He is a womanizer who enjoys whisky, laser tag, and pricey suits. The character uses tricks from his “playbook” to assist him in picking up women.

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In later seasons of How I Met Your Mother, he engages in a few committed relationships before getting married, divorcing, and having a child from a one-night fling with an anonymous lady. He then remarries the same woman. Barney can be quite a dog with women, but he is very devoted to his friends and secretly longs to be loved.

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Walter White

This guy likewise had many shortcomings, but we did have a soft spot for him because his criminal pursuit of manufacturing meth was all about providing for his family. Nobody anticipated that a former chemistry instructor who becomes a meth-making crime boss could become one of TV’s most compelling characters.

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One of the most potent and nuanced performances in the lengthy history of television was Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of Walter “Heisenberg” White. His millions of fans merely wanted to see him flourish, despite the fact that almost everything he did was motivated by illicit goals.

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Sherlock Holmes

Over the years, Sherlock Holmes has appeared in countless works on the page, on the silver screen, on the stage, and in other media. It would take a particularly remarkable interpretation to push the classic figure back to the forefront of popular culture, and Benedict Cumberbatch gives precisely such a rock-solid performance as the eminent detective in the now-famous Sherlock.

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Sherlock has an advantage in keeping people’s attention because of the almost-film-like quality of the prolonged episodes. However, there’s no denying the fact that there’s something special about Cumberbatch’s take on the classic character.

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Sheldon Cooper

One of the most eccentric TV characters ever dreamed up is Sheldon Cooper. On the acclaimed television program The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon was a standout figure among his awkward buddies, Leonard, Raj, and Howard. Despite being a proud nerd and scientist, he lacks the ability to recognize when someone is expressing typical human emotions such as sarcasm or comedy.

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Sheldon is indeed incredibly intelligent, but because of this, he finds it difficult to interact with less intelligent characters on the program. Thankfully, he has a solid support system of pals by his side at all times.

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Michael Scott

The “World’s Best Boss” mug that is displayed on Michael’s desk was a self-purchase. He is regarded as the funniest TV personality ever made. He starts out as the boss we all hope we’ll never have, but after watching a few episodes, we strangely find ourselves wishing he were our boss.

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No one could possibly be so stupid, naive, and desperate to be liked, yet so willing to go above and above to help his staff and business. Millions have been enthralled by his amusing scenes throughout the show.

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Dexter Morgan

Working for the imaginary Miami-Metro Police Department is Dexter, a forensic blood spatter analyst. He kills those who have escaped punishment as a vigilante serial killer in his spare time. Factoring in the number of blood slides he saved and the victims he failed to document, Dexter had about 134 victims.

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Moreover, you can always count on his dark humor. Every season has a “Big Bad” for Dexter to get enmeshed with, and there is always an intriguing dynamic between Dexter and the villain.

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Don Draper

Don Draper is one of the most intriguing and talked-about characters of all time due to his heady mix of mystery, haughtiness, forthrightness, and charisma. The haircut, the suit, and the overall “look” that Don Draper projects are all pure class. We will never tire of watching him light up a cigarette or down an old-fashioned or three.

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He is a guy who loves the ladies, as we are all aware. The women he’s drawn to can be hedonists, professors, or stewardesses. He does, however, change over the course of the seasons, particularly during the fourth season when he is constantly drunk.

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Arya Stark

One of the strongest character arcs in the entire GoT series belongs to Arya Stark, who developed into one of the show’s most dangerous characters. Arya was a young tomboy who wanted to learn how to become a soldier and had no desire to be a lady when the series began.

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This was exceedingly unusual for a girl born into a noble family, and it was easy to understand how it put Arya at odds with her relatives and many other characters in the series.

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Rachel Green

Rachel Green is a pop-culture classic, and throughout the course of ten seasons of Friends, she continually shone as an excellent character thanks to her style, clever comebacks, and character development.

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The spoiled nature and naivety of Rachel at the beginning of the series can be irritating, but as she goes through amazing character growth, that just serves to highlight how fantastic of a character she is. With a child and a maturity level above the other gang members, she moves from an inexperienced coffee server to a successful member of the world of fashion.

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Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys’ vision was embraced by a significant portion of the Game of Thrones fandom before her sense of reason degraded. She was a standout addition to the Game of Thrones lineup thanks to her friendship with the dragons that have long been connected with her lineage.

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All three of Daenerys’ dragons bear the names of the closest men to her. Named for her husband Khal Drogo, her largest dragon is Drogon. She honored her brother Viserys by naming the red and gold dragon Viserion. Her green dragon, Rhaegal, is named after Rhaegar, her other brother.

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Penny Hofstadter

Penny had some surprisingly interesting growth for a sitcom character. She transformed from a struggling waitress attempting to break into the acting business to a confident pharmaceutical sales representative. Penny was finally able to pay off her debts and was making a comfortable living thanks to the support of her friends.

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Penny also understood that she and Leonard might end up being more than just friends in the future. Despite all of this development, viewers weren’t so impressed by her new passion for drinking wine in later seasons.

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Saul Goodman

The founding partner of Saul Goodman & Associates frequently has to choose between representing trustworthy clients and dangerous ones because of his propensity to get too close to criminals. And he has no problem winning lawsuits by employing illegal methods.

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He quickly progresses from a conman to a famous lawyer after working as a mailroom clerk. He frequently finds himself in all kinds of settings, from heated courtroom deliberations to shootouts in the middle of the desert, and this ensures he is a constant source of captivating narratives.

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Seinfeld’s Kramer

Kramer’s shenanigans were frequently explained as the product of the character’s random good fortune. Kramer is a lucky and free-spirited individual. He constantly sees life from a bohemian perspective and always offers the craziest interpretation of the scenario and the surrounding circumstances.

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Live audiences had to be warned to stop cheering whenever Kramer entered a scene due to the character’s enormous popularity. Particularly during the latter seasons, it got so bad that Kramer’s entrances interfered with the timing of other actors on stage.

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Jesse Pinkman

Jesse Pinkman initially seemed like character viewers would have a hard time liking. He was a loud-mouthed drug dealer who always seemed to make things worse. To the amazement of many fans, however, he evolved into a person they wanted to succeed in life and have a happy ending.

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Jesse was on a path of redemption as Walt continued on his downward spiral. He was an unexpectedly kind man who especially guarded children. He became a tragic character who viewers were always rooting for after witnessing the suffering he endured during the course of the series.

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April Ludgate

April Ludgate, like many other characters on Parks and Rec, had a big personality from the start. She was, nevertheless, given time to develop as a person. She was significantly elevated from a one-note character by her friendship with Andy and her experience as Leslie’s protégé.

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But those oddball facets of April were consistently some of the funniest parts of the show. April offered a tremendous dark sense of humor, from her complete lack of interest in her profession to her taunting of Jerry.

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Liz Lemon

The focal point of all the mishaps that occur during 30 Rock is Liz Lemon, the overworked, constantly-eating chief writer and founder of TGS. Liz is a typical modern individual who enjoys a small amount of success while actively attempting to stay away from conflict.

 

 

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However, she frequently experiences problems in her personal life, and her professional life seesaws from bad to worse. Working with Jack Donaghy allows Liz to be more dynamic than she normally would be because of his unique brand of unrestricted reality.

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Gregory House

The American television medical drama, House, centers on Dr. Gregory House, a brilliant physician who supervises a group of diagnosticians at the fictional Princeton-Plainsboro University Hospital in New Jersey. The eight-season television series premiered on the Fox network in November 2004.

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Robert Sean Leonard, who plays Wilson on the show, claimed that House and his character were initially intended to collaborate in a similar way to how Holmes and Watson do. In his opinion, House’s diagnostic team took over the Watson function. However, the names House and Wilson remain as a subtle reference to Holmes and Watson.

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Sons of Anarchy

In the fictional Central Valley town of Charming, California, an outlaw motorcycle club runs a daily operation that is the subject of the 2008 American crime drama television series Sons of Anarchy. The 92-episode, seven-season show premiered on September 3, 2008.

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In addition to serving as a consultant for the show, the producers also hired Oakland Hell’s Angel David Labrava to portray one of the gang members. Over the course of its six-year run, Sons of Anarchy received five nominations for Emmy Awards.

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Frasier Crane

Cheers, one of the best sitcoms ever made, ended its 11-year run in 1993. It would have been accurate to claim that TV would never see success on that scale again, but Kelsey Grammer ensured that it did.

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When the eighth season of Cheers came to an end, Kelsey (who played psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on the program) struck a deal with the producers for a new show. When the time came to say goodbye to the bar where everybody knows your name, Frasier Crane made a comeback!

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The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is a post-apocalyptic horror television show produced in the United States that is based on the Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard comic book series. It centers on a group of survivors who are fighting for their lives while being relentlessly pursued by “walkers,” or flesh-eating zombies.

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The Walking Dead had its premiere on October 31, 2010, and the popular show went on for ten seasons and 146 episodes. Did you know that Daryl Dixon, one of the show’s most beloved characters, was made especially for TV? The comic books don’t contain him.

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Curb Your Enthusiasm

On October 15, 2000, HBO began airing Larry David’s sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm. David stars in the show as a loosely autobiographical version of himself. It chronicles his life as a semi-retired TV writer and producer in Los Angeles (and for one season, New York City) as he gets into all kinds of problems with his pals and complete strangers.

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Over the course of its ten seasons and 100 episodes, the program garnered numerous accolades from the entertainment world, including the Golden Globe Award for Best TV Series in 2002.

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Peaky Blinders

Tommy Shelby, a gang boss from Birmingham, is the focus of the show, which also explores the extent he will go to in order to create a company that is unlike any other. On September 12, 2013, the show made its debut. There were five seasons with a total of 30 episodes.

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The Peaky Blinders group allegedly carried razor blades in their caps to use as weapons, which is the basis for the show’s entire premise and namesake. They stitched razor blades inside their peaky caps so that when they headbutted someone, it would blind them.

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The Cast of Friends

Friends is a sitcom that centers on the lives of six friends who reside in Manhattan, New York. The program ran for ten extremely popular seasons. Friends became one of the most watched television programs of all time after receiving positive reviews for each season, numerous industry accolades, and widespread popularity across the globe.

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The series Friends is known for its humor and sarcasm, yet each episode essentially concludes with a lesson in life. The most crucial of these is to constantly rely on your friends and to stop worrying so much about what other people think.

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We Were All Lost

Lost is a 2004 American drama series featuring 121 episodes spanning six seasons. The program centers on a group of survivors who are left alone when their plane crashes in the South Pacific on an unknown island. Both science fiction and supernatural themes are present.

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Critics frequently laud Lost as one of the finest television shows of all time, and it has garnered innumerable accolades from the industry. Julie Carlson, the casting director for the show’s extras, revealed that for the character Aaron in season four, 13 newborns were used.

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The Iconic Seinfeld

Seinfeld is an American sitcom that aired from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998, on NBC. It featured 180 episodes across its nine seasons. The show centers on Jerry Seinfeld and three of his pals, and it features Seinfeld as a fictitious version of himself.

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The fictional version of Jerry Seinfeld we see in the show resides in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Many critics agree that Seinfeld was one of the most influential sitcoms of all time. Indeed, many people who don’t care much for standup comedy still loved Seinfeld.

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Game of Thrones

One of the most popular fantasy drama programs ever to air in America was Game of Thrones. With 73 episodes spread across eight seasons, HBO aired the first ever episode on April 17, 2011.

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The fictional television series was based on George R.R. Martin’s fantasy novel series, which cycled through various stories and character arcs. Critics lauded the show for its nuanced characters, detailed plot, fine acting, and high production qualities. With 58 Primetime Emmy Awards to its credit, GoT also holds the record for most Emmys ever won by a dramatic series.

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Breaking Bad

To secure his family’s financial life before he passes away, Walter White – a low-paid, overqualified, and disheartened high-school chemistry teacher who has recently been diagnosed with stage-three lung cancer – decides to turn to a life of crime. He starts working with a former student to produce and distribute crystal meth while avoiding the perils of the criminal underworld.

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With 62 episodes spread across five seasons, Breaking Bad is frequently recognized as one of the best television shows of all time and has garnered countless industry honors.

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The Sopranos

Tony Soprano, an Italian-American mobster with links to New Jersey, is the focus of the storyline, which explores the challenges he encounters in juggling his obligations to his family and his position as the boss of a criminal enterprise. He and psychiatrist Jennifer Melfi discuss these in their treatment sessions.

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The Sopranos premiered on HBO and ran for six seasons, with a total of 86 episodes. It has been honored with 21 Primetime Emmy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, and other accolades. It’s no wonder the multi-award-winning series is regarded as one of the best television programs of all time.

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Orange Is the New Black

Orange Is the New Black is a Netflix original comedy-drama series produced in the United States by Jenji Kohan. The show is based on Piper Kerman’s 2010 memoir, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, which details her experiences at a minimum-security federal prison.

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The seven-season run of Orange Is the New Black (which ended on July 26, 2019) was notably broad in its scope. It had a huge impact and will be remembered as one of the first truly original programs in the brand-new streaming format.

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Wild, Wild Westworld

Westworld is a neo-Western, dystopian sci-fi television series produced in the United States. The narrative opens in Westworld, a made-up, high-tech theme park with a Wild West theme that is populated by android “hosts.” The park caters to wealthy visitors who are free to engage in their wildest desires without worrying about punishment from the hosts.

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The first season of Westworld had the highest viewership of any HBO original series. The first season of the show received rave reviews from critics who applauded the acting, direction, storyline, themes, and musical score.

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The Beauty of Baywatch

Baywatch starred Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff and was the most watched American television program of all time. It was broadcast in 142 nations at its height. Surprisingly, after making its premiere in 1989, Baywatch was canceled after only one season.

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The show was revived as a syndicated series in 1991 when Hasselhoff and his partners purchased the rights to it. Because of its success abroad, Baywatch was given a second shot at success. In 2001, the program was canceled for good. Nevertheless, it helped Hasselhoff become one of the most well-known American figures in the world.

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The Ghost Whisperer

In the American supernatural television program Ghost Whisperer, Melinda Gordon, who has the gift of seeing and speaking with spirits, is portrayed as a medium just trying to live a normal life. Melinda helps earthbound spirits overcome their issues and leave the darkness, or the spirit world, so “living a normal life” isn’t that easy.

 

 

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On top of the already challenging nature of her work, Melinda battles with individuals who push her away and do not acknowledge her gift. Furthermore, she must use the cues at hand to decipher the spirits’ wants and assist them. The ghosts she deals with are always mysterious and sometimes even dangerous.

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Meredith Grey

The fictitious title character of the medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy is Meredith Grey. The main character and protagonist of the show, Meredith, began as a medical intern at the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital. She later rose through the ranks to become a surgical resident, an attending, and, in 2016, the Chief of General Surgery.

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Meredith, who is the daughter of renowned surgeon Ellis Grey, struggles to balance motherhood, friendships with her coworkers, the demands of her competitive job, and her relationship with Derek Shepherd, the man she had a one-night stand with before they got married.

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Jon Snow

The fictional character Jon Snow is played by English actor Kit Harington in the epic television adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire. In the books, he serves as a crucial point of view character. In Game of Thrones, he is so much more.

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He is listed as one of the author’s best inventions by The New York Times. A major character in the TV show, Jon’s plot in the season five finale received positive reviews from audiences and critics alike. Fans of the books and the TV show frequently speculate about the character’s parents, and this remains a hot topic of conversation.

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Derek Shepherd

A fictional physician from the ABC medical program Grey’s Anatomy, many people know Derek Christopher Shepherd by his nickname – “McDreamy.” Derek was blissfully married to Meredith Grey – his lifelong lover and wife – before he passed away in 2015. Together, the couple has three kids.

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Shepherd was once Seattle Grace Mercy West’s Chief of Surgery, but after a shooting in season seven, he abruptly left the position. For his portrayal of the role, Dempsey received nominations at the 2006 and 2007 Golden Globe Awards for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series Drama.

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Harvey Specter

Harvey Specter may be arrogant, brash, and willing to go to any length to succeed, but that doesn’t mean he’s willing to compromise his high moral standards. His young protege Mike Ross is there to confront the scotch-drinking, smooth-talking mystic when he occasionally gets too close to the edge.

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We are talking, of course, about the hit TV show Suits. Harvey has that troubled but whip-smart thing going on, but the success of Suits comes from the interplay between the characters. Not to spoil anything, but the back-and-forth exchanges between Harvey and Donna are excellent, and Harvey always seems smugly pleased to put Louis in his place.

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