AOL recently published an article that listed a handful of characters they felt were holding some of their favorite shows back. While I agreed with some and thought they were too generous by keeping it to such a short list, I like to keep this a more positive place, so I have been inspired to consider the opposite. Who are the characters I never expected to love as much as I do-- the ones that take a show from being a nine (you know, verging on perfect) and actually push it over the edge with their uniqueness, creativity, and believability?
Eli Gold (Alan Cumming on The Good Wife). When he took Alicia's phone at the end of the last season and deleted a Very Important Voicemail, the shipper in me resolved to hate him forever. But as this season has gone on, the show realized in order to justify keeping around such an immense talent, they had to find a side of him to which the audience would respond, and perhaps even relate. By having him go up against the sneaky little minx-like wannabe girlfriend of Zach's, it was a start, but he really started to come around when we got to see who he really was, outside of the context of Alicia's personal life, and we learned he really isn't all work and no play. His softer side is sweet and all, but it is the dichotomy of it with his snark that really makes him fun to watch.
Julia (Christine Woods on Perfect Couples). She seemed like she was going to be pretty run-of-the-mill as far as characters in stable relationships go. After all, she and her on-screen counterpart were the "normal" couple of the bunch, and often that means playing the straight man (or woman). But from the moment we saw her get all flustered when a guy at the gym was flirting with her, we realized her comedic chops were golden and would be the little gems that pop up from the unknown, at unexpected times. Though the series may prove to be short-lived, she is certainly going to go down as a highlight.
Liam Hennessey (Billy Lush on The Chicago Code). He's seemingly dirty in more than one sense of the word, a kid from the wrong side of the tracks fallen in with a bad crowd. But from the first episode we learned that's actually not true: there is much more to him than meets the eye. He's not only one of the good guys, but he's one of the most complex guys. He is stretched in multiple directions, testing his allegiance, and at times, his own morality. And in the process, he's learning a lot about the politics not only of the job but also of life.
Dutch (Michael Rosenbaum on Breaking In). From the short but immensely sweet cameo in the pilot, it was instantaneously decided that he was one of the most interesting characters on the network, let alone in this new show. His look alone was enough to catch your eyes, especially if you better know him from his villainous role on a little CW superhero show, but his genuine free-spirited ways lent itself well to the overall credibility of the quirkiness of the show. He stole his simple scene and left viewers wanting more, and you really can't ask for anything more than that, right?
Lip (Jeremy Allen White on Shameless). His "nothing gets to him" attitude at first made him seem like he just didn't care about anything, but as we looked a little deeper we realized he really was, a bit miraculously, somehow just that easy-going. He wasn't just a slacker or a stoner; he was a sensitive, smart kid, taking in the world, observing everything around him, and making some very calculated decisions about how to go about his life. He cared about his family and never ran from his obligations, and he quickly proved he does, in fact, have what it takes to be the man of the house.