Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

CJ’s Best Characters of the Decade

Posted by CJ Cregg on December 14, 2009

Hugh Laurie as Gregory House

I use the same criteria as Mr. Feeny.  That is, when looking back, which characters will we remember in 20 or 40 years?  As a result, some of my personal favorite characters did not make the list.  I’ll write up my top 10 characters of all time when the insanity of finals are over.  Of course, my list here is colored by the shows I actually watched.  I have (brace yourselves) never seen an episode of The Sopranos, so even though I recognize that the show was a pretty big deal, I don’t feel justified adding a character from it to my list.  So here’s what I think are the most memorable characters of the 00s.

1) Jed Bartlet (The West Wing)-Bartlet for America, indeed.  A charismatic leader, principled person, and, at times, sarcastic snob.  Flawlessly portrayed by Martin Sheen, Jed Bartlet is the American president.  Prone to poetic monologues, Jed Bartlet is, however, undeniably human.  Viewers get to watch him struggle with tough issues and moral dilemmas from the realities of sending troops to war, hate crimes, and every other possible problem in between.  And this is the important part.  We get to see him struggle.  We understand his pain.

2) Jack Bauer (24)-This show is not in my regular viewing rotation.  Nonetheless, I remember working in the basement of my dorm (CRC what?) in college and constantly having to run away from that stupid ticking clock noise from 24.  In addition, Jack Bauer was constantly evoked in my political science classes when the subject of torture or harsh interrogation techniques came up, demonstrating that this character captured the imagination and interest of many young viewers.  I myself will tip my hat to Bauer and 24‘s writers for tackling difficult moral dilemmas.

3) Dr. Gregory House (House)House premiered in 2004 and has been going strong since then.  House’s severe and unconventional antics have made him famous in TVland, and Hugh Laurie is fantastic as the title character.  His struggles with illness and addiction make him a compelling person, and viewers are constantly waiting to see how far beneath House’s rough exterior they will be able to get.  Furthermore, wikipedia tells me that House was the most watched show in the world in 2008.  I think that justifies putting the best character from the show on my list.

4) John ‘J.D.’ Dorian (Scrubs)-OK, so Mr. Feeny is right that the ninth season of this show was just a really bad

Zach Braff as JD

idea.  But I find J.D. and most of his castmates touching and humorous throughout the previous eight seasons.  Premiering in 2001, Scrubs has been around for most of the 00s, making the main character an appropriate choice.  J.D.’s internal monologues, musings, failed relationships, and bro-mance with Turk make him a great character that has lasted throughout the decade.

5) Michael Scott (The Office)-Another show that isn’t on my weekly rotation, but the TV critic has to be cognizant of the fact that this is one of the most continuously popular shows on TV.  Mr Feeny does a better job of explaining everything that’s going on with this character, so I’ll just say that I think Steve Carell is funny.

I’m admittedly quite sad there are no women on my list.  Oh well.  What’s a girl to do?

But to restate, my personal list of favorite characters will look much different from this one.  You’ll have to wait to see that, though.

Honorable Mention

Barney Stinson (How I Met your Mother)

Coach Taylor (Friday Night Lights)

Hurley (Lost)

CJ Cregg (The West Wing)


7 Responses to “CJ’s Best Characters of the Decade”

  1. Christopher Moltisanti said

    Nice call on House. He just missed the cut for my list. If you’re going to put a Lost character in honorable mention it’s gotta be Jack or Locke, though.

    • Mr. Feeny said

      House also just missed my cut. Jack’s a terrible character…definitely give it to Locke or Ben.

      • Christopher Moltisanti said

        Are you insane? Jack is the best character on the show. He’s the tormented leader dealing with his own insecurities, the emotional abuse he endured from his father and his complete inability to be intimate with anyone. Still, like Jack Bauer, he always does what needs to be done, or, at least, what he thinks is right. But he’s still deeply flawed and makes a lot of mistakes. I think he’s the most realistic, fully developed character on that show. Looking back, the Jack episodes are going to be the classics from that show.

        Locke in seasons 1 and 2 was fantastic. He got boring after that episode at the marijuana farm. Ben is a cartoon character and really annoying.

      • CJ Cregg said

        You’re probably right that Jack or Locke will be the REMEMBERED character 20 or 40 years down the road.

        However, I agree with Mr. Feeny that Jack is one of my least favorite characters on television. I find him annoying. Just couldn’t bear to put him on the list (even if it was just the honorable mention list) for that reason.

        But this demonstrates we have different opinions on the show. Looking forward to discussing it more when it returns on TUESDAY, FEB 2, 2010.

      • Blu said

        Is there no love for Sayid?!?!?!
        Outside of Ben he is easily the most mysterious character in the bunch!

      • CJ Cregg said

        Sayid is one of my favorite characters. He made it onto a list I found of the “10 most badass characters of the decade.” Check it out here:

        Of course, Jack Bauer is #1.

  2. […] Now, this will be a brief list because most of these actors have been mentioned for their skill on my best characters of the decade list.  However, when I selected those to include on my character list, I selected characters that I […]

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