Feb 22 2013

Five Characters I Want To See Killed Off in Non-Violent Shows

Published by at 12:00 pm under Lists,Television

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I’ve written about characters I’ve wanted killed off shows before, and was planning on doing an updated list today. But that just seemed too easy. What if I could only select from non-violent shows that would probably never actually kill any main characters off?

Well, that got a bit harder. Turns out, every hour-long drama on the air that I like is in fact quite violent, be it The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Game of Throne, Sons of Anarchy, hell, even The Following. So, I was left with the half hour comedies I watch, and uh, Mad Men I guess.

But that’s not a problem. Many of these are in need of a good cast cleansing, and there always seems to be one character that doesn’t quite fit. Except on Parks and Recreation, that cast is perfect.

Here we go:

Andy Bernard (The Office)

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Andy used to be something special in The Office. Way back in season three when the two Dunder Mifflin branches merged, he was the lone survivor as Michael Scott slowly drove everyone else away. He suffered through a relationship with Angela, then had a rather nice one with Erin, but ever since he became boss his character has gone to hell. He’s a more dickish, less funny version of Michael, and not in a well-written David Brent sort of way. He’s just an ass, and the show had him go off on a three month long boat trip during the middle of the season where he was supposed to take over, what’s that about? I assume he (Ed Helms) was shooting a movie or something, but it ruined his character and now I just want him gone. Though with this being the last season, I suppose everyone will be gone soon enough.

Manny (Modern Family)

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Starting out by wishing death on a child might be a bit harsh, but Manny is far and away one of the most annoying, pointless characters on TV right now. His “old man in a kid’s body” shtick got old after a few episodes, and a few years later? It’s downright unbearable. NO KID ACTS LIKE THAT. I get that this is a comedy full of exaggerated archetypes, but Manny is a bridge too far. His poetry reading, shoes shopping, fedora wearing-self needs to go. If the show suddenly came back next year with a tall skinny normal-acting Latino kid that was an entirely new actor, I totally wouldn’t blame them if they pulled the “he went through puberty” card to make that happen. Also, don’t get me started on “New Lily.” Old Lily was bad enough.

Winston (New Girl)

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I’ve spoken before about why Winston is bringing down the otherwise rather great cast of New Girl, but it’s only gotten worse since I first wrote about it. Take this week’s episode. Jess, Nick and Schmidt all try to work through the new awkwardness in the apartment after Jess and Nick kissed, while Winston runs around town screaming for a condom so he can have sex with an Asian girl. It’s just one example, but in episode after episode Winston is always off on his own tangent, star of his own subplot that almost never has anything to do with anything else that’s happening. And he’s just not as good of a character as the other three to boot, and I really think the show needs a change going forward.

Shirley (Community)

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Characters don’t necessarily have to be overtly annoying or grating in order to make this list; they can be superfluous as well. Tell me, in four years now, what has Shirley done on Community? 1) Been a stereotype of a judgmental Christian 2) Had a baby that’s no longer talked about 3) Opened a sandwich shop. That’s it, or at least all I can remember. I suppose not everyone can stand out in a show full of such great characters, but she doesn’t seem to have a purpose, and is often just window dressing. Some may have assumed I’d put Pierce here, but he’s actually pretty funny, despite Chevy Chase’s public disdain for the role. But can you name me more than one or two good Shirley quotes? It’s pretty tough.

Everyone (Girls)

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Alright, so I’m being facetious, as I don’t hate Girls and wouldn’t really kill off EVERYONE thus forcing the show off the air. But collectively, this is the cast on TV with the most people you love to hate. Or hate to hate, I can’t be sure. I get that this is supposed to be about a “lost generation,” of which I am a member, but if we’re in this bad of shape, I fear for the future. Nearly every character on the show, guy or girl, seems to have some deep seated psychological issues that more often than not, make them intensely dislikable people. Ray is on the verge of hanging himself when he’s not yelling at random people. Shoshanna is about to have a nervous breakdown with each new line of dialogue. Jessa is manic depressive while Marnie is a narcissist who both treats and is treated like shit by guys. Adam might be a serial killer and Hannah has such a low opinion of herself that she might not even mind being a victim. It’s all just so much…wrongness, sometimes you just want to do away with the whole cast and bring in some likable people. We’ve gone from city living fun in NYC with Friends to this tragically comic collection of characters meant to convince their audience that at least they have their shit together more than these people.

 





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12 responses so far

  • JB

    totally agree with this list. Except I love new lily. Call the wambulance. Haha. I could see how some would find her annoying though.

  • dolaction

    All are good choices but you forgot about the entire cast of Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men.

  • He who shall not be named

    I am going take a wild guess that you do not have kids.

    The kids on that show are clearly characters written by people with kids or the script editor has them. I enjoy those kids on Modern Family, and waahhmbulance was hilarious.

    Just because you have not experienced a kid like Manny does not mean that he does not exist. He does. This show is a great release from the frustration you have from watching a kid not be a kid. Growing up too fast is not always a bad thing, sometimes it is simply aggravating.

  • Gil

    Andy, completely agree. I wished his character got thorn in foreign jail, or lost at sea, or something where he never came back. And when he did, I wished he was immediately fired, but no.

    Manny, I’m a bit more tolerant but I still prefer the episodes where he has a background role with no more than a 30 second chunk of screen time.

    Winston, I think he’s funny when he is involved in the main plot of the episode but other than that I hardly notice when he’s around.

    Shirley, I agree that she’s underdeveloped compared to most of the other characters but I thought it was great when she turned out to be a foosball pro to help out Winger. I like the idea that she might have some secret bad-a$$ skills that she hides behind her matronly persona.

    Girls, don’t know, don’t watch.

  • DaveyJ

    Shirley is kinda like Pierce in the sense that she’s not really used that much, she seems to be less part of the core. However, I don’t think the character deserves to be in the list, Shirley might be underdeveloped compared to the other characters but she still had her moments. She wasn’t just a stereotypical christian but sometimes also a badass black woman. That baby that doesn’t come back isn’t a bad thing. I just read a review of the last Community episode, that saids that the idea of relationships wasn’t that appealing for the show, at least according to Dan Harmon, so even though there were some romances they didn’t focus the stories on it, like bring it back everytime. Now in season 4 they do with Britta and Troy though. Not bringing back the baby falls uder that philosophy I think, that Community wouldn’t be as good when they would bring back family every time. We’ve seen Shirley’s kids, we know about the baby. The show also hardly deals with the lives of the characters outside the school.

  • DaveyJ

    Shirley is kinda like Pierce in the sense that she’s not really used that much, she seems to be less part of the core. However, I don’t think the character deserves to be in the list, Shirley might be underdeveloped compared to the other characters but she still had her moments. She wasn’t just a stereotypical christian but sometimes also a badass black woman. That baby that doesn’t come back isn’t a bad thing. I just read a review of the last Community episode, that saids that the idea of relationships wasn’t that appealing for the show, at least according to Dan Harmon, so even though there were some romances they didn’t focus the stories on it, like bring it back everytime. Now in season 4 they do with Britta and Troy though. Not bringing back the baby falls uder that philosophy I think, that Community wouldn’t be as good when they would bring back family every time. We’ve seen Shirley’s kids, we know about the baby. The show also hardly deals with the lives of the characters outside the school.

  • clattenburger

    I can see what you’re saying with Shirley and Andy, and I don’t watch Girls or The New Girl, but I love Manny. That kids hilarious in my books, him and Jay can fill up half an episode and I wouldn’t mind.

  • LEM

    The only show on the list I’ve watched is “New Girl” and you’re right about Winston. He’s a pointless addition to an otherwise good cast and I wish ABC would have cancelled “Happy Endings” last year instead of what I’m guessing will be this year because Damon Wayans Jr. was funnier in the pilot of “New Girl” than whoever that actor is has been thus far.
    As far as “Girls” goes I just think HBO would have been better off keeping “How to make it in America” on the air. It showcased NYC and judging from your review had a better cast of characters plus who wouldn’t trade a topless Lena Dunham for a topless Lake Bell?

  • Draugr

    Manny needs to die, everyone else i can live with.

  • Corben

    I really would have liked to see Ann Perkins (Parks and Rec) on this list. She doesn’t seem to fit into the show and we are constantly having her forced on us. This latest sperm donor bit is a nuisance that reminds me of all the reasons we don’t need that character.

  • Dilly

    “I don’t want my baby’s first memory to be Star-Burns” -Shirley

    And if you had to get rid of one of the Girls, please make it the fat one that’s always naked. Certified boner killer.

  • lucy2

    I’m on board with most of these, except Winston. I like him anyway, but him singing the Wicked soundtrack in the car was enough to earn him a few more seasons.
    As much as I like Yvette, I do kind of agree on Shirley. Given the life of her character (2 kids and a baby – how does she have time to do all the stuff the group does?) she doesn’t seem to fit in.

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