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)
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)
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)
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.
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.
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.