In giant ensemble cast TV shows, there are a whole bunch of character archetypes you find. Each one has a specific way they make you feel, and few have mastered to make the audience root for them at all times.
This is a list of characters you might call “fan favorites,” and I aim to find out exactly why that is. They’re the “good guys” even if they do very bad things.
Read the whole list below:
Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones)
I’ll start with Tyrion because I think he exemplifies everything I’m talking about with this list. Though he’s not the strongest warrior, his quick wit has won over many on the show, and also legions of viewers in the audience. Despite being a wretched Lannister, you always, always want things to go Tyrion’s way. That doesn’t always happen, but I’d say out of the entire ensemble cast, he’s the singular character that everyone is rooting for above all others.
Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead)
The Walking Dead is starting to be a little bit overloaded with badasses from Rick to Michinne to now Tyrese, but one always stands out above the rest. Daryl wasn’t even a character in the comics, but it goes to show how the TV show can actually do a few things better by creating beloved characters like this out a thin air. He’s a bad boy with a heart of gold (and a crossbow) and he’s become the unlikely hero of the show for many. Even the mere mention that he might possibly be killed off someday sends fans into a rabid frenzy. And who can blame them?
Chibbs (Sons of Anarchy)
I would say that this one is the least obvious on the list, but when I really went through the entire cast of Sons of Anarchy, there was only one character who you’re never actively rooting against. Jax and Clay have done their share of horrifying shit. Juice was a mole, Bobby started the Otto drama, Tig is a psychopath (spoilers) and Opie was demolished by constant tragedy until he died. But Chibbs? Chibbs is the one constant that you really can’t find any fault with. He’s loyal, and has a badass scar (which is real, incidentally), what more do you need?
Richard Harrow (Boardwalk Empire)
I’ve previously criticized Boardwalk Empire as a show with no one to root for. For the first two seasons, both main characters, Nucky Thompson and Jimmy Darmody, were just intensely unlikable. But then there’s Richard. The war veteran with half a face would be likable enough for his propensity to care for women and children, but being the most badass gunslinger on the entire show certainly helps his case as well. You always want him to survive the carnage that’s onscreen every week, and so far, he always does.
Jesse Pinkman (Breaking Bad)
This is one that took a while to develop. When the show first started, Jesse was an annoying thug who became an even more annoying junkie as time has gone on. But in recent seasons where Walt has slowly shifted into the bad guy, Jesse has become the hero of the show, the one you want to survive when the dust settles. He’s not a “good guy” by any means, but he’s the one we’re cheering for now that Walt is practically the devil himself. Hopefully Pinkman comes out unscathed by the end, but as this is Breaking Bad, you never know.