This is sort of a vague list. I’m not really sure what the qualifications were. And it seems wrong that 19 of my 25 favorite characters of the decade are from television shows. I obviously need to read more. But, for whatever reason, these are the ones that really stuck with me. Here are my 25 favorite characters of the decade:
25) Borat Sagdiyev (Da Ali G Show)
Frat guys turned Borat into this decade’s Austin Powers, and no one is really clamoring for Borat II at this point. But the character is brilliantly conceived and led Sacha Baron Cohen into comedic territory that he never could have reached as Ali G.
24) Brian Griffin (Family Guy)
Even I am sitting here thinking this is a strange, possibly unworthy, choice for this list. But I can’t stop laughing when they have Brian actually, you know, behave like a dog. Like when he is afraid of the vacuum cleaner, or uncontrollably wags his tail. A rare talking animal character that still, albeit rarely, acts like an animal.
23) Coach Eric Taylor (Friday Night Lights)
This character’s appeal is helped quite a bit by his relationship with his wife, but he’s on the list alone because he does just fine in the football scenes without her. Friday Night Lights seems to have learned from the mistakes of past shows (I’m thinking specifically of The O.C.): when you have a married couple that serves as a solid foundation upon which to build everything else, do not screw with it.