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Best of 2014: Characters

When I look back at this year in television, what I most want to remember is how it affected me. I want to know what I loved or what impressed me and why and that’s exactly what this list and the ones that will be coming out over the next couple weeks set out to document. There is no formula for choosing what went on the list. Nothing here is objective, nor would I want it to be even it were somehow possible to objectively quantify an opinion. It will not look like anyone else’s list, though there will undoubtedly be similarities, and that’s a good thing. So enjoy my picks for my favorite/the best in television of 2014 according to me and please share yours in the comments below.

In any given year, there are a lot of characters I love. I admittedly have a tendency to love the emotionally guarded woman who is learning how to open herself up to love and happiness and this is the year many of those women did that in amazing ways. It was great year for so many of my favorites and the actors who brought them to life. There may have been better, more interesting, or more original characters on TV (if one can quantify characters in that way) but these are the 10 who touched my heart the most.

Kelly Severide (Chicago Fire) Kelly has always been one of my favorite characters but this year (this fall, in particular) has made me love him even more. Thanks to my years of TV watching, I had a horrible suspicion that both Severide and Shay wouldn’t make it out of the events of the s2 finale alive. Their friendship has been one of my favorite things about the show since it started and I was devastated to learn that my suspicions were correct. I watched him grieve for his best friend and turn into kind of a disaster for a few weeks only to wind up marrying a girl in Vegas who he barely knew and managing to turn it into something positive. He’s hurt and grown and has come out stronger. He and Casey have finally gotten their friendship back to where it should be and I have a feeling he’ll continue to be Casey’s support system through his problems with Dawson. If I can’t have his friendship was Shay on the show, I’ll take his friendship with Casey as a backup.

Abbie Mills (Sleepy Hollow) Sleepy Hollow may have fallen apart a bit in season 2 but Abbie Mills is still the best part of the show. She remains fiercely dedicated to her role as Witness, whatever that may entail. Need someone to stay behind in Purgatory so Katrina can do the magic needed to stop an Apocalypse? Abbie volunteers. Katrina needs a second person to help her do magic? Abbie steps up. Sheriff Corbin’s son needs saving? Abbie never gives up on him. She is loyal and true and a fighter and that’s why I love her. The episode where she and Jenny were briefly reunited with their mother and able to learn more about their family’s history was easily the best of the season because the focus was where it should be – on this incredible character and her role in fighting this war.

Emma Swan (Once Upon a Time) What a year it has been for her as a character and all of us as fans. We got more backstory about her heartbreaking past, we saw her be afraid and fall back on her instinct to run away and survive on her own, we saw her open herself up and find not only a home with her son and parents, but a dashing pirate who loves her, and a new friend who understands her. She’s growing and trying to be her best self and letting people help her along the way. It has been so incredibly rewarding to watch her allow herself to be vulnerable, especially as someone who struggles with that herself, and I can’t wait to see her continued growth and relationships with everyone in her life in 2015.

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Why You Should Watch Sleepy Hollow

Happy 4th of July to all my fellow Americans out there! I hope you are all enjoying your day off work and will be enjoying some good food and fireworks at some point today. In honor of the holiday, I thought I’d give a little love to a show that features a character in the modern world who experienced a fictionalized version of the American Revolution – Sleepy Hollow.

This show probably shouldn’t work as well as it does. It’s rooted in a religiously-based, supernatural retelling of the American Revolution but it takes place in modern times. The mythology can be convoluted and characters are often more connected than they probably should be (unless you’re an OUaT fan, in which case connections between all the characters come as no surprise). But it does and a large part of that is because of the wonderful chemistry between Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison.

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Season Finale Review: Sleepy Hollow

Renewal Status: Renewed

Season Thoughts: I love this show. I love the blend of prophecy and history and the world they have created. I love Orlando Jones and his enthusiasm over the show and being a fan. I love the adorable press pictures that Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie have taken. More than anything else, I love the characters and their relationships. Ichabod and Abbie’s relationship has been at the forefront of the season and it has been a joy to see how quickly their bond cemented and to watch it grow even deeper. I’ve loved seeing Abbie and Jenny reconnecting after all these years and all the secrets and hurt between them. I never grew quite as fond of the relationship between Ichabod and Katrina but learning about their past helped a little with that.

Over the course of the season, this show has made me both laugh and cry while keeping me entertained. I can’t ask for much more than that.

Finale Thoughts: This show. That was one of the more ridiculously gripping endings to a season that I’ve seen in a while. I did not see either of the twists with the Second Horseman coming at all.

This episode reaffirmed why Abbie Mills is one of my favorite characters on TV right now. Moloch has taken so much from her – he took her sister, he took her mentor, and now he’s taken her away from her sister and partner again. Yet she keeps fighting. Nicole Beharie did such a fantastic job in this episode. You could see her trying to fight off the worry that she’d be left alone again by Ichabod saving Katrina and it made my heart ache. But when she thought that they needed Katrina to prevent the Second Horseman from rising, she didn’t hesitate to sacrifice herself. She realized that she’s not alone any more and because of that, she was ready to take on Moloch. She trusted in Jenny and in Ichabod’s connection with her and even in Katrina’s promise.

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Episode of the Week: November 3rd-9th

Once again, it was another great week of TV.  Taye Diggs made a memorable appearance on New Girl and the show welcomed back Coach, Diane Lockhart had her heart broken by Peter passing her over for the Supreme Court and broke all of our hearts in the process, Caitlin Fitzgerald and Allison Janney shone on Masters of Sex, and Adam Lambert reminded me just how much I love his voice on Glee.

While there were probably “better” episodes of TV this week from a critical standpoint, none made me as happy as this week’s episode of Sleepy Hollow. I even watched it twice, which is something I very rarely do.

The baseball scene was utter perfection. Abbie explaining to Ichabod what she loved about baseball told us so much about her character. She values the comfort of consistancy, recognizes the importance of partnership (a key theme in the episode), and believes that opportunities should be available for anyone without discrimination. On top of that, it was just a hilarious scene. My smile was just as big as Abbie’s was when Ichabod started yelling at the umpire. It was a nice way to start the episode and shows how close Ichabod and Abbie have become.

The partnership between Ichabod and Abbie is my favorite part of the show. I love that Abbie explained to Jenny why he’s so important to her and I love that her connection with him was strong enough that the Sin Eater could use her to find him. They are meant to be in each other’s lives, in whatever capacity that happens to be in the future. They are soul mates, though only time will tell whether it ends up as a platonic or romantic relationship. Either way, they are two people who need each other and are better because of the other and that is a type of relationship that I love to see.

It was an episode that made me happy and extremely emotional to watch and some weeks, that means more to me than anything else. I think the plot of the show is interesting but it’s the connection between characters that keeps me coming back. I’d like to see Katrina and Abbie interact more in future episodes because even with the backstory, I’m still not as interested in her as I think I should be. I also need more of Irving in the future, partly because I like him as a character and partly because Orlando Jones is a particularly awesome individual.