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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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Best of 2013: Characters

This was an amazing year for television. There were so many great shows, both new and returning, all filled with great characters, moments, and episodes. I couldn’t narrow down my favorites into just one “Best of” post, so this will be the first of a series of posts about my favorite things in television this year.

These characters are the ones who grabbed my heart the most this year. They may not be the best characters on their show or the most talked about, but they were the ones I loved the most. So, in no particular order, I give you my Top 10 characters of 2013!

Jaime Lannister (Game of Thrones) Season 3 belonged to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and his portrayal of Jaime Lannister’s progression from the Kingslayer who pushed Bran out of a window into an incredibly complex character who is rediscovering his honor. The scene with Brienne in the bath of Harrenhal provided so much backstory and character development for him. He was placed in an incredibly difficult situation – torn between protecting his king, his father, and the people of Kings Landing – and he became despised for the choice he made. It was his first time he had explained himself and in doing so, showed the kind of man he had been. His journey to become that man again has been one of the most rewarding stories on TV for me this year.

Diane Lockhart (The Good Wife) I want to be Diane Lockhart when I grow up. She is smart, dedicated, and incredibly strong. I am still mad at Peter for passing her over for the Supreme Court nomination because she has earned it and I know she would be an incredible judge. Christine Baranski did a beautifully heartbreaking job portraying Diane’s devastation at losing that opportunity. I am so happy that she decided to marry Kurt, despite everyone’s protests over his political views. She did what made her happy and didn’t let anyone dissuade her and I find that inspiring. As a bonus, she was also responsible for one of my favorite comedic scenes of the season. Her reaction to Kalinda asking her about writing The Vampire Diaries fanfiction and to Damon and Elena’s sexual activities cracked me up and continues to make me smile to think about.

Ben Wyatt (Parks and Recreation) Ben Wyatt is my favorite male character on TV right now. Whether he’s reciting beautiful vows to Leslie, being concerned that Andy doesn’t know that Hogwarts isn’t real, or coming up with ridiculous board games, he consistently makes me happy. He is a loving and nerdy human being and I love him for it.

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