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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.

Continue reading Best of 2014: Characters

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Episode of the Week: January 12th-18th

This week in television, Emily blackmailed Daniel into staying married to her on Revenge, concerns about vote rigging arose on The Good Wife, Castle learned that blood doesn’t make you family on Castle, Barney got slapped on How I Met Your Mother, the Mills sisters were awesome on Sleepy Hollow, Jude blamed himself for Callie running away and broke everyone’s heart on The Fosters, Jake and Amy went on the worst date on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jess tried to bond with Coach on New Girl, Danny called his father on The Mindy Project, Kate learns how to punish kids from Diane on Trophy Wife, Casey continued to struggle from the aftermath of his injury on Chicago Fire, Antonio’s son was brought home safely on Chicago PD, Suburgatory returned and the Altman’s decided to stay in Chatswin, Pierce wants Troy to sail around the world then inherit Pierce’s fortune on Community, Ben was horrible at pranks on Parks and Recreation, Carrie found her killer instinct and learned Sebastian didn’t have one on The Carrie Diaries, and Enlisted showed us that empathy is not a negative trait for men.

This week, two sitcoms really stood out in my mind and I think both are deserving of the title of Episode of the Week. First, Enlisted really demonstrated how much potential this show has by the way it deals with the character of Randy. Randy loves being a soldier but he is terrible at it. He has a hard time turning his empathy off and it makes things like target practice difficult when your target has a family and backstory. I was sad when his brother Derrick broke that part of him in order to pass the marksmanship test until the show made Derrick regret what he had done. Randy is an enthusiastic, deeply caring character and the show doesn’t judge him negatively for that. His commanding officer instead commends him for that and tells Derrick that the Army needs more people like Randy to help the families left behind when someone is deployed. It was a beautiful message to send and made me really wish this show had better ratings.

This was also the week of the best Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode to date. Coming off its Golden Globe win, this episode (which would have been the last one had the episode order not been extended) provided a nice callback to Peralta and Santiago’s bet from the pilot and gave us some hilarious moments from Boyle and Captain Holt.

I love that a potential romance between Peralta and Santiago hasn’t been the focus of the series but I enjoyed seeing what that potential romance could look like if it happened in the future. The worst fake date was so detailed and I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see more of it because Santiago’s reactions would have been hilarious but I loved the scene on the roof that we did get even more. There’s a possibility of something interesting happening with these two characters. Their fake break-up leading to the arrest was so well done and showed how well these two characters can work together. I wouldn’t want them to date any time soon but I would like more interactions like the ones in this episode in the future.

All that being said, however, this episode was made by Captain Holt with an assist from Boyle. Holt faking a text message to get away from Sergeant Jefford’s wife was the funniest thing I saw on TV this week. It wouldn’t have worked nearly as well if Boyle hadn’t tried the same thing earlier in the episode and it just had me cracking up.