Thursday, December 17, 2009

Who are your favorite TV characters of 09? And would you like a shiny new prize?

Rather than do a "Best of 2009" TV list at the end of the year, I usually assemble my thoughts on boob-tube excellence as part of a wish list to coincide with the release of the Emmy nominations. (You can find links to my last Emmy round up here). However, as the year draws to a close, I have put together a list of my Favorite TV Characters from the past 12 months. And, to make it fun for you, I'll turn my list into a pseudo-puzzle and actually offer a fabulous prize to you, dear blog reader, as a thank you for your patronage of TNRLM in 2009.

So how does this work? Glad you asked.
  • Sometime this weekend (most likely Saturday morning), I'll publish the list of my Favorite TV Characters of 2009. The list will be numbered, and the characters will be represented (only) by a close cropped image of the actor in character. (The list won't be a "ranking" with character #1 being my favorite of the year, but rather numbered just to make it easier for the contest).
  • Your job will be to identify the character (NOT the actor, and NOT the show) from the photo.
  • The first reader to send me an email correctly identifying all the characters will win a prize.
  • The prize will an iTunes episode from one of the shows in which any of the characters on my list appears. (You choose the show and the episode, and the particular episode doesn't necessarily have to be from 2009. For example, if one of my favorite characters is John Locke, you could choose "Walkabout" from Lost's first season).

Simple enough? Here are a few further caveats:

  • I'm going to limit myself to one character per show. Obviously, this will force a few Sophie's choices. For example, using the aforementioned Lost example, how on earth could I choose between Locke, Sawyer, Juliet, Ben and Faraday? Yet, to keep things simple, I will. So if you determine that one of the characters from the list is John Locke, rest assured that you won't see any other Losties on the list.
  • The characters listed will have to have been part of the regular cast, listed in the credits, and not a guest star. So even though we all love Alpha and Whiskey from Dollhouse, they're not eligible for this particular exercise.
  • The characters have to be from an episode that originally aired in calendar year 2009.
  • I'll publish the list and contest here on the blog and simultaneously tweet a link to the post. So no matter how you usually get here (casual reading, twitter, RSS reader, etc.) you'll have the same opportunity to play.
  • You'll need a valid email address. Obviously, if I'm going to give the winner iTunes TV goodies, I'll have to send you a link to pick up your prize. (Don't worry, the email won't be used for sending you solicitations for Nigerian banking scams or male-enhancement prescriptions).
  • The winner will be determined by the first email, as time stamped by Google Mail, to arrive in my inbox correctly identifying all the characters.
  • I decided to make the submissions by email, rather than by comments posted on the blog itself, so that partial or incorrect submissions wouldn't give "hints" or "a leg up" to subsequent entries.
  • The submissions can be sent to the email address on the side of this blog: TNRLMeditor(at)
  • Enter as many times as you like!

That should all be pretty clear. However, if you have questions, feel free to leave 'em in the comments below.

Also, note that I said that my list will be "favorite," not necessarily "best." There's no doubt that Hugh Laurie gives a technically proficient, Emmy-worthy performance week in and week out, but would House be one of my favorite characters of the year? Not necessarily.

So, to get us started, who are some of YOUR Favorite TV Characters of 2009?


  1. What a great idea for a contest! I'll definitely be playing along.

    My favorite character for 2009 is Walter Bishop. I've really gotten into "Fringe" this year, and he's just awesome in every single scene.

    Oh, and I like that tall skinny fellow in the blue box on "Doctor Who."

  2. Wow - you're WAY more ambitious than I am. I'm not sure I could pick only one favorite from the year. That's like asking me to pick only one DVR to keep.

  3. One of my favorite characters right now is Patrick Jane, the Menatalist. When I first saw the previews for this show I thought is was going to be a rip off of one of my favorite shows, Psych. Patrick Jane makes it some much more than that. He plays against type and gives a fresh spin to the police procedureal. I love his wit, his straight foward attitude and his caustic sense of humor.