The end of the year brings so many things to mind. The holiday season, time with your love ones, resolutions and new beginnings, and most of all… Lists. For some reason, every event, every art form, every action and inaction must be quantified in some sort of list form.
Lists and rankings have become a staple of our society. College sports teams aren’t evaluated by their winning percentage, no they are ranked. We have had shows dedicated to lists, list dedicated to shows and every sort of ranking available. For some reason, we need to know what Snoop Dogg’s ten best video games are, or how the cast of Yes, Dear rank Led Zepplin Albums. It is important. But why?
Why do we need to rank things? Is it our national obsession with statistics? Must everything be quantified so as we can prove that U2s new album is better than REM’s new album because it ranked higher on The Hartford Bugles ten best? Who knows, and in the long runs, who cares.
The simple fact is, lists are fun.
Let’s face it. We want to know. We want our views to be justified, or we want to be outraged at something that was overlooked. It is fascinating. One thing people of all generations, creeds and colors can agree on is lists. The cool and hip know what’s hot. The nonconformist know what to avoid, and me, well, I can realize how much I am getting out of touch with the mainstream every year.
Yet, making a list is a tedious and often times dangerous process. The dangerous side is that, unless you are a credible source, creating a “Best of” list is a true act of pretension. Who are you to say that David Hasselholf is a bigger TV icon than ALF? Why are you qualified to make that distinction? Whenever you make a list, people are going to question your motives and assign you certain prejudices. How can you say that Robin Williams is a better comedian than Richard Pryor? What are you, a racist? Hey, there is only one women in your Top 10 Elvis Impersonators, what don’t you thing women are qualified to have bushy sideburns and sing Blue Suede Shoes.
Two huge list “specials” were on TV recently. Bravo had the top 100 TV characters and TVLand had the 100 Greatest TV moments. That must have been some undertaking. I wouldn’t want to be the guy who had to decide whether the South Tower collapsing was a bigger moment that the Moon Landing. So, of course, I had to watch to see who won out. Now, around my friends, I will decry watching crap TV filler junk like that, but at home, with my shades down, I am glued to the set. At tikes I would yell at the TV, other times I cheered, and once or twice I would say, “Who the heck is that?”
You see, lists are just fun.
So, I decided, it’s holiday time. Shouldn’t I have a list too? So I sat back, and thought. What kind of list would be great. Maybe I should do a top 10 on the best TV shows on DVD to provide my reader(s) with some Christmas selections. Yeah, I know that Entertainment Weekly just did that, but shouldn’t I too. Nah. So I struggled back in forth and finally decided on the perfect topic. So, here is my end of the year contribution to lists.
Bob’s Top 10 Favorite Characters Who Have Virtually No Chance Of Appearing On Anyone Else Top 10 List
This top ten list contains Bob’s ten Favorite TV characters, that either only appeared once on a show, or had a very limited role, yet he will remember than forever.
10. “Dumb” Donny DiMauro: Just Shoot Me
David Cross played Donny, Elliot’s brother who suffered a serious head injury after a fall out of a tree when he was 18. The only thing was, he never really suffered the injury. It was all an elaborate ruse to avoid any sort of responsibility, and to get away with his not so nice actions. He tricks Mia into agreeing to keep a secret, and reveals his huge secret to her in an attempt to woo her. But will anyone believe her? Well, it is a sitcom, so no.
9. Mr.Short Term Memory Saturday Night Live
I love when SNL hosts who have had multiple appearances on the show have their own reoccurring character. Tom Hank’s Mr. Short Term Memory is probably my favorite. Tom Hanks plays a man who cannot remember something, even if it happened just a few seconds earlier. Notable skits include our hero on a game show, with Tony Randall, and on a dinner date, where he is shocked when he finds some food has been placed in his mouth.
8. Andrew Brock: NewsRadio
Matthew Brock is excited because his identical twin brother is about to come visiting the station. Of course, this is sitcom standard, where the actor plays a duel role, right. At least you expect that until Jon Stewart walks out. Matthew of course tries to play all the twin tricks, mirror imaging and switching places, yet, the fact that his identical twin looks nothing like him doesn’t seem to sink in.
7. Ainsley Hayes: The West Wing
When some shows start slipping in the ratings they try all sort of stunts. One of the biggest is for a character to have a new kid. Well, in The West Wing, there stunt is, hire a Republican. A young, pretty one at that. Emily Proctor plays Ainsley Hays, who is smart, sassy Lawyer, who also seems to find herself in embarrassing situations. Her first meeting with the President occurs as she’s dancing around her office in a bathrobe singing show tunes. Later she mistakes a closet for a bathroom. This was one Republican who wasn’t stiff on camera.
6. Michael Dobson: : Law and Order
Larry Miller plays Michael Dobson, a funny, quick witted, quirky guy, who seems to have a problem. He keeps on killing his wife. Well, at least that is what the Laws and the Orders suspect, but they have a bit of trouble proving it. It seems that his wives always die while he’s away on a business trip, seemingly at the hands of someone not connected to him at all. On two separate episodes he matches wits against different L&O cops and ADA’s. Will justice ever be served?
5. Dr. Jong Lee: Alias
Whenever one of the super evil conspiracy groups need to get a little info from someone, who do they call on? Yep, it’s our Favorite Torturer, know by shows fans as that Sadistic Taiwanese Dentist Guy Like a Pavlovian episode, just seeing this man’s creepy grin will cause you to cringe. Yet, his sessions have become increasingly more dangerous for him. Some run ins with Sydney have left him in a wheel chair, and a recent encounter with Vaughn, well, let’s just say there was a mishap with some acid.
4. Frank Grimes: The Simpsons
Frank Grimes may just have been the worlds must unlucky guy. Yet, his luck seems to be on the rise. He finally has his degree in Nuclear Physics, and is hired at Springfields Nuclear Power Plant. Then, of course, he meets Homer. In probbaly the most unlucky occurence in his unlucky life, Homer decided he wants to be Frank Grimes friend, especailly since Grimer (as he liked to be called) just declared himself an enemy. One of the darkest, yet most hilarious episodes in The Simpsons history.
3. Ryan Chappell: 24
Paul Schultz plays Ryan Chappelle, one of your typically “The boss is a shmuck” characters. It seems his whole purpose is to get in the way of the renagade Jack Bauer, even though Jack gets results. Chappelle is a mediocre character at best, until season 3. What makes Chappelle such a memberal character is his demise. Maybe the best death of a character in a long, long time.
2. Joey Heric: The Practice
John Larroquestte’s Joey Heric’s character is probably the most intriguing character in the shows history. This manipulative sociopath always had a body laying on the floor with a knife sticking out of it, and was always ten steps a head of the police and his own lawyers. Whenever the show needed a kick in the pants, Joey Heric would show up, and you would just shake with anticipation about what may happen next.
1. Junior Bunk Homicide: Life on the Streets
Before he was saving lives on ER, or fighting Zombies on the big screen Meki Phifer played Junior Bunk on Homicide” LOTS. The Mahoney clan, under the leadership of Luther Mahoney was full of smart soldiers in Baltimore’s war on drugs. Junior wasn’t one of them. This guy was basically a dope. He was a wanna be gangster, without the hardness or smarts necessary, at least at first. Junior eventually transforms into that street hardened thug, and the Homicide Division is in for a big shock, a very expensive one as well.