Top 12 television characters from 2012

Here are Gavel Media's picks for the best characters on television from the past year. Make sure to keep an eye out for these guys in the upcoming season!

12) Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun)- The Walking Dead


Glenn is often overlooked when discussing some of the best supporting characters on the small screen. Although Rick is the leader of the group, Glenn has gradually become instrumental to the groups’ survival. Not to mention, he may be the best zombie killer on the show.


11) Hank Moody (David Duchovny)- Californication

Courtesy of Abdallah Aberouch/Flickr

Photo courtesy of Abdallah Aberouch/Flickr


Hank Moody is Showtime’s Ari Gold. Although no one can compare to the Entourage star, Hank is pretty darn hilarious in his own right. His  “laissez faire” attitude contributes to his career and relationship issues, but his cleverness and wit bail him out time after time.


10) Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin)- Homeland

Courtesy of  Yossi Gurvitz/Flicker

Photo courtesy of Yossi Gurvitz/Flicker


Although season two of Homeland struggled to recapture the pacing that made season one amazing, Saul developed into the best character on the show (and the only likable character). Still, a few ambiguous details leave open the very far-fetched possibility that Saul is a mole (the lie detector test for example). Though this storyline would be absurd, it would be typical of the show’s writers to once again do the absurd while making us hate yet another character in the process.


9) Gloria Pritchett (Sofia Vergara)- Modern Family

Courtesy of Tom Sorenson/Wikimdia

Photo courtesy of Tom Sorenson/Wikimedia

Her thick Colombian accent makes for some hilarious mispronunciations and misunderstandings with her fellow characters. Though she isn’t the best driver, her beauty more than makes up for that. Vergara certainly deserves a third Emmy nomination in a row for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a comedy series.


8) Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht)- Suits

scrapping name off wall

In short, Harvey Specter is “the man”. The brilliant lawyer is referred to as “the best closer in New York City” for his innate ability to win almost any case he takes on. Although he rarely displays emotion, he has become a father figure and mentor to Mike, creating a more sensitive Harvey than what we became used to in the first season.


7) Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler)- Parks and Recreation

Courtesy of Aviva West/Flickr

Photo courtesy of Aviva West/Flickr

Leslie Knope aspires to become the first female president of the United States, and if she were indeed an actual person, she may have a shot. There isn’t a more optimistic, passionate, and hard-working character on TV. She dearly cares about the residents of Pawnee (unlike Ron Swanson) and has become one of the more likable characters of the past year.


6) Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall)- Dexter

Courtesy of Pimkie/Flickr

Photo courtesy of Pimkie/Flickr

Forensic blood spatter analyst by day, serial killer by night, Dexter is one of the most unique characters on TV. Dexter’s complexity stems from his traumatic childhood which created a “dark passenger” that urges him to kill. His attempt to reconcile these violent urges with his desire to be an upstanding father and brother creates a level of complexity that is portrayed brilliantly by Hall. The conclusion of his character arch is going to be riveting.


5) Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris)- How I Met Your Mother


Barney Stinson is the most “awesome” character on How I Met Your Mother. Stinson’s eccentric humor has become “legendary” on the popular sitcom. Not only that, but no character on television gives more high fives (nor is slapped more) than Barney. Just don’t forget to “suit up” when you’re in his presence.


4) Liz Lemon (Tina Fey)- 30 Rock

Courtesy of Jason Brennan/Flickr

Photo courtesy of Jason Brennan/Flickr

The food-loving, socially awkward and relationship-troubled main character of 30 Rock has become the most iconic comedic actress since the onset of the series. The satirical nature of her humor combined with her “geekiness” creates a personality unlike any other on television. Not only can we laugh with her, but also at her; and for that, Fey is commended.


3) Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman)- Parks and Recreation


Beloved by fans and critics alike, Ron Swanson has become a household name. And like his doppelganger from Anchorman (Ron Burgundy), he rocks a legendary moustache. Swanson may be the best comedic actor on television right now, although Barney Stinson would object to that.


2) Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage)- Game of Thrones

Courtesy of uncle_shoggoth/Flickr

Photo courtesy of uncle_shoggoth/Flickr

Although he lacks in size, he certainly doesn’t lack in intellect. His cunning, quick wit and arrogance allows him to often make a mockery of those who underestimate him, making for some hilarious moments in the generally dark fantasy series. Despite the fact that the Lannisters are an extremely dislikable family, Tyrion has managed to become a fan favorite.


1) Walter White (Bryan Cranston)- Breaking Bad


Has any character in recent memory undergone a more dramatic transformation than Walter White? From cancer-ridden, high school chemistry teacher to meth-cooking, drug kingpin “Heisenberg,” Walt has fully embraced his newfound villainous role halfway through season five of AMC’s critically acclaimed series. Walter White is an easy choice for the best character on television. But don’t just take my word for it: Cranston’s three straight Emmy awards for outstanding lead actor in a drama series speak for themselves.



Josh Forte is from the newest and one of the smallest cities in Massachusetts:
Gardner. Josh is a member of the Boston College Class of 2014 and is double majoring in Economics and English. Perhaps the only things he loves more than working out are each of the Boston sports teams. He began writing for both Culture and Sports his junior year. Other than lifting weights, he enjoys cooking, playing basketball and listening to hip-hop. Follow him on Twitter @jforts.