Entertainment Weekly published its list of the top 100 greatest characters of the past 20 years. In some instances, I would have done some rearranging and there are a few characters I would have added, but I thought it was a pretty good list. You can see the entire countdown here, but these were the top 10:
- Homer Simpson from The Simpsons
- Harry Potter from the Harry Potter series
- Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Tony Soprano from The Sopranos
- The Joker from The Dark Knight
- Rachel Green from Friends
- Edward Scissorhands from Edward Scissorhands
- Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs
- Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City
- SpongeBob SquarePants from SpongeBob SquarePants
I was really happy to see Buffy at number three. More than a decade later this is still my favorite show of all time, and Sarah Michelle Gellar’s quintessential grrl power character is to this day my hero. Now that I’m watching The Sopranos, I can also see the validity of placing Tony Soprano high on the list. Love or hate him, he is quite the character, and the first in a long line of boundary-pushing antiheroes, including some of my personal favorites, Dexter and Jack Bauer – who both made the list, but are farther down.
In the top 10 I was less thrilled with The Joker – it’s a great character and an excellent portrayal on the part of Heath Ledger, but just not worthy of the top 10 in my mind. Also, to the chagrin of legions of Friends fans, I would not have placed Rachel so high either. I enjoy Jennifer Anniston in the occasional romcom, but just was never that big of a fan of the show.
There are others on the list who I am no fan of (ahem, Carrie Bradshaw), but can see why they earned a place. I don’t watch the Simpsons, but can certainly appreciate the longevity, influence and ubiquitous nature of Homer’s character. Similarly, I see the rationale for Harry Potter. Although I think if Harry is going to be this high on the list, perhaps the Twilight characters (Edward is at #53) should also be pulled up a little.
Others, not in the top 10, who I was glad to see recognized include Mulder and Scully, The Dude, Beavis and Butthead, Cher, Sarah Connor, Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield, Ron Burgundy, John Locke, David Brent, Tyler Durden and The Bride. What do you think of the list?