2012 Primies: Best characters

By on Jan 13, 2013 in The Primies |

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Now that the Golden Globes have been doled out, I think it’s finally time to get to the legitimate awards: Primetimely’s third annual Primies! And, as is tradition, I’m starting out with the standout characters of 2012 — the fictional human beings that have delighted us, moved us, enthralled us, amused us, and scared the you-know-what out of us. And few were more terrifying than…

  1. Sister Mary Eunice (American Horror Story) While Sister Jude seemed like the big bad at the start of American Horror Story‘s second season, her sycophantic right-hand woman went from docile to demonic once possessed by the Devil. A wolf in sheep’s clothing, the juxtaposition between her position and her possession is mirrored in her persona: She’s by turns saccharinely-sweet and insidiously evil. Played by Lily Rabe.
  2. Mike Ehrmantraut (Breaking Bad) The first half of Breaking Bad‘s fifth season was the swan song for Mike Ehrmantraut, the fixer who helps Walter and Jesse’s operation because he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty in practical matters beyond the scope of Saul’s shady legal wheelings-and-dealings. His brute force won’t be easy for the show’s central criminals to replace, and his sardonic one-liners will be difficult for the writers to live without. Played by Jonathan Banks.
  3. Carrie Mathison (HomelandEvery episode of Homeland contributes at least one or two gems to the Claire Danes Cry Face Project, but when she’s not spontaneously threatening to implode in emotions, Carrie is actually a brilliant agent. And when she’s not making come-hithery eyes at Brody and actually, y’know, taking him down, she’s also a badass. Played by, yep, Claire Danes.
  4. Rayna James (NashvilleRayna James is a fantastic singer, and excellent showman, an un-diva-like celeb, a fierce mama bear, and she has great legs. Hello. Played by Connie Britton.
  5. Sister Jude (American Horror StoryConstance was an MVP in the previous season of American Horror Story, but Sister Jude is an even meatier role: a headstrong despot of a nun outrunning her salacious past while ruling over Briarcliff Manor Sanitarium with an iron fist and a vicious cane — before being ousted and returning as an unlikely hero. (Talk about a mouthful of a character trajectory!) Played by Jessica Lange.
  6. Hannah McKay (Dexter) After one romantic interest who never really knew him and another who was inextricably dependent on him, Dexter’s third love seemed like the charm. Hannah was the perfect Bonnie to Dex’s Clyde: independent, passionate, and equally murderous. But timing is everything, and Deb’s knowledge of Dex’s secret doomed his relationship with Hannah. Hell hath no fury like a murderess scorned, and the poisonous orchid Hannah left on Dex’s doorstep promises a vengeful return. Played by Yvonne Strahovski.
  7. Nick Miller (New GirlRemember that scene in The Avengers in which Bruce Banner says his secret is that he’s always angry? Imagine a duller, more impotent version of that, and you get Nick Miller. But at least his anger is his comedic superpower! Played  by Jake Johnson.
  8. Shoshanna Shapiro (GirlsDoes sex make you more abrasive? Girls seems to prove that point: Its resident virgin is also its most endearing character. She’s sweet, considerate, and only slightly frenetic. Played by Zosia Mamet.
  9. Bryan Collins (The New NormalIf you’ve only watched a bit of The New Normal, you might dismiss effusive, pop-culture-loving, diva-idolizing, beauty-product-using Bryan as a gay stereotype. But creator Ryan Murphy is smarter than that. Bryan is assertive, un-dramatic, and even butch (occasionally). Played by Andrew Rannells.
  10. Elsbeth Tascioni (The Good Wife) I love Carrie Preston as Arlene on True Blood, but she really shines as Elsbeth on The Good Wife. You’ll be so disconcerted by her quirky social graces that you won’t even realize she’s ravaging you in the courtroom.