Tuesday, November 11, 2014

HE'LL GO INTO THOSE HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASIUMS IN IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE AND BLOW THEM ALL AWAY.... AND SOUND SMARTER AND MORE HONEST THAN ANY REPUBLICAN THEY'VE EVER SEEN. BECAUSE HE IS:  Sepinwall et al slideshow twenty-two fan favorite characters added late in their tv series' runs, a list to which I'd add Jon Stewart as "Jon Stewart" on The Larry Sanders Show, and Drs. Luka Kova─Ź and Rocket Romano on ER.


  1. The Pathetic Earthling10:50 PM

    Great list.

    As I know Alan reads this, I'd love to see a similar list that covers either or both of (i) recurring characters that should have been regulars (e.g., Sidney Friedman on MASH) and (ii) recurring characters that were thankfully not made regulars (e.g., Roxana Troi on Star Trek TNG).

  2. Ray Romano as Hank on Parenthood? Owen Hunt on Grey's?

  3. I know we have one participant here who might have strong feelings about this: Bernadette and Amy only joined The Big Bang Theory during the third season, and I think they made a huge difference in the show's quality. They were sorely needed, and have deepened the show considerably.

  4. christy in nyc7:34 AM

    A lot of faves on this list. I'm currently rewatching season 6 of the West Wing. Season 7 is a tough one for me not just because I love John Spencer, but because Alan Alda reminds me so much of my dad. He resembles him physically but also a lot of things about his performance as Vinick remind me of him too.

    Another one for me is Erin on the office. She doesn't appear until season 5, which is a great season and she is great in it, and to me the character just seems fully formed from the start, and so different from other characters I've seen before.

  5. christy in nyc7:40 AM

    I was thinking about that the other day. The show how it is now and how it's been for some time makes it hard to believe that it wasn't conceived as one of those shows about a big group of friends with a bunch of a women and a bunch of men. Even though Cuoco and Parsons are a cut above all the rest in terms of their performances, the show is so much better for Bernadette and Amy's presence. Though I wish one of the women liked comic books :)

  6. Adam B.9:24 AM

    They limited this list to Season 4-> additions, FWIW.

  7. Jordan9:26 AM

    How about Jon Stewart as "Jon Stewart" on the Daily Show? He's become so ingrained with nightly TV that I almost fogey how much worse I thought the show got when he took it over four years in (he got MUCH better).

  8. I think that's one of three big changes they made that helped--the other two, equally crucial, were:

    1. Making Penny smart (though smart in a different way than the other characters). In early episodes, she's a complete and utter dolt, making her a much less interesting.
    2. Shifting it from a "laughing at" tone to a "laughing with" tone.

  9. Joseph Finn12:38 PM

    Oh god, when was the last time you saw a season one episode? The use of Penny in it is nigh-intolerable and kind of creepy.

  10. Great list - I'm judging it as great because the first two that came to my mind (Anya on "Buffy" and Vince on "Friday Night Lights") made the list.

  11. Jim Bell12:23 PM

    I think Johnny Galecki is as good or better than Cuoco. But they are all three wonderful.

  12. Genevieve1:05 PM

    His M*A*S*H* picks absolutely needed to be in this list - Winchester and Potter were terrific additions to the show, mainly because they were so different from their predecessors, and had new stories that were more in-depth.

    Vince and Anya and Vinick, all great choices.

    I can't get on board with Olivia on the Cosby Show or Rebecca Howe. Both made me cringe.