Sunday, 2 February 2014


There are only three things in the world that I hate, and one of them is boring main characters (in good TV shows).

A lot of television dramas start with a person going to a new place, an unusual place full of interesting people. The protagonist is therefore our point of entry into this strange new world; they're our "in". There seems to be this idea that they have to be as "normal" as possible, in order for us to relate to them, as they become our eyes and ears. This means we're lumbered with a boring main character, in an otherwise excellent show. This idea that protagonists have to be dull is nonsense, as we can see from the huge number of great shows whose lead characters are interesting, weird or downright insane. People like Walter White, Agent Dale Cooper or even Dexter, before it went crap. Here are 5 examples of boring main characters (in good TV shows):

5. Piper Chapman - Orange Is The New Black 

I've written about my love for this Netflix-produced prison drama and its diverse range of brilliant characters. So why do we have to spend all our time with the smug and unlikeable Piper? Why can't we spend it with Nicky, or Morello, or Alex? The answer is that it's based on Piper Kerman's memoirs, and it's the fish-out-of-water displacement of a New York middle-class woman into the nightmarish world of prison that drives the whole narrative. Still though, she is a dick.

4. Lana Winters - American Horror Story: Asylum

I've also written about my love for this joyously bonkers horror drama, and Asylum saw some of its most mental moments. There were Nazi doctors, killer nuns and even a psychotic Zachary Quinto. And who were we stuck with? Lana Winters: Lesbian Journalist. Spock should have killed her when he had the chance.

3. Will Graham - Hannibal

This one isn't even a good TV show. It's actually rubbish. But there's good stuff in there, most notably Lawrence Fishburne as Jack Crawford, and of course Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter. But not Hugh Dancy as Will Graham, who twitches his way through terrible dialogue with all the charisma of Nicky Campbell. Stupidly his deductive skills seem to amount to psychic ability, a bit like Sherlock but without any of the charm.

2. Buffy Summers - Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Obviously I'm in love with Buffy Summers, who isn't? But she is one of the show's most boring characters. She's annoying, whiny and has the worst taste in men since that German woman Nigel Farage is married to. In fact the only people more boring that Buffy are the men she falls in love with. But that Riley Finn sure is a dreamboat. 

1. Jack Shephard - Lost

I love Lost. But Jack is without a doubt the most boring main character in a good TV show. "Can I tell you about how I got my tattoos?" "Have I mentioned my dad lately?" "Would you like to watch me cry?" Shut up! We're on a magical island with characters as brilliant as Locke, Sawyer and Hurley, and you just go around feeling superior and/or sorry for yourself. But at least he's better than Charlie. 

Thanks for reading, here's Buzzcocks.