Here is an interesting article in the Chicago Tribune today about the 13 best supporting characters on tv today. You have to be registered to view the article on the Tribune website so here is the full text:
13 terrific supporting characters now on TV
By Maureen RyanTribune staff reporter
Published March 1, 2006
Additional material published March 1, 2006:CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONSIn a story in today's preprinted Tempo section about remarkable supporting characters on television, a photograph of actor Michael Vartan incorrectly accompanied an item about fellow "Alias" cast member Kevin Weisman.Here is a baker's dozen of our favorite supporting performances in current shows.
Though not all of these characters will achieve the legendary status of Deputy Barney Fife, they're still pretty swell:
Dwight Schrute on NBC's "The Office," played by Rainn Wilson: The most obvious heir to Knotts, Schrute is another gangly misfit who has, to put it mildly, an interesting take on life. Wilson's gift for physical comedy is inspiring, but his deadpan delivery is what really puts him in a class by himself.
Barney Stinson on CBS' "How I Met Your Mother," played by Neal Patrick Harris: In his own way, Barney Stinson, an acerbic, quip-spewing ladies man, is a modern-day descendant of Barney Fife, in that Stinson, as gleefully portrayed by Harris, is often more entertaining than the show's official leads. Stinson certainly gets the best lines, and Harris appears to be having a truckload of fun while stealing the show out from under his co-stars.
Chloe O'Brian on Fox's "24," played by Mary Lynn Rajskub: As the office ubernerd at Los Angeles' Counter Terrorism Unit, O'Brian is surly, sarcastic and utterly unimpressed by bureaucratic authority. Those are all reasons to love her.
Dr. Miranda Bailey on ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," played by Chandra Wilson: How Wilson makes this fearsome medical supervisor scary, sympathetic and even funny all at the same time is beyond us. Never mind, she's often the best thing about this delicious show.
Julius on UPN's "Everybody Hates Chris," played by Terry Crews: You think your dad was cheap? You haven't met this father, who can look at an overturned glass of milk and see just how many pennies that spilled beverage cost him. In Crews' hands, though, Julius' comic cheapness emerges as a twisted form of love -- he works multiple jobs and is constantly wondering whether he'll be able to pay the rent this month. Rarely have money worries been this funny.
Dr. Perry Cox on NBC's "Scrubs," played by John C. McGinley: Over the years, Dr. Cox's clipped, barely restrained torrents of abuse toward one and all -- and especially toward his hapless former intern, John Dorian -- have metamorphosed into an art form. They're arias of hate, if you will. There are few things on TV funnier than seeing Dr. Cox deliver a verbal beat-down.
Joy on NBC's "My Name Is Earl," played by Jaime Pressley: Pressley doesn't shy away from the fact that Joy, Earl Hickey's ex-wife, is as white trash as they come. She actually glories in Joy's trailer-park roots, and somehow is able to bring honesty and subtle characterization to what could have been a grab bag of stereotypes. Joy's a hoot, and she makes a funny show even better.
Logan Echolls on UPN's "Veronica Mars," played by Jason Dohring: As Veronica's bitter ex, this cynical rich kid gets all the best lines, and Dohring's delivery of them is note perfect. Women always fall for the bad boy. Dohring's electric portrayal of this secretly hurting upper-class brat is the sort of stuff that launches thousands of LiveJournal entries.
Dr. Oliver Barnes on CBS' "Out of Practice," played by Ty Burrell: There's nothing all that original about this doctor-centric comedy, which returns later in March, but Burrell's wonderful way with a put-down is worth the price of admission.
Marshall Flinkman on ABC's "Alias," played by Kevin Weisman: Whatever the far-out mission, whatever the insanely complex gadget, we can always count on Flinkman, the in-house tech guru on "Alias," to make it funny. Complicated spy sagas are not usually chock-full of laughs, but Flinkman's stumbling-nerd delivery and sympathetic demeanor have given "Alias" its heart for five seasons.
Brian on Fox's "Family Guy," voiced by Seth McFarlane: Those Greeks had their Greek choruses. The Griffin family has Brian, a martini-swilling dog who wearily comments on the Griffins' constant misadventures with a wit as dry as his chosen cocktail. Even when "Family Guy's" having an off night, Brian's seen-it-all commentary is always a treat.
E.B. Farnum on "Deadwood," played by William Sanderson: Who said sniveling wasn't an art form? As tavern owner Al Swearengen's errand boy, Farnum has taken groveling to new highs -- or lows, depending on how you look at it. Through Sanderson's portrayal, as skilful as any other on this ridiculously well-acted show, the hotelier Farnum is more than just a puppet; he's a tragic figure in a worn frock coat, a reminder that the Old West wasn't all just cowboys and Conestoga wagons, but a place full of stressful business intrigues as well.
Claudette Wyms on FX's "The Shield," played by C.C.H. Pounder: This dogged detective hasn't always gotten the showiest story lines, but without question, she's the moral center of this complicated, endlessly compelling cop drama. Let's hope Wym's illness, which just took a turn for the worse, won't keep her off duty permanently; the cops at the grotty Farmington district headquarters will miss her, but not as much as viewers would miss Pounder, who has subtly created TV's most compelling female cop.So there you have it, definitely some favorites of mine on there!!