Most would agree that the lead character of a TV show is the most important player, and for the most part, that's correct. However, the supporting characters are more often than not the ones who add color to the show, who make the world they live in rich and alive. Whether the supporting character is there simply to make people laugh, or maybe helps to explain the lead's storied history, the show simply would not be the same without them. So here are the (in my opinion), the best supporting characters currently on TV.
note: the casts of Parks and Recreation and Hannibal were disqualified because their shows wrapped in 2015.
11. Carol, 'Last Man on Earth'
Carol, played brilliantly by comedian Kristen Schaal, is a a sweet, simple woman, who also seems to be clinically insane. She is one of the few surviving humans on Earth in FOX's Last Man on Earth, and is doing her best to survive, even if that means making a cricket casserole.
10. Amy Brookheimer, 'Veep'
Amy (Anna Chlumsky) is an overzealous, goal oriented career woman, and former campaign manager of sitting president Selina Meyer in HBO's award-winning comedy, Veep. I always feel like I absorb some of Amy's ever-present stress while watching her, but always somehow enjoy it.
9. Louis Litt, 'Suits'
There are few people who make me as nauseous as Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) does. He's a condescending kiss-ass who could probably benefit from a swift punch in the face... but he also adds a much needed comedic factor to the show, and no matter how unpleasant his face is, the character that Hoffman put together is fully realized and complete – from his body language to his speech patterns to his sometimes unpredictable actions.
8. Gob Bluth, 'Arrested Development'
In a sitcom about a family full of very stupid people, Will Arnett's Gob is probably the worst of them all. He's a narcissistic magician with daddy issues who continually thwarts Jason Bateman's (straight-man's) feeble attempts at being normal. He's a hot mess of the most potent variety.
7. Mellie Grant, 'Scandal'
Many seem to think that the former First Lady, Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young), is one of the chief villains of ABC's Scandal, but I resent that assertion and prefer to think of her more as an antihero. I respect someone with ambition, someone who gets what they want no matter the cost, and Mrs. Grant has those qualities in spades.
6. Buster Bluth, 'Arrested Development'
Although I'll admit that Arrested Development's Netflix produced 4th season wasn't quite as good as the original three, Buster Bluth remains one of the funniest characters on TV. His cringe-worthy social awkwardness and obsession with his mother will never cease to illicit laughter from his audience. The actor, Tony Hale, can also be seen on HBO's Veep, where he plays an almost equally hilarious and very similar character.
5. Gina Linetti, 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'
Brooklyn Nine-Nine's frank, yet disillusioned receptionist/dance enthusiast is played brilliantly by stand up comedian, Chelsea Peretti. It's always strange when a character is both the straight-man and goofy comic relief, but Peretti pulls it off. I highly recommend her Netflix special, One of The Greats.
4. Schmidt, 'New Girl'
In all honesty, I haven't watched New Girl in quite some time, but when I did, I remember Schmidt (Max Greenfield) being far and away the best character.
3. Peggy Blomquist, 'Fargo Season 2'
Although the characters in Fargo's second season are more than likely a one and done, I don't feel like any "best of" list can be compiled without mentioning either the show or Peggy herself. Kirsten Dunst is utterly transformed in this career defining performance as the bored and occasionally murderous hair dresser, Peggy Blomquist. Dunst's loss at the Golden Globes last year was an abomination. I highly recommend both seasons of Fargo to those who haven't seen it yet.
2. Watson, 'Sherlock'
Although there have been quite a few incarnations of Dr. Watson, Freeman is probably my favorite.
1. Claire Underwood, 'House of Cards'
"Behind every great man is a great woman." Claire proves that phrase in each and every episode of Netflix's House of Cards. Claire and her husband Frank are a formidable team when they stand together, but when at odd's, one-another's greatest weakness. Robin Wright's portrayal is a show-stopping masterpiece.
Which supporting cast member is your favorite?