In no particular order, these are ten TV characters I love most:
1. Temperance Brennan, Bones
Brennan and Sheldon Cooper have several things in common. They prefer all things rational over emotions, and neither really understand social conventions or people. The difference between the two is where Sheldon's lack of tact toward people sometimes come from the belief that he's the genius thus he's the most important person ever, Brennan is often just stating a fact in order to correct someone else. She cares, she's just sometimes at a loss as to how to express that emotion. It's been fabulous to watch her growth through the seasons, and I love her both when she excels with the bones and when she struggles to understand living people.
"Two plus two equals four. I put sugar in my coffee and it tastes sweet. The sun comes up because the world turns. These things are beautiful to me. There are mysteries I will never understand, but everywhere I look I see proof that for every effect there is a corresponding cause. Even if I can't see it. I find that reassuring."
2. Felicity Smoak, Arrow
Felicity was the first person to draw a genuine smile out of the scarred, stoic Oliver Queen. That's a pretty big deal, and says a lot about the brightness she brings to the show. She's intelligent, but she's not just the brain; she's also funny (though she probably doesn't intend to be sometimes) and compassionate. Without her, Oliver would be a killer, not a hero.
3. Juliette Barnes, Nashville
I tried, and I couldn't think of another character I both hate and sympathize with in equal proportions. Juliette drives me nuts with her diva attitude, self-destructiveness and generally terrible choices, but then we got to know her past and why she's become this person, and I understood. I wouldn't defend her actions, but I understand why and I want her to grow. In my book, that makes her a good character.
"I think when I feel like somebody is going to hurt me, I just make sure that I hurt myself first and worse. Burn the house down while I'm still in it."
4. Emma Swan, Once Upon a Time
She's the saviour, but it took her three seasons to stop feeling like a lost girl. She should've been a fairytale princess, but instead Emma grew up in the foster system. She's self-sufficient, street smart, and realistic to the point of pessimistic. I've enjoyed watching her struggle to not just accept the fairytales, but also that she belongs somewhere.
"The only one who saves me is me."
5. The House Husbands, House Husbands
So I'm cheating and choosing four instead of just one, but I think the characters work best together even though they're strong individually. Lewis, Mark, Kane, and Justin - they're at different stages of their lives but are all well-meaning fathers doing their best. I like that with them, the focus isn't about whether men should stay home and look after the kids or not; it's that they can, but just like with stay-at-home mums, it won't be without challenges.