Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pondering Sidekicks

With most TV shows at season’s end, I’m at a bit of a loss. No more Lost, no more Fringe. It’s like my favorite people just went and left me—in the case of Lost, permanently, too. And they’re not real people, I know this. I should spend time with my friends anyway, get out and conquer the dandelions in the yard already. But I still think of my favorite characters.

So this has me pondering character, and what makes some characters so great. And I’m not talking about the leads either—it’s the sidekicks I love the most. They get to be over-the-top, fun, crazy, interesting—all the things a grounded series protagonist usually doesn’t get to be. I love Hurley, adore Walter. What makes them so great? I’ve yet to figure it out.

So how about you? Who’s your favorite sidekick?


  1. I think they give the sidekick the quirkier personality. They can also be more human than the main character. I always think how Rhoda was much more interesting as a sidekick on MTM than on her own show later.

  2. Funny you mention this--I thought about those spinoffs. Seinfeld had some, can't think of any others right now, but I know there have been many.

    Seems a sidekick should stay just that.

  3. That's like when Richie joined the army and Fonzie took center stage. The show had already literally jumped the shark at that point, but it really made the downward slide after that.

    It is that the sidekicks get to be quirkier, even goofy, and I think most of us identify more with that than with being the hero. Especially if said sidekick is truly well-meaning, but just never quite gets it right. We all know how that feels.

    Try Burn Notice this summer. Sam, Fiona and Madeline are great foils for Michael.