My Favorite Characters of the 2000's
"Wanna know how I got these scars?" - The Joker, The Dark Knight (2008) That line comes from one of the most memorable characters and performances that I've seen in a very long time. I'm a sucker for characters that you walk away quoting and thinking about long after the credits roll or the book closes.
I decided to share my top 25 this past decade to provoke one of two responses. The first being "Oh, Yeah!" and the second "Hey you didn't mention..." I want to stress that this is just my opinion and that I haven't seen or read everything, The Office, House and 30 Rock are the first ones that come to mind. But then hopefully I'll be turned onto new characters that I can spend the following years quoting. This list is close to being in order but not necessarily exact and I kinda cheated on one character because he technically started at the end of 1999.
#25. "Dance monkey, dance for your dollar!" - Drew, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (2009)(Book & Movie). This guy is a classic in both the book and the movie, in the book he's known as Hate. Drew suffers a bitter breakup and has a negative outlook on women but makes up for it with his passion for the Pancakewich.
#24. "You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope." - Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games Trilogy (2008 - ?)(Book). Katniss Everdeen is a 16 year old girl in a post apocolyptic world who takes the place of her little sister in the Hunger Games competition. With remarkable skills and brains you love this girl as she fights to stay alive and unknowingly start a revolution.
#23. "It's overwhelming. I feel as if I am living in an illusion, a dream where all things are possible. Amazing things do happen, I know, but always to someone else, always in some far off place and time." - Eragon, The Inheritance Cycle (2003 - ?)(Book)(Movie). I keep thinking that if I close my eyes long enough there will never have been a movie, but alas it's to no avail. Eragon is great because he travels his journey as if it were you or I, he's vulnerable, likable and imperfect. I feel that his continuous rise in courage is inspirational.
#22. "You don't have to touch somebody to shoot 'em." - Calleigh Duquesne, CSI: Miami (2002 - ?)(Television). I just love her. I love her accent and she's the only reason I watch the show.
#21. "You know, I've always liked that word... "gargantuan"... so rarely have an opportunity to use it in a sentence." - Elle Driver, Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 (2003,2004)(Movies). You talk about a bad ass, one eyed, samurai assassin! Elle's just mean from top to bottom and I think she's fun as hell.
#20. "Actually, there aren't that many scientific errors in Star Trek, especially considering how long ago it was made. There are certain improbabilities, but not that many outright errors." - Dr. Spencer Reid, Criminal Minds (2005 - ?)(Television). Dr. Reid is a genius in his twenties, with multiple degrees who works for the FBI's BAU division. His never ending stream of knowledge, his fight against drugs and potential paranoid schizophrenia make for a very fun character to watch.
#19. "So life's a bitch. What do you want to do, cry about it?" - Lt. Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace, Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009)(Television). Aside from being probably one of my favorite television shows of all time she is probably one of my favorite badass female leading characters. Forget Angelena Jolie characters, Starbuck brings it in a way where you see her weaknesses and insecurities, just don't bring them up to her because she'll kick your ass.
#18. "He's standing right behind me, isn't he?" - Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo, NCIS (2003 - ?)(Television). DiNozzo is one of my favorites because I feel that we are just alike. Two real big smart asses who are movie trivia and quoting hounds. I love a character that makes jokes at the worst of times because sometimes that's just how some people deal with adversity, people like me.
#17. "Off the top of my head, I'd say you're looking at a Boeski, a Jim Brown, a Miss Daisy, two Jethros and a Leon Spinks, not to mention the biggest Ella Fitzgerald ever." - Rusty, Oceans 11,12,13 (2003,2004,2007)(Movies). This one is kinda like DiNozzo, he's just cool and fun to watch.
#16. "It was an emergency! Read my lips - emergency reading - not some demented idea of fun. If I was starving, I would eat asparagus. If somebody held a gun to my head, I would watch a soap opera. And to save Fablehaven, I would read a book, okay, are you happy?" - Seth Sorenson, Fablehaven Series (2006-2010)(Book). Seth is a trouble making kid who tries really, really hard, only to constantly screw things up in the worst way possible, yet he finds ways to use his heart and courage to fix it. Not only are these books amazing, Seth is a phenomenal character in them.
#15. "Harry and Dorris Morgan did a wonderful job raising me. But they're both dead now. I didn't kill them. Honest." - Dexter Morgan, Dexter (2006- ?)(Television). This is one of the coolest shows with one of the coolest characters on television. His 'code', his feigned emotions and his retribution for the bad guys is awesome and fun to watch.
#14. "I am the Energizer bunny of forensic science: I never sleep and I never give up." - Abby Sciuto, NCIS (2003 - ?)(Television). I really didn't want to use two characters from the same piece, but on this one I feel my hand was forced. She's just cool. A goth woman, who drinks more caffine in a day than I do in a month and happens to be this amazing forensic scientist. I like her so much because she's the opposite of what you see in any other show/book/movie as far as scientists go.
#13. "You can't snort a line of coke off a woman's ass and not wonder about her hopes and dreams, it's not gentlemanly. " - Hank Moody, Californication (2007 - ?)(Television). I think I like Hank so much because I'm an aspiring writer, living in LA who really enjoys the life that the city of angels can offer. The only difference is, he's made it. Sigh.... one day.
#12. "1958. It's been traveling twenty-two years to get here. And now it's here. And it's either heads or tails. And you have to say. Call it. " - Anton Chigurh, No Country for Old Men (2007)(Movie). One of the best bad guys ever! He had me at 'friendo'.
(Vampire Alert - The Next Two Fall into that Over Exploited Genre.)
#11. "It sounded like you were having Bella for lunch, and we came to see if you would share." - Alice Cullen, Twilight Series (2005 - 2008)(Book & Movie). As female vampires go Alice is the coolest. She sees into the future, she's funny and she's extremely protective of her family. In my opinon Alice Cullen brings the Twilight series to another level, sorry team Jacob and team Edward.
#10. "We had a deal, your human and I. She will work for me as often as I like." - Eric Northman, True Blood (2008 - ?)(Book & Telelvision). I can't speak for the books, they're on my must read list. As for the TV show, Eric owns it. He's a character that you want to see the minute the show starts because he's subtle, yet direct, dangerous, but fair and he's just downright one bad-ass vampire.
#9. "I don't read the script. The script reads me." - Kirk Lazarus, Tropic Thunder (2008)(Movie). How funny is this guy? Had Robert Downey Jr. been nominated any other year, for the Academy Award, he would have won hands down. Unfortunatly he had to go against one of the best performances ever by a dead guy.
#8. "Show's over, motherfuckers." - Hit-Girl, Kick-Ass (2010)(Movie). I always love a bad ass and I love it even more when it's a kid. In my opinion she not only made the movie, she made the movie great. I can't wait to see her in the sequel.
#7. "You know what they feed people on an indy set, Vinny? Nothing! They don't give you a trailer. They tell you to go sit on an apple box. Ever try to bang an extra on an apple box?" - Ari Gold, Entourage (2004 - ?)(Television). How can you not like the most ruthless man in Hollywood who loves his wife and has the best, meanest and memorable lines in television?
#6. "Dude!" - Hugo 'Hurley' Reyes, Lost (2004 - 2010)(Television). I'm not quite going through Lost withdrawels yet, but I'm close. I loved all of the charcters, but I feel that, while it was Jacks journey, it was Hugo's heart that made the show tick. It's almost like he was the glue that held all of the characters together. For the record, Sawyer was a close second.
#5. "Wait... three measures of Gordon's; one of vodka; half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it over ice, and add a thin slice of lemon peel." - James Bond - Casino Royale (2006)(Movie). I know that this will cause controversy and piss a lot of people off, but I really feel that Daniel Craigs James Bond is the best with Sean Connery coming in a close second. This Bond is edgier, tougher and has a more realistic emotional response to the situations he's presented with.
#4. " I'm gonna punch you in the ovary, that's what I'm gonna do. A straight shot. Right to the babymaker." - Ron Burgundy, Anchorman: The legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)(Movie). This is the funniest and most quotable movie I've seen in years and was an instant classic the moment it hit the screen. I would love to meet the genius that vetoed the sequel claiming that 'no one would want to see it'.
#3. "...and you have my bow..." - Legalos, Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)(Movie & Book). I'm strictly talking movie here. Legalos didn't have a lot of lines but he had the coolest action sequences in all three movies. Stabbing an Orc with an arrow and then immediatly pulling it back into the bow to shoot another, priceless. His interaction with Gimli was also spot on.
#2. "Giggity giggity goo, alright." - Glen Quagmire, Family Guy (2009 - ?)(Television). The funniest character on television or anywhere. Whether it's his discovery of internet porn, a potentail Lois divorce or bitterness towards Clevelands spinoff you can't help but laugh everytime he's on the screen.
#1. "Do you want to know why I use a knife? Guns are too quick. You can't savor all the... little emotions. In... you see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are. So in a way, I know your friends better than you ever did. Would you like to know which of them were cowards?" - Joker, The Dark Knight (2008)(Movie). I guess you probably saw that one coming but that's alright. Heath Ledger took the Joker to levels that I don't think anyone could've ever imagined. What an amazing and unforgettable character!
So that's my list, with honerable mentions going out to Parker from Leverage and Michael Weston from Burn Notice. Hopefully it will incite discussion and debate. Let me know what you think, what I got right, what I got wrong and what I missed. I love this stuff so I look forward to hearing from you.
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