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Primetime's Most Valuable Players
The TV shows I watch, that is
It seems that the star of a show is not often it's Most Valuable Player. The character that drives the action or is the real lead character of the show. The following is my list of the MVP's of the shows I watch:
Mr. Gold -- Once Upon A Time -- Emma is supposed to be the great savior of the show and Snow White and Prince Charming the great romance of the show, so how come I felt more when Mr. Gold was reunited with his Belle and told her he loved her, then that grand moment David and MM remembered And why do I care more about Gold finding his son Bae then I did if Henry lived or died? Probably because Robert Carlyle is such a wonderful actor. So far he's played three very distinct characters on the show: Human Rump, Magic Rump and the mysterious and malevolent Mr. Gold.
As we learned in the finale this is Rumpelstiltskin's game and he's been playing everyone and getting them all to dance to his tune. He may have even lied about Emma being the savior who can break the curse. He needed a way to come to the place he believes the Blue Fairy sent his son, he needed someone to enact the curse and by becoming Snow and Charming's champion it helped drive Regina to the point of desperation that she was willing to enact the curse. The meek and cowardly spinner has turned into quite the master manipulator.
Nolan -- Revenge -- It's supposed to be all about Amanda's revenge on the Grayson's for what they did to her father. But just how far would Amanda really gotten without the help of Nolan? It was Nolan who told her the truth about her father. And how many times has she called him to help with some tech problem she couldn't have pulled off on her own.
Some of the biggest shocking moments had to do with Nolan. Like when it was revealed he faked his aunt's death. Or how about Tyler and Nolan's boy on boy sex tape?
Cristina Yang -- Grey's Anatomy -- Meredith may be the Grey in Grey's Anatomy but it's Cristina's innards that have been fueling a lot of the story for the past few seasons. Her PTSD, then her controversial decision to have an abortion. What made it harder for Owen and viewers to understand was she's actually quite good with children. She, however, knows what she wants; she wants to be a surgeon and she decided long ago a child wasn't part of that plan. A lot of other women might have altered their plans, but not Cristina.
Cristina is a character you either love or hate. She's not politically correct. She tells it like it is. And she can make you cringe. But Grey's Anatomy wouldn't be the same without Cristina Yang on it.
Damon -- The Vampire Diaires -- Julie Plec will never admit to this, but Damon is the true protagonist of the show, not Elena. Plec may shove Elena into every story and go on about how selfless Elena is; unfortunately, she fails to write her as such. Plec writes her as cold, selfish and only caring about one person: Stefan. She only cares about the other people in her life when they're a use to her. She also gets a free pass for everything she does. The same as her equally perfect boyfriend Stefan gets.
Damon, on the other hand, doesn't get a free pass. Everyone treats him like crap. Everything he does he pays for. Damon's passion and pain fuel much of the show. As one journalist put it, Damon is the heart and soul of the show.
Reid -- Criminal Minds -- While everyone plays their parts on the BAU team, there's just something about Reid that makes you care about him. There's a vulnerable and innocent quality about him. Coupled with the fact he's a genius. If Reid can't figure it out than nobody can.
Tom Bergeron -- Dancing With The Stars -- Despite the antics of the judges: Carrie Ann and her seeing lifts and Bruno and his inappropriate comments; it's host Tom Bergeron who is it's most valuable player. Between dealing with his bumbling co-host Brooke Burke and the fights breaking out between the professional dancers and the judges, he's the calm in the eye of the storm. He even handles been sexually harassed by Maks with style.
A -- Pretty Little Liars -- This is a no-brainer. Without A what would the Liars do? Whether it's Mona or whomever sneaking around and doing no good, viewers can't get enough of trying to solve the mystery of the malevolent text sending A.
Billy -- Jane By Design -- Even though the show is only in it's first season an MVP has emerged. While Jane is living a double life, she couldn't be doing it without the help of her best friend and possible true love, Billy. With his recent stint in juvie and lying to Jane about how he really feels about her as he watching her getting further and further away from him the deeper she becomes entrenched in her New York life, Billy is the character whose emotions are driving the show more so than Jane, herself.
Percy -- Nikita -- Nikita is a great character, but your hero is only as good as the villain they're up against, and watching Percy be like the Energizer Bunny that kept coming no matter what Nikita did to stop him, was fascinating to watch. Nikita vs. Percy was like Sherlock Holmes vs. Moriarty or Superman vs. Lex Luthor. I understand why the show killed off Percy. They didn't think they'd get renewed and wanted Nikita fans to finally have the satisfaction of watching Nikita take down Percy. With Percy gone the dynamics won't be the same. Nothing against Amanda, but she's really small potatoes compared to Percy.
Carlene -- GCB -- I know the show has been cancelled, but not since Lucy Ricardo have we seen a female character pulling the antics that Carlene pulled. Whether it was trotting down the aisle dressed as Scarlett after getting shot in the butt or smuggling a laptop out between her legs, there wasn't anything this woman wasn't capable of doing. Amanda, with her story of coming home as the reformed former mean girl was supposed to be the star of the show, but Carlene's antics easily eclipsed her and was the character that garnered all the attention.
The interesting thing is on making up this list I discovered there are shows that have no MVP. The characters as a whole are on the same level and one doesn't stand out above the others. Shows like Secret Life, Make It Or Break It or Switched At Birth, to mention but a few.