A great story is easily driven by its complex, compelling, remarkably exquisite characters. Whether they’re heroes or villains or somewhere in between the spectrum, it’s their stories that make the series riveting — their journey, their life, their interactions. They are the reason a series is special. They are the heart. And while there are a number of wonderfully written characters on TV, these are my personal favorites.
Also, be sure to check out our Series of the Year | Stranger Things article, as the number one performances, characters, relationships, and moments are all featured there first. They deserved their own special tribute.
Plus, don’t forget to head on over to TVExamined and Nerdy Girl Notes to see what Heather and Katie had to say about their favorites this year.
25 Inimitable Men 5/25
David Charming (Once Upon A Time)
A man who’ll fight off knights with his infant daughter in his hands and succeed? There’s nothing he can’t do. It’s very seldom that a character lives up to their name as Once Upon A Time’s David Charming does. But funnily, six seasons have passed and we still don’t know his actual last name — did he never have one in the Enchanted Forest? (Lol. Or did Snow name him perfectly?) There’s not a single character who’s been easier to love from the moment they appeared on-screen, and no it’s definitely not due to Josh Dallas’ undeniable charm and unfairly good looks. In a number of ways, Charming is the heart of the family — grounding everyone to a place of unparalleled serenity through his kindness and courage that effortlessly inspired everyone around him. Charming is, in every sense of the word, the bravest soul in Once Upon A Time history — a bravery that isn’t measured by his undeniable gallantry, but rather his honesty, sincerity, and the immovable compassion within him.
25 Inimitable Men 2/25
Killian Jones (Once Upon A Time)
There are very few characters that have had a redemption arc as fascinating and as brilliant as Once Upon A Time’s Killian Jones — characters who stumble and fall in ways that are so realistic, we’re able to understand the human psyche remarkably through them. From the moment Killian Jones appeared on screen, it was clear that he’d be one of the most compelling characters on the series. It was clear that his journey would encompass a vast array of life lessons written to inflict hope into viewers. Killian Jones wasn’t always a villain, and that’s part of the massive reason as to why his growth’s been so superlative. He’s gone from a Navy kid with great innocence to a broken man on a quest for vengeance, and through persistence, that broken man found his way onto the hero column. Killian Jones is, in every sense of the word, a man of honor — his choices to better himself out of the sheer desire to be worthy of the heroic title strengthened his character profoundly. In his journey to self discovery, the mistakes he’s made and the temporary setback in his iability to forgive himself have showcased true bravery in the form of self-awareness. Imperfections and superbly honorable traits have made Killian Jones a character to be empathized with — a character to be cared for, and without a single doubt, a character that’s truly inimitable.
| May 14-28 |
We’re almost there, friends — the end of an incredible, jaw-dropping spring season. The last two weeks have displayed partnerships at their finest with Once Upon A Time, Chicago P.D., Madam Secretary, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
And they lived happily ever after.
Episode Summary: The Black Fairy’s curse hits Storybrooke trapping Killian, Snow, Charming, Regina, Zelena, and co. in the Enchanted Forest while Emma’s in a Psychiatric Hospital and it’s up to Henry to help her believe again. As it turns out, if Emma stops believing that the life she once had is real, it’ll fade from existence. Rumple faces his mother one last time. The families reunite. And they live happily ever after.
Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time is a special show — for six years it has allowed us to begin our weeks with the faith and belief that no matter how hard things get, there’s always a happy ending in store. And while the “The Final Battle” was anything but a perfect episode, the stories it told were beautiful. Once Upon A Time may not be over for good, but a prodigious chapter has ended — a chapter that’s changed lives. A little bit of happiness in the midst of dark days where television series are uncertain, but where Once Upon A Time was concerned, we always knew it’d end well. It’d end leaving us with a surplus of hope. It’d leave us braver, kinder, better than ever.
“The Song in Your Heart” | Once Upon A Time
To be frank, I don’t know how to begin this letter because I genuinely don’t know if words will be able to properly convey my gratitude. As far as fictional characters go, you’ll always be number one in my book.
I’ve been inspired by a good number of strong female characters, but I’ve not seen myself in any of them the way I saw myself in you. It was hard to fully accept that I too, once upon a time, was a lost girl. When you’re bullied as a kid, it’s hard to understand that what people say about us isn’t accurate. As much as our parents can be there to remind us of our value, it doesn’t change the fact that over the years as your skin thickens, your heart also becomes more susceptible to pain. And as a result, you tend to build walls around it. Because I desperately wanted to fit in, I gave the world the chance to tell me who I was while I walked around unsure of what happened to the little girl who used to believe in happiness. Somewhere along the way, I was saved by my faith in Christ at 16, but the walls I had put up never fully went down. Somehow, it was always hard to believe that I could truly be happy, that I could open my heart even though it’s been shattered, and that I could be brave enough to show the world who I truly am — the nerdy, overly enthusiastic dork.
TVLine.com | Edited PS6
When Once Upon A Time’s 28th episode “Tallahassee” aired, it was easy to imagine that we’d end up here today, but in some senses, it was still very surreal. For five years we’ve dedicated time, tears, and happiness to this exquisitely beautiful couple’s journey in love. We’ve been captivated over and over again through their innately gorgeous, profoundly moving love story as we watched them effortlessly heal one another through love and selfless devotion. And today, we watched them embark on a new beginning to forever. Today, we watched them become husband and wife. And episodes like this deserve special kind of treatment. “Weddings are beautiful, but marriages between two people who’d take every opportunity they get to do whatever is necessary to express their love are immaculate.”
It’s like Ellen’s 12 Days of Christmas only with saviors.
Episode Summary: In flashbacks we learn that Rumple was destined to be the savior, but learning that another would be his undoing, Fiona did everything in her power to stop it only to become the person that was prophesied against her son. She was then banished by Tiger Lily and the Blue Fairy, forcing Rumple’s father to grow resentful of him. In present day Storybrooke, Rumple pulls an inception on himself, Emma, and Gideon where he learns the truth about why his mother gave him up. Zelena learns how to drive. Killian chooses his best man. And a twist leads us closer into the final battle.
Review | Analysis: At its greatest Once Upon A Time is a show that reminds us of how much strength it takes to be vulnerable. And it’s often taken us through captivating journeys of self-discovery through characters that have had difficult times opening up their hearts. “The Black Fairy” was a fantastic reminder of the fact that there’s bravery in openness, and there’s strength in numbers. It was also the most evident reminder of the fact that evil isn’t born it’s made, and to reiterate that fact in an episode so close to the final battle was actually perfect.
Episode Summary: In flashbacks we’re introduced to the Tin Man and the Lion allowing us to understand that when Zelena had the opportunity to keep a friend safe, she turned it down believing her magic was more important. In present day Storybrooke, when the Black Fairy gets one step ahead of the heroes, Zelena’s sacrifice helps them out.
Review | Analysis: Once Upon A Time has continuously reiterated the fact that strength isn’t power but rather bravery and selflessness. Through its intricate characters and their gorgeous arcs it’s reminded us of the fact that strength is never to be measured by magical abilities or carelessness, but rather love and courage. And “Where Bluebirds Fly” reminded us of this detail through Zelena’s character allowing Rebecca Mader to shine wonderfully.