We watch television to allow our minds to relax and find good entertainment to decompress our stress level. As us normal folk live out a daily grind, seemingly repeating each and every day, the television shows we watch give us a corridor into a subconscious desire we have to be someone else. Many times, fans live indirectly through their favorite characters on the small screen. We watch with regularity to escape our normal days and thrive through their more exciting encounters. These characters have no bounds whereas we have many controls that limit what we can and cannot do.
Television has provided us with some amazing shows over the years, spearheaded by amazing leading characters. These characters have provided fans with a lot of excitement and a tremendous time of investment. These characters often draw us into the program and we unknowingly watch the shows to see what is going to happen with them next. The leading characters are so dynamic and intense that we can’t take our eyes off them. It is these characters that we subconsciously love.
When we watch a dynamic character on screen, we quietly envy their actions, their attitudes and their relentless willingness to break the rules. Inside, we all wish we could break free of the day-to-day routine and live a more exciting life. These characters can seemingly do no wrong and often times are able to circumvent the threats around them. Sure, it’s unrealistic, but it’s fun to watch. These characters can break rules we only dream about. These are 10 Awesome Television Characters We Wish We Could Be.
10 Jackson “Jax” Teller – Sons of Anarchy
British actor Charles Hunnam sinks his teeth right into the handsome and unapologetic leader of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club. Wearing patches that read “President” and “Men of Mayhem,” Teller is a badass Harley Davidson-driving brutal anti-hero who never allows himself to be chained to society’s rules. Whereas he started out more relentless and surrounded by chaos, he matures as the series goes on, filling his destiny as president of his motorcycle gang. The birth of his son Abel helps mature Teller and creates and allows him to evolve into a more sedate force we all can sees ourselves as.
9 Barney Stinson – How I Met Your Mother
Barney Stinson, played brilliantly by Neil Patrick Harris, is nothing less than awesome. The attorney dresses for success and has a book of “man codes” as long as the Bible itself. He seemingly has a story or anecdote for every situation imaginable. In addition to being smart and snappy, Stinson bags nearly every hot woman that walks the earth. He lives with ease, seemingly never having any issues, and despite being an unapologetic womanizer, is beloved by all. Stinson is…wait for it! Legen-------dary!
8 Tony Soprano – The Sopranos
When it comes to playing bad-ass characters, James Gandolfini has everyone beat. He plays Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano. Soprano pretty much runs the organization despite his uncle “Junior” being the figure head boss. Soprano goes old school, taking on numerous extramarital affairs with whomever he pleases. He has power and money and wields a big stick when needed. Soprano seems relentless and terrible, but he is an anti-hero, showcasing heart and understanding in rare moments. We root for the power he wields and subconsciously all wish we had such gravitas. The ending in the series finale (which I personally loved) was controversial: it ends with Soprano and his family sitting inside a diner. You get the feeling that anyone at any time is about to cap Soprano who believes he is seconds away from imminent death. The heart-racing casual-looking scene placed the audience right into Soprano’s anxious shoes and was a great way to end the series.
7 Nucky Thompson – Boardwalk Empire
Who wouldn’t want to control all of Atlantic City during its hayday? Nucky Thompson, played by Steve Buscemi, is the kingpin of AC. Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, as his character goes, moves with ease through the storylines, constantly developing relationships with other gangsters and being the focus of attention in the new bustling world of prohibition and inhibitions. Atlantic City is the playground for many men looking for a good time in the Eastern Corridor and Thompson is the ringleader. Thompson may resemble more of a pimp and booze smuggler with his activities, but he lives in style and rules his world. Of course, in the end, Thompson gets what’s coming to him, but he had one hell of fun ride while it lasted!
6 Don Draper – Mad Men
Money, women, infidelity, smoking endless cigarettes, alcohol, a good job, more women; what the days were like back in the 1960s for Don Draper and the “Mad Men.” Played exceptionally by actor Jon Hamm, Draper is the quintessential example of the power and control men used to have over their stay-at-home wives. The seemingly “live life however you want” mentality allotted men to freely cheat on their wives and live free of the conventional rules in today’s society. Also, smoking was cool back then so with cancer not nearly as much of an issue, feel free to light up a stogie! The world was at their feet and they enjoyed every minute of it. Draper was our leading man through this turn-back-the-clock dramatic hit.
5 Jack Bauer – 24
It’s hard not to get excited when you see the typical American hero seemingly overcoming any and all obstacles to catch the bad guys. So is the case with Jack Bauer, who is the kind of good guy who pushes himself to all limits while catching the bad guys. Bauer took terrorists to task during a time when terrorism was greatly feared in the American vernacular. Watching him fight through incredible odds and being nearly bulletproof, Bauer was the kind of overachieving gun-wielding hero we used to identify back in those old westerns of yesteryear. Bauer’s love for his country drives him to all ends to save American life as we know it. Let’s go outside and kick some ass!
4 Ray Donovan – Ray Donovan
Watching the incredibly talented Liev Schreiber move through his deeply disturbed character of Ray Donovan with callousness that we normally associate to mafia leaders, is a treat unto itself. The Boston native Donovan ends up in Los Angeles working for a wealthy benefactor who mentors him in the power of information. Donovan seems to have a book on everyone and can pretty much have sex with any hot starlet or singer in town. Women flock to him like bees to honey and he dispenses the type of physical punishment we all wish we could inflict upon our enemies. No matter what happens, Donovan seems to be made of Teflon with little ever sticking to him. When he needs money, he gets it. When things look bad for this cleaner/punisher/fixer/hitman/crime-leader/adulterer, he is able to find solutions to any and all issues. He’s totally badass and even shows a little heart every now and again by wanting to take care of his family.
3 Angus MacGyver – MacGyver
A lot of people may be saying, “who?” Sure, reaching back into the 1980s for a stud like MacGyver may be confusing to some. But anyone who watched this show would have a devout appreciation for this incredible secret agent, Angus MacGyver, played by Richard Dean Anderson. MacGyver could basically do anything. He was an action hero on top of being able to turn a safety pin, a rubber band and a pencil into a WMD. He was highly resourceful and carried his trusty Swiss Army knife around wherever he went. MacGyver attempted to find non-violent solutions and avoided using guns at all costs (that’s the good guy in him we loved). There are many MacGyverisms and MacGyver was used so widely, that the expression almost became a verb and added to Webster’s Dictionary. Either way, MacGyver was one cool resourceful dude and the cream-of-the-crop during his time.
2 Michael Westen – Burn Notice
Played by actor Jeffrey Donovan, Michael Westen was the lead character on the show Burn Notice. Westen is a spy and former Army Ranger and known as a top CIA operative. He heads back to beautiful Miami, Florida and finds he has been cut off the CIA. As Westen tries to figure out who “burned” him and why he was dumped out of the CIA, he turns good Samaritan and starts to help hard-luck cases all around him. He has a core group of friends that help him not only clear his own name, but also help those in need. This modern day A-Team of sorts is spearheaded by Westen and he has a gorgeous badass love interest named Fiona by his side. Really, he comes down as a very cool spy who seemingly can do anything while living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world while having an incredibly sexy girl on his arm. Sounds good to me!
1 Thomas Magnum. – Magnum P.I.
No star on a show had it better than Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum. The premise has him living in the guest house of a ridiculously awesome beach front home in Hawaii. He is able to come and go as he pleases and lives the life of luxury. He has amazing toys to play with like a Ferrari GTS, and the grounds where he lives features the greatest amenities money can afford. Magnum enjoys many beautiful women while merely having to work as a private detective at his leisure. Selleck’s iconic mustache and Hawaiian button down shirts gave Magnum’s character just the right touch. In the 1980s, everyone wanted to be Magnum P.I. and every woman wanted a piece of Selleck.