The 10 Best Male TV Characters of 2013

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Because we couldn’t just make it simple and pick our top 10 TV characters of 2013, we decided to split this list into two. This is our list of the best male TV characters of 2013, with a follow-up post of our favorite female TV characters of 2013 coming soon.

1. Walter White, Breaking Bad

walter white

Photo: AMC

Vicious, narcissistic, and ultimately human, Walter White tops our list of the best male TV characters of 2013. Who would have thought that the sweet, innocent dad from Malcolm in the Middle would go on to portray a meth kingpin and power-hungry murderer? Bryan Cranston brought a very unique and special energy to the role of Walter White, and that’s partly why Walter will remain one of the most memorable TV characters of all-time.

2. Ichabod Crane, Sleepy Hollow

Photo: FOX

We didn’t realize how far down the rabbit hole we’d go with Sleepy Hollow, and so much of it comes down to Tom Mison’s likability, charm, and crazy good chemistry with co-star Nicole Beharie. Revolutionary War soldier, time traveler, and companion of George Washington himself, Ichabod Crane may only own one outfit, but he’s certainly wormed his way into our hearts. Crane’s conversation with Yolanda the OnStar lady, his doughnut tax outrage, and general bewilderment at 21st century technology cements his place on our list of the top 10 male TV characters of 2013.

3. Captain Ray Holt, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Photo: FOX

Ray Holt (Andre Braugher) is perhaps the most interesting sitcom character to come out of the fall 2013 season. You don’t normally see a gay, married, African-American police captain on network television, especially in as prominent of a role as Holt in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. And he’s not defined by his race or sexuality, either. The jokes are derived from Holt’s dryness, his unreadable facial expressions, and Braugher’s perfect deadpan delivery. Oh, and those brilliant flashback sequences. We hope to see more of Captain Holt in 2013, but especially in those wigs!

4. Sherlock Holmes, Elementary

Photo: CBS

There’s no denying that Sherlock Holmes is an iconic character (one that’s now in the public domain!). The writers of Elementary take a unique approach to the 100+ year old crime solver – one that’s living in New York City, has battled with heroin addiction, and is extremely passionate, obsessive, and quirky in ways that set him apart from his predecessors. Watching a single episode of Elementary, you can tell that Jonny Lee Miller has completely immersed himself in the role and brought out the humanity in an otherwise socially awkward and disagreeable private detective.

5. Winston Bishop, New Girl

Photo: FOX

Winston Bishop remains the funniest and most criminally underutilized character on New Girl. He’s often the bright spot on a show riddled with hit-or-miss episodes and storylines. All we ask is that the writers of New Girl give Winston is due diligence. Start with not isolating him all the time, and he definitely deserves more screen-time, as well. A long-term, yet relevant, love interest who’s just as bad, or perhaps even worse, at pulling pranks might help? All we can say is that Winston is much-loved and certainly one of the most underrated sitcom characters right now.

6. Will Graham, Hannibal

Photo: NBC

Poor, sweet Will has gotten the shitty end of the stick pretty much from the get-go. Gifted with an unique ability to understand and get into the heads of people – even the evil ones – Will Graham has used his powers for good, helping police catch the most notorious of serial killers. When FBI Special Agent Jack Crawford pulls Will back onto the field, Will’s descent into madness begins.

7. Dr. Danny Castellano, The Mindy Project

Photo: FOX

If there was ever a moment where you doubted Danny Castellano’s status as the sexiest person at Shulman & Associates, all your uncertainty was washed away the instant he pressed play on Aaliyah’s “Try Again” on The Mindy Project‘s second season Christmas episode. Not only is he supposedly a fantastic OBGYN (we say supposedly because we rarely see examples of anyone in TMP practicing medicine, only hear of it after the fact), but he’s also a great dancer, is the perfect balance of grumpy, snarky, and romantic. We’re still not sure how Mindy continuously stops herself from jumping his bones, but we commend her for having way more restraint than we ever could.

8. Cyrus Beene, Scandal

Photo: ABC

Cyrus Beene, who is essentially the Dick Cheney of the Grant administration, is so unapologetically evil and manipulative that we’ve surprised even ourselves by putting him on this list. Remember the time he sent a hit man to kill his own husband? Albeit, he called it off at the very last second, but still… who does that? Cyrus Beene does, apparently. And Scandal wouldn’t be Scandal without him. When he’s not attempting to kill his husband or pimping him out in order to secure the president’s re-election, Cyrus can be pretty darned likable, at times. He definitely brings the drama, and that’s why we enjoy watching him so much.

9. Jaime Lannister, Game of Thrones

Photo: HBO

Out of all the characters on Game of Thrones, Jaime Lannister has had perhaps one of the most transformative character journeys – emotionally, mentally, and *ahem* physically. In the very first episode, not only did we learn that this guy was sleeping with his own twin sister, but then he proceeded to push a little boy out of a window. Once the famed Kingslayer lost his sword hand and began opening up to Brienne about his past in a very memorable scene taking place in a bath, we began to feel sympathy towards him. In the ultimate act of heroism, he rescued Brienne from the claws of a giant bear and then took her with him to King’s Landing.

10. Kieren Walker, In the Flesh

Part of our goal with list-making is to shed light on characters or TV shows that some people might not know about. In the Flesh, which aired on BBC America this year, takes place in a post-apocalyptic, post-zombie world where a vaccine has successfully cured zombies of their impulse to eat humans or become rabid animals. Kieren Walker is one such zombie. Not only does he have to disguise himself in order to fit in with humans and please his family, but he also has to deal with a tragic past, including a lost love.

Agree or disagree with our choices? Anyone you think we left out? Tell us in the comments!

Pop Insomniacs

  • Holly

    I love the top 2 on the list. Great choices. Good to see Crane high on the list because I think Tom Mison has done an outstanding job in the role.

  • Betty

    I’m very happy with your picks. Tom Mison in particular has been tremendous as Ichabod and also loved the british actors playing Will Graham and Kieren walker.

  • Margaret

    So glad to see Hannibal represented on this list! I imagine it wasn’t easy picking between Lecter and Graham, but Graham’s accelerating breakdown over the last half of the season was one of the most psychologically gripping things I’ve seen on network TV in a long while. Hats off to the writers and to Hugh Dancy.

  • Ariana

    Loved that you had Tom Mison near the top. How about Alexander Grayson from Dracula? Sexy, dark, and vulnerable if only to Mina. He and Ichabod Crane are my top 2 choices.

  • https://www.facebook.com/Princess.Donna.Luvz.Penguins Donna Jane Miller

    I totally agree… Tom Mison’s #2 spot his first time out in American “telly” is a testament to his acting prowess… Not only does he make the character believable, he well, just makes a girl melt; so sexy. I hope to see more of him in the future. So far his parts have only been supporting roles and he is much too good to be second banana all the time. Glad Fox and the casting etc of SH saw this diamond and grabbed it up before someone else did!

  • Denise

    Jensen Ackles should be there.

  • http://islandgypsygirl.wordpress.com islandgypsygirl

    Why is Tom Hiddleston not in this list?! @_@