A great character can make or break a TV show. 2008 brought a lot of truly likable characters to the table in the various TV series that aired this year. Whether it was Walter White’s breakdown, Sylar’s good-guy-bad-guy act, or Sheldon Cooper’s super nerdiness, the characters that made Blend Television’s list of favorite people on TV this year all had something to offer television, even when that pesky writers strike threw a wrench into midseason.

So, without further introduction, I present to you our list, in no particular order:

Walter White - Breaking Bad - Walter White is a desperate man. His wife is pregnant, his son has cerebral palsy, he has no money and when he finds out he’s dying of cancer, he realizes he’s got nothing to leave his family. So what does he do? He uses his knowledge of chemistry to set up a meth lab in a rundown motor home. A big part of what makes White one of my favorite TV characters of 2008 is Bryan Cranston’s excellent portrayal of a man with nothing to lose. We can see that White is in over his head and always on the verge of falling apart but it’s hard not to feel for the guy. - Kelly West

Dr. James Wilson - House - Wilson has long been the viewer’s point of reason, our anchor to keeping things in check. Honestly it’s a formulaic technique, and while Robert Sean Leonard is well suited for the role I always found Dr. Wilson a bit too obvious. Then 2008 hit, and Wilson’s friendship with House was challenged by something a little more serious than the moral ambiguity of Dr. Pill Pop. Starting with last season’s finale, “Wilson’s Heart,” we saw the incredible turmoil that House’s actions had on Wilson. Even better is that Wilson didn’t roll over and act exasperated, instead he stood up and walked away. The death of Amber was Wilson’s most emotional moment in the history of the show, and his walking away from House was his strongest. -Steve West

Detective Charlie Crews - Life - Cop shows have been done over and over again. Never has a cop show gone so far to give the main character such an interesting back story and quirks. Don't give me that junk about Vincent D'Onofrio's weirdo cop on L & O. That's just pretentious crap from an arrogant actor. Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) turns out the most underrated performance on television as the fruit loving, falsely imprisoned, Zen master Charlie Crews who simultaneously tracks down weekly criminals and the people who framed him. Stop wasting your time on crap like Heroes. Watch Life. - Matt Norris

Creed Bratton - The Office - Of course Creed Bratton wants a third chair. Of course he loves throwing shit into the quarry. Of course he sits around smoking hookah at the office Christmas party. He’s an amalgamation of the one percent, the old man living on the fringes; existing in a world he has no interest in understanding. He marches to the beat of his own fake tape worm-selling, genuine pot-smoking folk musician, and I, of course, would have it no other way. - Mack Rawden

Sylar – Heroes - His whole “attempted hero” phase was very unpopular with most fans, but he’s come out of it with much more clarity, purpose, and self-awareness. It was also interesting to see that other side of Sylar and gain some insight into why he does what he does and you can’t deny the payoff that Sylar ultimately kills for no other reason than because he really, really likes to. In the end, there was nothing more glorious than Sylar embracing his dark side and reveling in being deliciously, gleefully, pure, unadulterated evil. I mean, I could really just write "Badass" over and over again and that would say it all. - Dustin Christian

Robin Scherbatsky - How I Met Your Mother - From the moment we met Robin, she's been the most honest, commitment-phobic, hockey loving Canadian ever to appear on the small screen. Though she's not the mother (hello, she needs to be with Uncle Barney), I couldn't imagine Ted's life without her. Every scene is filled with subtle movements or facial expressions that elevate the humor to that of legendary status. While Barney may get most of the comedy props, there's a reason he loves Robin and it's the same reason I do...basically, she's awesome. - Erin Dougherty

Sheena - America’s Next Top Model - Anyone who followed my ANTM recaps this past cycle knows that Sheena was my girl! It wasn’t because she was a Kimora clone. Oh no, this ghettofied Asian Harlemite had flavor all her own. Some may have been put off by her “borrowed” urban vernacular. All others may have been disgusted by her overt (albeit clumsy) sexuality. But, for some reason, when she told the camera and the other wannabe models that she was just being herself…I believed her. There was always a sort of sweetness to every funky, not quite right thing she said and did, even when she was bending over backwards or dropping it like it’s hot. Sheena’s that crazy girlfriend you hang with whose warmth and honesty are often overshadowed by the fact that her thong is showing. But you love her for it. - Charmaine Dennis

Admiral William “Bill” Adama - Battlestar Galactica - When I was thinking about my favorite TV characters from BSG, my initial choice was Saul Tigh. Tigh’s always been one of the most interesting characters in the series but it can not be denied that Bill Adama stepped it up earlier this year, not only in finally sucking it up and admitting how he feels about Roslin, but also for the intensely emotional breakdown he suffered after learning his BFF was in fact, a Cylon. - Kelly West

Sheldon Cooper - The Big Bang Theory - When Penny had the audacity to get Sheldon a Christmas gift on The Big Bang Theory, he told her that "I brought it upon myself by being such an endearing and important part of your life." That statement really sums up Sheldon Cooper for me. I started watching The Big Bang Theory by accident, and quite frankly, I wasn't too impressed by the pilot. However, Sheldon and the rest of the gang grew on me, becoming an endearing and important part of my life. Dr. Sheldon Cooper, with all of his twitches and demands would be an exhausting friend to have-- I mean, really. Nobody likes the guy who's always bumming a ride--but as a TV character, he provides hours and hours of enjoyment. - Kona Gallagher

Olive Snook - Pushing Daisies - She’s a pint-sized PI with a whole lot of personality. Her sweet demeanor and unwavering loyalty help her to stand by her man, even though he belongs to her "best friend". She pours her heart and soul into every pie she bakes and every case she helps to crack. While I love Ned and Chuck, I can't help but root for Olive, and hope that one day she will get what she wants - including the Pie Maker. - Amanda Krill

Jack Donaghy - 30 Rock - Liz Lemon may head up TJS, but it’s Jack who is the heart and soul of everything that happens on 30 Rock. What should be a sleazy corporate character is instead a heartwarming fellow, while simultaneously being a biting satire of the dreaded executive. Jack is possibly one of the smartest characters to ever grace television screens, and while that may be hidden by his quotable quips, it should never be forgotten. Speaking of quips Jack is also the holder of the best one from 2008: “If I wanted to lick a hippie, I’d return Joan Baez’s phone calls.” - Steve West

Twitch - So You Think You Can Dance - If you read my recaps, you already know that I have an unabashed man-crush on Twitch. He may not have been the winner, but he was definitely the most entertaining dancer on this season of So You Think You Can Dance. Whether he danced with Kherrington, Katee, Comfort, or even Joshua, Twitch raised every one of his partners to a new level and was consistently fun to watch. Not to mention, I don’t remember seeing a better display of sportsmanship than Twitch’s unreserved joy for Joshua when he was the winner. - Dustin Christian

Blair Waldorf - Gossip Girl - While Serena may rule the Upper East Side, Blair is the one everyone tunes in to watch. With a wit and mischievous grin, she's swiped all of the interesting story lines straight from her BFF. There isn't any possible murder drama or skanky past, Blair simply is captivating. There's more to her than her sometimes icy exterior, as witnessed by her constantly trying to help her friends. In fact, with her acceptance of her step-father and her admittance of love for Chuck, that exterior is melting right before her eyes. Blair's layers and depth keep me tuned in each week, anxiously waiting for her next scene. - Erin Dougherty

NeNe Leakes - The Real Housewives of Atlanta - I never really got into the Real Housewives series before, but when Bravo landed in ATL I knew I had to tune in. NeNe was, by far, the realest of the Real Housewives with her infectious laugh, booming voice, and three snaps in “z” formation attitude. A former single mom with a history of domestic abuse, NeNe found her Prince Charming and happily ever after but never forgot where she came from. She was unafraid to tell anyone like it is, even former BFF and horrific country crooner Kim. She brought a touch of Maury to the tony neighborhood of Sugarloaf when it was revealed her father wasn’t really her daddy, and a whole lot of Jerry Springer to the post-season reunion show when she went buckwild on Kim and Sheree. And how could you not love someone whose booty even makes Anderson Cooper blush? - Charmaine Dennis

Emerson Cod - Pushing Daisies - Emerson’s in a tie for my favorite character of this dying show. While Olive is a ray of goodness, Emerson is the dark cloud of sarcasm and bitterness that balances the show out. Emerson's knack for breaking the case (with the help of the Pie Maker's special gift) and sifting through the misleading clues astonishes me every week. His amusing affair with the controlling dog trainer made his character even more realistic for me. - Amanda Krill

Barney Stinson - How I Met Your Mother - This is sort of cliché. I really wanted to give it to Ted Mosby, architect, but it's Barney for God's sake. Stinson continues to make me giggle like a school girl with almost every sexist, immature yet awesome thing he says. We saw a little heart from Barney this year too. Thankfully, it seems to be put away for awhile. Who needs heart when you have a Bro Code for sale? - Matt Norris

Click here for more of Cinema Blend's Best of 2008 Features.

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