*** Note: SPOILERS! Spoilers all around for each of these shows and characters. I basically run down everything, so consider yourselves warned.
It seems like there is always that one character in a series that doesn’t get all the love that they deserve. Sure, each character has its big fan-base, regardless of whether they are good or bad, but some just don’t seem to get enough screen time, or get forgotten about amidst all the “main” characters. I know we are often not supposed to notice these supporting characters as much as the lead ones, but to me, I like to root for the unsung hero, as sometimes they can be even more interesting.
Here is a small list of characters from current and past series that I found myself growing very fond of for various reasons, yet felt like they were often taken for granted in the grand scheme of things. Of course, it is a very personal list, so maybe you thought about someone else that I didn’t. ? Regardless of anything, I just really like to make lists it appears.
And so, without further ado, I give you: The Unsung Heroes of Various Series (each with an additional “runner up” from each show selected).
Ando Masahashi - Heroes
Basically my inspiration for this whole post. I always felt bad for Ando for some reason. I think it’s mostly because Hiro always got all the glory because he was the one with the power, even though Ando was always there for him, helping along the way. And let’s be honest, his loyalty is something to be admired. Also, even later when Ando does develop a power of his own, it is rarely used and Hiro is still running the show. Of course, Hiro later says, “You don’t need a power to be a hero,” but he is really just speaking about himself after he had lost his for some time, even though Ando has really been proving this all along, right beside him. Therefore, Ando is my unsung hero of Heroes.
Runner Up: The Haitian – For always being there when needed, and for sticking making tough decision to stick to his morals, even if it may have caused him serious trouble to do so.
Gloria Akalitus – Nurse Jackie
I know typically it’s all about the nurses and doctors when it comes to thinking of who the heroes of the medical world are, but I think Gloria deserves an awful lot of credit. First and foremost, for keeping the hospital/ward running when all else seems to be falling apart around her (at least in all her staff’s personal lives). She is feisty and knows how to get her job done by being strict with those working around her, but also compassionate when she needs to be. I’m glad she has been getting more screen-time in these recent seasons.
Runner Up: Thor – For being the strong, intimidating backup when a patient goes awry, and also for being a soft emotional support when others are nothing but cold.
Mr. Bates – Downton Abbey
I know, I know, everyone in the Downton staff works hard, and Matthew Crawley is the main heartthrob in this series, but I truly have a soft spot for Mr. Bates. He works hard without complaint, even though he has a bad leg. Yet if someone thinks he isn’t fulfilling his duties? He accepts it gracefully. Furthermore, he always has everyone else’s best interests in mind, and doesn’t retaliate with vengeance when someone is out to get him, because he is far too moral for that. Most importantly, he loves Anna and is so lovely about it, how could you not love him?
Runner Ups: The entire rest of the Downton staff, as they keep everything running day in and day out. No seriously, all of them work like crazy and I love every one of them (even that evil Thomas, I must admit).
Thomas Tomone - Skins
Now I know you might be skeptical about this one but just, sit tight, okay? Really, all the characters on this show get their time to shine in one way or another, but I just feel like Thomas is one of the most genuine of all the characters, yet his stories get pushed into the background, despite him having conflict as well. Yet throughout the seasons, he was always there as a backbone, regardless of the fact that he himself was an immigrant in a new land and facing family difficulties of his own. He helped Cook get out of trouble with a “mobster” or whatever you want to call him, was willing to give Pandora another chance after a somewhat lengthy affair with Cook, yet told her right away when he cheated on her, and finally was there for Katie when she was going through an emotional break, while everyone else seemed to be only worried about their own issues. Plus, like I said, he was one of the most genuine and friendly characters from the get-go, so how could you not like him?
Runner Up: JJ Jones – For being there with a friendly smile, trying to keep everyone together through thick and thin, and wading through the waters of social interaction and social issues, despite having a slight disability in these areas. And the kid is adorable, what can I say?
Toshio Sato - Torchwood
Although one could argue that being in the “main cast” of Torchwood, Tosh doesn’t really qualify for unsung status, but out of all the main characters, I feel as though she gets the least amount of screen-time and storylines. My mother even said her favorite character was Owen over Tosh because “He’s just a Jack of all trades, that one!” Tosh seemed to just be a pitiful little presence, pining over Owen (or Tommy) in the background, which made me feel bad for her especially since she basically was the technology expert, which gave the whole institute a heads-up on the majority of alien threats. Not to mention her willingness to go above and beyond and be downright feisty about it when in the field: Remember when she used her own blood to write a message to her comrades in the future? And who could forget how as she lay on the ground, bleeding to death at the end of Season 2, that all she was worried about was helping Owen keep calm and save himself, even though he was basically dead already? So Tosh, I salute you, and know you gave more to the group than you usually received credit for.
Runner Up: Andy Davidson – For alerting Torchwood of suspicious activity that led to a lot of their cases, and always having Gwen’s back, even though she really took him and his loyalty for granted.
John Frobisher – Torchwood: Children of Earth
I know we just had someone from Torchwood but since I kind of consider Children of Earth to be a totally separate thing from that (not to mention Toshiko isn’t even in it), I’m going to add another. Mostly because this is one of the best Sci-Fi miniseries I’ve ever seen and there were so many emotions going around, that it makes it so memorable. Of course, in this tale we once again have all the members of Torchwood standing out in various ways to help save the day, as well as the feisty Lois Habiba who gives it her all, but I found myself feeling really drawn to the character of John Frobisher (and no, it’s not because I really love Peter Capaldi as an actor). At first I wasn’t sure if I should like him but by the end, I realized he did more for the government than he was ever given credit for. He acted as a middleman in all the negotiations with the 4-5-6, and after all the work he put in, he is given the order to sacrifice his own children. It broke my heart what he did in response to that, as he realized he wasn’t worth as much as he thought to the government, despite all the work he put in to come up with a solution to their problem. So while we all mourn Ianto Jones, and Jack’s grandson (I must admit, I was sobbing for a good while at the end of this series), I will also hold a sad little place in my heart for John Frobisher.
Runner Up: Rhys Williams – For stepping up to the plate to help his wife and for helping keep the children who were to be “inoculated” safe from the government search teams.
Burt Hummel - Glee
No, not one of the teachers with an inappropriately close relationship with their students, nor one of the students themselves that doesn’t get as much screen time as the others: Burt Hummel. Actually, a lot of the kids on this show have pretty supportive parents, no matter how irritating their kids are being. But despite all the schmaltz that the show has now found itself in these days (hey, remember when it was actually kind of campy in a witty way at the beginning?), he has stood out from the rest right from the start, and continues to be integral to one of the most interesting character’s story lines now (that being Kurt). He has been there for his son from the beginning, supporting him in his sexuality even though he himself was always a bit of a “mans-man” if you will. He defends Kurt like any true parent would against anything that threatens or hurts him, even if it’s his own fiancé’s child. And of course when it comes time to give the sex-talk to Kurt, Burt is willing to do it and does so with a lot of heart and tact, unlike a lot of parents would be able to. And so, I hope Mr. Hummel keeps going on with standing up for what he believes in, and hopefully now making a difference for others, since he was just elected as a United States Congressman.
Runner Up: Lead Musician/Piano Man – I mean seriously, he is always there just being the backup to everyone, so he must work outside of the school with these kids a lot more than we realize to know all the tunes they want to sing on a whim. He doesn’t even have a name, yet contributes way more than half the people on this show every episode!
Molly Hooper – Sherlock
Oh Molly. I do feel sorry for Molly and see a lot of myself in her meek ways, pining after a gentleman that doesn’t per-say replicate the feelings. And while this may come off as pathetic and desperate to some, the girl is actually a lot stronger than she is given credit for. It takes guts to let someone know when they are hurting you, especially when you have such a strong attraction to them, and she is always willing to help Sherlock out, even when she doesn’t have to. He himself recognizes this when he tells her that she does in fact count, and I’d bet anything she had some hand in him pulling off that "Reichenbach Fall" (she had to have!). And let’s not forget that she has to be pretty smart to be a morgue attendant and work in the lab, not to mention she dumped one of the most dangerous criminals in England! Well okay, so that last one is a little bit of a fuzzy point, but despite being unobservant in that instance, she has been pretty perceptive at other times. I mean, who didn’t give out a little whimper when she noticed how sad Sherlock looked whenever he thought John couldn’t see him? Either way, I just love this woman, and hope she sticks around to be of more help to those lads in the future.
Runner Ups: Detective Inspector Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson – Because Mrs. Hudson puts up with a lot of stuff that she doesn’t have to from Sherlock and John, yet it still an opinionated, feisty old thing. And Lestrade for allowing them onto the site of crime scenes in the first place, as well as being willing to stop by on cases he isn’t even working on, because he truly is a friend to Sherlock and John.
And what do you think of it all? Are these people unsung heroes to you, or did I just grow overly fond of each of the characters? Are there any that you might want to add yourself, possibly from something I haven’t seen before?