5. Kirk Gleason, Gilmore Girls
Gilmore Girls was a really good show. Stars Hollow seemed like a pretty cool place to live. I could listen to Lorelai and Rory sit at Luke’s Diner and talk to each other all day long. And the other townsfolk were funny and endearing, too. But then there’s Kirk, who for me just never worked. If you’re allergic to quirkiness, the show may set you a little on edge anyway. But I’d argue that it was screwball-comedy charming most of the time. Kirk’s deadpan lunacy, (and I normally like deadpan), was the only part of it that veered into eye-roll-inducing territory for me. There I’d be, smiling at something witty Rory just said, or at some bit of smart patter between Lorelai and Luke, and then Kirk would appear and I’d inwardly groan. His eccentricity is supposed to be endearing I think, but I just thought it was off-putting. He seems like a harmless enough guy. But if I saw him across the street, I’d hide behind a tree to avoid having to interact with him.
4. Piper Chapman, Orange is the New Black
This is a strange case, because Piper didn’t start off getting on my nerves. I thought she was an interesting character and a good audience stand-in as we got to know all of the other inmates at Litchfield. But that’s the thing. We DID get to know the other people there and then privileged Piper became less and less interesting. The third season, in which she frames a fellow inmate, is oblivious to Alex’s troubles, and is generally a jerk as she becomes the prison “big bad” was where I remember her becoming outright obnoxious. I’m willing to admit that maybe I was just in a crabby mood during that season and I’m being too tough on her. But then I think, eh…no, maybe she’s just the worst. And yeah, I know we’re supposed to not like her at times. (P.S. I’ve yet to dive into the most recent season, so she may be just great now.)
3. Dawn Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I know it’s easy to pick on Dawn, being the younger sister and all. But I have two younger siblings (brothers) myself and I know how annoying they can be as kids. So as a fellow oldest child who didn’t even have the added burden of fighting vampires, I’m going to be sympathetic to Buffy here. I think we can all agree that Buffy Summers had plenty on her plate before Dawn made her entrance. (The how and why of Dawn’s sudden appearance is actually pretty cool, but that aside…) How many times had Buffy and her crew had to save the world up to that point? The last thing she needs is an obnoxious kid sister getting into scrapes and constantly needing bailed out on top of everything else. And it was always something with her, to the point where the show, which aired on Tuesdays at the time, even had Buffy herself point this out: “So, Dawn’s in trouble… must be Tuesday.” And Dawn could be so whiny. I mean, she WAS a teenager, but still. No excuse! She’s on the list!
2. Wesley Crusher, Star Trek: The Next Generation
I guess some of what I said about Dawn could also apply to the Crusher twerp. Here we have another horrible teen. I guess he wasn’t getting into life-threatening trouble all the time (if only) but he had the sort of overachieving, eager-to-please, aren’t-I-precocious, cocky air that made you wish the Enterprise crew would just “accidentally” forget him on some hostile alien planet one week. He actually did leave the show after season four, but he’d come back and visit now and then. If possible, he got even more irksome as a young adult. Oh, and he once wore this sweater.
1. Noel Shempsky, Frasier
I said last week that Frasier was probably my favorite sitcom ever, so it pains me to say that there is a less-than-great character in its cast. But, Noel has always gotten on my nerves. He’s the nerdy guy at the radio station who has a crush on Roz and is always saying something stupid in his whiny, whiny, (whiny) voice. It’s like he’s daring one of the other characters to backhand him. I can’t think of one time when I’ve laughed at something he’s said or done. Oh, and the writers do that hacky thing of making him a Star Trek fan so they can get some cheap “oh man, what a DORK” laughs that way. It’s just…it’s not good. (And NO, this isn’t hitting too close to home just because I’m a nerd who likes Star Trek…Okay, maybe a little.) Daphne’s drunken lout of a brother is also annoying, but he at least doesn’t show up until later in the show’s run, so we’re not saddled with him all that much. Sorry, whoever the guy is who plays Noel. (I would’ve looked it up but then I would’ve had to see more dumb pictures of his character.) Nothing personal.