If I were stuck in an elevator with any of these characters, I’d be clawing my way through the ceiling vents.
5. Vicki Groener (Kathy Griffin) Suddenly Susan (1996 – 2000)
I’ll admit to finding Kathy Griffin reasonably charming as a human being. There’s an honest, scrappy quality to her that I can respect (recent transgressions notwithstanding) and I was a D-List devotee back in the day, mostly to watch her elderly mother Maggie drink wine and bond with Kathy’s gay friends behind her back. In a sitcom, however, this is about as grating as a human being can be. The photo above says it all- VOLUME. EVERYWHERE. ALL OVER. Vicki is a human cringe.
4. Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek) Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003)
This feels a little bit like a cheat because Dawson’s supposed to be the star of his own show. Surely, no one wrote him as “annoying character.” But here we are. Dawson sucks.
He whines. He tantrums. He sulks. My god, the sulking. He is the most overdramatic person in Capeside and that’s saying something, my friends. He’s a terrible boyfriend. He’s self-involved. He’s wishy-washy. He’s high-maintenance. If you were in a film class with him, you’d be muttering, “God, shut. up.” within about five minutes of him rambling on about Spielberg. Put all of THAT up against Pacey and poor Dawson doesn’t stand a chance. Even on his own show.
3. Donna Martin (Tori Spelling) Beverly Hills 90210 (1990-2000)
In the high school years, the show didn’t seem to know what to do with Donna. She’s ostensibly supposed to be Kelly Taylor’s what? Henchman? Sidekick? Fluffer? The closest I can get to is Amanda Seyfried’s character in Mean Girls, affably dumb and quintessentially, you know… blonde. Tori Spelling was game to turn Donna into pretty much anyone you needed her to be- the comic relief who wears an elaborate mermaid costume to a dance and then cannot move her tail, the earnest virgin in a belly shirt, the tearful voice of reason arguing why a virgin needs her school and parents to give her class a reasonable sex ed class, the scapegoat who just wants to graduate. She’s also annoying. Through and through. There is a thirstyness to Donna that is inescapable, a whiny, little girl in a Co-Ed Call Girl’s body. She knows, and we know, deep down that she really should’ve just been named The One Who Isn’t Kelly.
2. Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) Parks and Recreation (2009 – 2015)
There is an adorableness to Aziz. That’s gotta be the reason why Leslie keeps Tom Haverford around right? Because even though his personality is just the worst, he’s terrible at his job and blatantly inconsiderate of the people around him, there is an impish quality that wins you over juuuuust as you’re about to push him off a cliff. Tom Haverford is dying to be Travis Kalanick with the money and the hook-ups and everything that comes with it. He’s as petty as a middle school girl in your nightmares. He’s got terrible taste in pretty much everything, opting for volume over substance (this is a guy who bought out Skymall for a camping trip, after all.) And the baby talk. My god.
Although I’ll admit, chicky chicky parm parm is pretty good.
1. Marie Barone (Doris Roberts) Everybody Loves Raymond (1996 – 2005)
My mother loves this show. It is her favorite show, full stop, and she has seen every single episode many, many times. Which means I have seen a lot of episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond. There are some very funny episodes- the one where Marie and Frank tell their children that they’re moving an hour and half away from them (no more pop ins! no more meddling!) is pretty fantastic:
But Marie is… tough. Woof. She’s supposed to be, of course. The point of the show is her obsession with her younger son Raymond and her passive-aggressive derision of Ray’s wife Debra, constantly picking at her cooking, the way she raises her kids and takes care of her house and her husband. And Doris Roberts is amazing as Marie. She’s so thoroughly amazing that you watch this show and wonder why Debra hasn’t thrown Marie through a friggin’ wall yet.