Who needs to be Ellised? The Most Annoying Characters on TV

Photo by: Patrick Harbron/NBC

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

To Ellis: The act of removing a terrible, irritating character from a show.

When Smash returns next year, the much reviled Ellis will no longer be a part of the show.  Thankfully the new showrunner course corrected and decided to exile Ellis instead of trying to save his character. No amount of rewriting could have fixed the show’s Ellis problem.

Sometimes characters simply don’t work – a combination of a poor story arc, bad writing and questionable acting choices. They are characters who are so annoying that we fast forward through their scenes. Their presence brings the whole show down.

A few weeks ago I talked about good characters stuck on bad shows. Today, I turn my attention to bad characters who need to be Ellised out of a show.  They need to go to that great season pass manager in the sky or at least join Ellis on his Starbucks run for the creative team.

Here are the characters I would Ellis off a show:*

Hazel (Kristen Schaal) on 30 Rock: Kristen Schaal is a funny lady but I am so tired of Hazel. As a one-off joke as Kenneth’s replacement, she would have been fine. But I do not need to see her on a regular basis.  Hazel’s shtick got old very fast. Her character gets more freakishly bizarre in each episode but I’m not the least bit curious about her.  This is the final season of 30 Rock. We can’t be wasting valuable screen time on her.

Charlie Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos) on Revolution: Of my many issues with Revolution, my biggest one may be that I cannot stand Charlie. I probably should be rooting for the teen at the center of this post-apocalyptic battle but she is whiny and annoying. Honestly she could work with Emily Owens.  Revolution has been about shocking deaths lately. Let’s make Charlie one of them.

Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) and Declan (Connor Paolo) on Revenge: Sure Fauxmanda also is an annoying character but at least she serves an important plot purpose. Declan has absolutely no reason to still be on the show. The show keeps wedging him into the ongoing storyline. Really now Declan is going to become a part of a teen robbery ring? Paolo is returning to Gossip Girl for its final season. Can’t he take Allen with him and then the star-crossed duo can live out their remaining TV days on the Upper East Side.

Sam (Taye Diggs) on Private Practice: Why I’m still watching this insipid show is a blog post for another time but Sam is my pick for the worst character on TV right now. He’s an awful friend, a terrible romantic partner and a lousy brother. He’s a different character each week who is always righteously indignant about something.

Nick (Marc Warren) on The Good Wife: We can’t blame all the problems with the Kalinda storyline on Nick. The whole thing is the epitome of When Good Shows Go Bad. But Nick isn’t helping matters with his petulant sneer and penchant for food products.

Sugar (Vanessa Lengies) on Glee: When I first heard about Lengies’ casting last season, I was confused. The actress played a teenager on American Dreams, then actually got to play an adult on Hawthorne and now she was back to playing a teenager again? Her vapid character really doesn’t serve any purpose on this increasingly over-populated series. She’s not nasty enough to be fun to hate. We don’t have enough of her back story to actually care about her character. It would be easy enough to get rid of Sugar. I often forget she’s even on the show. And then Lengies, who I’ve always liked, can move on to another project.

*Please note that I decided not to pick on any child actor. I simply couldn’t do it.

Who do you think needs to be Ellised off a show? Talk about it below. And remember to follow my blog so you will know every time I have a new post.

‘The Mindy Project’ and ‘Vegas’ – Two Shows I Wish I Loved

Cr: Beth Dubber/FOX

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

There are times when I am out of sync with the rest of the critics andThe Mindy Project (premiering tonight at 9:30 p.m. on FOX) is one of those times. I’m not feeling the love that so many are bestowing upon the show.

It’s not that I hated the new comedy from Mindy Kaling. I am simply not wildly enthusiastic about it. Kaling stars as Mindy Lahari, an OB/GYN with a successful medical career and a disastrous personal life.  That’s a great and relatable premise for a show. My problem is that the whole pilot has this “Look at me! Aren’t I clever and cute?” vibe.  And I do think Kaling is clever and cute but the pilot feels too self-aware and self-conscious.

These are problems that can be fixed of course.There is a certain innate nervousness that can be present in a pilot. The stakes are extremely high as far as television goes. Maybe things will settle down by episode two.  I’m rooting for Kaling to succeed. TV needs more funny women and it certainly needs more funny women who don’t look like everyone else on TV.

(My other gripe with The Mindy Project is that it took Anna Camp away from The Good Wife. And I loved Caitlin. She was a fantastic foil for Alicia and her departure was way too abrupt. I know this doesn’t really count as a legitimate gripe with the series but I had to share.)

The show definitely has a potential breakout character in Chris Messina, who plays Mindy’s fellow doctor Danny Castellano. It would be great to see Messina, who also plays Reese Lansing on The Newsroom, finally have his moment. And if The Mindy Project doesn’t work out, he can just move in with the boys over on New Girl.

I’m not against The Mindy Project, I’m just not for it yet.  After you watch the show tonight, let me know what you think.

Vegas (premiering tonight at 10 p.m. on CBS) is another show I would love to love. Jason O’Mara is a man who deserves a hit TV series.  I’ve been a fan ever since his character terrorized Brenda on The Closer. Until the bizarre finale, Life on Mars was a fantastic show and there was great potential in Terra Nova. O’Mara swings for the fences when he picks a TV project and I really admire that.  I’ve loved Dennis Quaid ever since I saw The Big Easy (so interesting that both he and Ellen Barkin are in new TV shows this fall). And, of course, it’s always fun to have Michael Chiklis back on TV. Really, you couldn’t ask for better headliners.

Quaid stars as Ralph Lamb, a reluctant sheriff in the 1960’s in Las Vegas. O’Mara is his brother and Chiklis is the gangster Lamb must battle. Chiklis clearly enjoys playing bad and this role seems much more comfortable for him than the heroic family man he played in No Ordinary Family. But there’s also something far too familiar about Chiklis in Vegas. It’s like Vic Mackey got sent back in time (perhaps during a Life on Mars/The Shield crossover event?). His performance almost seems redundant.

The pilot for Vegas moves very, very slowly. Make sure you drink lots of caffeine before you sit down to watch this show.  Mad Men looks downright speedy compared to Vegas.  It’s a totally different pace for primetime television and one that I’m not sure will work.  But there is still some good stuff here. I will be following the show closely. After you watch tonight’s premiere, let me know what you think.

Finally I will be holding the first meeting of the Private Practice support group tonight when the show returns for its sixth season tonight at 10 p.m. on ABC.  Really there is absolutely no reason why I should still be watching this show or why I should care if Addison picks Sam or Jake.  So, if you still watch the show too, join me tonight so we can commiserate together.

Remember to follow my blog by entering your email in the upper right hand corner. That way you’ll know every time I have a new post. And don’t forget to email me your favorite quotes and familiar faces this week. I’ll be posting them on Thursday.