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June 03 2010

Buffy on IMDb's daily poll. The question is: "From Entertainment Weekly's top 10 greatest TV/film characters from the past 20 years, which is your favorite?"

Homer's 23 years old, Lecter is almost 30, and The Joker is about 70. I think I'll skip complaining about the ridiculously small pool offered to us for such an immense subject, and I believe I'll also skip complaining about the fact that it contains characters created for other media.
In fairness, I think it's reasonable to assume (given that the poll's on IMDB) that they're referring to the film/TV versions of the characters and this is supported by the fact that they say e.g. 'The Dark Knight' rather than 'Batman' (i.e. in that instance it's specifically Heath Ledger's Joker) and 'The Silence of the Lambs' rather than 'Red Dragon' or 'Manhunter'). That'd make Buffy ambiguous BTW since she's both (TV and film) but the link they give is to the entry for the TV series which clears that up.

Were the poll on the Internet Book Database (featuring books and comics) and they still talked about the last 20 years then you'd be spot on (and you're right about Homer Simpson however we look at it).
I was pretty pleased that Buffy made EW's list, but now that I look at the other nine, I'm just embarrassed for her.
Saje wrote:
(and you're right about Homer Simpson however we look at it)
Except for when you take into account the fact that Homer has been on tv (with new material) for all of these past 20 years.

Anyway it is a small pool indeed, which means I would have voted Buffy, if I had remembered my account name/password.
It says "from the past 20 years" and Homer's from 1989, seems fairly cut and dried. "Appearing in the past 20 years" would be fine (similarly "The A Team" aren't from 2010, despite them appearing in a 2010 film).

But if you loosen the meaning and go more with the (probable) intent than the actual poll title then sure. Except then Batman would qualify and Batman therefore wins ;).
If it had been a British poll, I reckon Gene Hunt and Captain Jack Harkness would have been included. Though I am wondering if British tv has produced any great female characters in the last two years. Scifi wise you could make a case for the Doctor's assistants.
Well I'd definitely love seeing Captain Jack on the list. But Homer Simpson, a cartoon character, over Buffy?? That is just so wrong.
Specific to Sci-Fi, recent and female (since Simon stuck that detour sign in the road), I would definitely have included Donna Noble and Amy Pond is looking like a shoe-in at this point :). Recent Sci-Fi males would almost certainly have to include Captain Jack. Speaking of the Gene Genie, I am just getting around to S3 of Ashes to Ashes this week. Makes me want to re-watch Life on Mars.
Yeah, Donna definitely and maybe Amy (bit early yet but the signs are good). And if single episodes count then Sally Sparrow, fo' sho'.

Otherwise the pickings are depressingly slim though there've been some good male characters (Gene Hunt being up there). Quite enjoying that 'Luther' at the moment, he's got a nice slightly off-kilter vibe to him (impeccably played by Idris Elba) so that the character's back-story kind of "leaks" out in the performance very organically but again, bit early (only 5 episodes in) and the programme itself is good but nothing spectacularly original. Ooh, thinking of it though, Alice, Luther's psychopathic kinda-sorta "friend"/quarry is pretty cool (and disturbingly attractive).
@Zeitgeist - Oh, you haven't seen the finale yet? You are in for such a treat. Season 3 is easily the best of 'Ashes to Ashes', so enjoy.

If I could vote in this (no account,) I would find it pretty tough to choose between Homer and Buffy to be honest. Heather Ledger's Joker is also pretty phenomenal, but it can't really compare to characters that have graced our screens for many years.

The Gene Genie would also be pretty high on my list, although I do have slight qualms about liking him. It is kind of like the way I like Top Gear, in that he contains many things that I despise, yet I can't help but enjoying his presence. I often wonder if the majority of people who enjoy Gene Hunt are enjoying him because they think that more people in the world should be like him, rather than seeing him as the complete oaf he clearly is. Just look at the backfiring in the recent Labour party campaign.
I think Gene Hunt functions on a lot of levels (more than 'Top Gear' anyway ;). He's entertaining and funny which obviously appeals. He's also, basically, a decent man (I haven't watched 'Ashes to Ashes' yet but certainly in 'Life on Mars' we see him throwing around racist epithets while simultaneously being very fair in his actual treatment of minorities, he treated them like people even while he was calling them 'paki' or whatever). Then there's the vicarious pleasure when he says and does things that we couldn't get away with (similar to e.g. House). And there's also a kind of nostalgia for a time that never was, the idea that in the past things were simpler, decisions were easier, moral issues were more black and white, people knew their own minds and acted without being hamstrung by red-tape and political correctness gone mad etc. (none of which is particularly true IMO but it's still easy to see the past that way, especially a past in which a lot of the people watching LoM and AtA were quite young).

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