By Tom Comi
While I am looking forward to tonight’s ABC special Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of the Year (9:30pm ET), it dawned on me that nobody ever puts out a list of the least fascinating personalities or characters on TV.
Sure, Walters always includes some controversial folks on her annual list, which this year includes the Kardashian family, Donald Trump, Simon Cowell, Modern Family stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet, baseball star Derek Jeter, singer Katy Perry and Pippa Middleton (Britain’s most famous bachelorette).
It’s a nice list, but it’s a little too positive for my liking. With that in mind, here is my list of some non-fascinating TV characters who need to be overhauled or sent away:
The supporting cast of Whitney: Stars Whitney Cummings and Chris D’Elia can grate me on at times, but they are comedy geniuses compared to those surrounding them. Rhea Seehorn, Zoe Lister Jones, Maulik Pancholy and Dan O’Brien could comprise the worst ensemble in sitcom history, and Whitney might be without Whitney if she doesn’t address this situation immediately.
Oleg, 2 Broke Girls: Jonathan Kite’s sex-crazed Russian cook is at best a two-dimensional character, and he does nothing but cheapen a show that already caters to the lowest common denominator. This CBS venture can be very funny at times thanks to its two leads (Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs), but it loses major points for its horrible stereotypes. Matthew Moy’s Asian diner owner is also a major embarrassment, and the only reason I didn’t include the entire cast like Whitney is because Garrett Morris lends some comedic moments as the cashier.
Emma Pillsbury, Glee: There’s probably not a sweeter person on television than Emma, but producer Ryan Murphy and his writers either need to give Jayma Mays’s character a better story arc or let her go. We were teased with the idea of guidance counselor Emma and glee club leader Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) hooking up, but that never happened. Now she just appears in scenes with no real purpose whatsoever.
Creed Bratton, The Office: I realize Dunder Mifflin likes to hire employees who could never land a job elsewhere, but even Creed (actually played by Creed Bratton) doesn’t pass the smell test here. He rarely does any work, and the limited amount of speaking he does is creepy and makes no sense whatsoever. The writers would be much smarter to give more material to Stanley Hudson (played by the vastly underrated Leslie David Baker).
Tracy Jordan, 30 Rock: I saved my most controversial pick for last, because I know there are a lot of Tracy Morgan fans out there. But the next time his character makes me laugh will be the first. Fans of Saturday Night Live want to believe that 30 Rock is somewhat realistic in its depiction, but that is impossible to grasp when the sitcom revolves around an unreliable character who isn’t funny. Morgan should thank his lucky stars that he knows Tina Fey and Lorne Michaels from his SNL days, because I seriously doubt his agent’s phone is ringing off the hook.