CRITIC'S CUT: Top TV Companions; Sticking by the Sidekick
BWW TV World is thrilled to present our weekly Critic's Cut: slicing the best (and the worst) moments of pop culture into ten little digestible pieces.
Critic's Cut runs every Friday, presenting television's 'Best Of' moments, characters, shows, and more!
This week's edition features the most renowned television sidekicks in history, who all proved that no one can do it alone.
10) Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards)
Sidekick of: Jerry Seinfeld
Well, he may not have been the sane sidekick (that'd be George Costanza,) but Cosmo Kramer isn't infamous for no reason. He aptly represented the sheer craziness of some New Yorkers, and proved to be a decent and zaney friend to Seinfeld. Cosmo's a caricature, and a good one.
9) Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper)
Sidekick of: Mary Richards
Rhoda and Mary Richards were totally television's first pair of BFFs. There have been few like them, and even fewer as charming as Rhoda. She was walking sass in a headscarf, a girl from the Bronx who was beloved enough by audiences to score her own show.
8) Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris)
Sidekick of: Ted Mosby
All right, Barney Stinson may be the tuxed-king of bros, but that guy is loyal. And dedicated. And doesn't understand the concept of giving up (unless he's already slept with his goal.) Harris' performance has garnered him as much praise as possible for a sitcom role, and rightly so. For real: how can literally EVERY ONE of a character's one-liners be turned into a cultural catch phrase?
7) The Fonz (Henry Winkler)
Sidekick of: Richie Cunningham
Well, he rides a motorcycle and has no problem getting rough with a jukebox. To say he was simply a sidekick is a bit of a disservice to The Fonze. He was totally Richie Cunningham's protector and source of hero-worship. He's the epitome of cool guy. C'mon. Plus, he always hangs out in a bathroom.
6) Barney Fife (Don Knotts)
Sidekick of: Sheriff Andy Taylor
Knotts didn't become a television legend just because. It all comes from somewhere. In the case of Fife, it came from clumsy neuroses that always landed him somewhere halfway between a full-blown panic attack and using only that one bullet he kept in his pocket on the last ounce of his sanity.
5) Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance)
Sidekick of: Lucy Ricardo
There are few women who've been drug through as many showbiz shenanigans as this gal. I mean, most people would just tell their best friend to get lost after being chocolate-boarded. But she was always there, right by Lucy, through good or bad, keeping her in check.
4) Dr. Watson (So many: Martin Freeman, Lucy Liu, Jude Law, etc.)
Sidekick of: Sherlock Holmes
The infamous Doctor Watson has undergone many incarnations - even gender-flipping in the latest Holmes outing on CBS - but the character has always proven to be the more insightful of the two, keeping Holmes and viewers human amid all the sleuthing.
3) Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan)
Sidekick of: Buffy Summers
Buffy would have been nothing without The Scooby Gang, and The Scooby Gang would have been nothing without Willow. Sure, there's Xander and Giles - both equally great characters - but few sidekicks pack as much adorkable, mousy power as Willow. Plus, she's a witch.
2) Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson)
Sidekick of: Michael Scott
Sure, he may no longer be Michael Scott's sidekick, but he'll always be the authoritative, overbearing, potentially psychotic kiss-ass we've all come to love/hate. Schrute was always by Scott's side - for better or for worse - until Dunder Mifflin lost its second most iconic character. The first, of course, is Dwight K. Schrute, beet-man/paper salesman.
1) Spock (Leonard Nimoy)
Sidekick of: Captain James T. Kirk
He's the half-Vulcan, half-human intellectual who kept the brawny Captain Kirk more than grounded. And, hello, the character is known for arguably the most iconic hand gesture in television history: the Vulcan salute. Who could ever beat Spock? Uh, no one. Thousands of Comic-Con attendees can attest to that.