Stock Characters

Channel Guide - Large

The precocious child; the old grump with a heart of gold; the plucky young woman, looking to make it in the big city all on her own, who spins around in the middle of a busy street with a big, stupid grin on her face while wearing a hat. For better or worse, these sorts of characters have been and, most likely, will always be a part of the TV landscape. They’re templates that take all of the pesky guesswork out of creating a show. Over the years, familiar archetypes are re-imagined and deconstructed to reflect the changing values. This is why we have the wholesome Brady Bunch in the ’70s and the dysfunctional Bundys of Married with Children in the ’90s. And then, sometimes, new constructs are born. But you know all of this. We may be in the midst of a TV renaissance but that doesn’t mean that shows aren’t leaning hard on archetypes—these five in particular are getting a lot of play.

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