Whether it was a simple chain around Connell’s neck, Ted Lasso’s neverending optimsm, or Beth Harmon’s perfect 60s fashion, some TV characters have provided a saving grace for viewers through lockdown.
Here are twelve TV characters that saved us while we were stuck at home during the toughest Covid restrictions - and why we became obsessed with their shows.
Beth Harmon - The Queen’s Gambit
Of the TV shows that took the world by storm throughout lockdown, none had more class, style, and all around badass-ness than The Queen’s Gambit.
The show’s lead, Beth Harmon, is a chess prodigy who was orphaned at age nine. After learning chess from her school janitor, Harmon begins a rapid rise up through the chess world, challenging top Soviet players as she goes.
Set during the mid 50s and early 60s, Harmon’s vintage style is flawless throughout the show. Ranging from pastel wool jackets, to quirky silk shirts, the character’s fashion sense elevated the show to a new level.
Beth Harmon takes her place on the list for effortlessly breaking the glass ceiling, while inspiring viewers to learn the art of chess - another great lockdown distraction.
Jill Baxter - It’s a Sin
Be more Jill!
Those who watched the gut-wrenching and stunning show ‘It's a sin’ will remember the heart and soul of the show - Jill Baxter (Lydia West).
Having lost several of her friends to HIV, Baxter stole the nation’s heart as the close female friend in the show. The character represents the best of humanity in times of horror - showcasing the absolute power of being an ally.
Baxter is an almighty character that has inspired people to learn instead of judging at first sight - and that community and friendship will always be immensely powerful
Ted Lasso - Ted Lasso
A character so iconic they named the show after him...
Apple TV’s surprise hit show somehow managed to take an NBC TV advert, and make it into one of the most touching shows of lockdown. Jason Sudeikis’s portrayal of the American football coach turned English football coach is heartwarming, inspiring, and absolutely hilarious.
Now to find out how many people have stuck a ‘believe’ banner above their door frame.
Simon Basset - Bridgerton
Sexy, a little rude, and charming. Need I say more?
Bridgerton became the most watched show on Netflix ever, thanks to its mixing of elements of Pride and Prejudice and Gossip girl, but Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page) took the world, and then some more.
The show’s principle love interest became the UK’ biggest heatthrob, thanks to some strangely erotic topless boxing scenes, and Page’s irresistable eyebrow raise.
Arabella Essiedu - I May Destroy You
One of the best TV shows of 2020 gave us another lockdown character favourite - Arabella Essiedu (Michaela Coel).
Coel’s tour de force, I May Destroy You, gave viewers an inside view at dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault, as well as forcing viewers to have uncomfortable conversations about the current social climate.
Through her friendships with fellow characters Kwame and Terry Pratchard, Arabella takes the audience on a 12-episode journey which is unlike anything you have ever seen on TV.
Joe Exotic - Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
A show that arrived at a perfect time, with a seemingly more terrifying, mad and sensational story than the UK going into lockdown.
Thanks to documentarians Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, the world got the inside scoop on big cat owners Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin and Jeff Lowe, and their wild and wacky tale of greed, murder, and tiger cubs.
Joe Exotic proved to be as wild and unpredictable as the show promised. No matter how crazy his antics, the documentary made for compelling viewing thanks to Exotic’s undeniable charisma in front of the camera.
Michael Scott - The Office
Love him or hate, Michael Scott (Steve Carell) is one of the most memorable characters in TV history.
Thanks to Netflix, UK viewers were able to binge all nine seasons of the US office during lockdown. A combination of “that’s what she said”, uncomfortable dinner parties, and an utter loathing for Toby, have left TV viewers cringing their way through the pandemic.
Despite his frustrating management style, Michael Scott also provides some of the most emotional moments in the show, and can be like a warm hug after a miserable day working from home.
Connell - Normal People
The lead character of the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People sure knew how to break a few million people's hearts.
Telling the story of Marianne and Connell’s friendship and romance in their final year of school, and their time at university, Normal People was a coming of age show fit for 2020.
Aside from their incomparable on-screen chemistry, Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal bought the two on again-off-again lovers to story life impeccably. But it was Mescal that went viral on social media thanks to his captivating sport shorts and neck chain.
David Rose - Schitt’s Creek
Thanks to a triumphant final season, which saw the show pick up nine Emmys, the Rose family became a staple in millions of homes around the country.
Following the family’s journey from riches to rags and anywhere in between, the Roses acted as a constant breath of fresh air amidst a global pandemic.
However, it was David that really stole the show by the finale. The self-described black sheep of the family won audiences over thanks to his trademark bitterness, keen eye for design, and outrageous sarcasm.
Michael Jordan - The Last Dance
For those who lived through it, was the ultimate throwback. To those new to the sport, it was a fly on the wall documentary like no other.
The Last Dance gave birth to a whole new legion of basketball fans, thanks to the sheer talent, and unmatched honesty of Michael Jordan.
The documentary series provided moments that sports fans will never forget, and gave audiences a new look at one of the greatest sports stars to ever walk this planet.
Emily Cooper - Emily in Paris
Possibly one of the most divisive characters to make their way onto our screens this past year, Emily Cooper was confident, stylish and incredibly comforting to watch.
Emily in Paris follows Cooper’s journey as she attempts to find her way in Paris. As confident as confident can get, watching Cooper navigate herself round the French capital was a joyously simple experience.
The character even got compared to the goddess of Sex and the City herself - Ms Carrie Bradshaw.
Marty Byrde - Ozark
Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) proved to be one of the most reliable characters on TV during lockdown - somehow always having a solution to the most nail biting problems.
Ozark follows the Byrde family as they navigate the terrifying world of money laundering and drug cartels.
However, through all the chaos, Bateman’s character provides the structure the show needs, supplying viewers with an endless list of appealing solutions to his family’s chaotic life - all while being the smartest guy in the room.