1. Deacon Claybourne, Nashville
First let me say that I have a special place in my heart for characters that are truly in love with people that they are not supposed to love – people that they can’t have. Deacon is a man. A real man, complete with a beard and boots. And he can sing and play guitar. And he writes beautiful love songs for Rayna – who he loves but can’t have. He tries to do the right thing and stay away from her, but he keeps getting pulled back to her over and over. Here’s to you, Deacon Claybourne – everyone’s favorite troubled singer/songwriter.
2. President Fitzgerald Grant III, Scandal
Again, let me stress my affection for men who love women that they are not supposed to love. Oh, Fitz(gerald). He is the President of The United States. He is the leader of the free (fictional) world and very likely the most powerful man in the (fictional) world. But he is desperately in love with Olivia Pope, who just happens to not be his wife. His wife is Mellie – a manipulative political animal who does not love him. Olivia Pope loves him. They love each other. Fitz even gave a beautiful speech to Olivia outside the White House that included the line, “I love you. I’m in love with you. You’re the love of my life. My every feeling is controlled by the look on you face.” There is also the steamy hand holding scene where he says, “What kind of a coward was I to marry [Mellie] and not wait for you to show up.” Yes, it was a steamy hand holding scene. Only Fitz can make hand holding steamy. So here’s to you, President Grant – our beloved sexy POTUS.
3. Joel Graham, Parenthood
I am aware of the fact that Joel Graham does not have a major screentime-consuming role on NBC’s Parenthood. But there is just something about the way that he wears those button-up plaid shirts tucked into his man jeans that makes me feel weak in the knees. Joel is a contractor. He knows how to build things and fix things – and what woman doesn’t want that in a man. And let’s not forget that during the first season of Parenthood, Joel was a stay-at-home dad. He is such a good father, and his relationship with wife Julia is to be admired. So here’s to you, Joel Graham – everyone’s favorite super dad/husband contractor man.
4. Matthew Crawley, Dowton Abbey
Now let’s back up a century and discuss the class and chivalry that is Sir Matthew Crawley. That man tried to no avail to swoon Mary for years. After surviving WWI, a fake paralysis, almost marrying Lavinia, and then the death of Lavinia, Matthew finally managed to snag Lady Mary. A beautiful proposal in the snow and a beautiful marriage ceremony (that we only saw a minute of) later the couple is finally happy together, for now. Here’s to you, Matthew Crawley – the lovely British Lord in a dinner jacket.
5. Ezra Fitz, Pretty Little Liars
Once more, Ezra Fitz (not to be confused with the aforementioned Fitz[gerald] Grant) falls into my category of men loving the wrong women. In the pilot episode of this teen drama, Ezra meets a cute girl in a bar. Then, he proceeds to make out with her in the bathroom of that bar. The next day, Ezra once again sees that cute girl (Aria) in his high school literature class. What is so wrong with that, you ask? Ezra is the TEACHER of that literature class, and that cute girl is a HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT! Now in the real world, this would never be acceptable. But in tv/PLL/Rosewood world, we the viewers know that Mr. Fitz is a good guy and would never take advantage of Aria and truly loves her. The forbidden couple manage to keep their clandestine affair a secret for the whole first season, which is amazing considering that A knows their secret and is trying to sabotage their romance. When the couple finally comes clean to the public, a.k.a Aria’s parents, there is some major backlash at first, even though Aria’s dad, a college professor, had an affair with one of his students – how is that fair?? But the shock wears off, Fitz gets a new job away from the high school, all is well, and Fitz avoids federal prison. Let’s not forget to mention Fitz’s innocent boyish freckled face (my weakness), his sensitive and caring demeanor, and his preppy vest and tie wardrobe. So here’s to you Ezra Fitz – our favorite freckled hipster high school teacher.
I would also like to add that if this post were titled “Top Characters of All Time,” it would also include Chuck Bass (Gossip Girl), Tim Riggins (Friday Night Lights), Kevin Walker (Brothers and Sisters), and maybe Josh Lyman (The West Wing).