Jimmy on "Boardwalk Empire"
Why he's awesome: Every time something bad happens, whether it's to him or around him, you can tell when his heart is breaking by the look on his face. He's the most emotive character on the series. While most people express fear or triumph, Jimmy runs through an entire spectrum of emotions in the span of one episode—going from playing with his adorable son to organizing the hit of an enemy to mourning the death of a lover. If he didn't have such a big heart, he'd already be a lost soul. Thankfully, unlike the other gangsters around him, Jimmy always has his conscience to contend with at the end of the day. And he punishes himself as much as he punishes his enemies.
Best Scene: There are a lot, but one of my favorites is when he realizes that Capone's son is deaf and that's why he doesn't respond when called. He felt for Capone, knew the kind of pain he must feel to discover something so tragic, and, despite their differences, commiserated with him with just one look.
What's up next for him: He's planning a coup against Nucky with Eli and the Commodore.
Harrow on "Boardwalk Empire"
Why he's awesome: The guy loses half his face in war and feels like he has no place in the world, then Jimmy comes along and gives him a purpose in life. Sure, he's a murderer-for-hire, but at least he's nice to the kids.
Best Scene: When Margaret is reading the kids a bedtime story that'll make them unafraid of him and he sits there desperately basking in their acceptance.
Sam on "Rookie Blue"
Why he's awesome: He's the bad boy who lives to do good. He may bust your balls, rile you up, and keep you at arm's length, but he's actually the best friend you could ever have and the nicest guy you could ever meet.
Best Scene: Basically whenever he talks/argues with Andy.
Fauxlivia on "Fringe"
Why she's awesome: She managed to infiltrate Olivia's inner circle, seduce Peter, and complete her mission successfully. She's a relentless soldier and her greatest enemy is a woman who looks exactly like her. How does she reconcile with basically destroying herself? The subtle differences between her and Olivia are just enough to make them seem like polar opposites. It's an amazing performance. And the most amazing part of it is that I never thought Anna Torv could be interesting.
Best Scene: When she tried to get Peter to think that she really did love him and he shuts her down—hard. But then you get the feeling that she might've been telling the truth.
Alex on "Nikita"
Why she's awesome: Lyndsy Fonseca was once known for being hot. Hot enough to be a superhero's object of obsession. But now she's known for being a butt-kicking badass. In the beginning, Alex had the daunting task of having to fool Division and us, and she pulled it off impressively. She's a self-contained nuclear bomb waiting to explode and the only thing keeping her in check is the promise that one day she'll get her revenge.
Best Scene: When she couldn't execute a target, she really struggled with deciding whether or not she'd kill just to get vengeance.
What's up next for her: She'll be moving into her own apartment and getting a new love interest, played by soap star Thad Luckinbill, on Jan. 27th.
Dano on "Hawaii Five-O"
Why he's awesome: He's the show's comic relief, cracking most of the jokes and busting McGarrett's chops. He's also our connection to the other states of America that aren't accustomed to 24/7 beaches-and-bikinis, so he asks all the questions we're thinking and makes all the judgments that are normally taboo to say out loud.
Best Scene: Any where McGarrett almost gets him killed, causing him to rant and complain.
What's up next for him: In February, we're going to meet his brother, who will be played by comedian Dane Cook.
Auggie on "Covert Affairs"
Why he's awesome: He's blind, but he's still a better agent than most. Plus, he helps Annie a lot more than he's supposed to and he doesn't ask for anything in return. Christopher Gorham finally found a role where he can be a nerd and a hottie at the same time.
Best Scene: When he taught Annie how to fight better against men who are bigger than her and when he uses his blindness to make girls putty in his hands.
Manmeet on "Outsourced"
Why he's awesome: Maybe it's his adorable voice or the innocently perverted way he smiles and sways his head whenever he thinks he's said something clever. Or maybe it's the fact that even though he's from another country, he reminds us of that dorky Casanova who's all talk.
Best Scene: One of Tonya's friends comes on to him, practically giving it away, and the only way he can flirt back with her is if he calls her on the phone...while they're in the same room.
Raylan Givens on "Justified"
Why he's awesome: Besides the fact that he's a modern day cowboy with a hot accent, he's also a country knight-and-shining-armor, constantly saving women, whether they're a murderess or his remarried ex-wife. He's got daddy issues galore, but that never stops him from enforcing the law and cleaning up a corrupt town.
Best Scene: Whenever he's in a gun standoff and ends up the quickest draw.
Jim Longworth on "The Glades"
Why he's awesome: He's one of those charismatic know-it-all cops that toys with you to keep you off guard while he solves the case in a cinch. And when he's not putting the bad guys away, he's romancing a nurse and playing surrogate dad to her son.
Best Scene: The day after he kisses Callie for the first time, he's fixing his car, covered in grease, and she strolls up to him and lays one on him so that she can finally stop thinking about him. It leaves him dumbstruck and, for the first time, at a loss for words.
What's up next for him: Since Callie's husband is getting out of jail, I'm assuming there will be a lot of awkwardness in his future.
The Watcher on "No Ordinary Family"
Why he's awesome: He's currently one of the best villains on the tube, boasting not only a mysterious air about him but a dual personality. One minute he's the doting, protective new boyfriend, and the next he's the superpower-addicted strongman for the mad scientist. All the best villains have an inner battle between good and evil, and he makes you want to see which side will win.
Best Scene: When he went to interrogate Daphne and he seemed to plead with her to tell him the truth, desperate to keep his powers.
Why she's awesome: Never have I seen a more sadistic teenager. Trust me, that's hard. I watch "Gossip Girl." I thought wealthy, bored upper-east siders were formidable enemies, but this suburban sociopath really takes the cake. Whoever is pretending to be her is always one step ahead, always has a punishment or terrifying incident awaiting them. She's worse than a horror movie villain, because no one would ever suspect her.
Best Scene: The events that led her to framing Toby, and turning everyone, including his only friend, against him.
Brittany on "Glee"
Why she's awesome: Heather Morris was originally supposed to be one of the background characters, but her deadpan delivery of so many dimwitted or bizarre lines scored her a role that was more front-and-center. For a dancer-turned-actress, it was well-deserved and well-acted.
Best Scene: She went to see Santa, and even though he was black, she assumed it was just because of global warming.
Franklin on "True Blood"
Why he's awesome: Vampires stopped being scary on the series right around the time Eric tried to seduce Sookie in the buff. Franklin really reintroduced that unwanted stalker vibe that they usually give off by haunting Tara, torturing her, and imprisoning her as her future vampire wife.
Best Scene: Anytime he fell for Tara's lies about being in love with him and then threw tantrums like some crazed, lovesick sociopath.
Casey on "Better With You"
Why he's awesome: Hands-down, he's the best part of the entire show. He gets the best jokes and he's the most relatable character in the cast. The rest of them are just neurotic.
Best Scene: When he was competing against his mother-in-law to finish a puzzle.
Oscar on "90210"
Why he's awesome: Normally when a guy tricks a girl and her mother into sleeping with him in order to get vengeance against the mother, you think of him as a douchebag. But Oscar carries himself in a way that makes you realize he's damaged. You can't hate a damaged person. It's the reason he saw a kindred spirit in Naomi, someone almost as damaged as he is.
Best Scene: Whenever you could tell he was scheming, setting up Dixon and playing mind games with Ivy.
Derrick Bond on "The Good Wife"
Why he's awesome: Unlike the other lawyers in the firm, he doesn't let his emotions control his decisions. He seems like he has a preset plan and that nothing will make him veer away from it. But you get the feeling that that plan is a secret, which would make him the most devious one of them all.
Best Scene: Whenever he goes head-to-head with Diane and Will, and overrides their authority—shoulders back, head high, and full of self-righteousness.
What's up next for him: I imagine he'll be busy with Diane's departure, especially if she convinces Alicia to go with her.
Paul on "30 Rock"
Why he's awesome: It's hard to be funny when you're playing a straight transvestite that's in love with a woman that you dress up as, especially if that woman is Jenna. But somehow Will Forte pulls it off. Now, I'm not going to say that he's an attractive tranny, but he certainly looks comfortable in his own skin.
Best Scene: It had to be when he was half Cher and half Jenna. So disturbing and yet so funny.
What's up next for him: He'll try to have a normal relationship with Jenna and get her to commit.