With Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life recently debuting on Netflix, we can’t help but feel a little reminiscent of all the shows – pre-Gossip Girl – that once belonged on our screens. From One Tree Hill to Friday Night Lights, we’re counting down our top eight favourite small-town TV characters.
8. Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars, 2004-2007)
Witty, confident and smart as a whip – Veronica Mars was the best thing to happen to mystery thrillers since The X Files. Set in the small town of Neptune, Mars evolved from popular girl status to a student-turned-detective trying to discover the truth behind her best friend’s death (who was played by Amanda Seyfried, nonetheless). Mars, for all her sass and ass-kicking, definitely paved the way for future female heroes with a touch of ambition and beauty.
7. Haley James Scott (One Tree Hill, 2003-2012)
Everyone’s favourite teenage mom, Haley James Scott is possibly every girl’s role model when it comes to following your heart. Having to choose between music and husband Nathan she proved that she didn’t need a man to make her happy (even though that relationship still worked in the end – thank GOD #naleyforever), and served to dreamers everywhere that anyone can reach their goal, even in small towns like Tree Hill.
6. Matt Saracen (Friday Night Lights, 2006-2011)
Okay – I can’t be the only person to have completely fallen in love with this guy, right? RIGHT?! I mean the dimples, the anxious eyes, the way he took care of his sick grandma . . . I’m getting too involved, but you get the point. Matt Saracen was an absolute gentleman in FNL, a show about a small town obsessed with football. He even made it worth watching all of those damn Jason Street scenes!
5. Leslie Knope (Parks and Recreation, 2009-2015)
Before Chris Pratt was Chris Pratt and Amy Poehler was hosting every awards show with Tina Fey, they once starred on something called Parks and Recreation – a show about a recreation council in charge of providing their small town of Pawnee with creative ways to spend their time off. The main protagonist, Leslie Knope, was fucking hilarious. I can’t even describe it to you – just watch it.
4. Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls, 2000-2007 and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, 2016)
With her witty comebacks and cool-mom personalty, Lorelai Gilmore is easily one of the most enjoyable characters to watch on TV. She has sass, class, (and one hell of a rocking body) and still knows how to have fun all while taking care of her 16-year-old daughter and running an inn. Goals or what?
3. Nathan Scott (One Tree Hill, 2003-2012)
Oh, Nathan. Sweet, handsome Nathan. How I’ve missed you since you and Haley last kissed in the rain in the series finale, mending our fangirl hearts along with a daily dosage of heartthrob attacks. One half of the Scott brothers and the famous #Naley relationship, Nathan Scott evolved from the series bad-boy to a concrete character and ideal friend, brother, father, and husband (and he’s also really sexy, so there’s that). He was protective when someone threatened someone he loved, determined when things weren’t going his way, and oh yeah! He recovered from a back injury and ended up in the NBA! No biggie!
2. Ron Swanson (Parks and Recreation, 2009-2015)
One thing you need to understand about Ron Swanson is that he’s the most miserable, negative, despising character in the history of television – and I fucking love him for it. What does he do for fun? Shoots things. What makes him happy? Being alone. What gives him joy? Saying no to people. Seriously – he loves saying no to people; he makes it his mission to say no to people as much as he can because he like refusing people’s wants. Sounds like a bad guy, right? But you’re wrong, he’s actually like every typical American man stuck in an office filled with emotional kooks.
1. Brooke Davis (One Tree Hill, 2003-2012)
Hands down the best character to grace our small screens since the invention of TV, or time, or even the fucking dinosaurs. Brooke Davis is everything you want in a friend and yourself. She’s confident without being too cocky, bitchy without being too mean, and loyal without being too clingy. She’s conquered sexual assaults and cheating boyfriends, all with a strength that every woman should aspire to. Out of all the One Tree Hill characters, Brooke has been through the most, yet still continues to be one of the courageous characters of all time. B. Davis, you’re our queen.
Have any suggestion about characters we’ve missed out? Let us know in the comment section below!