Television shows are all about the people in them, which is why the series that have the best characters tend to stand out. Folks loved Seinfeld because a 'show about nothing' only worked because Jerry, Elaine, George, & Kramer managed to drive the story, and the same could be said of Friends, The Sopranos, or any other great series.
Of course, not every television show has great characters, and when that happens, they don't typically last for long. Getting someone to be compelling, funny, interesting, or sad requires two basic things: a great actor to play them and an outstanding backstory they can build off of to bring the construct to life.
A person's backstory needs to be compelling, and it also needs to have some intrigue that's never fully explored during the show. How interesting is it to have someone with a shady past involving murder, but the nature of that killing is barely hinted at or discussed?
Whatever their past involves, it's usually dark and mysterious, and for the best characters, it's incredibly disturbing. A dark and troubled history helps make a person interesting, and throughout all of television history, these ten characters have a backstory most people would run away from screaming.
Jonathan is a graphic artist, illustrator, writer, and game designer. Jonathan retired from the U.S. Army in 2017 and enjoys researching and writing about history, science, theology, and many other subjects. He writes for ScreenRant, CBR, NerdBastards, Listverse, Ranker, WhatCulture, and many other sites online. You can check out his latest on Twitter: @TalkingBull or on his blog: jonathanhkantor.com