Roger Sterling, Mad Men
It pains us to pick out Mad Men‘s delightfully debaucherous silver fox as one of the characters the show should cut. But at this point, he’s really serving no purpose to anyone. His tobacco account-driven free ride at his daddy’s company has ended in a car wreck of epic proportions. Frankly, although she’s pregnant with his lovechild, Joan would be better off without him. And we’re even growing bored of Roger’s booze-swilling antics. Plus, it seems like actor John Slattery would do just fine post-Mad Men, if all his recent films and luxury car commercials are any indication.
Nancy Botwin, Weeds
For the first few seasons of Weeds, pot-dealing suburban widow Nancy Botwin was kind of fascinating. Although, at first, she seemed to be a caring mom thrust into illegal activities by her husband’s death, we slowly learned that Mary-Louise Parker’s smirking, ice coffee-sucking matriarch actually thrives on danger. Season 7 premieres June 27th, but we haven’t been particularly interested in Weeds‘ main character since Season 4. The most compelling story lines in recent years have featured Nancy’s son, Shane, and the brother-in-law who’s smitten with her, Uncle Andy. And while it doesn’t look like she’s in imminent danger of being killed, we sure hope her arrest at the end of last season means we’ll be seeing a good deal less of her when the show returns.
Sam Merlotte, True Blood
Sam has pretty much always been the least interesting main character on True Blood. Who cared that he loved Sookie when so did Bill — and then Eric? We nearly forgot about his nothing of a hook-up with Tara. We weren’t even impressed when he turned into a shape shifter. And his rediscovery of his low-life, shifter family was among one of last season’s most unnecessary plot lines (and it had a lot of competition!). You’re a nice guy, Sam, but nice guys rarely make for great TV.
Nate Archibald, Gossip Girl
Let us preface this by saying that there is not just one character on Gossip Girl who needs to get the boot. In fact, as much as we loved the rich-kid soap while the gang was still in high school, it gets harder to defend our guilty pleasure with each passing season. By far the most extraneous character is Nate Archibald. He’s beautiful, he’s entitled, and he’s so stupid that jokes about his credulity have actually turned up in the script. And we couldn’t really tell you what he’s been up to in the show’s current, fourth season except for babysitting his ex-con dad. Time for poor Nate to die young and leave behind a pretty corpse.
Jenna Maroney, 30 Rock
We realize that this one is going to piss people off, but hear us out for a minute. While 30 Rock‘s other freaks, geeks, and charming executives are either somewhat multi-faceted or don’t get too much screen time, Jenna is a one-joke character who keeps dragging us through similar story lines. It all goes something like this: Jennia is vain and insecure, so she does [X] and comes out of the debacle looking even more pathetic. She wants to sing! She wants to play Janis Joplin! She dates a male Jenna impersonator! Sure, we laugh at her anyway, because 30 Rock can’t help but be funny. But if Tracy Morgan’s recent absence has made us realize anything, it’s that Jenna can’t carry TGS on her own.
Will Schuester, Glee
We’re confused. Once upon a time, in the show’s earliest days, we thought Mr. Schue was supposed to be the protagonist of Glee — that we were meant to identify with this grown-up geek who takes the reins of his beloved high-school glee club and turns it into something that’s great for the school and the kids alike. But we’ve always been kind of weirded out by his relationship with Emma, and it’s gotten exponentially creepier since she started dating (and then married!) Uncle Jesse the dentist. That one bump-n-grind number in the Rocky Horror episode? Unforgivable. It’s time Will took a long walk off a short stage, if you know what we’re saying.
Margaret Schroeder, Boardwalk Empire
From the first moment she opened her mouth, Kelly Macdonald’s Margaret Schroeder was the most annoying character on Boardwalk Empire. (And on a show whose cast also includes Paz de la Huerta, that’s saying something.) Strike one: Mrs. Schroeder has a voice so whiny we hear it in our nightmares. Strike two: She alone seems to have access to Nucky’s conscience, which makes him a million times less fun in her presences. Strike three: She’s kind of a bitch, but not a particularly interesting one! Although she’d like us to believe she’s driven by morals, it’s really just her selfish whims that lead her to do things like ruin Nucky’s St. Paddy’s Day fun. And lady? When a guy kills off your abusive husband for you, you thank him. OK?
Shane Walsh, The Walking Dead
Ugh. There are deliciously evil villains who we never want to die (like Harry Dean Stanton’s Roman Grant from Big Love) and then there are mediocre, annoying antagonists who we are just dying to see rubbed out. By all accounts, Shane Walsh, the guy who protected hero Rick Grimes’ wife and son during the zombie apocalypse, only did so in order to get in Lori’s pants. So, he lied and told her Rick was already dead, then they shacked up, and then Rick came back — at which time his supposedly faithful friend and former colleague seriously considering shooting him. Oh, and later Shane tries to rape Lori. Yeah, we’d be pleased to see zombies ravage this guy’s entrails.
Jim and Pam Halpert, The Office
Don’t think we wouldn’t cry at their joint funeral, or pity poor baby Cecilia. Believe it or not, we are human. But since Michael Scott is almost out the door, why not also get rid of two characters who have been boring for nearly three seasons? Jim and Pam were always The Office‘s likable, everyperson types, and we spent the show’s early years rooting for them to get together, for good. Once they were married, the tension and suspense were gone, and that’s when the ho-hum story lines kicked in. Michael dating Pam’s mom? Jim’s promotion? If this is what life after marriage is like, remind us to never, ever put a ring on it.