This was the case for CW’s iZombie.
Whilst the supernatural-crime drama had a slew of compelling characters, Ravi Chakrabarti became the heart of the show and kept all the characters together. From his banter with Liv to his bromance with Major to his will-they-won’t they relationship with Peyton, the morgue doctor was a goalpost for the cast.
Ravi, a self-proclaimed nerd, provided most of the comedic moments for the series. Granted, the main character Liv was a close second. But it wasn’t just his humour that endeared him to fans, but his character's journey.
One of the main plots of the entire show was his attempts to create a zombie cure; through never forsaking his oath as a doctor and his commitment to leaving the world a better place, Ravi became a fearless fighter for justice against his foes. Zombie, or, you know, non-zombie.
From a self-proclaimed nerd to a prom queen, another character who shone brighter than others was Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Cordelia. Whilst most people would consider Spike worthy of this spot, Cordelia was an icon from the first episode.
Though only appearing until series 3 then transitioning to the spin-off Angel, Cordelia gave viewers a different perspective to the stereotypical popular girl trope. Even after being roped into many dangerous Scooby-gang missions, she never lost her fiery personality, even at one point questioning if the world was ending again so that she could get out of her homework.
Despite being a secondary character for only three series, Cordelia went from being an air-head cheerleader to abandoning her former lifestyle to help Buffy and friends fight against evil. She even embraced dating nerd Xander- they were meant to end up together and you can’t change my mind.
The final character in this list probably deserves the title the most, Paris Geller from Gilmore Girls. Whilst Rory became their school’s valedictorian, we all know that it was Paris that shone brighter.
Over seven series Paris was a force to be reckoned with, knowing exactly what she wanted to achieve and how she was going to do it. Her lack of social skills and tunnel vision on academics led her to become isolated, so when she realised that Rory challenged her intelligence, a bond was formed- whether it was friend or foe.
Paris never let anyone stand in her way and often went to extremes to achieve her goals, in one example almost becoming a dictator in her job as her college newspaper’s editor. Her fiery personality left the show with some of its best quotes, “No, it’s national baptism day, tie your tubes- idiot” and “I can scare the stupid out of you, but the lazy runs deep.”
Each of these characters held up the TV shows that they appeared in, and without them, the shows probably would never have been the same. I’m still waiting for a Paris Geller spinoff show. I’m here for her becoming president or taking over the world- whichever is easier.