January 16, 2011

016: Super sidekicks

In the vein of the other day's my-favorite-sleuths blog, I thought I'd do a bit of a triptych: detectives, sidekicks, and villains.  It was harder to think of sidekicks than investigators -- I had trouble paring down my runners-up list on that one -- but you can find my attempt below the jump.  If you have other favorites, I'm eager to hear them!

Sam Axe | Burn Notice
He's Bruce Campbell.  Everything else is irrelevant.

The Lab Rats | CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Henry Andrews (Jon Wellner), David Hodges (Wallace Langham), Archie Johnson (Archie Kao), Wendy Simms (Liz Vassey, through season 10), Mandy Webster (Sheeri Rapaport), and sometimes Bobby Dawson (Gerald McCullough) are the in-lab support staff for the CSIs, as wells as a treasure trove of quirks, insecurities, and comic relief.  For several years, the show focused on the Lab Rats for one episode per season, which usually ended up being the most memorable (and my favorite) episode of the year.
 Geoff Peterson | The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
Craig Ferguson's robot skeleton sidekick may not be the most eloquent fellow out there, but when he speaks, it's with robot skeleton gusto.  Cue a chorus of "In your pants!" from the robot skeleton peanut gallery.

Crow T. Robot & Tom Servo | Mystery Science Theater 3000
The wisecracking robot duo watched (and skewered) terrible movies first with Joel Robinson and then with Mike Nelson on the Satellite of Love, while their antics drove their human friends up the wall.  Crow (Trace Beaulieu/Bill Corbett) and Servo (Kevin Murphy) have a love/hate relationship with each other and those around them, but their wacky skits, ascerbic wit, and musical diversions -- and the fact that they're made from junk that was sitting around the ship -- has endeared them to MST3K audiences for some two decades.

 Miles Straume | Lost
Miles (Ken Leung) didn't turn up until season four, and didn't get much attention for the next two seasons, despite having the fairly fascinating ability to interpret the dead's last thoughts.  I'm not even sure he qualifies as a sidekick, though his friendship with Sawyer (Josh Holloway) has a certain Han-and-Chewy element to it.  There's just something likable about Miles, even when he's extorting millions of dollars -- and Sawyer and Miles as LAPD detectives (in season six) is a TV series all on its own.

Pamela "Pam" Swynford De Beaufort | True Blood
Vampire Sheriff Eric Northman's second-in-command is self-involved, sarcastic, insufferably superior, and fabulous.  Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) is bored by essentially everyone, but her vengeful streak and loyalty to Eric -- plus a bone-dry sense of humor -- make her one of my favorites.

The TARDIS | Doctor Who
It's more than just a mode of transportation.  The Doctor's not-always-so-trusty blue box can be finicky and difficult, and has no innate inclination to arrive on schedule (see: twelve months, not twelve hours; five minutes), but somehow always comes through in a pinch.  It's bigger on the inside and houses seemingly endless rooms (including a library and a swimming pool), but it's got a broken chameleon circuit and makes noise because the Doctor always leaves the brakes on.  Yet, through eleven different faces and dozens of traveling companions, the TARDIS is the Doctor's only constant sidekick.

John Watson | Sherlock
Watson is the quintessential sidekick, done to death and inconsistently characterized over the years.  I'm extremely fond of the John Watson written by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and not only because I quietly adore Martin Freeman.  Principled, loyal, deeply impressed by Sherlock Holmes' mind, and just the slightest bit of a lady-killer, Freeman's Watson manages to provide comic relief without being silly, and is the perfect counterpart to Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock.

Rory Williams | Doctor Who
I know (male) fans adore Amy Pond, and I like her, too, but if for some reason Karen Gillan weren't available and it was just The Doctor-and-Rory Show, I'd watch, gleefully.  While Amy is all fire and verve, Rory (Arthur Darvill) is the loyal, steadfast companion who seems meek at first, but is secretly braver that anybody gives him credit for.

Digby | Pushing Daisies
Marshall Eriksen, Ted Mosby, & Barney Stinson | How I Met Your Mother
(because they're all their own and each other's sidekicks)
Captain Arthur Hastings | Poirot
Donnatella "Donna" Moss | The West Wing


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