I love eccentric people. I find they are more interesting as they are being their unusual selves, whereas many of us tend to hide our stranger sides from public view. These people spice up our vanilla world. This is the same reason I treasure eclectic places.
On American television, there are five characters who I adore for their eccentricities and entertainment value. I recognize there are many others, so I would love to hear from you about your favorites, but let me get the conversation started with these five, two of whom are on commercials.
My favorite character hands-down is Flo from the Progressive Insurance television commercials. The title of the post is how the ad agency that created the Flo character defines her – “weirdly sincere.” Flo dresses in an all-white outfit along with black Chuck Taylors on her feet and a retro hairstyle with her raven black hair. She makes the “Progressive store” fun and helpful, which is a powerful combination. But, the mini-episodes that she is placed in are priceless entertainment, down to the two foils from the other insurance company. The latest commercials have the actress Stephanie Courtney, who plays Flo so well, appear as various family members (men as well) around a family table or playing charades.
My favorite TV show character is Abby Sciuto on NCIS. Pauley Perrette plays the Goth dressed, visibly tattooed Abby to perfection. She is also weirdly sincere and childlike in her love of her colleagues, Christmas, Halloween, family, etc. She is also extremely competent and has a passion for her work which is to use scientific evidence to solve crimes. I think many people like Abby as she shows you don’t have to be anyone different from you are to do your job well. Plus, her sincerity gushes forth, so you just like Abby as do her colleagues.
The most awarded actor for playing a wonderfully eclectic character is Jim Parsons who plays Dr. Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon is brilliant, but has an Asperger’s like focus on his work and profession. His friends bemoan his quirkiness, but are loyal to him nonetheless, which makes the show. Of course, they have their own set of quirky characteristics and are also smart, which bonds them even more. Even the girlfriends and wife bring their own sets of eccentricities and challenges. But, the show would not be the same without Sheldon as the lead eccentric.
The final TV show character who endears me is Penelope Garcia on Criminal Minds. Played by Kirsten Vangsness, Garcia is not unlike Abby with her sincere desire to help colleagues which is leveraged by her competence. And, like Abby she uses her expeditious technical skills to find answers to questions to help her colleagues solve crimes. The show would not be as good without Garcia doing her thing and making us adore her. I also like her playful banter with Agent Derek Morgan when he is needing her help.
My final character is less weird, but charmingly cute and competent. Lily is the AT&T supervisor in the commercial that knows the answers to any questions thrown her way by interesting or famous customers. Lily is played by the Uzbekistan born comedic actress, Milana Vayntrub. I have several favorite commercials with her, but the one with professional basketball player Grant Hill is quite memorable, due to their difference in size and the fact she has no idea who he is. I also like the one where she reads the mind of a prospective customer answering his questions before asked.
Honorable mentions go to the red-headed Wendy in the TV commercial for the Wendy’s hamburger fast food chain and all other cast members on The Big Bang Theory. Please let me know your favorites and what your impressions are of those I mentioned. Tell me why you love them, as I may not have seen the show.