Who’s your favorite television character?

Choosing a favorite television character seems a little like choosing a favorite child. I don’t have kids, but I have cats — same thing, right? My favorite varies according to which one wakes me up at 4 a.m. or which one insists on sitting on my keyboard when I have a lot to do or which one throws up in my shoe.

Yet, the brave writers at Slate inspired me with a list of the characters they were most happy to see again in the new television season. Some of their choices make sense.

Others make me scratch my head.

And at least one, I’ve never heard of.

Hop over to Slate and check out their choices, then come on back.

Looking at their list, Kenneth Parcell from 30 Rock, Nancy Botwin from Weeds and Starbuck from BSG rise to the top. I’m not sure about the characters they chose from ensemble comedies The Office and Ugly Betty. Are Kelly and Kevin more notable than Pam or Jim or Dwight or Creed? And how can Marc, Justin and Alexis outshine Amanda, Wilhelmina and Hilda? Slate’s ways are not my ways, saith thelinster.

To narrow down my list of favorite returning characters, I first eliminated an entire gender. (Admittedly, the main reason for that is that I didn’t want to face how much I love a certain psychopathic serial killer.) So no Dexter, no House, no Denny Crane. Then, to level the playing field, I eliminated out lesbian characters. OK, that didn’t help.

Anyway, here are my top five.

5. Brenda Johnson, The Closer — The drawl, the sugar addiction, the way she can take down a suspect or a coworker with just a few words. I not only like Deputy Johnson, I want to hang out with her.

4. Patty Hewes, Damages — The show is uneven, but Patty is deviously, brilliantly consistent. She will do anything to win, whatever the cost. When she gets that glint in her eye, I know she’s seen through whatever or whomever is in her way — and she’s about to strike.

3. Abby Lockhart, ER — Abby is a rarity on a television series. She actually learned from her experiences of heartbreak, addiction and dashed hopes. Now Abby is a doctor, is in a loving relationship and has a healthy baby. I hope the writers let her be happy for the rest of her tenure in the E.R. She deserves it.

2. Cristina Yang, Grey’s Anatomy — Yang can say more with a look than Meredith can with an entire monologue. Her eyes reveal her intelligence, her pain, her drive and her loyalty. I wouldn’t hesitate to choose Cristina as my person.

1. Liz Lemon, 30 Rock — She can turn the world on with her smile. She can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile. And she wears bi-curious shoes. Liz is awkward, geeky, talented, funny and smarter than everyone around her. I know you think she’s No. 1 because Tina Fey plays her, but not so. I have a crush on Tina, but Liz Lemon has my heart.

What TV characters have you been happiest to see this fall? Who’s your favorite? Have any newbies turned your head? We won’t tell the others. Promise.

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