Main characters can be overrated. There, I said it.
The problem with main characters is that there’s so much pressure placed on them to be likable.
Sometimes the added pressure works in a character’s favor, but other times, the extra attention turns what could have been an admirable lead into one that either falls flat or appears too overdeveloped.
That’s rarely the case with sidekicks as they are quite literally created with the intention of propping up said main character
Now, that isn’t to say the role of a sidekick is easy; their job is especially difficult as they bear a handful of responsibilities. They’re known as supporting and secondary characters that assist the main character, break the ice in tense situations using comedic relief, give advice, and clean up messes.
They also have the ability to raise the stakes of a show without outshining the lead.
Except here’s the thing — many of the sidekicks listed here do just that.
Actors who portray sidekicks have the ability to play with a role and make it their own often leading to a character that resonates with audiences in more significant ways than the main character.
More often than not, the secondary characters become much more than just “sidekicks.”
Gone are the days when they weren’t supposed to have a life outside of the protagonist’s plot. Now, they take on lives of their own with backstories, flaws, conflicts, and successes.
They are so vital to the success of a show, in fact, that there’s a whole award show category dedicated to “supporting actors.”
The truth is, without the sidekick, the main character — no matter how great — is incomplete.
And every true TV fan knows that main characters are only as great as the sidekicks that they surround themselves with.
We’re taking a look at some memorable sidekicks who have etched their way into our hearts and inevitably, and sometimes unintentionally, elevated the show to greater heights.
There are so many different types of sidekicks, but one of the most common ones is the brains behind the operation.
These sidekicks act as a foil by being filling a void left behind by the main character and possessing characteristics that the lead lacks.
One of my personal favorite sidekicks and admittedly, the one that inspired this piece, is Susie on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
There would be no Mrs. Maisel without Susie Meyerson (Alex Borstein).
She helped discover Midge’s talent, she held her hand throughout the whole process, she groomed her from dinky club act to main stage performer, she vouched for her and stuck her neck out for her, and she continues to champion her in a male-dominated industry.
Their friendship and partnership carries the series, and while Midge may be the talent, she likely wouldn’t have gotten this far without the perseverance of her manager.
Revenge’s Nolan (Gabriel Mann) completes Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke and is the reason why her intricate revenge plot never fell apart.
Emily/ Amanda wouldn’t have been able to accomplish half of what she did without his hacker expertise.
Nolan was eager and willing to help, he had no problem breaking the rules, and he did whatever Emily/Amanda wanted without question. And when he did ask questions, she trusted him enough to tell him the truth.
Nolan promised Emily/Amanda’s father that he would protect her no matter what, and not once did he stray from that promise.
Their bond was unbreakable; Nolan would risk his life for that girl in a heartbeat.
Sidekicks are oftentimes loyal to a fault because of the friendships that they’ve built up with the lead.
Another example is Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) on Homeland, who remained loyal and true to Carrie until the very end.
In cliche terms, he was quite literally her “ride or die.” He was equally as compelling, and some would say, far more likable than Carrie as he radiated a quiet, stoic, strong presence.
There are times where sidekicks may be responsible for choices that put the main character on the right path.
Many sidekicks complete and even complement the main character while also carving their own path.
Mo (Alex Newell) from Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is Zoey’s neighbor and a fan-favorite that, dare I say, is liked more than Zoey at times.
On the surface, the gender nonconforming sidekick is witty and fun and gives magical advice, but the character’s strengths lie in the moments when the series embraces deeper issues of faith and sexuality.
Not all sidekicks take themselves seriously. One of the most common secondary characters is the jokester that provides comedic relief with witty one-liners and zingers.
However, even a “funny” sidekick can steal the spotlight if done right.
Niles (Daniel Davis) from The Nanny was a butler who worked for the Sheffield family, but he’s revered for his snarky (and sometimes borderline cruel) comments towards C.C. Babcock.
His motivations come from a place of loyalty to not only the family but to the nanny named Fran.
It’s that protective and kind attitude that morphs him into one of the best characters on the series, though, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t also fans of the manipulative and diabolical attitude.
For nearly 30 years, DJ Tanner’s sidekick has been Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber), the outlandish and wacky neighbor whose spirit perfectly compliments the straight-laced eldest Tanner daughter.
Through her eccentric personality, Kimmy has given more than just laughs, she’s provided the assurance that it’s okay to be different; she’s become the spirit animal of so many fans.
Is Moose the TBK on ‘Riverdale’?
Best Shay Mitchell Movies and TV Shows to Watch
Shay Mitchell has amassed quite a following on social media with her hilarious and relatable TikTok videos, but on-screen is where she delivers the real gold and pours herself into the most challenging roles.
Here are the best movies and TV shows starring Shay Mitchell to add to your must-watch list:
Pretty Little Liars – Freeform
Shay became a household name after bringing Emily Fields to life in the ABC Family/Freeform mystery drama. Emily and her best friends attempted to solve the mystery surrounding their best friend’s disappearance while fielding text messages from a digital stalker at every turn. Shay’s portrayal was also pivotal as it brought to life one of the best LGBTQ characters for the network!
Dollface – Hulu
After being dumped, Jules (Kat Dennings) rekindles her female friendship with Madison (Brenda Song) and the eccentric Stella (Shay) and re-enters the world where your girlfriends trump romantic relationships. Each character brings a certain personality to the series, but Stella is definitely the most vibrant and worldly.
You – Netflix
In its first season of the psychological thriller, Shay tackled the role of Peach Salinger, the best friend of Joe’s (Penn Badgley) first obsession Beck (Elizabeth Lail). And you know that any friend of Beck’s is an enemy of Joe’s.
The Possession of Hannah Grace – Sony Pictures
Shay flexed her horror muscle as cop-turned-morgue worker Megan Reed, who accepts a delivery of a disfigured cadaver during the graveyard shift and is plagued with horrifying visions as she’s possessed by a demonic spirit.
The film revolves around several different mother’s day events, including one with Sandy (Jennifer Aniston), a single mom that finds out her ex-husband is marrying a younger woman, Tina, played by Shay.
7 Hottest Moments Between Thony and Arman on ‘The Cleaning Lady’
Arman and Thony have an intense and electric bond on The Cleaning Lady.
While they let the passion get to them on a few occasions, they’ve mostly kept things PG. So, how can there be so many “hot moments” between them, you ask. Well, good question!
When it comes to these two, it’s not only about the physical connection but the emotional as well. It’s about every longing gaze, stolen glance, and forbidden touch. It’s about all the times Arman helps Thony at his own discretion, and in turn, it’s the loyalty and support she extends to him.
Here are the hottest and steamiest moments between Arman (Adan Canto) and Thony (Elodie Yung) on The Cleaning Lady Season 1!
Not only does Arman spare Thony’s life, but he “hires her” as the cleaning lady in order to justify keeping her alive. He sees something in her that not only piques his interest but also reminds him of himself. When Thony stands up to him at the airport hangar for the first time, she’s setting the scene for their season-long tug-and-pull dynamic. Arman acknowledges that she’s a woman that “commands respect” while noting that he’s “offering that to her.” He also reminds her that as immigrants, they need each other, and she needs him as he can play a huge role in keeping her son alive. It’s a key scene in order to establish the ground rules between these two power players — even if they are told at every turn that they have no power.
When Arman risks his own life to save Thony’s after he realizes he’s basically walked her into a trap, it’s one of the first moments where he admits, subconsciously, that he cares for her. After the explosion, she pays him back for saving her life by saving his, which is when she reveals that there’s much more to her than meets the eye. Arman is impressed with how well she works under pressure, but Thony once again reminds him that it’s a give and take relationship. “You want me to work for you, protect me. Give me the respect I deserve. And if anything happens to me, swear my son will be protected.” He gave her his word… and he never lied.
With Luca dying in her arms, Thony realizes she’s out of options and seeks out Arman and the club, who rushes to her aid and brings her to a private doctor that’s paid off by Hayak. Arman doesn’t just drop Thony off — he carries Luca inside, takes her burden, and sticks around to make sure that she’s okay. While he’s offering a shoulder to cry on, he realizes that he trusts her enough to open up about his past, which reveals that he understands Thony’s predicament all too well as he’s done the unthinkable to protect his family, too. The moment humanizes him in Thony’s eyes and the eyes of the audience. And when he sees that she looks at him with judgment for the career that he chose, it almost seems like he wants to become a better man for her.
When Arman notices that Thony is upset about Luca’s procedure, he comforts her. He allows her to have a full-on breakdown (one of Thony’s only moments of weakness in the series) and cradles her in his arms. And all those heightened emotions lead to a very unexpected yet passionate kiss. I mean… really passionate. You cannot fake that kind of chemistry! Thony stops things before they escalate to the point of no return, but it’s enough to satiate all the fans that have been long shipping the couple.
When Thony informs Arman that she can’t afford the surgery and the liver donor, Arman offers to pay for the surgery, assuring her that he couldn’t have secured a huge deal with Thony’s intel from the FBI. “I’m in too deep now,” he says with an adorable smile, which definitely implies that he’s not just doing this for Luca. However, when Thony mentions that she’ll have to “talk to her husband” who has arrived in the U.S., Arman’s whole demeanor changes. The guy has absolutely no poker face, but it’s because he simply can’t hide himself or his emotions in front of the woman he loves. And while the moment isn’t exactly “hot,” it does reveal just how bad Arman has it for Thony. Plus, he’s still willing to pay for the surgery even with Thony’s husband in the picture, which is admirable.
The kiss right before Luca’s surgery was perfection. Unlike their first make-out session, this kiss was rooted in trust, honesty, and longing. Arman risked everything to get Thony and Luca across the border in a private jet because he cares about her so much and knows he might not have her around for much longer. The kiss is prefaced by a sweet talk where Thony reveals so much happened in Vegas that she’d like to forget, which prompts Arman to suggest, “hopefully, not everything.” “Not everything,” Thony admits.
Arman and Thony are like the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde. In one fell swoop, they worked together to take down Hayak and stole the $6 million from the gun sale after agreeing to help the FBI make the arrests. The action-packed episode didn’t allow for any real romantic moments, but the very fact that they trust each other enough to get into bed with the FBI while pulling one over on FBI at the same speak volumes.
Also, the longing gaze and hang caressing while Thony visits Arman in jail is enough to make fans go crazy waiting for more #Armony (should we make that a ship name?).
Come on, FOX. Give us a second season!
I’m sure there are plenty of other moments I could’ve mentioned — which ones would you add to the list? Weigh in in the comments below!
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