20 Best TV Characters of 2016

From bat-wielding bad guys to hipster-stoner sidekicks, these were the small-screen heroes and villains that made our year

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Gatsby the Dog, 'High Maintenance'

Gatsby the Dog, 'High Maintenance'

It takes a lot of range to sell a performance of instant infatuation, romantic longing and resigned despair; it takes a virtuoso to do it all without a line of dialogue. But HBO's stoner comedy/experimental short series – an extension of creators Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld's beautifully skewed online vignettes – landed a consummate canine pro in its inaugural season's unlikely stand-out story. A New York City pooch falls in love with his New Age hippie walker (Orange Is the New Black's Yael Stone), and what could've been a goofy one-note premise is, thanks to some crack editing and a poodle-mutt performer named Bowdie, is suddenly imbued with serious emotional consideration. Of course the dog in question is named Gatsby – what else would you call an emblem of unrequited love and utter heartbreak? CB

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