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

Michael, 'The Good Place'
Justin Lubin/NBC1/20

Michael, 'The Good Place'

So far, NBC's metaphysical comedy has taught as that the universe is cruel. only allowing the best of the best to spend eternity in paradise. So thank God – or whoever/whatever's running this operation – for the kindly, curious Michael, an all-powerful afterlife "architect" whose love of humanity offers a glimmer of hope to us ordinary dopes. And thank The Good Place creator Michael Schur for hiring sitcom legend Ted Danson, who's honed his ability to combine calm confidence with hilarious befuddlement. One minute this immortal being is creating a yogurt-filled utopia for the newly dead; in the next, he's getting distracted by a giant bowl of paperclips. Either way, he's a delight. NM