TV Party: “Rank and File: The 25 Best Teens in TV History”

From the Fresh Prince to Arthur Fonzarelli, these kids are truly alright in our book


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    Whether they’re counterculture iconoclasts or hilariously uptight, heroes or villains, teenagers have had a long history as some of television’s most important and indelible characters. But who stands out among the crowd?


    For this special, extra-long episode, Allison and Clint (along with Film Editor Dominick Suzanne-Mayer and The A.V. Club’s Caroline Siede) lock themselves in their rooms with nothing but a telephone and a Lisa Frank binder to figure out who the greatest teenagers in TV history may be.

    Along the way, we also hear from Alone Together‘s Esther Povitsky on the characteristics of on-screen teens, and a few words from One Day at a Time‘s Isabella Gomez on her character’s inclusion on the list!

    (Special thanks to writers Kate Kulzick and LaToya Ferguson for helping curate this list!)

    3:33 – What Makes a Great TV Teen?
    6:03 – Interview with Alone Together’s Esther Povitsky on TV Teens
    15:33 – Who Did We Leave Off the List?
    25:46 – Honorable Mentions


    The List:
    31:02 – 25. Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka), Mad Men
    24:38 – 24. Steve Harrington (Joe Keery), Stranger Things
    37:39 – 23. Paris Gellar (Liza Weil), Gilmore Girls
    40:41 – 22. Jan Brady (Eve Plumb), The Brady Bunch
    43:40 – 21. Elena Alvarez (Isabella Gomez), One Day at a Time (featuring interview excerpt with Gomez)
    50:43 – 20. Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie), The OC
    53:21 – 19. Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi), Black-ish and Grown-ish
    55:25 – 18. Carlton Banks (Alfonso Ribiero), The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
    58:50 – 17. Korra (Janet Varney), The Legend of Korra
    1:01:54 – 16. Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong), Boy Meets World
    1:06:11 – 15. Jake Sisko (Cirroc Lofton), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
    1:11:57 – 14. Daria Morgendorffer (Tracy Grandstaff), Daria
    1:15:16 – 13. Eddie Haskell (Ken Osmond), Leave It to Beaver
    1:18:55 – 12. Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford), Friday Night Lights
    1:23:32 – 11. Angela Chase (Claire Danes), My So-Called Life
    1:27:32 – 10. Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler), Happy Days
    1:32:32 – 09. Audrey Horne (Sherilynn Fenn), Twin Peaks
    1:35:39 – 08. Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox), Family Ties
    1:39:39 – 07. Lindsey Weir (Linda Carellini), Freaks and Geeks
    1:45:01 – 06. Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), Game of Thrones

    The Top Five:
    1:52:22 – 05. Finn the Human (Jeremy Shada), Adventure Time
    1:55:15 – 04. Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    1:58:36 – 03. Boadie Broadus (J.D. Williams), The Wire
    2:01:07 – 02. Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage), The Wonder Years
    2:04:06 – 01. Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), Veronica Mars

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