19 Inspiring TV Characters We Admire

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We all want to see our favorite characters succeed, grow, and use their determination to get everything they want. And we root for them to do so, but what about ourselves?

We watch TV to lose ourselves in the characters, the stories, or the setting, yet we often don't pull from our favorite characters to make us better people, or at the very least, better friends/loved onces.

The characters listed below are inspiring and we admire them quite so, but they should also be looked at for their flaws, their development, and how they are with their friends and families.

We can learn a lot from TV, so why not use this chance to learn a little about these characters?

1. Jack Pearson - This Is Us

Jack Pearson - This Is Us
Jack’s battle with alcoholism on This Is Us Season 2 has been heartbreaking to watch, but it’s refreshing to see he’s as committed as ever to making his relationship with Rebecca work and being the best father he can be. He shows that—no matter what you’re dealing with—you can get through it and be the best person you can be.

2. Jacqueline Carlyle - The Bold Type

Jacqueline Carlyle - The Bold Type
After we found out on The Bold Type Season 1 Episode 10, Jacqueline Carlyle is a survivor of sexual assault and she’s the perfect example to those dealing with something similar to look up to. Even after what she went through, Jacqueline became the Editor-in-Chief of Scarlet Magazine and is the baddest bitch in the business.

3. Annalise Keating - How to Get Away with Murder

Annalise Keating - How to Get Away with Murder
Don’t admire her ability to get involved with murders, but Annalise hitting rock bottom with her alcoholism in the last season has become Annalise taking control of her life, even with all of the messes she’s involved in, and ending her terrible habit of using alcohol as a coping mechanism. She’s taking the high road and trying to get her life back together.

4. Leslie Knope - Parks and Recreation

Leslie Knope - Parks and Recreation
Parks and Rec may have ended years ago, but Leslie Know is someone we can always aspire to be. Her optimism, all-around conquering attitude toward the harder things in life, and her relationship with her friends are all aspects of her life we can admire and aspire to achieve. As she would say, “We need to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn't matter, but work is third.”

5. Barry Allen - The Flash

Barry Allen - The Flash
Barry may be a hero with superpowers now, but he was someone every should aspire to be long before. He lost his mother and father so young, yet he stayed kind, respectful, and treated others the best way he knew how. Was he perfect? No. (Is he now, though? Nope.) But Barry tries his best to always be there for everyone, even now when he’s being accused of a murder he didn’t commit.

6. Elizabeth McCord - Madam Secretary

Elizabeth McCord - Madam Secretary
Elizabeth is a hero. She’s always fighting for the good of all people. Using her diplomatic position, she searches for every position option to handle a situation and goes for the one she believes is best for the people. What is Dalton’s presidency without Elizabeth McCord? Worthless.

7. Lena Luthor - Supergirl

Lena Luthor - Supergirl
Even when the world expects the worst from her, Lena stands strong and continues to fight for what she believes is right. She’s the perfect example of someone fighting to clear themselves (and possibly their conscience) of their family to start a life of her own. How she doesn’t fall to a life of villainy is beyond me, but we should all want to be able to stand up for what is right and what we believe for as adamantly as Lena does.

8. Eleanor Shellstrop - The Good Place

Eleanor Shellstrop - The Good Place
Hold on, hear me out. You may think “Eleanor is in the bad place because she’s an awful person,” but Eleanor has made several attempts to become a better person and learn ethics with Chidi because she knows she was a terrible person. She’s trying to change, and isn’t that where we all start out with change? We have to try, and after everything Eleanor’s gone through in the bad place, it’s amazing she’s still trying.

9. Alec Lightwood - Shadowhunters

Alec Lightwood - Shadowhunters
Alec’s finally opened up and started to be himself (and accept himself), and even when his family wasn’t accepting of his relationship with Magnus, he didn’t give up hope. Alec is strong, caring, funny, and brave, and anyone who comes out of the closet knows how hard it is, yet Alec did it and faced his fears.

10. Tom Kirkman - Designated Survivor

Tom Kirkman - Designated Survivor
Tom being thrust into the White House and being President of the United States could have ruined him, and the tragedy could have been too much for his administration to bear, but Tom kept going for himself and for the citizens of the United States. He’s a hero, literally.

11. Henry Mills - Once Upon a Time

Henry Mills - Once Upon a Time
Before his staring role during Once Upon a Time Season 7, Henry always tried to see the best in people, even when it wasn’t so easy. Somehow, he got past his resentment toward Regina and was the only one rooting for her to be good and he saw the good inside of her, even when she didn’t herself. Start seeing people like Henry does and try to see the best in people, even when it’s not so easy.

12. Clarke Griffin - The 100

Clarke Griffin - The 100
Clarke’s life hasn’t been easy over the last few years. She’s lost countless people in her life, has been stranded on Earth when another apocalypse hit and separated from those she loves, yet she’s always there for those who need her and she takes on a leadership role. No matter what she’s going through Clarke remains strong. We could all aim to be like that.

13. Jemma Simmons - Agents of SHIELD

Jemma Simmons - Agents of SHIELD
However long ago it may have been, no one can forget Jemma’s time on an alien planet for months. She survived because she’s a badass, she’s smart, and because she kept her will to survive, even when all hope was basically lost. Since, she’s endured hardships and heartbreak, but she always gets past it and comes out on top. Jemma’s the true hero of Agents of SHIELD.

14. Penelope Garcia - Criminal Minds

Penelope Garcia - Criminal Minds
Even though she works in someplace as dark as the Behavioral Analysis Unit, Garcia still manages to keep the light within her, which is important in life especially during the tough situations. After everything she’s been through, it’s amazing she’s managed to stay optimistic after this long.

15. John Diggle - Arrow

John Diggle - Arrow
Diggle may have lied to Oliver and the team about his injury and how he attempted to cope with it, but Diggle’s bravery should be admired regardless. He knew what Oliver, his best friend, was facing and why he needed to step down as the Green Arrow, and Diggle took over the mantle and tried to keep Star City safe, even if he was a danger to himself at the time.

16. Sara Lance - Legends of Tomorrow

Sara Lance - Legends of Tomorrow
After coming back from the dead, twice, Sara’s journey has been hard, tiresome, and heartbreaking, yet she’s still going. She still continues to captain the Waverider and be the White Canary to honor her late sister, her father, and herself. Sara’s found the light in the life again.

17. Ally Mayfair-Richards - American Horror Story: Cult

Ally Mayfair-Richards - American Horror Story: Cult
Ally survived traumatization with her worst fears from Kai and her wife’s hands, a stint in a mental facility, and joining a cult where you’d die if you disobeyed and came out on top. Sure, killing her wife may not be something you want to follow her on, but she escaped a cult to be petty and fulfill Kai’s dream of getting involved in state politics, and that’s pretty damn inspirational.

18. Clay Jensen - 13 Reasons Why

Clay Jensen - 13 Reasons Why
I don’t know if “inspiring” is the right word to capture Clay, but we should all try to be a good friend like he is. He fought to find out what happened to his friend and he’s the friend we should all hope to have.

19. Jethro Gibbs - NCIS

Jethro Gibbs - NCIS
After two decades, Agent Jethro Gibbs is still going strong with NCIS. His dedication to his job and commitment to helping people, catching the bad guys, and giving people closure is admirable. How long can he go?

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