Everyone has a soft spot in their hearts for Doogie Howser, M.D., but Neil Patrick Harris flipped the script by (1) portraying a coke-head version of himself in Harold and Kumar and (2) playing the ladies' man every guy wants to be, even at the expense of 'suiting up' for the smallest of life's tasks. Barney is the consummate wingman and casanova, even if he does suffer from Peter Pan-syndrome (admit it--you'd attempt to bring back laser tag too, if it were fashionable). Convincing your wife to get a pimp pad like Barney's is as elusive as the search for the Holy Grail, but how kick ass would a Manhattan apartment be, fit with a statue of a stormtrooper guarding the entrance? Barney: the life you lead is every man's fantasy, even if the man portraying you is in fact gay (not that there's anything wrong with that).
House's persona brings to light the age-old question: would you rather have a doctor with impeccable bedside manner (sans the know-how) or a physician who always gets things right, even if it means berating you Shakespearean-style? House is a character whose brusque facade betrays his emotions; there isn't an episode in the series where you are not left riveted and appalled, and it has everything to do with Hugh Lawrie's outstanding portrayal of the doc whose caustic wit keeps you coming back for more.
3. LOST's Benjamin Linus
I'm just going to go out there and say it: Benjamin Linus is the best villain created for a television series. Ever. And with LOST's most recent turn of events, his actions force you to sympathize with his cause to keep the island safe. You questioned his motives as Henry Gale and by season three, Benjamin reared his ugly head as the villain above which all lesser villains cower in fear.
The immaculate asshole agent. Jeremy Piven compiled several Emmys in the name of Mr. Ari Gold, a character who gives you substantial reason to re-up your subscription to HBO for the autumn season. Conduct a YouTube search on Ari and you'll bust a gut through all the incessant laughter you've just put yourself through. Piven owned the film PCU, but completely comes into his own through all his character does for the sake of Vinny Chase and his hilarious sidekick Lloyd. Here's hoping Medellin didn't pan too badly.
1. Dexter's Dexter Morgan