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Analyzing Great TV Characters: Case Studies of David Palmer (24), Lindsay (You’re the Worst), Michael (The Good Place) and Scorpius (Farscape) (PT72)

Alex and Nick break down four iconic TV characters to look at what makes them memorable.

The TV characters explored in this episode include David Palmer from 24, Lindsay Jillian from You’re the Worst, Michael from The Good Place, and Scorpius from Farscape.

What makes a great TV character? How are the characters introduced in unique ways? How do shows flesh out specific goals, needs and wants? What are key moments and decisions that can define characters?

Plus, we celebrate the new year.

The Paper Team sizes people up…



Paper Scraps: Happy new year! (01:00)
1 – The four TV characters (02:16)
2 – Why we picked these characters (05:12)
3 – Character introductions (10:10)
4 – Character traits (17:53)
5 – Character’s macro series arcs, wants, and needs (25:29)
6 – Key character moments (38:08)
Next Week On (50:16)


David Palmer (24)
Scorpius (Farscape)
Lindsay Jillian (You’re the Worst)
Michael (The Good Place)
“Analyzing Great TV Pilots” (PT54)
David Mamet’s memo to his writing staff on The Unit
Scorpius costume designs
“All About That Paper” (2×04 – You’re the Worst)
“Try Real Hard” (3×01 – You’re the Worst)
“Day 2: 4:00AM-5:00AM” (2×21 – 24)
“The Trolley Problem” (2×05 – The Good Place)
“Nerve” (1×19 – Farscape)
“Liars, Guns and Money” (2×19 – Farscape)
“With Friends Like These…” (2×20 – Farscape)
“Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars”

This episode brought to you by Tracking Board’s Launch Pad Writing Competitions

Use code PAPERTEAM to get $15 OFF when you enter a Launch Pad Competition

Special thanks to Alex Switzky for helping us edit this episode.

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

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If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Paper Team
Paper Team
Alex Freedman & Nick Watson

Paper Team is a podcast about television writing and becoming a TV writer.

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