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

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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TV Writing For You

Alex Freedman

I'm Alex Freedman, the writer behind TV Calling.

I started this site in 2008 to chronicle my own journey in television writing.

723 posts and 9 years later, TV Calling has also become a comprehensive resource dedicated to the full TV writing industry — from spec to success.

Everything here is written by yours truly (unless otherwise credited), so feel free to blame me for any missed deadlines.

I hope you'll answer your television calling, and join me in this creative journey.

Write on.

P.S.: New around? You should start here.

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