Why The Secret To A Successful TV Show Is Recurring Characters

After a long and stressful day, one of the easiest and most common ways to unwind is by getting in bed and watching TV.

Especially in today’s digital age, the shows we watch have lasting cultural influences.New forms of television have developed, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime TV and, most recently, Disney+.

Given the popularity of television in today’s society, many people often wonder what draws our attention to these shows; what makes these hit series so addictive?

Aside from their complex and dramatic plot lines and often comical one-liners, binge-worthy TV shows’ success often stem from how audiences react to the characters.

After I finish a good show, I often discuss with others my favorite and least favorite characters.

It’s easy to admit that main characters who grow throughout all of the seasons of a show often keep us hooked the whole time.

Moreover, main characters with detailed background stories and specific personalities make audiences feel as if they are a part of the show. 

Although most people’s favorite characters and central connection to various TV shows are the main characters featured, these shows would be incomplete without their infamous recurring character.

Most people neglect the amount that recurring characters contribute to a TV show.

Recurring characters may be featured in only a few episodes, but they help to strengthen the plot of the show. More specifically, recurring characters often are showcased for a few episodes and then they return in later seasons.

When a show gets slow or unentertaining, it’s an underrated breathe of fresh air to see an old recurring character pop back into the show.

Recurring characters may not be the primary focus of the show, but they often tie loose ends and clarify why certain events take place for the main characters.

When characters return, drama is often heightened and comedic lines are exchanged.

Throughout the years, I have kept my favorite TV shows close to my heart, and I tend to rewatch many of my favorite shows.

Here are some of my favorite recurring characters from several of my go-to shows. 


  1. 1. Georgina Sparks - 'Gossip Girl'

    Gossip Girl has been one of my favorite drama series for years now.

    This show circulates around the drama following several main characters from the Upper East Side.

    In my opinion, this show wouldn’t be complete without Georgina, referred to in the show as Sarah.

    Known for her pranks, tendency to meddle in others’ lives and fake identity in season one, Georgina is an obvious antagonist at first.

    It was difficult to watch the end of the first season, as Georgina wreaked havoc amongst the more likeable characters in the Upper East.

    Nonetheless, through six dramatic seasons, viewers grow to love the excitement she brings.

    Georgina appeared at least once in every season, and everytime she re-entered, I knew the show was about to become much more interesting and dramatic. If there was a scandal or a scheme taking place, Georgina is always there and is classified as the icing on the cake. 

  2. 2. Janice Hosenstein - 'Friends'

    If you are a Friends fan, you can probably hear Janice’s voice just from looking at a picture of her.

    Friends is one of my favorite sitcoms, and Janice adds to all of the creative humor featured in this TV series.

    Janice is known as Chandler Bing’s on-and-off girlfriend, who tends to fall in and out of this show.

    Given that this series is 10 seasons long, the plot easily became slow at points. However, when Janice appeared, fans knew the episode would be filled with heightened humor.

    Janice is known for her nasally voice and catchphrase: “Oh my God.” Although the main characters found her to be an annoyance, viewers find joy in the arised comedy. 


  3. 3. Ranjit Singh - 'How I Met Your Mother'

    If you know me, then you know How I Met Your Mother is my all time favorite show.

    This sitcom depicts a nine series long story of how a dad met his wife, but this show mainly discusses the story of a tight-knit group of five friends living in New York City.

    While this show is filled with many recurring characters, Ranjit’s appearance always puts a smile on my face.

    Coincidentally, Ranjit tended to always be the group’s taxi driver. Ranjit was known for turning his head around and saying, “Hello!” before the group realized he was the driver.

    Moreover, Ranjit was always butting into the group’s business and making every plotline even more comical.

Next time you’re binge watching one of your favorite shows, remember recurring characters are there for a reason, and the show would not be the same without them!