Too often, our precious airwaves are filled with children who scream and give us migraines, precocious kids who try too hard to be cute, spoiled rich teenagers and temper-tantrum-throwing brats who make us want to seriously reconsider ever procreating. The majority of the offspring on Parenthood are really not helping this cause, for example. Nor is watching the sociopathic Sally Draper. However, there are a select few kids and teens on scripted shows who give us hope for the next generation. In fact, we'd actually consider spending time with these kids willingly... and that's saying a lot.
10. Cecilia Halpert (The Office)
While we worry that in the future this may change, so far this infant hasn't done anything particularly offensive. It's not her fault that her moron parents don't understand how breast-feeding or baby car seats work. At any rate, odds are she'll be less annoying than Jim and Pam are as a couple... fingers crossed.
9. Stewie (Family Guy)
He might have murderous intentions, but at least he's honest about it. And funny. Funny goes a long way in allowing us tolerate such maliciousness and maliciousness goes a long way in allowing us to tolerate toddlers.
8. Emily Lightman (Lie to Me
Her parents have a strange on-again, off-again relationship, her mom is an assistant to the Attorney General and her dad has the ability to tell if you are ever lying to him. That makes sneaking out with her boyfriend, or hiding just about anything from him, a problem. And while sometimes she does try to slip one past him (she wouldn't be realistic if she didn't) she's pretty well-adjusted and not the whiny teen that she easily could've been.
7. Zach Florrick (The Good Wife)
At first, the kids didn't seem to contribute all that much to this hit show, aside from crying about how their loyalties are torn between their parents. That all changed when Zach stepped up and started trying to track down the people who were blackmailing his dad. Now, he's kinda quietly badass... and we like it.
6. Alex (Modern Family)
While we sort of adore the dimwitted Luke, our favorite junior member of the Dunphy clan is Alex. She's smart, sarcastic and very independent. You just get the impression that she came out of the womb being able to handle everything by herself. That's a quality we admire.
5. Travis (Cougar Town)
It's hard when the teenager has to be the grown-up, but when dealing with his divorced parents (his mom is big on the oversharing and his dad lives on a boat... in a parking lot), he's basically forced to be the mature one. And not only does he charm us with his wit, he deserves some sort of a medal for having to see his mother in all manner of inappropriate situations.
4. Will, Simon, Jay & Neil (The Inbetweeners)
These boys are raunchy, occasionally destroy property, have run-ins with the law and out people's fathers, all of which makes them remarkably entertaining. And although they're gross and treat each other brutally, they still manage to remain friends -- unlike some of the ruthless backstabbing teens we normally see on other shows. These British kids are as painfully real as the Freaks & Geeks, albeit far more disgusting and far less cancelled.
3. Kurt (Glee)
He's adorable, well dressed, musically gifted and plays football -- he's like our dream boy. He's sensitive to his father's needs, can be catty when the situation calls for it, is apologetic if necessary and can bravely take a Slushie to the face and still look damned good while doing it.
2. Alexis (Castle)
She's gorgeous. She's smart. She's funny. And she deftly traverses the treacherous waters of high school and social pressures with aplomb. She's really the perfect young lady, and her interactions with her charming dad and her spunky grandma only make us appreciate her more.
1. Manny (Modern Family)
This tender little soul is hilariously wise beyond his years. So much intelligence and passion for life built into one body, it just breaks our hearts to see him fail at love or suffer the death of a beloved pet turtle. He's a romantic to the core, utterly adorable and if he were a few years older (just so we don't get accused of any creepy behavior), we'd love to hang out with him and have in-depth conversations about anything and everything.
See why Castle is TV's funniest crime procedural.
Watch TWoP's editors discuss the best kids on TV in this segment airing on the New York Nonstop cable news channel:
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