The 25 Best TV Performances of 2010

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15. Jack McBrayer (30 Rock)


Character: Kenneth Parcell
Network: NBC
Jack McBrayer is brilliant as the naive page Kenneth Parcell who has the strangest, most unwavering depth of sincerity: “Be a good listener, a giver of gifts and work that va-jay-jay.” —Tim Basham

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14. Lauren Graham (Parenthood)


Character: Sarah Braverman
Network: NBC
As single mom Sarah Braverman, Lauren Graham is refreshingly real. She lovingly guides her children through morality and then gets busted by her daughter for sleeping with the boss.—TB

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13. Donald Glover (Community)


Character: Troy Barnes
Network: NBC
Community may be an ensemble, but the most consistently funny member of it has been Glover. His timing is impeccable and his delivery of lines give off a sense of naiveté that’s far from Glover himself. But there’s also something to the show’s melancholy moments where he seems more at home delivering serious lines than the rest of the cast. Community works as a show because it has such a great ensemble, but the most irreplaceable person on it isn’t its nominal star Joel McHale or the breakout character played by Danny Pudi; it’s Glover.—Sean Gandert

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12. Jason Schwartzman (Bored to Death)


Character: Jonathan Ames
Network: HBO
We’re trained by decades of Woody Allen and his disciples to think of self-conscious, lovelorn, neurotic artist types as profoundly narcissistic, but Schwartzman’s Ames is a post-postmodern neurotic—struggling to find connection, to help others, to uncover meaning. A self-aware modern-detective story could be rife with the perils of ironic detachment and coy condescension, but Schwartzman’s character is never winking at the camera.—Tim Regan-Porter

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11. Sofía Vergara (Modern Family)


Character: Gloria Delgado-Pritchett
Network: ABC
Sofía Vergara brings an immense presence to every moment of screen time she gets, constantly taking an already funny show to a higher level, especially as she contrasts Ed O’Neil’s WASPy sensibilities.—JJ