The first real TV criticism I did was weekly NYPD Blue recaps in college. That show had a LOT of cops over the years. I will now try to rank them all from most to least awesome.
  1. Andy Sipowicz
    No contest. Huge gap between first and second.
  2. John Kelly
    Other partners had better chemistry with Sipowicz, but Kelly was the show's original main character and David Caruso (before he became a sunglasses-wearing parody of himself) lived up to that responsibility.
  3. Bobby Simone
    Less compelling on his own than Kelly, but the bond between Smits and Franz was a wonder.
  4. Greg Medavoy
    Enduring comic relief, and someone the creative team never lost interest in the way they did some of his colleagues.
  5. Arthur Fancy
    The best of the bosses. Fancy taking Sipowicz out for ribs is one of the show's iconic moments.
  6. Jill Kirkendall
    I liked her unflappability and the fact that, until they introduced that whole mess with her ex-husband, she was the one female cop on the show without a ton of personal baggage. The rare character who was better the less they directly wrote for her.
  7. Thomas Bale
    Bale's intro gave the last season a spark the show had lacked basically since Milch left. I wish the writers hadn't made him a convert to Andy's way of thinking -it was more interesting when each man seemed both right and wrong - but Currie Graham was great.
  8. John Clark Jr
    Mark-Paul Gosselaar never had the benefit of Milch dialogue, but he fit into the more straightforward mode of the post-Milch years. Clark's normalcy was a welcome change from Danny rubbing snot into Diane's hair and stealing office supplies.
  9. Diane Russell
    The alcoholism kept her from being entirely defined by the relationship with Bobby. Milch will be the first to tell you he's bad at writing women, but letting this one share one of his demons helped a lot.
  10. Danny Sorenson
    The Danny of his first couple of appearances would probably be right behind Bobby. Then Milch came up with this tortured backstory and his fear of getting stirred up, and it's to Ricky Schroder's credit that Danny was still that compelling.
  11. Janice Licalsi
    She was burned as a character once she murdered two people, but Amy Brenneman was awfully good while she was there.
  12. Baldwin Jones
    Henry Simmons looks like a superhero, and the show had a lot of fun in the later years contrasting the super cool Baldwin with Medavoy.
  13. James Martinez
    Originally set up as John Kelly's protege, Martinez had no real reason to exist once Caruso quit. But he was great that first year.
  14. Connie McDowell
    Having Connie marry Andy is one of those goofy things a show does when it's been around that long and already killed off the hero's wife. Still, Charlotte Ross was one of the better late period cast members, and the show lost something in her absence at the end.
  15. Adrienne Lesniak
    She went out for coffee in one episode and never came back! Bonus points for smashing Vince Gotelli's tit cup, at least.
  16. Eddie Gibson
    Making the boss into a comic relief figure was a fun idea for a bit, and having Eddie played by a real NYPD vet helped.
  17. Laura Murphy
    A very late addition who stood out for being relatively drama-free (if not as cool as Kirkendall).
  18. Tony Rodriguez
    It never felt like the show knew what to do with Esai Morales.
  19. Rita Ortiz
    Admittedly, I wasn't recapping the show when she was on, but I remember virtually nothing about her.