By Rachel Zupek Farrell, Special to CareerBuilder
The new fall season means cooler weather, football and new TV shows -- lots of them.
This year's fall lineup is chock-full of promising new shows and the return of some fan favorites. With those shows come our favorite TV characters, and that always get us thinking about how some of them make a living.
While many TV characters are doctors, lawyers or cops, the diversity of positions is increasing. From blood-splatter analysts and male prostitutes to high-school football coaches and superintendents, here is a round-up of some of the best and worst TV character jobs we've seen to date, in no particular order.
5 best TV character jobs:
Character: Dexter Morgan
TV show: "Dexter"
Why it's the best: Dexter, a full-time blood-splatter analyst, moonlights as a serial killer. Sure, the job of "cold-blooded murderer" should not top the list of best professions, so we're focusing on his blood-splatter role. While not everyone is cut out for this type of job, no day is the same in Dexter's line of work, and keeping things interesting always rates high on the job-satisfaction scale.
Character: Eric Taylor
TV show: "Friday Night Lights"
Why it's the best: Everything is bigger in Texas -- especially if you have anything to do with football. Although his pay might not be great, Coach Taylor has celebrity status as an inspirational high-school football coach. The impact he has on the kids he coaches, the families he meets and the community in which he lives is admirable and something that many people look for in their careers.
Character: Kalinda Sharma
TV show: "The Good Wife"
Why it's the best: As the in-house investigator for law firm Lockhart/Gardner, Sharma often plays a major part in winning cases. But she doesn't always use ethical -- or legal -- methods. Nonetheless, working for a well-respected organization and having the responsibility of finding evidence that can make or break a case sounds like a pretty interesting career.
Character: Any of the flight attendants
TV show: "Pan Am"
Why it's the best: This new series based on the iconic airline in the 1960s is like "Mad Men" in the sky. The show depicts the glamorous lifestyle of flight crews before anyone worried about the dangers of in-flight smoking, terrorist attacks or even wearing a seatbelt. Though the flight attendants must deal with the pressures of being an attractive, well-kept woman, the perks of the job -- traveling the world, staying in posh hotels and meeting interesting people along the way -- seem to outweigh the downfalls.
TV show: "Up All Night"
Why it's the best: This new comedy focuses on Reagan and Chris Brinkley as they adjust to parenthood and struggle to balance life at home and work. Reagan returns to her job as a producer on the talk show "Ava." As the host of her own show, Ava is on the same level as Oprah Winfrey -- at least in her own mind. In any case, any time you can be your own boss and have an entire staff of people follow your every command, it's a cool job in our minds.
5 worst TV character jobs:
Character: Reagan Brinkley
TV show: "Up All Night"
Why it's the worst: As we mentioned, Reagan Brinkley is trying live life as a balanced career woman who does it all. Unfortunately, her boss Ava, a vulnerable talk-show host, makes that goal a little harder for her to achieve. Unexpected visits from Ava at all hours of the night, coupled with long hours and ridiculous demands, make her job as a TV producer less than glamorous.
Character: Ray Drecker
TV show: "Hung"
Why it's the worst: Teacher by day, male prostitute by night, Ray Drecker is trying to earn some extra cash to get back on his feet after a nasty divorce. While some men might be willing to take the good with the bad as part of the "world's oldest profession," something tells me that the perks of such activity do not outweigh the risks.
Character: Darren Richmond
TV show: "The Killing"
Why it's the worst: As a city councilman running for mayor of Seattle, Darren Richmond's luck has run out. Or maybe it wasn't there to begin with. After a car belonging to his mayoral campaign is found in a lake -- complete with a body inside the trunk -- he immediately becomes a murder suspect. Constantly being scrutinized under the intense public eye during a political campaign is one thing, but couple that with being involved in a murder case -- no thanks.
Character: Kenneth Parcell
TV show: "30 Rock"
Why it's the worst: Kenneth Parcell "lives for television," so his job performing menial tasks as an NBC page may seem like a dream come true -- but I don't buy it. He acts as a personal assistant to demanding TV personality Tracy Jordan, doing ridiculous things for him such as getting nachos from Yankee Stadium -- just because. Working up the ladder to the job of your dreams is one thing, but always being at someone's beck and call is quite another.
Character: Will Schuster
TV show: "Glee"
Why it's the worst: As the director of the high-school glee club, Will Schuster is likable, most definitely. We empathize with his efforts to make the glee club cool and he's done an OK job of it. But having to deal with condescending co-workers like Sue Sylvester and constantly defending his club members to the school and community have to get tiring. Maybe he should stick to teaching Spanish?
Rachel Zupek Farrell researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for CareerBuilder. Follow @CareerBuilder on Twitter.
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