Meet two of the saddest characters on television.
In one corner, we have a hunky cop who spends more time in the courtroom, escaping conviction, than he does solving cases. In the other, a West Covina wife who spends most of her Thanksgiving neglecting her family and Facetiming with her gal pal on the toilet.
For fans of How to Get Away with Murder and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, you know these stories. These sad-ass tales belong to Nate Lahey (Billy Brown) and Paula Proctor (Donna Lynne Champlin). But if we had to pit each of these characters against each other in terms of pity, who would win?
The Case for Nate from How to Get Away With Murder
- His dying wife. When we first meet Nate in season 1, his estranged wife is dying from cancer. And even though he cheats on her with Annalise (Viola Davis), he feels a tremendous amount of guilt for it, especially because he loves Annalise. *SPOILERS* This season, his wife asks Annalise to end her life, and Annalise can’t do it, so Nate, ever the dutiful husband and lover, completes the task.
- Annalise uses him. The woman he loves puts him on trial (multiple times) in order to further her own agendas and cases, and he willingly does so without so much as a fight.
- Annalise and the other woman. *SPOILER* If you haven’t seen all of season 2, then you might not have been introduced to Famke Janssen’s character Eve Rothlow yet. Eve and Annalise had a romantic relationship in college, and Nate, sitting in his car with a forlorn look, catches them the morning after one of their trysts.
The Case for Paula from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
- She’s smarter than she gets credit for. She was in line for the job that Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) would get, but she didn’t get it because she didn’t go to Harvard.
- She lives through Rebecca.Like, scarily so. In fact, she may be the real “Crazy” on this show. She spends most of her time ignoring her family and trying to help Rebecca land Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III). The low point was in the final scene of the recent Thanksgiving episode, where over the glow of her smartphone she watches Rebecca and Greg (Santino Fontana) grow closer, like it’s her own personal TV show.
- This confession. “I wake up every morning in cold sweats worried that I’m wasting my entire life with a man who spends all his time with a barbershop quartet called the West Bro-vinas.”
Which character is sadder? (Although if Crazy Ex-Girlfriend doesn’t get picked up for a second season, we may have a clear winner.)