An in-depth investigation
One name dominated TV more than any other in 2017. No, it doesn't rhyme with "Drumpf." But it does rhyme with "heaven." We're talking about, of course, Kevin. Kevins were everywhere this year, and the moniker is enjoying its biggest pop culture moment since Kevin Arnold and Kevin McCallister ruled the early '90s.
Kevin, the anglicized version of the Irish name Caoimhín, has always been a popular, but not too ubiquitous name -- we've all met at least one Kevin in our lives. It first broke into the top 100 of baby names in 1949, according to the Social Security Administration. It peaked at No. 11 in 1963 and last year fell 10 slots to No. 89. But maybe with its reign over TV in 2017, it will climb back up next year.
But which Kevin had the best 2017? Let's review five* Kevins' years. We judged them on five metrics (general well-being, professional life, love life, high point, low point all on a scale of 10; you lose points in the low point category) and in the very important bonus beard category, where they can still score points even without sporting facial hair themselves.
*Yes, we know there are more Kevins on TV, but not all Kevins are created equal. These were the most talked-about Kevins and/or has a show with their name in the title.
Kevin Gable (Kevin James), Kevin Can Wait
General well-being: He did a crash cleanse to keep his cholesterol down in order to attend a Mets fantasy camp. Most recently, he started working out with the hot personal trainer Vanessa (Leah Remini) wanted him to set her up with. But otherwise he's coping pretty well for a guy who lost his wife a year ago to mysterious, never-to-be-revealed circumstances.
Professional life: The retired cop rejoined the work force at Vanessa's security agency at the behest of his kids. Hijinks ensue.
Love life: His wife, Donna (Erinn Hayes), died offscreen to make way for his former TV wife. He's still single, but probably not for long.
High point: First of all, we don't even know if Kevin Can Wait still takes place in 2017 since it did a one-year time jump, so Kevin might be having the best 2018. Think about it: His wife died and he didn't have to grieve onscreen. He gets to move on quickly and flirt it up with Vanessa. Will business turn into pleasure?! How long can Kevin wait to hook up with Vanessa?!
Low point: Killing off his wife. Because they ran out of ideas?!
Beard: None. There's only room for one Knipfing (James' real surname) brother to have facial hair: James' bro Gary Valentine. But you have to take into account that James didn't have a beard on The King of Queens, and you need to keep that continuity up if you want to double-down on that Doug and Carrie nostalgia.
Bonus points: 2
Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux), The Leftovers
General well-being: Well, he died again. But he also came back from the dead again after POTUS Kevin killed International Assassin Kevin, which seemed to have exorcised whatever mental demons he had. He suffered a heart attack during the time jump and now has a pacemaker. But even though Kevin is not immortal, he will probably live a long life like his pops, who is still kicking it at 91. Thankfully for his glands, he also wasn't as sweaty this season. So well-endowed he inspired a dick shelf.
Professional life: He was chief of police again and we love a man in uniform. He was not, however, the messiah.
Love life: That hotel room fight with Nora (Carrie Coon) was brutal, but it gave us one of the most beautiful shots of the series. He spent his two-week vacation every year for 10-plus years searching for Nora in Australia, and most importantly, he believed her story after they finally reunited. We're not crying, you are.
High point: That time Justin Theroux straddled Justin Theroux.
Low point: Trying to suffocate himself every morning. That aforementioned hotel room fight is a close second.
Bonus points: 10
Kevin Pearson (Justin Hartley), This Is Us
General well-being: Fine until he re-injured his knee during his Ron Howard war movie with Sylvester Stallone (lol) after his sister Kate (Chrissy Metz) talked to Sly about their dad. Now he's addicted to painkillers and booze, and somehow no one seems to notice how disgustingly sweaty he is.
Professional life: He nabbed that war movie after impressing Ron Howard in a play. If acting doesn't work out and since he can't return to football, maybe Kevin can try being a psychic, seeing that he predicted the Kardashian baby boom.
Love life: He reconnected with his ex-wife Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge) and things were going well until his addiction reared its head. She's a nurse, so again, how does no one realize something is wrong with this dude?
High point: Landing that Howard movie based on his performance in a play that frankly sounded terrible.
Low point: It's a tie between stealing a prescription form -- after sleeping with a doctor who, again, should've noticed something was up with his sweaty ass -- and almost filling it at the pharmacy, and getting arrested for a DUI with his niece in the backseat (unbeknownst to him). You do not want to incur the wrath of Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson).
Beard: Yes, but the Shame Spiral Beard is not a cute look.
Bonus points: 6
Kevin Keller (Casey Cott), Riverdale
General well-being: He's your typical sprite adolescent. Comes from hot genes.
Professional life: High school student. We'd like to tell you what kind of student, but they're not in school much.
Love life: After dating a gang member, Kevin went cruising in the woods because there aren't a lot of gay people in Riverdale or, you know, apps like Grindr. He quickly returned and vowed to find hookups some other way because there's a murderer on the loose.
High point: Getting the opportunity to deliver this monologue:
Here it is again in print because once is not enough: "You act like we've got the same set of options. You live in this pale pink world of milkshakes and first kisses, and 'Am I going to date Archie or Jughead?' Except for when you're exploring your BDSM sexuality, which again you're allowed to do. But I'm not, because why? This is what I've got, Betty. Me, these woods, so please don't come here and tell me it's disgusting. If you can't accept what I do, whatever I do, then we're just not really friends." Truly Emmy-worthy stuff right here.
Low point: Cruising in the woods.
Beard: None. CW actors can't have facial hair, silly.
Bonus points: 0
Kevin Finn (Jason Ritter), Kevin (Probably) Saves the World
General well-being: He survived a suicide attempt and touching a mystical meteor that crashed onto Earth. The latter instead gave him the ability to have weird visions (usually involving beautiful scenery or animals) and to communicate with Yvette (Kimberly Hebert Gregory), a celestial being, who tells him he's one of the 36 righteous souls left.
Professional life: He was fired from his Wall Street gig, but now he has the biggest job of all: saving the world! No pressure on a guy who just tried to kill himself. With Yvette's guidance, he has been trying to be a better person and help others.
Love life: He had a one-night stand with an ex, but made the mature decision not to get back together since he was such a crappy boyfriend to her last time.
High point: Taking the initiative to go to Laos to find the next righteous soul after Yvette confessed that she's not sure if the other 35 even exist.
Low point: It can't get lower than a suicide attempt, but his twin sis Amy (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) blindsided him by kicking him out of the house.
Beard: Adorable scruff. But everything looks adorable on Jason Ritter.
Bonus Points: 8
Kevin Garvey: 32 points
Kevin Finn: 30 points
Kevin Pearson: 23 points
Kevin Keller: 22 points
Kevin Gable: 14 points
Despite dying again, Kevin Garvey had the best 2017 -- he did finally reunite with his OTP! -- but Kevin Finn definitely gave him a run for his money with all the do-gooder stuff he's been doing. Is it a coincidence that the Kevins that have a connection to a higher, mystical power were in the top two? Is it also a coincidence that two points separates them, like the missing 2 percent in The Leftovers? Maybe. One thing's for sure: Kevin Spacey had the worst 2017.