In television, the narrator is our sensei. Like a heavenly guidepost, the voice emanating from a protagonist's head or an outsider's scrutiny shepherds the story across multiple seasons. Narrators often set the tone and provide insight, and in turn they become some of their shows' most beloved characters.
In keeping, we decided to rank a handful of them. From Kevin Arnold to Gossip Girl, we selected narrators -- often omniscient, (almost) always poetic -- who have defined the past few decades of television. This is not a comprehensive list, so our apologies to Ted Mosby, whose "How I Met Your Mother" narration ultimately dampened the show's premise. Ditto the raconteurs of "Revenge," "Burn Notice," "Red Band Society" and any other series we omitted. Frankly, this list had to end somewhere. It also has to begin somewhere, and that is with a dead girl.