Where would any series be without their secondary \ support characters? I’ll tell you where, boring-ville, population whatever series you’re thinking about as an example. Naturally I can’t come up with any but no worries, TAIM will never be one of them!
Now there have been some series where the secondary’s are as important to the overall story let alone episode as the mains. In one breath you can say that may take away from the central roles but in the other, they can easily augment the entire plot and bring a freshness at any point in the series’ run.
They are also fun to write for because they’re all different from the mains. One example is that as much as Blake may love to party and take it easy or how Niles is uptight and hyper, their negatives don’t even scratch the surface compared to Stan’s. The levels to which Stan’s arrogance and bad attitude will go are potentially vast, which make you view the main’s more sympathetically.
However the secondary’s aren’t necessarily all bad, in fact quite the opposite with some. Veronica for example, is about as genuine and passionate a person as you can find. Her soul is one that shines to some in a way that they don’t necessarily recognize at first. Valerie though? Her inner demons keep her from truly embracing life, with her tendency to go for the bottle as a way to compensate and sometimes junk food.
It’s not going to be that cut and dry all the time though either, as it’s not always about using some secondary’s to show how much better the mains are, or vice versa. They are all unique individuals who are just trying to survive in a sometimes chaotic environment. When Stan is stuck with Blake and Sierra during an earthquake, he’s not as awful as he could be, but still sucks pretty badly.
When Niles and Sierra (and one of her friends) are taken over by holographic AI’s, Veronica finds herself in the reluctant spot of having to take her close friend Niles down. Or when there’s a looming conspiracy against the adult industry by a group determined to ruin the field, Val finds herself in the unlikely position of seeking council and help from Jenna… Someone who gets under Val’s skin, more so than most.
Naturally as with other posts, there are more examples. But there really isn’t an episode where at least one of these secondary’s if not others aren’t utilized for what they offer. The hope is that the viewer looks forward to the next episode, especially when they see in the preview or rundown which one is in the next installment! (If not how and why they’re mentioned even when they’re not on camera.)