There’s something very interesting about well-written bad guys. In no particular order, here are ten TV villains we love to hate.
Mike Ehrmantraut – Breaking Bad
Per wikipedia, “Mike Ehrmantraut (played by Jonathan Banks) is a former Philadelphia police officer who works for Gus—and, on occasion, Saul—as a private investigator, head of security, cleaner, and hit man. His reasons for leaving the force in Philadelphia are never specified. His main lesson as a cop is to not take “half measures”; he once told Walt that he decided at the last second not to murder a wife-beating husband, only to later arrest that man for smashing his wife’s head in, killing her. In Season 4, Jesse and Mike begin a rough and rocky relationship, and although initially frustrated at being assigned to Jesse by Gus, Mike learns to like him after Jesse begins to show potential. However, Mike does not like Walt in the least as he tells Walt that he’s dangerous to him; Mike considers Walt to be selfish, arrogant, and egotistical. Mike later becomes a reluctant partner in Walt and Jesse’s meth operation, still despising Walt and feeling depressed over Jesse’s choices. Mike is a calm and calculating individual who efficiently performed his duties for Gus, using his extensive knowledge to do so without detection. He is never shown to target or involve any innocent bystanders in his duties. Like Walt, Mike is a family man; he enjoys an affectionate relationship with his granddaughter Kaylee (played by Kaija Roze Bales).”
Sue Sylvester – Glee
Per wikipedia, “Susan “Sue” Sylvester is a fictional character of the Fox musical comedy-drama series, Glee. The character is portrayed by actress Jane Lynch, and has appeared in Glee from its pilot episode, first broadcast on May 19, 2009. Sue was developed by Glee creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan. For the first four seasons of Glee, Sue is the coach of the William McKinley High School cheerleading squad, and a ruthless bully to both students and faculty members alike. Because her cheerleading squad competes with the glee club for the school’s limited funding, she is often at odds with the club and more particularly its director Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison). Sue Sylvester is the main antagonist of the series. In the fifth season (2013-14), Sue is made the school’s new principal.”
Stewie Griffin – Family Guy
Per wikipedia, “Stewart Gilligan “Stewie” Griffin is a fictional character from the animated television series Family Guy. Once obsessed with violence and matricide, Stewie (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) is the youngest child of Peter and Lois Griffin, and the brother of Chris and Meg. Over the duration of the series, he has also come to have a very close friendship with the family’s anthropomorphic dog, Brian.”
Gus Fring – Breaking Bad
Per wikipedia, “Gustavo “Gus” Fring is a fictional character in the American television drama series Breaking Bad on AMC. He is portrayed by Giancarlo Esposito and was created by series creator Vince Gilligan. Gus is one of the most prominent methamphetamine distributors in the southwestern United States. He owns and operates several legitimate businesses, including a chain of fast food restaurants (called Los Pollos Hermanos) and an industrial laundry facility, as fronts for a vast and sophisticated drug operation. Gus maintains a friendly and low-key exterior; he takes an active role in managing his front businesses and personally supervises employees and serves customers at his fast food restaurants. In order to keep up appearances, Gus is a booster for the DEA and has made large donations to the agency’s Albuquerque office. However, Gus is ruthless and Machiavellian in managing his vast drug empire. He employs a number of enforcers and has personally killed rivals and associates.”
Barry Kripke – Big Bang Theory
Per wikipedia, “Barry Kripke, Ph.D. (John Ross Bowie) is a co-worker of Leonard and Sheldon’s who frequently clashes with them. He works in plasma physics. Kripke has a case of rhotacism in which he pronounces the letters “R” and “L” as “W” in much the same way as Elmer Fudd from Looney Tunes and Gilda Radner in her “Baba Wawa” sketches. However, as demonstrated in the season 5 episode “The Beta Test Initiation”, Kripke is either unaware of or unable to modify the way he speaks. In his first appearance, he pits his robot, the Kripke Krippler, against the men’s robot, M.O.N.T.E., in an unofficial robot fight. On another episode, Sheldon attempts to befriend Kripke in order to gain access to an open science grid computer to carry out research, but it turns out to be futile, as Kripke has no control over the computer’s usage time. Kripke continues his antagonism towards Sheldon, when he pulls a prank on Sheldon when the latter is a guest on NPR’s Science Friday. Sheldon tries to befriend Kripke another time when he is feeling excluded by his friends, but Barry connects more with the others in Sheldon’s new proposed group. Kripke purchases an iPhone with voice recognition technology, but due to his rhotacism, the device is incapable of understanding his verbal “wequests”.
Tywin Lannister – Game of Thrones
Per wikipedia, “Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) is Lord of Casterly Rock, Shield of Lannisport, and Warden of the West. He is a calculating, ruthless, and controlling man. He married his cousin Joanna, and their marriage was a happy one. She was his beloved companion and most trusted counselor. When she died giving birth to their dwarf son Tyrion, he was devastated and it is said that “the best part of Tywin died with her.” He never remarried. Tywin loves his children Cersei and Jaime, but he despises Tyrion for being deformed and for causing Joanna’s death. In his youth, he single-handedly restored the honor and fortune of the Lannisters and dedicated himself to maintaining his family’s prestige. He was appointed the Hand of the King to Aerys II Targaryen at a young age and held the position for twenty years. He proved himself a capable leader and his tenure was marked by peace and prosperity.”
Al Swearengen – Deadwood
Per wikipedia, “Albert “Swejen” Swearengen (Ian McShane), is the proprietor of the Gem Saloon, born in England but raised in a Chicago orphanage under an abusive figure known as Mrs. Anderson. He mentions on occasion that Mrs. Anderson ran a brothel at the girls’ orphanage before running the boys’ orphanage. Swearengen was among the first settlers of Deadwood, earning him several land claims and a position of power. The Gem Saloon, offering alcohol, prostitution and faro also acts as Swearengen’s base of operations.
Swearengen is cunning, manipulative and initially appears to be the most cynically amoral of all the characters, showing no hesitation in resorting to violence and murder when it serves his business interests. When former Montana marshal Seth Bullock comes to camp to sell hardware, his upright, law-abiding manner and strong sense of justice serves as an unintended, yet upending threat to Swearengen, and they initially butt heads until Swearengen decides to make Bullock the “face” of Deadwood and encourages him to pick up the badge again, turning Bullock’s respectability to his advantage in securing the future of the camp.”
Nucky Thompson – Boardwalk Empire
Per wikipedia, “Enoch Malachi “Nucky” Thompson is a fictional character and the protagonist of the HBO TV series Boardwalk Empire. Played by Steve Buscemi, Nucky is based on former Atlantic City political figure Enoch L. Johnson. Nucky is employed as treasurer of Atlantic County, New Jersey, but in effect controls the region as a political boss. Nucky is a corrupt and powerful Republican politician who leads a double life as a gangster, and continuously struggles to meet his interests on both fronts. Charming and intelligent, he is adored by the people of Atlantic City, especially its poor and immigrant inhabitants, for his numerous acts of charity. However, in private he has a tight grip on the politics and vice of Atlantic City. Throughout the series he is portrayed as a Machiavellian politician who makes his henchmen do the dirty work, while showing a more humane side to his friends and family. However, by the end of season 2 he is shown becoming more ruthless in order to compete in the violent bootlegging business.
Zombies – The Walking Dead
Per wikipedia, “The Walking Dead is an American horror drama television series developed by Frank Darabont. It is based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. The series stars Andrew Lincoln as sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes, who awakens from a coma to find a post-apocalyptic world dominated by flesh-eating zombies. He sets out to find his family and encounters many other survivors along the way.”
Walter White – Breaking Bad
Per wikipedia, “Walter Hartwell White (also known by his clandestine alias Heisenberg) is a fictional character in the American television drama series Breaking Bad on AMC. He was created by series creator Vince Gilligan and is portrayed by Bryan Cranston. Walter once was a promising chemist and among the founders of the multi-billion dollar company Gray Matter Technologies, but he soon left, selling his shares for $5,000 for personal reasons and becoming an unhappy and disillusioned high school chemistry teacher. After being diagnosed with Stage IIIA lung cancer, he resorts to manufacturing methamphetamine to ensure his family’s continuing financial security after his death. As the series progresses, Walter gradually becomes darker and more villainous.”