Tuesday, 23 October 2012

TV Characters I Love to Hate! - 1 of 2

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but then I'm not trying to produce an Encyclopedia of Characters I Love to Hate (all in good time, my friends).

But I've decided to focus on TV characters in this particular post - after all, you might sit in a movie theatre for two hours resenting someone, but TV villains tend to stick around for a tad longer...

Check out the list - do you agree with those represented? Warning, may contain SPOILERS.

Okay, so here they are. In no particular order:

1. Shane Walsh, played by Jon Bernthal - The Walking Dead (2010 - 2012)

He starts off as a morally shady character in the pilot, but by the end of season 2, he's pretty much The Devil Himself.

Bernthal looks like he had a blast playing him, which is good for him, but his character sure isn't the man I'd want to be shackled to during the apocalypse (or ever, in fact). If his treatment of Lori wasn't bad enough, he also turned around and contemplated killing his best friend. Bad move. And he intimidated Dale (which is, frankly, unforgivable. RIP Dale).

By the time he became a zombie himself I actually thought it was a bit of an improvement - he finally had the visage of a monster to go with that corrupt heart of his.

None of the above means that I won't miss Shane, because I sure will. We got a great deal more of him than we ever did in the comics, but I still can't help but wonder if he could have redeemed himself, had his story lasted a little longer.

While Shane may have clawed his way above zombies galore to earn his space on this list, the arrival of The General this season may just see his position well and truly usurped.

2. Damon Salvatore, played by Ian Somerhalder - The Vampire Diaries (2009 - present) 

 Evil personified. I didn't know Somerhalder had it in him. He achieved mainstream recognition when he was cast as the intriguing but ill-fated Boone Carlyle in Lost, but he truly excels playing Damon, one half of the vampire Salvatore brothers.

I very rarely shout at my TV screen (we have a good relationship), but this is happening with increasing frequency as I delve into The VD.

'Stake him!' I find myself screaming at Elena or Stefan or every other character who doesn't seem to see that he's everything wrong with the world, ever. 'Stake him now!'

But somehow, when he does the most despicable things (including killing characters I like and getting away with it) Somerhalder manages to turn around and use those puppy dog eyes to evade punishment.

So is it really bad that I kinda can't imagine watching the show without him?

3. Principal Snyder, played by Armin Shimerman - Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 - 2000) 

If Buffy's great metaphor was for high school as Hell, then no character seemed to embody the position of King of Hades quite like Shimerman's simply loathsome Principal Snyder. 

He seemed to hate everything with pheromones, which makes one question why he would ever choose to work in a high school in the first place, but on second thoughts doesn't that sound exactly like 90% of high school teachers?

For a man whose Stalinesque approach to public education was built on the mantra of avoiding 'woolly-headed liberal thinking' as it was the kind of thing that 'leads to getting eaten', Snyder had a rather ironic demise of his own...

4. Cersei Lannister, played by Lena Headey - Game of Thrones (2011 - present) 

George R. R. Martin's fantasy epic has some of the most monstrous characters in recent fiction - but none of them (Whitewalkers and dragons included) come close to the sheer terror invoked by the shockingly sinister Cersei Lannister.

The reigning Ice Queen of Westeros, Cersei is arguably responsible for sparking off the conflicts at the very start of the story, ruining the Stark dynasty and unleashing Joffrey Baratheon on the world. 

Quite a legacy.

And yet she manages to steal just about every scene that she's in, not just because she's ruthless and manipulative and scheming, but also because she manages to do so while looking so damn good. Lena manages to make Cersei look so alluring that sometimes I sense even the camera is salivating.

5. Dr Gaius Baltar, played by James Callis - Battlestar Galactica (2004 - 2009) 

As spineless, self-serving, misogynistic geniuses go, Gaius Baltar takes the biscuit. Without a doubt he's one of the most fascinating characters in Battlestar, repeatedly saving himself from the brink of destruction.

He manages to betray the human race and somehow convince many of those human survivors that he is some kind of Messiah. If that's not a mark of genius, I don't know what it is (okay, it's probably the mark of a sociopath).

But on a serious note, I wanted to throttle Baltar several times throughout the series, and I'm a rather peaceful kind of guy.

You'll notice this Top 5 has been rather sci-fi heavy - who do you think will make the second part of the list? 

Any recommendations on characters you love to hate? 

Check back tomorrow to see who makes it onto part 2 of this list! 

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