10 TV Villains and Antiheroes We’re More Than Happy to Have Around
Long gone are the days of TV when it was simple to root for the conquering protagonist and boo the dastardly villain. Today, the lines between good and evil are often so blurred that they no longer exist at all. In fact, sometimes villains or antiheroes end up becoming much more compelling than the heroes they so often clash with. Here is a list of ten characters from popular TV shows that bring something special to our screens, whether it’s with good intentions or not.
Chime in with your own favorite TV villains and antiheroes below!
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
Deathstroke – Arrow
Okay, okay… so Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) hasn’t been dubbed “Deathstroke” just yet, but it’s certainly coming. Arrow has done an incredible job of pairing present-day scenes of Ollie’s new nemesis with flashbacks to the island where we’ve witnessed the villain being built brick by brick. This is an example of an awesome live-action interpretation of a DC Comics favorite.
Madison Montgomery – American Horror Story: Coven
Madison was arguably the most developed character over the course of AHS: Coven, continuously oscillating between the vilest of villainesses and suffering as a tragic lost starlet. Without Madison, would the Zoe-Kyle couple have even been worth watching at all? Of course, the dearly departed Madison was also the queen of the one-liner.
Surprise, bitch! I bet you thought you’d seen the last of me.
Joffrey Baratheon – Game of Thrones
Jack Gleeson is absolutely perfect as King Joffrey
Lannister Baratheon, the ruthless and sadistic young ruler who wants nothing more than to exert his power and crush all those begging at the foot of the Iron Throne. Gleeson is rumored to be leaving the world of Hollywood behind post-Game of Thrones, so enjoy the king’s greatness while it lasts.
Sadie Saxton – Awkward.
It’s certainly difficult to make “frigid b*tch” seem entirely enjoyable, but the brutal charm of reigning Twitter queen Sadie Saxton (Molly Tarlov) as she continues to dole out unwelcome advice remains a necessary presence on the MTV smash. Nothing makes me happier than the fact that Awkward. has refused to predictably force Jenna Hamilton (Ashley Rickards) and Sadie Saxton to become friends.
Peter Hale – Teen Wolf
It was clever of Teen Wolf to lead us to believe that Peter (Ian Bohen) was set to become the “big bad” of Season 3 when the show picked up again this January, only to once again leave him biding his time in the shadows while popping up here and there to dish out his signature “big bad wolf” humor.
Frank Gallagher – Shameless
In covering Shameless here for two seasons now, I can honestly say that the number one question I get asked is about this show’s lack of Emmy attention in the acting categories. It’s mind-blowing, especially considering the work of William H. Macy as the family’s slightly sociopathic drunk of a patriarch.
Mona Vanderwall – Pretty Little Liars
Mona as PLL’s original A was sort of a letdown, considering the obviousness of it all. Fans might have thought this was all buildup with no boom, but the post-A Mona has been one of the reasons to tune in. She’s the ultimate antihero who always seems to hold the keys to the mysteries plaguing the four Liars and their undead bestie. A trip to Radley Sanitarium did her well.
Klaus Mikaelson – The Vampire Diaries/ The Originals
The Original hybrid was first set up to be the ultimate baddie, but we had no idea that Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan) would turn into such a dynamic and tortured character. He is the lead of the Vampire Diaries spinoff, yet he spent most of the show’s debut season as, once again, it’s biggest villain, not that we mind whatsoever.
Claudia – The Americans
Margo Martindale’s role on the FX drama adds a necessary spice to the mix. We don’t really know all of her motives, but she never fails to deliver. Elizabeth (Keri Russell) has had her pegged as a villain from the get-go, so I think it’s fair to categorize her as so for now. Then again, this is a show where we’re not sure whether to root for KGB or American characters, so I guess the boundaries of labels like “villain” or “antihero” have been scrubbed away.
Hannibal Lecter – Hannibal
The ultimate antihero is the psychopathic and downright unflappable Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). This might sound controversial, but this is probably the best interpretation of the character that has ever been portrayed thus far. Hannibal is a sleeper hit, and it deserves to be held among the greatest of current TV dramas thanks, in part, to its incredible lead.
Don’t forget to add your own favorite baddies to the list below!