OK, so everyone likes to root for the hero. But sometimes, good TV isn’t made up of people we love, but people we love to hate. Think about it: you probably have someone on your favorite show that you completely abhor. But, like a complete train wreck, TV villains are horrifying but hard to stop watching. Whether you’re a reality TV junkie or you prefer something a little more scripted, even your favorite funny shows have villains who work to thwart the efforts of the good guys. Still, you got to hand it to them – TV villains make the best shows worth watching. Who wants to watch a show where everything goes perfectly and the good guy always wins?
Mr. Burns: “The Simpsons”
Bet you didn’t think we’d lead off with a cartoon character, huh? But nothing beats Mr. Burns’ devilish laugh and thirst for the fur of puppies. Voiced by Harry Shearer, Mr. Burns is deliciously evil, proving that the rich don’t care about the little people. Whether it’s releasing the hounds on children, or forever asking Mr. Smithers just who the heck Homer Simpson is every episode, Mr. Burns is one of the best of the worst. Granted, he’s had a few shining moments, like when he fell in love with Marge. But we all know that Mr. Burns will eventually turn back to his evil-doing ways; or at least fire someone soon.
Damon Salvatore: “The Vampire Diaries”
Even the name sounds villainous! Damon Salvatore is the evil brother in the love triangle that is “The Vampire Diaries.” While his brother isn’t a “meat eating” vampire, Damon refuses to go vegetarian, still feeding on human blood. It’s a serious problem for Elena, who bounces between Damon and his brother, Stephan, like a ping-pong ball. Damon is unabashedly bad, but his smoldering eyes almost make up for it. Like tons of TV villains, Damon is dashing and charismatic, which is just how he gets you to like him right before he kills a helpless human. Oh Damon, you’re so dangerous!
Courtney Robertson and Michelle Money: “The Bachelor”
Want to get to the bottom of the real villains on TV? Check out reality shows. “The Bachelor” is a complete wasteland of bad-girl chicks that will do virtually anything to snag the attention of the sole man on the show. Don’t believe us? How about Michelle Money, whose super-aggressive behavior made her one of the high profile girls on Brad Womack’s second season? Or Courtney Robertson who went topless and skinny dipping to eventually end up with the final rose from Ben What’s-His-Name? Let’s face it: someone has to rattle the cages of that show, and it might as well be the crazy love struck women.
Sue Sylvester: “Glee”
Remember that gym teacher who made you climb the rope in roughly 10 seconds, and then berated you when you totally failed? Sue Sylvester is evil incarnate as the cheer coach from hell in “Glee.” Nothing is off limits when it comes to seedy Sue. She’ll sick her army of cheerleaders on you faster than she can make fun of your boy band haircut. Played by Jane Lynch, she’s exactly the person that you try to forget about after graduation – if you can. Still, she’s super entertaining and the show wouldn’t be as amazing without her and her endless supply of Adidas tracksuits.
The next time you go to boo or hiss at your favorite show’s villain, think about how completely boring the series would be without someone to hate. What’s more, they give you someone to talk about around the water cooler.
Todd Lam is often found watching TV and lurking around the internet
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