You ever have those characters in television shows, movies or even books that you just wanted to beat the crap out of? Then there are the characters that are vile and horrible human beings but you can’t help that you actually root for them. And then there are those who you know you should hate, but for whatever reason you just can’t. I threw together a list of my top seven, in no particular order, hates, loves and love to hates. Starting with…for me anyway, the one character that I had such a deep-rooted hatred for, it made me want to throw the book and not finish it. Yes it’s petty and immature, but hey, I couldn’t help it. Read on to find out who it is.
Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) – played by Imelda Staunton
Hate: I might as well start with the worst of the worst. My blind fury with this character was developed and nurtured with her first appearance in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I don’t think I’ve ever had such an irrational hatred for a character ever. If I could have reached into the page to rip her face off, I would have. Her appearance in the film version did nothing to make me change my thoughts on her character. Umbridge never seemed rattled and she always pulled off her quips and jibs with a sugary-sweet gusto. She was a terror in a pink skirt / blazer combo with a love for all things kittens. Imelda Staunton nailed her portrayal of this hated character to a tee. I was very very happy when we got to see her get her just dues.
Alex Krycek (The X-Files) – played by Nicholas Lea
Love to Hate: First introduced in the fourth episode of the second season episode titled “Sleepless”, Krycek would be become a partner for Mulder during Scully’s absence. On the surface he was a clean-cut good guy, but as the conspiracy arc deepened, we find out that Krycek is playing for the bad guys. His evil-ness really hit a peak in what I still consider to be one of the best X-Files episodes ever, the second season finale titled Anasazi. He killed Mulder’s dad for crying out loud! That’s pretty brutal. He would come back time and again all while losing an arm, not to mention being infected by the black oil. That is until Skinner put a bullet between his eyes in the season eight finale, Existence. But you can’t keep a bad guy down on this show because his ghost pops up in the series finale. The thing with Krycek was that he could have been a good guy. He was kind of hot too so that helped his cause.
Julian Sark (Alias) – played by David Anders
Love to Hate: What’s not to love about a snarky British bad guy with questionable loyalties played by an American. His British accent (by my standards) was so good, I remember being shocked to find he’s actually from Oregon. Sark was a staple character on Alias through out its five season run. Even though he would disappear from time to time, he would always pop up eventually and the reaction would be the same…..”freakin’ Sark!” I’ve recently introduced Roomie’s 14-year-old kid to Alias and she was hooked from the get go. She says the same thing to which I profess my adoration for him. Yeah he’s a scumbag, but he’s so damned good at it. Imagine my delight when I saw Anders pop up in Once Upon a Time.
Gaius Baltar (Battlestar Galactica) – played by James Callis
Love to Hate: Frakking Baltar. He was responsible for the destruction of the 12 colonies. He was responsible for the hell that broke loose on New Caprica. He had a thing for a Cylon and even let one out of the brig so that she could put a bullet in Admiral Cain’s head. These are but a few of his crimes and indiscretions and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a male character cry or get as much tail as Baltar did. He’s one of those characters that you absolutely detested, yet you couldn’t take your eyes off of him. His motives for doing anything during the course of the series were all self-serving. It wasn’t until the very end that he actually stopped thinking about himself first and that showed the evolution of the character.
Al Swearengen (Deadwood) – played by Ian McShane
Love: I didn’t watch Deadwood when it aired but I’ve been catching up on it thanks to Netflix. This is one of those shows that has a bad guy who actually becomes your favorite character. Swearengen is a vile human being, but he’s got a soft spot even if he rarely shows it. He doesn’t do anything for free and charity isn’t in his vocabulary and his relationship with anyone and everyone is tempestuous at best. He’s hated and feared and knows the dirty laundry of everyone in town but you just can’t help but love the guy. I still need to finish the final season, but I can only imagine how many F bombs and C bombs Swearengen will drop but I imagine it will be plenty.
Carter Burke (Aliens) – played by Paul Reiser
Hate: Ugh…Burke. He was SUCH an asshole. He’s one of those characters that starts out like he’s got your best interest at heart but he’s got an agenda of his own. That agenda being to bring back a couple of alien embryos and killing off the rest of the survivors. Paul Rieser gave this character such a…a….smarmy quality and he played it to the hilt, which is why Burke was so great. He’s such a weasel and you just had to cheer when he got his just dues. I wouldn’t have stopped Hudson from wasting him but that’s just me.
Boyd Crowder (Justified) – played by Walton Goggins
Hated but now Love: I love love love Boyd Crowder. Even though Justified has only been on two seasons, Goggins has made his mark by portraying one of my favorite characters. Which is saying something because I loathed Boyd when this show first started. He was a racist asshole who liked to blow shit up but over the course of the last two season, his character has become multi dimensional and complex and Boyd’s relationship with Raylan is nothing short of genius.
I know the minute this post goes live, I’ll think of about a dozen more. Which characters fall into these categories for you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll discuss.Tags: Al Swearengen, Alex Krycek, Alias, Aliens, Battlestar Galactica, Boyd Crowder, Carter Burke, characters you love to hate, David Anders, Deadwood, Dolores Umbridge, Gaius Baltar, Harry Potter, Ian McShane, Imelda Staunton, James Callis, Julian Sark, Justified, Nicholas Lea, Paul Reiser, The X-Files, Walton Goggins