Monday, April 22, 2013

TV Guide Picks TV's 60 Nastiest Villains


The last list from TV Guide that I shared with you guys, showcased their picks for the 60 sexiest couples to ever grace a TV screen.  For the most part, I thought that list was okay.  I had some quibbles with it, and I know some of you guys did as well, but sexiness is subjective, so no big deal.  However, I find myself having issues with the list I'm about to share with you.

Back in the March 25-April 7, 2013 issue, TV Guide shared it's list of the 60 nastiest villains of all time.  So when I get the magazine home, I open up to page 14, and expect to be in awe of who they pick.  Instead, I'm left feeling a bit cold.  I'm not sure what happened, but despite picking some awesome characters, the list seems to be bogged down by "reality" stars and characters, that while they may not be nice, I'm not sure qualify as the worst of the worst.  Let me shut up, show you the list, and I'll have more to say on the other side.

1.  J.R. Ewing from Dallas

2.  Mr. Burns from The Simpsons
3.  Gus Fring from Breaking Bad
4.  The Borg form Star Trek: The Next Generation
5.  The One-Armed Man from The Fugitive
6.  Al Sweargengen from Deadwood
7.  Alexis Colby from Dynasty
8.  Barnabas Collins from Dark Shadows
9.  Nina Myers from 24
10.  Simon Cowell from American Idol, The X Factor
11.  Angelus from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

12.  Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell from Prison Break
13.  Baltar from Battlestar Galactica
14.  Joffrey Baratheon from Game of Thrones
15.  Mags Bennet from Justified
16.  Bob/Leland Palmer from Twin Peaks
17.  Frank Burns from M*A*S*H
18.  Al Capone from The Untouchables
19.  Cartman from Southpark
20.  Ben Chang from Community
21.  The Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-Files
22.  Wile E. Coyote from The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show
23.  The Daleks from Doctor Who
24.  Louie De Palma from Taxi
25.  Russell Edginton from True Blood
26.  The Evil Queen/Regina from Once Upon a Time

27.  Teresa Giudice from The Real Housewives of New Jersey
28.  The Governor from The Walking Dead
29.  Roman Grant from Big Love
30.  Victoria Grayson from Revenge
31.  Richard Hatch from Survivor
32.  Boss Hogg from The Dukes of Hazzard
33.  The Joker from Batman

34.  Erica Kane from All My Children
35.  Klaus from The Vampire Diaries
36.  Constance Langdon from American Horror Story
37.  Lucifer from Supernatural
38.  Lex Luthor from Smallville
39.  The Miniature Killer from CSI
40.  Clay Morrow from Sons of Anarchy
41.  Abu Nazir from Homeland
42.  Newman from Seinfeld
43.  Number Two from The Prisoner
44.  Mrs. O'Brien from Downton Abbey
45.  Omarosa from The Apprentice
46.  Plankton from Spongebob SquarePants
47.  Spencer Pratt from The Hills
48.  Puck from The Real World: San Francisco
49.  Gordon Ramsay from Hell's Kitchen
50.  Red John from The Mentalist
51.  Syp Rosetti from Boardwalk Empire
52.  Vern Schillinger from Oz
53.  Arvin Sloane from Alias
54.  The Smoke Monster from Lost
55.  Alan Spaulding from Guiding Light
56.  Sylar from Heroes

57.  Sue Sylvester from Glee
58.  The Trinity Killer from Dexter
59.  Mona Vanderwaal from Pretty Little Liars
60.  Amanda Woodward from Melrose Place  

The first time I looked over the list, a few things jumped out at me.  First of all, I can't believe they put 7 reality "stars" on the list, including Simon Cowell in the top 10.  They aren't villains, at least not what I would consider a villain to be.  They are assholes, I grant you that, but J.R. Ewing, who took the number one place on this list, makes all of them look like pussycats.  Secondly, I think the list includes way too many current characters, leaving a huge chuck of television history out of the loop.  Thirdly, I don't get the inclusion of sitcom villains.  You can't tell me that Frank Burns, Ben Chang, Louie De Palma, and Newman, are the baddest of the bad.  I don't buy it.  And lastly, at least for this paragraph, does Barnabas Collins and other villains, who really turned into the heroes of their shows, really belong on the list of the nastiest of all time?

I like the fact that they included cartoon characters, but these three guys, give me a break.  You can't tell me that Cartman, Plankton, and Wile E. Coyote are dripping with evil and nastiness.  I like Wile E. Coyote, but if he is on the list, it should also include Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, the Tasmanian Devil, and Marvin the Martian.  None of them are true villains.  How about Megatron from Transformers, Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe, Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Skeletor from He-Man, or even Gargamel from The Smurfs; they would all make better additions to this list.

Angelus is a bad ass villain, so I was super excited to see him on the list.  They could have easily taken a dozen different villains from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or from Angel, and they would have been deserving.  Lilah Morgan, Caleb, the Mayor, and Drusilla are just a few that come to mind within a few seconds.  I'm brining this up, because it leads me to another point.  The list includes two races of creatures, The Borg and The Daleks.  Now I'm not that familiar with The Daleks, since I don't watch Doctor Who, but as far as evilness goes, I'm not sure The Borg fit the bill.  Yeah I know they are bad ass and like to assimilate people, but they just feel like a generic, scifi construct.  The Gentlemen from Buffy the Vampire Slayer on the other hand, frighten the crap out of me.  When they come to town, they steal the voices away from everyone, so they can't scream.  They hover a few inches above the ground and when you hear a knock on your door, don't open it.  If you do, they will rip out your heart and nobody will be able to hear you.

I'm also failing to understand how these guys didn't make the list:


If any villain from Lost belongs on the list, it's Ben Linus, not the Smoke Monster.  He is a master manipulation and is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone, including his daughter, to make sure he gets what he wants.


I think it's interesting that the list includes some serial killers from different shows; CSI, Dexter, and The Mentalist all have villains on this list.  But what about Christopher Pelant from Bones.  He has brutally murdered untold people, framed Dr. Brennan for murder, hung a dead body over the bed of Hodgins and Angela before wiping out their fortune, and is just an all around sociopath.


There are a lot of characters that did make the list that have a thousand shades of grey between the the two opposite extremes.  Which is why I'm still not sure characters like Barnabas Collins and Erica Kane belong on the list, they were both good and evil, but mainly they were in between those two paradigms.  But if they are on the list, so should Stringer Bell and Avon Barksdale from The Wire.  They were two very complex characters, who despite doing some horrific things, had those morally complex shades of grey swirling around them.


And of all the scifi villains to ever grace a TV screen, how could they leave off Diana, the ultimate bitch queen from V.  She was ruthless on her climb to the top of her species ladder, and was willing to slaughter as many humans or visitors it took to cement her upward trajectory.

So those are my thoughts on the list that TV Guide put together, now I'm curious to see what you guys have to say.

41 comments:

Man of la Book said...

Interesting list. I'm glad they included cable shows. I agree with you about the reality show idiots, they aren't villains, just jerks.

http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

My anxious life said...

I have to agree... too many characters from new shows. And reality stars should not be on this list at all. Spencer Pratt, really??? And I have never thought of Cartman as a villain either. Maybe my understanding of a villain is different then TV Guide's.

John said...

Nicole Wallace from Law & Order: Criminal Intent is the most glaring omission from this list of TV's nastiest villains. She out-nasties more than three quarters of the lame choices here. With 44 characters coming from TV shows produced between 1990 and 2011 the list is pretty heavy on the contemporary side. Not at all representative of TV history, IMO.

Lisa said...

I haven't even seen a lot of these shows, particularly the fantasy shows. But I'd have to agree about the animated villains and the reality star shows. They do seem to lean heavily on shows from the past 10 years and there seem to be very few from who decades. But J.R. definitely belongs at the top!

Roberto Sanchez said...

I am in your corner on this. Maybe TV Guide needed to elaborate on what they felt a villain should be...or maybe they did...either way, I feel they have no idea on what makes a villain. Maybe they were thinking charisma, but if that were so, this list is still off. Not that I feel charisma makes a villain. Charisma just affects whether or not it's a villain you love or love to hate. A true villain shines through his/her's deeds and motivations. If you are not truly evil, then you cannot be a true villain. Sorry to say, the actions of the Borg may seem villainous, but they are not evil, they are motivated by the idea that through assimilation they can achieve perfection. Now the fact that they do not take your feelings on this into account simply makes them...well...single minded, not evil. Not like say the aliens from "V" who wish to use you as food. That's not to say that I wouldn't have put them on this list, but for sure there are a great many who don't deserve to be here given the great many, toon or otherwise, who should have! Even Erica Kane, and I love me some Erica, shouldn't have been here, she HAS a conscience! Something a true villain should be without! Cartoons alone have had some of the greatest villains! Cobra Commander, Serpentor, Megatron, Unicron, Skeletor, Mumm-Ra, Shredder, King Zarkon, Haggar...Damn I could go on forever. And that's just on the Animated tip...So many shows out there there were great because of their villains, yet so many of those villains didn't make the cut. *blows whistle and tosses the BS flag*

Ryan said...

I almost mentioned Erica Kane when I posted this, and I agree, she doesn't belong on the list. I'm not sure many soap "villains" would. For the most part they are too complex to be considered evil. Maybe the Cassadine family from General Hospital or Mitch Lawrence from One Life to Live would have been better fits.

Becca Lostinbooks said...

Ryan,

I totally agree with you. I don't even think Reality TV stars should make a list like this. They should have their own separate list. But that's just me. Probably because I hate most reality TV (I do love Face Off on Syfy).

Anyway, Ben Linus ABSOLUTELY SHOULD HAVE beat the Smoke Monster. Wasn't Ben controlling the smoke monster? How can the smoke monster, therefore, be more of a villain?

I would also have to agree with your pick of Palant from Bones. What a jerk.

I am glad they included Clay from Sons of Anarchy. He gets on my last nerve with his plots. Victoria Grayson, Joffrey Baratheon, and Russell Edgington are also ones I would definitely pick.

Where is that lunatic from Fringe that did all those crazy experiments on humans? Or Klaus from Vampire Diaries? what a dick. Or how about Joe Carroll from The Following? Although that might be too new a show for them to include. Hell, I would include it anyway.

Hmm...this makes me want to make up my own list, too. Can you tell?

Becca Lostinbooks said...

Oops I see now that Klaus was on there.

Steve Horvath said...

Vern Schillinger - great selection.

Anonymous said...

Baltar wasn't nasty, just arrogant and scared shitless.

Anonymous said...

Cartman, even if he's one of the kids, and everybody's favourite character, is actually pretty evil.

http://www.toplessrobot.com/2011/09/cartmans_7_most_heinous_acts_of_evil_on_south_park.php

Anonymous said...

Cartman is easily the evilest on the list...

Ellie Robson said...

I wanted Regina to be number 1 cuz she is the baddest person in once upon a time

Anonymous said...

For fans of Big Love, Hollis Green is even nastier than Roman (and Alby) Grant.

Anonymous said...

I am very very very very suprised that Red John is only 50th. He is the most evil of them all...

Anonymous said...

I am not saying that was completely necessary to put him, but they could at least consider to introduce Phil Leotardo(The Sopranos) to the list.
That jerk was a real badass in every single episode of the series... At least for my consideration

Anonymous said...

Star Trek doesn't get enough love on these villain lists. You want Cartman-level Nasty, with lots of great performances? How about Mark Alaimo as Gul Dukat? One of the slimiest villains out there.

Larry Kearney said...

A couple more baddies that shold have made this list: Enoch Thompson from Boardwalk Empire and Omar Little from The Wire. Nucky was a flatout gangster who killed without remorse and basically owned Atlantic City. Omar was a stone cold, psychopathic killer. While he had his own moral codes (only kill those in The Game), he still racked up a huge body count.

Anonymous said...

Shelia Carter from the Young and the Restless and Bold and the Beautiful is one of the most devious, heartless villans in the history of soap operas. Surprised the likes of Erica Kane was included and Shelia was omitted. She did everything from imprisoning her psychiatrist in a S&M dungeon to stealing and swapping babies to outright murdering her own mother. Her misdeeds are way to many to list here.

freedomblack said...

What imbecile put Erica Kane on this list and not Sheila Carter??? Erica is a lot of thing, but a villain sure isn't one of them. And Jane Badler wasn't included either??? Idiots...

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see Red John made the list. Unlike some people on the list, he really is truly evil. He really delights in his manipulation and manages to make murder into a kind of sadistic art.

Anonymous said...

Some of you guys may be taking this list too seriously, lol. I thought it was pretty funny to see Gordon up there.
Although if Caesar Romero's Joker could get up there I'm pretty Mark Hamill's could have.
But hey, make your own list, y'know?

Anonymous said...

Trinity from Dexter should be a lot higher on this list. The Shield had some very deserving characters, surprised none of them are here. Also, no Sopranos? Thanks for mentioning The Wire.

Anonymous said...

I think TV Guide conflated "antagonist" and "foil" with "villain".

Anonymous said...

I absolutely 100% agree with you Gul Dukat was a freaking nasty villain!

Anonymous said...

No Miles Drentel from "thirtysomething?"

Anubis2705 said...

The only real villain on "Lost" is the Man in Black/The Smoke Monster. ben linus is an awesome character, but pretty far away from being what is usually considered a villain. After all most of his actions are dedicated to a greater good.

Anonymous said...

Great points about the list. I agree that all of the characters you mentioned from Buffy were better than Angelus, but I suppose his arc was more personal. Also, I was happy to see Clay Morrow and Vern Schillinger on this list, since I feel those characters are highly underrated and in fact should have been higher on the list. Also I am shocked that no one from The Sopranos made the list. Phil Leotardo would've been a good choice, but Livia Soprano really takes this one. Easily top ten.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how you can so easily brush off Eric Cartman from South Park. We are talking about someone who killed a kid's parents then fed them back to him in a chili. And I'm not sure if this was even one of his worst moments. Eric Cartman can't be just called evil, no that would be too just for him.

Dumdeedumdum said...

I can't believe Dr. Smith from Lost in Space, Dick Dastardly, Snidely Whiplash, or Boris and Natasia didn't make this list.

Kevin Henry said...

Someone else that was missed from this list and should have been near the top: Kimberly Mancini (Marcia Cross) from Melrose Place. As much of as B___H as Amanda was, Kimbery had her beat hands down. I mean she blew up the apartment building, almost let Peter have a frontal lobotomy, ran down her ex-husband, Michael, and then framed Sydney for it. How did she not end up on the list? Some of the things she did were beyond reprehensible! Maybe next year!!

Anonymous said...

I'm honestly surprised Red John isn't higher on the list. Not only is he the picture of true evil, basically a representation of death, but he also has a whole web of people under his control for the sole purpose of making murdering people for fun easier. I'm almost afraid to say his name out loud.

Sarah Rene said...

Woah guys. Where's Umbridge from Harry Potter?

Anonymous said...

I can't believe Mr. Burns is up so high on the list. Also if we are considering cartoons, why isn't James Woods from Family Guy on the list?

Myke Gee said...

Personally, I think that Arvin Sloane should be ranked higher. I know that ALIAS wasn't a ratings magnet, but HE'S one of the main reasons that show was so cool. Sloane could connive, manipulate and scheme with the best of them.

Myke Gee said...

This list is for TV villains.

Anonymous said...

I would argue that Eric Cartman easily deserves the #1 spot. He has killed millions of people (he raised Cthulu and destroyed Burning Man along with countless non-Hippies,) consistently tries to harm his friends, tries to restart the Holocaust on a weekly basis in order to exterminate the Jews, commits bizarre acts of sadism, fed a kid he didn't like his own murdered parents.... and that is just a start. And he does most of it with very little provocation. I think Cartman is definitely at the top of the list. I don't recall JR ever attempting genocide.

Anonymous said...

Personally, if they allowed cartoons on this list, they should have at least included characters from animes. I mean, Plankton? Really? Naraku from InuYasha definitely deserves a spot on the list, especially over not just freakin' plankton, but celebrities from reality shows. Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsay can be jerks, but they aren't villains. Good lord...

Anonymous said...

Also, to anyone saying "I haven't heard lf Naraku or InuYasha." or says that it's only for villains a lot of people have heard of, to be fair, I haven't heard of a lot of the characters on this list. So regardless of who's heard of the villain, it should be down to who the best and nastiest villains are. And it should also be about actual villains. Not reality shows celebrities!

Anonymous said...

My biggest annoyance with this list is the fact that they include Vern shillinger from oz but simon adebisi from oz. Vern was evil but adebisi was down right ruthless and didn't care about anyone including himself.

nicky knighten said...

But not simon adebisi*