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Joseph Greathouse
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Posted: 10 July 2017 at 10:54am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

For the longest time, I have been saying that I need in a TV series someone to root for.  I need a hero. Son's of Anarchy I initially enjoyed because I felt the Jax character was a good guy in a nest of villains.  By the end of the series I had to force myself to watch because of how he turned. But I was thinking this weekend as I was catching up on House of Cards and realized how captivated I am regardless of how deplorable the Underwoods really are. 

So, what are your favorite shows starting the villain? What do you find yourself unable to turn away from?

Walter White in Breaking Bad and Frank Underwood in House of Cards are my two that immediately come to mind.



(edited for subject - Tim)


Edited by Tim O'Neill on 10 July 2017 at 5:55pm
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 10 July 2017 at 11:28am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

THE SOPRANOS spring to mind. Easily one of my favourite shows, and Tony Soprano is quite deplorable. In fact, most people  on that show is.

The lead character in BANSHEE is a crook, and I really enjoy that show.

The there's TOP GEAR starring Jeremy Clarkson. ;-)
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Joseph Greathouse
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Posted: 10 July 2017 at 12:40pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Oh don't know how I didn't think of the Soprano's, but you are absolutely right. Not just what they would do to the outside world, but what they did to those on the inside. I haven't watched it since it went off the air.
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Jeremy Simington
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Posted: 11 July 2017 at 7:38pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I watched and like the shows mentioned above. I add:
THE AMERICANS
THE SHIELD
BETTER CALL SAUL
RAY DONOVAN
DEXTER (skip the last season!)
VICE PRINCIPALS
EASTBOUND AND DOWN

DEADWOOD and THE WIRE are ensemble shows but the villains in them are major characters.
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 11 July 2017 at 9:15pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I'd say Breaking Bad is probably my favorite show starring the villain. I guess Saul Goodman does villainous things but I don't find him a straight up bad guy in Better Call Saul or on Breaking Bad. Dexter was another one, but it kind of peaked with the fourth season and the first season being the best season of them all. 

Of course Sopranos. And the Shield. Both of those shows were a fantastic character study of their main characters, both of which I'd qualify as villains.

As for Deadwood. like Jeremy mentioned, Swearengen, the villain was as much of a main character as Bullock, the hero.

I'd add Hannibal to the list too. A brilliant show that should've had more viewers and more seasons. 
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Joseph Greathouse
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Posted: 12 July 2017 at 7:04am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I debated on Dexter. I have a hard time deciding if he is a villain (as a serial killer) or an anti-hero who is a sociopath. Certainly he breaks the law, but he the people his kills are generally worse than he is. 

I don't see Saul Goodman as a villain yet.  But, at season three of Breaking Bad, I wouldn't have called Walter White a villain either. 

I haven't watched much of either Eastbound and Down or Vice Principals, but are these villains or just a$$holes?

I have friends that want to lynch me because I have yet to watch the Wire.  I should bump that up on my list right away. 
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Joe Zhang
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Posted: 12 July 2017 at 7:19am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Cable news starring Donald Trump. 

Edited by Joe Zhang on 12 July 2017 at 7:19am
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 12 July 2017 at 7:51am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I saw Dexter as someone to root for because he knew he
was a psychopath beyond help,but he made up for that in
my eyes by weeding out people far worse than him,saving
untold lives in the process.With Breaking Bad,we
initially see Walter as a decent human being doing his
best under unfortunate circumstances and Jesse as a
scumbag loser,over the course of the series,the tables
are turned,Walt becomes a ruthless obsessive narcisist
who engineers his own downfall and Jesse turns out to be
the one with the heart.
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Rodrigo castellanos
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Posted: 12 July 2017 at 11:44am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

There's a strong tendency nowadays for the Villain Protagonist. Even in kids movies: Despicable Me, Megamind, Maleficent.

THE WIRE I wouldn't say has heroes or villains, there's a clear intent on presenting them in shades of gray, like most real people are I guess. There's not somebody to "root for", at first McNulty is insinuated as that but then he does some pretty despicable things later on. Prezbo is shown as a prick in season 1 but is then almost the honorable protagonist on season 4, and so on.
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Brandon Scott Berthelot
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Posted: 12 July 2017 at 12:58pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Check out Profit. It was a series from 1996 starring
Adrian Pasdar and was so ahead of its time.
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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 12 July 2017 at 1:22pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Favorite show staring a villain:Ray
Donovan.

But I agree, there should be more shows
where you have someone to root for that's
actually a good person. Probably why I
love THE FLASH as much as I do.Barry is
just a really good dude.
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Josh Goldberg
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Posted: 12 July 2017 at 2:09pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

THE AMERICANS comes immediately to mind.

DEADWOOD's Al Swearengen was not a villain.
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 12 July 2017 at 5:12pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

THE WIRE I wouldn't say has heroes or villains, there's a clear intent on presenting them in shades of gray, like most real people are I guess. There's not somebody to "root for", at first McNulty is insinuated as that but then he does some pretty despicable things later on. Prezbo is shown as a prick in season 1 but is then almost the honorable protagonist on season 4, and so on.

****

"Omar coming!"

Man, I loved Omar.
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 12 July 2017 at 5:19pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

DEADWOOD's Al Swearengen was not a villain.

*****

That's debatable. He was definitely my favorite character on the show but while he did honorable things, he also did his fair share of villainous things. Dr. Doom does honorable things too, but I'd still classify him as a villain. Granted, Swearengen is no Dr. Doom so maybe that's a bad example.

I don't think it's really black and white with any villain, especially one you root for, as very few people are all evil (or all good for that matter).

Good call on Megamind, Rodrigo. That's one of my favorite "kid's" movies ever and I definitely was rooting for the villain more than the hero. Although that's another example of the bad guy sort of becoming good as it progresses. That happens in comics a lot too, like, for instance, with Magneto. 


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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 13 July 2017 at 3:27pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Good call on HANNIBAL. That was a show that pleasantly surprised me. A pity we didn't get to see the show take on SILENCE... It would have been interesting to see what they did with that.
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 13 July 2017 at 6:14pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Good call on HANNIBAL. That was a show that pleasantly surprised me. A pity we didn't get to see the show take on SILENCE... It would have been interesting to see what they did with that. 

******

I really wanted to see what they would do with Silence of the Lambs too, Peter. I was hoping one of the streaming services like Netflix or Hulu would pick up the show after NBC cancelled it. Kind of a shame that Bryan Fuller won't be the showrunner on the new Star Trek series too because after what he did with Hannibal and Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me as well as the episodes of Star Trek he'd written I really think he would've done great things. Guess I should get around to watching American Gods.
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James Johnson
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Posted: 16 July 2017 at 5:12pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

"Stringer" Bell from the Wire.

As deep in the drug game as Stringer was, he wanted out. And tried his best to get while he could. Especially with him seeing that eventuality, he would only have 2 possible endings; jail or death.
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