Here is my latest article for!

source: HBO

source: HBO

Without a good villain, a good TV show can  be little more than boring, because frankly, a story needs an antagonist to spice things up. Movies have had great villains forever, but as TV is becoming more and more popular as a medium for storytelling, with grand prize winning actors flocking to the small screen like never before, the quality of the villain is getting better, as well. No longer is the villain merely a soapy, motiveless neighbour.

However, it’s not just the villains that have become more interesting – the protagonists, too, are no longer the girl or boy next door. Just like the antagonists, our supposed heroes can be complete scumbags, and with that, they have invariably and inevitably become much more interesting to follow, and are in no small part responsible for that increase in popularity of TV.

Cynicism and snark sell, which is why we have heroes like Sherlock, masterfully crafted by Benedict Cumberbatch, who is mostly a rude, inconsiderate cad to those around him, but who comes with the caveat that he is witty, multilayered and charming, because of how he is written.

And then, on the other hand there are the protagonists (and antagonists) that have been as carefully crafted, but who are all-round despicable scumbags and provocatively so. They are the characters we hate and more importantly, who we love to hate or hate to love; most importantly, they are the characters we love to watch, and who often have even more of a draw on audiences than heroes do. They’re a despicable band of characters, and there’s just no getting around it, so instead we’re giving them due celebration.

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