Johannesburg - Gone are the days when gun-toting Western movie outlaws were the bad boys of movies and TV series. These days, the squeaky clean guy next door could be hiding deadly secrets. Our TV anti-heroes lie, scheme, cheat and even kill – and we can’t get enough of them.
“Each anti-hero has a past, and something has caused them to be the way they are now,” says Jordyn Kreshover, arts reporter at The Daily Collegian. “They have a background story that allows the audience to understand and ache with the character. We have compassion with the anti-hero because they reflect the complex, not perfect world we live in today.”
In other words, we root for Breaking Bad’s (2008-2013) Walter White because even though he cheats, steals, deals drugs and isn’t afraid to murder an enemy, he’s doing so to keep his family together. And we can all relate to that!
With so many bad boys on TV, it’s hard to pick the worst of the worst, but luckily ShowMax has quite a few to choose from:
1. Ramsay Bolton – Game of Thrones
Not even the evil Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) of Game Of Thrones (2011-current, six seasons on ShowMax) comes close to the demented Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon).
Who can forget how he tortured poor Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) in season 3 (2013)? He tied him up, beat him to a pulp, castrated him and broke him down mentally to the point where he shattered Theon’s previously unshakeable confidence and even renamed him Reek.
But the worst yet was when Ramsey raped his new wife Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) in front of Theon in season 5 (2015)! While most bad guys have some redeeming characteristics, nobody is rooting for Ramsay!
2. Joe Carroll - The Following
The enigmatic and charismatic cult leader Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) in The Following (2013-2015, all 3 seasons on ShowMax) gives us the chills. He’s a soft-spoken man full of wit and charm, but with a chilling dark side. He commands a group of men and women to do whatever he says, no matter how disturbing it is. Some of these acts include cutting out the eyes of victims and killing in his name while wearing creepy masks of his own face. And they do it because they love him! Now that’s power of the most evil kind…
3. Dexter Morgan - Dexter
Forensic blood splatter analyst Dexter Morgan (Michael C Hall) in Dexter (2006-2013, all eight seasons on ShowMax) has an unusually gory hobby. While he’s fighting crime during the day, in his spare time, he’s a vigilante serial killer who targets murderers and other baddies who have evaded justice.
He plans his killings meticulously: from prepping the sacrificial room to capturing the victim and the manner in which he kills them, Dexter operates in a morally grey area, prompting the audience to question whether it’s ok to wipe truly evil people off the face of the planet.
4. Frank Gallagher - Shameless
While not a murderer, Frank Gallagher (William H Macy) in Shameless (2011-current, six seasons on ShowMax) is a bad guy in another way – he’s one of the worst TV dads ever.
Frank is a trashy, hopeless alcoholic, troublemaker and a completely narcissist. He’s usually either fall-down drunk, high as a kite or scheming for a quick buck. Family comes second (or third) for Frank and he wouldn’t think twice about using his own children in his twisted plans to make money.
In episode 1 of season 2 (2012), he went as far to turn a blind eye when a drug dealer took his youngest child, toddler Liam (Brennan Kane Johnson and Blake Alexander Johnson), as collateral for Frank’s gambling debt. Who would do such a thing? A very bad guy, that’s who…
Watch all of these and more with ShowMax. Sign up for a free trial at ShowMax.com. Want to know how much data ShowMax uses? Check out the bandwidth calculator.
*This article is sponsored. Channel24 is part of Media24, a subsidiary of Naspers.
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