Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Characters We Love to Hate

I don’t watch a lot of TV, but when I do have time, I’d mostly rather read or write. So when I decide to devote myself to a series, it has to be well written, dramatic, suspenseful, and there should be kissing involved. And a love story. Because I’m a sucker for that.

Okay, so I guess shows like Prison Break and 24 didn’t have a lot of kissing, but even so, there was always an undercurrent of romantic suspense built in somewhere. And I live for those storylines.

Take, for example, the new CW show REIGN.

As the writers probably designed, we all love Mary, Queen of Scots. She is a well-developed character who is benevolent, kind, and as good as she is beautiful. It’s no wonder she has two brothers fighting for her hand. (BTW, I am Team Francis, all the way!)

But then we get an evil, cunning antagonist in Queen Catherine. She’s spiteful and devious, and just when you start to think she can stoop no lower or go no farther to get what she wants, she finds a way. In fact, she is so complex that no one can trust her. Not Mary, the French court, King Henry, or even her own son Francis. And yet, because she is so complex, as we learn the reasons for each new deception, as viewers we still somehow manage to find sympathy for her. In Catherine’s darkest hour, I found myself hoping she’d find a way to avoid losing her head. Literally.

Catherine is the epitome of the best kind of antagonist in a movie or show. She is the character we love to hate, and yet also the character we hate to love. And we do both.

Now I’m trying to think of another character who is quite so well written as Catherine, and I’m drawing a blank. So help me out, if you will. Who is a character you both love and hate?

(Please specify a series, book, or movie so I can look them up.) 

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