Many TV main characters are unlikable. The thing is, though, is that most of them are written that way. We’re supposed to hate them. It’s different when a that character is supposed to be likable but ends up being a complete asshat. These are the dudes and lady dudes we’re supposed to root for but find ourselves openly loathing. We groan whenever they come on the screen and hope they get their hearts shredded or that they fall head first into a wood chipper filled with bees. Their TV shows might be popular but man do they suck. And here are eight of the very worst.
Good God, dude, we get it. You have a pathological obsession with settling down and starting a family and you will leech onto any reasonably good looking woman with a pulse. It’s pathetic. Ted Mosby is everything people hate about their friends – he’s whiny, needy, self-absorbed, and he never, ever shuts up about how much he wants to fall in love and get married and have some kids and blah, blah, blah. In real life, Ted would have no friends. They would just start making excuse about why they can’t hang out with him until he finally got the hint and started collecting cat figurines. Ted sucks and anyone who would actually marry him sucks. And his kids probably suck too. I hope it turns out that Barney is actually their father and Ted is just the creepy, pathetic friend who lives in the guest room.
Most people don’t realize this, but Eric “E” Murphy was actually Entourage’s main character. It’s true, his name is the first one in the show’s credits. You can check. The reason nobody realizes that is because Eric sucked and nobody could possibly believe the show could be about that Napoleonic little asshole. He’s arrogant for no real reason – he thinks he’s entitled to success just because he parasitically leeches off of his best friend’s stardom, he’s five foot nothing and looks like the bastard offspring of the Lucky Charms Leprechaun and a feisty midget, and he constantly complains even though he improbably makes it big as a Hollywood manager and somehow miraculously lands Emmanuelle Chriqui. No one watched Entourage for E, just like no one in the show really cared about him other than as the gang’s perpetual stick in the mud. Even Turtle was better than E. Even Turtle!
Shoes! And handbags! And more shoes! Shoeeeeees! It’s been said that Entourage and Sex and the City are basically the same show, only one’s targeted towards men and the other towards women and so it only makes sense that both show’s main characters would be completely unlikable. After all, both shows are basically unwitting celebrations of asshole stereotypes, of the hedonistic, misogynist fratboy and the narcissistic, materialistic sorority girl. It’s been argued to death whether Carrie Bradshaw is a feminist icon or the model of everything feminism has fought so hard against. But I think that’s missing the main point: she is a terrible person, self-obsessed, materialistic and hey look… shoes!
Of all the characters on Lost, Jack Shephard was easily the most self-righteous, the whiniest and the most faux-tortured. That would be fine – every character needs that asshole who no one likes – if it wasn’t for the fact that he was the character we were apparently supposed to identify with the most. He was supposed to be the sort of everyman we could all relate to. The only problem is that the role of everyman isn’t usually occupied by a whiny, pampered surgeon with daddy issues. Let’s face it, it was only a matter of time until everyone was rooting for Sawyer to steal Jack’s thunder and his lady and, well, that’s exactly what happened.
At first, J.D. was sort of good-naturedly goofy, the kinda nerdy guy you couldn’t help but like, but after a while his combination of smug self-righteousness as a doctor and his hee-hawing jackassery at everything else made him little more than the modern day Screech. Only this time, the writers of the show were trying to convince us that Screech was actually Zack Morris. Neurotic, self-obsessed, blah blah blah, J.D. gets a checkmark next to his name for all the obnoxious character stereotypes. Dr. Cox was right to hate him and in retrospect he probably should have spent even more time haranguing his “quirky” ass.
Photo credit: YouTube/ABC
For as great as Freaks and Geeks was over the course of its all too short life, oddly enough the show’s two main characters – Lindsay and Sam Weir - both sucked. They were moody, petulant, spoiled, and constantly bitched and moaned insensitively in front of their friends with real problems. You know the type, the friend who’s always complaining and carrying on about how awful their life is when they have no idea how good they have it. Lindsay and Sam had the perfect parents, friends that worshipped them and bright, shiny futures just waiting there for them to grab while their friends mostly came from broken homes and would probably struggle just to become functioning gas station attendants. Their lack of perspective was obscene and it was a testament to how awesome those other characters were that nobody ever really talks about this. But make no mistake, the Weirs sucked.
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Vain, self-absorbed, freakishly judgmental, possessive, immature, ungrateful… I could go on and on with this spectacular asshole. Dawson’s life was – in his eyes anyway – basically just one big movie, with him as the star. Everyone existed to meet his needs. His best friend was just there to play the chump who gets off the occasional one-liner, his tomboy other best friend was just there to be his plucky sidekick, at least until he noticed her, at which point she became his personal property, and the blond next door existed as the object of his lust. And if any of them ever tried to break away from those molds, Dawson became a fountain of jerky rage. He would passive-aggressively harass them, break their spirits and then pat them on the head when they came crawling back. He was completely and totally awful and apparently the show’s viewers and writers eventually agreed as Dawson basically was phased out in favor of his two best friends, who fell in love with each other and left his worthless ass in the dust. They probably should have just drowned him in the creek in the very first episode. Then again, that Easter Island head of his probably would have floated.
Photo credit: YouTube/WB
I would rather watch Carrie Bradshaw and Dawson Leery spend six hours discussing the complete works of Steven Spielberg and the difference between Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo while J.D. and Ted Mosby discussed their love lives via voice-over than watch even a single second of any of these auto-tuned monsters. Good God. Even hell has a better cast of characters than this godforsaken show. Better singers too.
(Previously published on February 8, 2013.)