A good villain can really turn a good TV show into a masterpiece. Not only does it provide good content, but it’s fun, and it creates a sense of community when people come together to hate a certain character. Remember how nice it was to gather with friends to see Game of Thrones and pray to Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) finally got the horrible death he deserved? That’s the power of a great villain. It makes you feel passionate hatred towards someone who does not exist. However, a great villain is often a complex character. One whose actions are despicable, but you can understand their motives. These characters are still unbearable, but you may have more sympathy or empathy for them. 2021 had plenty of TV villains who are either funny to hate or hard to understand. Here are the 9 best TV villains of 2021.
General Kirigan – Shadow and Bone
IN Shadow and bone, General Kirigan (Ben Barnes) begins as a friendly, yet frightening character. He gets a relationship with Alina (Jessie Mei Li) and also acts as a mentor who wants to make her more powerful, unfortunately to her own advantage. However, it is later revealed that Kirigan is the main antagonist at the center of this story. Years ago, he created the menacing fold that divides the world between light and darkness.
Also known as Darkling, Kirigan began as a victim of prejudice whose wife was killed during an attack on him. Hoping to take revenge on those who wronged him, he began the fold in an attempt to protect his people, but also in a moment of rage. This rage consumed him, which led to him becoming the person he is today. Barnes portrays this character as a charming enemy who still has a fragile ego, which leads him to believe that his methods are the only way. He is relentless towards people who get in his way and quickly shuts off any kindness. The end of the first season left him in a very vulnerable position, but he may become even more powerful and vengeful in the coming seasons.
Crosshair – Star Wars: The Bad Batch
Originally one of the members of Bad Batch, Crosshair (Dee Bradley Baker) leaves the group after choosing to remain loyal to the empire. While at first he thought that Crosshair switched due to the chip being activated under Order 66, which forced him to become loyal to the empire, we later find out that Crosshair had his chip taken out and chose the path of least resistance . His independent loyalty to the empire leads him to hunt down his former brothers and kill innocent civilians who get in his way. Throughout The bad batch, the crew constantly crosses roads with Crosshair. Since Crosshair knows the strengths and weaknesses of this crew, he is a threatening force that knows their strategies and is now supported by the power of the empire. Crosshair also has precision, making it hard to avoid him. Now there is some hope for Crosshair as he almost had a moment of reflection but he still feels betrayed by his own brothers and it does not look like he will get over this betrayal right away.
Capitalism – squid game
Yes, there are specific villains we could talk about for Play squid. There’s Sang-Woo (Hae-Soo Park), the former genius prodigy who constantly manipulates other players. Deok-Su (Heo Sung-Tae), the cowardly gangster who uses brutal force and intimidation to cheat until it’s too late, and of course the man in the black mask (Lee Byung-hun), who runs the games himself. However, every character in this TV show is a victim of the real villain: Capitalism.
In South Korea, every character is somehow a victim of capitalism. Gi-Hun (Lee Jung-jae) plays and finds himself in constant debt in a desperate attempt to help his daughter, and Abdul (Anupam Tripathi) is abused by his superiors and has a family to support. Each character is so scared and contemptuous of the main reality that they are willing to risk life-or-death scenarios to possibly escape their situations. There are also the billionaires who sit at the top and keep an eye on the participants for their own pleasure while watching them kill each other and play childish games to win the system. There are plenty of villainous characters to choose from in this series, but it is really their own characteristics that make them villains, or the system that made them desperate people fighting for each other for a chance to survive.
Silco – Arcane
With a scarred face and a discolored eye, Silco (Jason List) is a threatening figure who is a king of manipulation. Silco is the unofficial ruler of Zahn, Piltover’s criminal abdomen, where the underclass fights in a constant battle for power. He has maintained his rule through intimidation and a substance called “flash” that transforms people into powerful, bloodthirsty monsters. However, Silco’s biggest crime may be what he does to Jinx (Ella Purnell). Jinx started out as a curious, innocent girl who just wanted to help her sister, Vi (Hailee Steinfeld). Under Silco’s wing, Jinx transformed into an unstable maniac whose weapon causes incredible damage. Still, Silco’s desire for Zaun to rise above Piltover’s control gives him a worthy cause, but his methods are far from humane. He may have won in the end by gaining independence from Piltover, but the damage he has caused by triggering both “shimmer” and Jinx will cause permanent damage to both communities.
Agatha Harkness- Wandavision
Who messed it all up? It’s been Agatha all along. Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) is an incredibly strong witch who is accompanied by a fantastic theme song. While she comes out as the crooked neighbor in the beginning Wandavision, it turns out she’s been the one pulling the strings, causing Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) to question her own reason. Agatha, played brilliantly by the always funny Hahn, really made us guess all season on who she was and her true intentions. She let the rest of Westview cheat with the audience.
Agatha’s power appetite led her to find Wanda and try to consume her power. But this plan backfired on her face and eventually led to Wanda finding her true potential as Scarlet Witch. That’s what she’s getting for killing Sparky! Marvel clearly has future plans for this evil witch Agatha: House of Harkness coming to Disney +. Maybe she will even have a new encounter with the scarlet witch.
Logan Roy – Succession
In Two Seasons, Logan Roy (Brian Cox) had just kept winning and winning despite morally dubious business decisions. At the end of season 2, it looked like Logan could get his bare desserts in season 3. But the latest season finale of Succession pulled the rug under us, reminding us that Logan will do whatever it takes to stay on top, even if it means screwing over his own kids.
Not really surprising, it comes from a character whose slogan is simply F ** k off! Cox makes Logan incredibly scary as he carries so much power despite being in his 80s. It is unclear whether Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) remain loyal to him out of love or out of fear. Most likely it is the latter. It’s a shame that Logan continues to be successful despite several obstacles, but it may just be a signal of how the world works. In business there is really no love, not even in one’s own family.
Nate- Ted Lasso
“You were the chosen one!” Ted Lasso fans may have shouted this at the end of season 2 when Nate made an entire trip to the dark side. In Season 1, Nate (Nick Mohammed) began as an innocent, nervous, and awkward character, but he had a heart of gold. He was friendly, charming and really cared about his job. Now that he’s become a coach and has gained confidence, power went to his head, and he became an arrogant man who tried to sabotage Ted (Jason Sudeikis), the one person who gave him an opportunity.
Not only that, but he was constantly shouting off and demeaning some of his players and staff. To make matters worse, he tore up the “faith” sign and now works for Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) unfaithful ex-husband, Rupert (Anthony Head). The decision to give Nate a villainous ride is risky, but the authors at Ted Lasso made it work by giving slow hints that Nate had a darker side to him. Now this show is about character redemption bows, including Rebecca and Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster). But unfortunately, Nate may be too far away.
Omni-Man – Invincible
Omni-Man (JK Simmons) originally seemed like a friendly superhero in the neighborhood. But in the post-credit scene of the first episode of Invincible, he showed his true colors by brutally murdering his superhero cohorts. Omni-Man is basically what would happen if Superman were from a less friendly planet. He has no desire to save the Earth. In fact, he is preparing the Earth for the invasion of Viltrum, a planet full of superhumans who see themselves as galactic saviors.
He has no respect for human life and kills them as easily as if they were a herd of ants. His desire to dominate others is so strong that he even almost kills his own son, Mark (Steven Yeun). Simmons gives this character horrific intimidation that breaks through every single blow. This may be one of Simmons’ best voice roles and shows his killer edge. There may still be some hope for Omni-Man as he showed a glimpse of humanity in the season finale that could end up being his downfall. Still, Omni-Man is one of the most menacing supervillains ever, and who knows if anyone can stop him.
Bev Keane – Midnight Mass
Not since Joffrey Baratheon has a TV villain been so universally despised. Bev Keane (Samantha Sloyan) is a passionate religious person whose devotion to the church causes her to do contemptible things. She believes she is holier than you over her peers and despises anyone who goes against her faith. It is the unwavering belief that her path is superior that makes her such a hateful character. Midnight Mass deals with several ideas about religion, and Bev is a vessel of the worst and most horrible aspects of it.
But as the series continues and she loses her supposed connection to God, Keane becomes a hopeless, lost soul whose ending fits what she did. Although Bev is not the most terrifying figure, Sloyan perfectly portrays how radical religious beliefs can destroy the soul and lead to prejudice. It is important to note that it is not Bev’s religion that makes her an evil character, but the way Bev uses her religious beliefs to create an environment of fear in which she rules and controls society. She creates a cult-like mindset that ends up destroying her community, but which had the potential to destroy lots of others. Bev may not be as strong as Omni-Man, but the realistic approach to her character makes her more intimidating.
They are more than a ticked box.
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