5 Incredible Shows with Despicable Characters

Adam Fay,

Forget “Good Vs Evil” the best television today is all about “Evil Vs Evil”.

In case you hadn’t noticed, some of the most popular television on the planet features some of the most despicable characters of all time. The Roy Family in Succession, The Duttons in Yellowstone, The Byrde’s in Ozark. These are the kind of people you’d be wise to steer clear from in real life, but we can’t get enough of them on TV.

Let’s delve deep and explore the cerebral psychology that we can attribute to this obsession we have with evil people and what is says about us as a human race….

…then again…Nah, who cares? Pass the remote and park the analysis…we’ve got some deliciously devilish shows to catch up on!

Here’s 5 of the absolute BEST television series featuring the absolute WORST television characters.

Succession

What’s it About?

Succession tracks the lives of the Roy family as they contemplate their future once their aging father begins to step back from the media and entertainment conglomerate they control.

Why Do We Love it?

There’s dysfunctional families and then there’s the Roy family – a family so dysfunctional that it makes your messed up clan look like the Brady Bunch.

Succession is a show filled with so many horrible, rich, entitled misfits that it’s virtually impossible to know who to root for. It’s best to just sit back and watch the entire sh*tshow go down.

With compelling performances and masterful writing, Succession is unmissable television all about the power struggles within a ridiculously wealthy family (just like your family…without the wealth of course)

Whose The Most Despicable Character?

Kendall (Jeremy Strong) is deeply flawed, Greg (Nicholas Braun) is cuddly but stupid, Shiv (Sarah Snook) is strong and savvy, but will tear you to shreds with a smile, and Roman (Kieran Culkin) is quick-witted but wicked…and kinda creepy…

The worst of the worst just has to be the head of the family himself – Logan Roy (Brian Cox) He is one nasty piece of work.

As quick as we suspect he may be about to show an ounce of affection, gratitude, sympathy or parental tenderness towards one of his offspring, he pulls the rugs from under us and turns the exchange into a cold, mocking, dignity-shredding roast from hell. Brutal.

Buy Episodes or Seasons of Succession in the Fetch TV Store

The White Lotus

What’s it About?

Set at an exclusive tropical resort, The White Lotus follows the exploits of various guests and employees over the span of one highly transformative week. As each day passes, gradual truths are revealed of the seemingly picture-perfect travellers, cheerful hotel employees, and the idyllic locale itself.

Why Do We Love It?

What’s supposed to be a week of relaxation and pampering quickly becomes an expose into white privilege, entitlement, race and just plain old selfishness.

All along we watch with glee as the secrets and obsessions of these rather questionable people come to the fore. We wait for redemption, but never really get any…and that’s kind of the point of this sometimes funny, sometimes sad and a little bit eye-opening HBO hit.

Whose The Most Despicable Character?

To choose the most despicable of the bunch, some might gravitate towards Armond (Murray Bartlett), the always troubled Aussie hotel manager, but while we can’t condone some of his more..ahem..interesting choices (I’ll never open my suitcase without thinking twice again) we also think there is a loveable guy somewhere within him.

Then there is Shane (Jake Lacy) and Rachel (Alexandra Daddario), the poorly matched couple who are more annoying than flat out despicable. Same goes for the dopey Dad, Mark (Steve Zahn) and his obliviously entitled wife Nicole (Connie Britton), and while Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) was certainly mean and rude, she was arguably more vacantly ignorant (not to mention lonely and sad) than straight-out despicable.

No, we are choosing Olivia (Sydney Sweeney) as the most devilish of the group. She has a coldness that sends shivers up the spine. Her mockery of her brother, her smarmy relationship with her parents, and of course her flat out betrayal of her so-called bestie Paula (Brittany O’Grady)

Yikes. This mean girl is like, totes the worst.

Buy Episodes or the Season of The White Lotus in the Fetch TV Store

Yellowjackets

What’s it About?

A team of talented high school girl soccer players become the (un)lucky survivors of a plane crash deep in the Ontario wilderness.

Why Do We Love It?

It’s spooky, mysterious and oh-so bitchy! Yellowjackets is a show to keep your eye on.

After what seems like a complex puzzle of a story that throws us back and forth in time from the 90s to the present, it slowly peels away its layers to unearth the shocking truth of just what happened to these crash survivors.

An earth-shattering final few episodes will have those patient enough to stick with the show completely hooked.

Whose The Most Despicable Character?

Looking down the list you realise that there’s hardly a redeeming quality in any of these main characters. The further the series goes on, the more these girls expose their evil sides.

It would be easy to call out Jackie (Ella Purnell) as the most despicable, but her character is simply the token High School pretty girl whose popularity and good looks make her an easy target. She’s no saint, but she’s also a flawed human who seems redeemable.

The real red flag in Yellowjackets is Misty (Samantha Hanratty/Christina Ricci) An outsider who we at first feel pity for, but who ends up showing serious serial killer tendencies by season end.

This psychopath has zero remorse and knows a little too much about how to dispose of a body than we think is healthy.

Watch Yellowjackets on Paramount+*

Yellowstone

What’s it About?

An epic drama that follows the Dutton family, led by John Dutton, who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. An intense study of a world far from media scrutiny – where land grabs make developers billions, and politicians are bought and sold by the worlds largest oil and lumber corporations. All the while, the ranch politics and Dutton family relationships swing from manipulative to violent.

Why Do We Love it?

Like The Sopranos in denim, Yellowstone is, at its heart, a classic crime family narrative with a head of family every bit as ruthless as Don Corleone himself. There’s violence, intrigue, romance and sibling tension throughout. It has the hallmarks of a classic soap opera, but throws in some cowboy charm along the way, and it’s all set on a sweepingly beautiful Montana landscape. What’s not to love?

Whose The Most Despicable Character?

Up for nomination here would be the tough, bulky ranch hand Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser), who does not suffer fools and is the loyal servant to the Dutton family.

Many would vote for Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) as most despicable, and while we agree she really stepped up the cruelty in Season 4, she is also a damaged character carrying deep sorrow and pain. Not an excuse for her dastardly deeds, but definitely part of the reason for them.

For us, it’s hard to go past the patriarchal powerhouse that is John Dutton (Kevin Costner)

There’s something about his cool, casual, laid back persona that is chilling, especially when you consider the power he wields and the unforgiving violence he dishes out to those who cross him.

Buy Episodes or Seasons 1-3 of Yellowstone in the Fetch TV Store

Watch all Seasons on Stan*

Ozark

What’s it About?

Marty Byrde is a financial planner who relocates his family from Chicago to a summer resort community in the Ozarks. With wife Wendy and their two kids in tow, Marty is on the move after a money-laundering scheme goes wrong, forcing him to pay off a substantial debt to a Mexican drug lord in order to keep his family safe. 

Why Do We Love It?

Ozark can often feel like a white knuckle ride as it swings and turns from one death-defying near miss to the next. We are never quite sure what to expect and never able to take a breath. The Byrde family’s money laundering for the mob has reached such risky heights that it’s difficult to see how they can escape inevitable tragedy.

Maybe it’s the grim, blue hazed atmospherics, or Jason Bateman’s relatable everyman swagger, but there’s certainly something that keeps us coming back to Ozark despite the dread.

Whose The Most Despicable Character?

Phew, it’s a tough choice this one. Nobody really escapes unscathed in Ozark. Lower down the call sheet we have more minor players like the terrifying Darlene (Lisa Emery) and the icy cold drug cartel attorney Helen Pierce (Janet Mcteer) who are both terrifyingly evil. Then there is fan favourite Ruth (Julia Garner), a pocket rocket that nobody sees coming. Even Marty Byrde himself (Jason Bateman) can’t be forgiven for his ruthless puppet-master ways.

But for us, there’s none more evil than Wendy Byrd. Laura Linney has cornered the market in friendly looking evil female characters, and in Ozark she is at her despicable best. Even husband Marty has moments throughout the series where he’s forced to reign in Wendy’s scathing attacks.

She’s bold, she’s cold and her greed and thirst for power is chilling.

Watch Ozark on Netflix*

*Subscription required

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