Much like the movies, TV shows have villains that a lot of people happen to like for one reason or another. Some folks like to root for the villain for some reason, but there are times when it makes sense if the villain started out as someone that people might have liked had they not gone bad. At one time it sounded odd to hear that people enjoyed the villain more than the heroes of a given story, but when one sits down to really understand some of the villains that have come and gone over the years and how they’ve affected and shaped the programming that we’ve been enjoying, it becomes a little easier to be thankful for said villains as they add an element to one show after another that might not have been as enjoyable if not for the bad guy, or woman, that stood against the heroes for their own reasons, no matter what the reason behind being bad was.
Here are ten TV villains that people came to like after a while.
10. Skeletor – He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
It’s hard to think, initially, that Skeletor would be that popular, but somehow the skull-faced individual did gain a following over the years, and he’s been one of the more endearing villains of his time for a little while now. Sure he’s kind of annoying, but the guy has been one of the more memorable villains for so long that it’s harder to say you don’t like him than admitting that he does kind of deserve a mention now and then.
9. Sylar – Heroes
There was a time when this villain was considered to be especially vile since he did kill people and take their powers. But something about him became a little hard to simply dismiss him as a psychopath after a while, though it’s still hard to imagine what that could have been. Maybe it’s simply because as the first major villain of the show he was a little too good at what he did to call write him off so easily.
8. Regina – Once Upon A Time
There are people out there that can’t help but root for the villain anyway since some of them are kind of likable even if they’re being nasty in their current version. Regina had her good moments even as a villain, but when she was ready to be bad there was no other way to say it, a lot of fans wanted to see her get the comeuppance that she’d earned. But after a while, one could understand how she’d turned out so bad.
7. The Baroness – G.I. Joe
At one time, seeing female characters in a show like G.I. Joe wasn’t that common, but much like Scarlett, the Baroness was simply awesome because she was a woman that could easily keep up with the guys and on occasion kick the living hell out of them. She was smart, tough, and yes, for a cartoon character she did have a certain allure that one couldn’t help but think of as appealing for some folks.
6. Megatron – Transformers
Believe it or not, and some folks would agree, Megatron’s evil intentions did make sense every now and then since his path was rather chaotic, but it was initially the result of the frustration that had built up when trying to make life better for his people. The manner in which he went about this wasn’t all that easy to agree with to be certain, but Megatron’s beginnings weren’t as violent as many would want to believe.
5. Lucretia – Spartacus
People did think of Xena when they saw this character, and it’s usually hard not to since Lucy Lawless carries that character around with her pretty much anywhere she goes thanks to the fanbase she built as the character. But Lucretia is a different individual altogether since, unlike Xena, she’s not a decent person and she doesn’t think of others that much unless she’s trying to think of how best she can use them.
4. Al Swearengen – Deadwood
Al is the kind of guy that a lot of people would look up to but also look out for when it comes to their usefulness within his presence. A lot of people might agree that they would call him a jerk, but he’d be THEIR jerk, meaning that he’s necessary for his community even if people don’t particularly like or trust him. These types of people are often tolerated because they’re the ones in a story that are the most needed for one reason or another.
3. Negan – The Walking Dead
Fans were waiting to see this character long before he made his appearance in the show, and by the time he came around a lot of people were either singing his praises or waiting with dread to see what might happen when he showed up. Negan was making people nervous before he ever set foot on the show since the love/hate relationship that fans had with him was so great that even his shadow was enough to get people talking.
2. Cersei Lannister – Game of Thrones
Cersei is the type of villain a person hates but respects as well since she’s deadly enough that turning one’s back on her is akin to calling the Mountain a sissy to his face. In fact, some people might actually prefer to do the latter since their demise might be quicker. This woman would make someone’s death last as long as possible and would force someone to endure the kind of pain that has been known to drive people insane. And that’s likely what she would do for a minor insult.
1. Walter White – Breaking Bad
What made Walter so great is that he didn’t start out as a villain. The fans were able to see how the character went from being a meek teacher that was dying of cancer to a confident and dangerous meth cook that had no trouble taking people out in a variety of ways. Seriously, how many chemistry teachers do you know who could rig a machine gun in the trunk of their car and manipulate a scene to such perfection? Sometimes the villains are easier to get into than the heroes.