How often is it that the main character of a show or a movie turns out to be the worst character in it? That’s a good question really since a lot of people might not realize that there are individuals that are supposed to be the protagonist of their own show but end up being the antagonist as well or the main one at least. Some folks might look at Ted and figure that he’s the nice guy and the type of person who’s simply looking for love and isn’t finding it but isn’t going to give up trying. Isn’t that the way of a sitcom, to have someone try and try until they finally succeed? It might be, but at the same time being the type of person that will cheat on a long-distance girlfriend or end up walking out on his mother’s second wedding simply because he’s not feeling it, especially since it’s her second and he hasn’t even had a first, is the kind of character that’s more of a big child than a grown man. This kind of debate has been had more than once concerning men in sitcoms, and it’s likely to happen again and again.
The reason for this is that men in sitcoms, like Ted, tend to act like big, entitled babies at times when it comes to love since they either don’t know what they’re doing and fumble things horribly, or they do know what they’re doing and fumble things horribly when they get rejected. The truth is that Ted had the capability to be a great character and show a lot of growth over the course of nine seasons, but somehow that didn’t happen in the way that people might have expected, as a human being might actually grow from one year to the next. It could be a fault of the writers or it could be the fault of the actor for not being able to really help the character progress, but Ted was kind of a pain in the backside, even worse than Barney at times, which is hard to believe.
Barney didn’t really apologize for who he was though and that’s a big part of why he wasn’t given this designation since he was at peace with who he was. Barney was the type of guy that knew what he wanted and often went for it, but even if he was labeled a jerk he kept going. Ted felt like he moped too much and was too intent on what he wanted to look around a time or two and figure out that the problem was that his approach to women and his ways of dealing with them were all wrong. That might not have made him the worst character on the show, but the manner in which he treated women while still acting like he was the one that was deserving of love was a bit over the top since it indicated that he did have a slight narcissistic streak that wasn’t entirely obvious but was present all the same. Ted likely had a lot of people thinking that he was just a poor guy that needed to find the right woman so that he could settle down when the truth was that he was kind of a needy individual who was also pretty selfish.
Some people might bristle or even be ready to rush to Ted’s defense but the truth is that he’s not exactly a saint, though he could be a nice guy at times. In a big way, Ted is the kind of character that a lot of us have known in our lives that we simply say is a nice person that has horrible luck with relationships. Too often we tend to brush this kind of thing off simply because it’s not our life and we don’t have to deal with it. In a sitcom, it’s a little more noticeable but we still tend to brush it off as not real and as something we don’t have to deal with. But when determining who the worst character on a show is one kind of has to go with the idea that those who are often overlooked because of their nicer qualities might be hiding something that the writers are trying to skim by the audience in the hope that they won’t notice.
Ted wasn’t the epitome of evil to be certain, but he wasn’t just a nice guy on the show either since his attitude toward women is one that has been seen in many sitcoms and has been called out in others. This time around though it feels that the character being examined is being let off the hook since he’s a poor individual that just wants to find love. But there are better ways to go about it.