Any television series is only as good as their villain, and recent TV history has given the audiences a bevy of terrible people as antagonists. These are the men and women from recent television history who send chills down your spine.
Errol Childress - True Detective
A hidden cult leader who was born into Louisiana blue blood emerges as the villain of the first season of True Detective. The show’s protagonists, two detectives set at solving the serial murders, hint at some inbreeding deep through the family lines. Errol is the result of some of those dalliances. He is mentally challenged, has an incestuous relationship with another member of the family, and is the center figure of the most dangerous cult in all of Louisiana. There is a massive cover-up of the cult’s activities by nearby churches, local police departments, and several rural school systems. Childress is a monster, a giant of a man who believes himself to be the Yellow King, the
Kingpin – Daredevil
Kingpin plays the “anti-villain” in Netflix’s Daredevil series. He is flawed, but likeable. He is full of rage, but clearly capable of love. And, most importantly to any villain, Kingpin will do anything to succeed in his plans. He will lie, cheat, steal, and kill to build his criminal empire.
Gyp Rosetti – Boardwalk Empire
Ill-tempered and capricious, Gyp Rosetti is a living, breathing embodiment of anger displacement. Because he is so mild-mannered and even-tempered in his own home, his temperament is mercurial and eruptive everywhere else. At home, Gyp faces the ire of the women of his house. Though he is a tough gangster who oversees gambling, brothels, prohibition era drinking pubs, and numerous hits on rival gangsters, he is constantly disrespected by his wife and mother-in-law. Throw in a little sexual deviancy and you have the perfect criminal. Gyp Rosetti takes exception to every perceived slight whether real or imagined. He is ambitious with pliable morals. And most importantly, he is willing to kill indiscriminately to accomplish his goals.
Kanan – Power
Kanan represents the streets. He is a living legend in New York and he is remembered and loved by everyone. But, though he seems affable and trustworthy, his character also parallels the streets in that he is deceptive, vindictive, and unforgiving. Kanan believes that he should run the drug trade in his city, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to advance. He is manipulative, cunning, and calculated. He uses people to his own ends, lies remorselessly to those who trust him, and Kanan kills inexorably.
Tuco Salamanca – Breaking Bad
Tuco Salamanca is of the most compelling villains of recent history because there never seems to be any reason behind his most despicable acts. He is volatile and unpredictable. He is scarily intuitive about his opponents moves and he is willing to meet insurrection with violence and brutality. Tuco is a complete psychopath, but he is intelligent, business savvy, and he leads the methamphetamine trade in his region. Tuco is a trusted cartel kingpin who is as ruthless and violent as he is loyal.
Professor Joe Carroll was a serial killer in the vein of Hannibal Lecter. Though he was not a cannibal like Dr. Lecter, Carroll was a famous, charismatic intellectual who preyed on the community closest to him. He was responsible for the killing of 14 victims, the incident being named the Virginia Campus Murders, and he managed to escape the Virginia Central Penitentiary after the murders. Carroll grew a cult following with the murders, and the greatest testament to evil of Joe Carroll is that his followers are everywhere and willing to do anything to appease him.
Vee – Orange is the New Black
Vee is the most manipulative villain on this list. She is adept at reading people, and she uses their weaknesses against them to gain power. Vee empowers her crew of thugs to terrorize all the women of her prison, and in turn bullies her criminals with violence. She is power hungry, money hungry, and will do anything to turn a few dollars. She acts as weak and pitiful or brooding and threatening as the situation calls for it. She attacks while offering peace and hedges every bet in her favor. Nothing is below Yvonne “Vee” Parker.
Phillip Blake - The Walking Dead
The Governor seems like a real hero to the citizens of Woodbury, but he uses that mask to commit all the heinous crimes that he desires. He beds the women like a celebrity, he kills newcomers ruthlessly, and he convinces all his brainwashed followers to blindly follow his commands. He is one of the worst kinds of villains because he wears the guise of an humble and upstanding citizen while committing atrocious acts.
King Joffery Baratheon – Game of Thrones
Joffery Baratheon is the perfect villain, because there is not one redeemable quality about him. He came into power under false pretenses, he is a spoiled brat given more power and authority than he knows how to handle, and the suffering of others is the sole occurrence that brings him happiness. He displays neediness, cowardice, greed, and envy on a regular basis. King Joffrey is purposefully vindictive, cruel towards women, merciless in all situations, and a sadist who enjoys hurting people. He represents the perfect antagonist.
Elijah Pope – Scandal
Papa Pope is always a few steps ahead of his opponent, and he is willing to do anything keep the seemingly limitless power that his position grants him. He manipulates people, plays them against each other, and leaves everyone clueless about his whereabouts and motivations. He wields more power than the leader of the free world with his black ops units and secret assassins. Elijah Pope is the real life bogeyman.
Gustavo Fring – Breaking Bad
The character of Gus Fring is another candidate for the perfect villain. He hides in plain sight of the general public managing thriving, yet mundane businesses behind the counter. By day, Gus Fring is the owner of Los Pollos Hermanos, an extremely successful fried chicken franchise. By night, he is Gustavo, the most vengeful and calculated drug dealer in the cartel. No one sees him without him allowing it. No one gets close enough to him to bring down his empire. He moves methamphetamines across the southwest with impunity, manufacturing, transporting, and distributing the drugs across the nation. Fring donates to multiple charities including making appearances in support of the local police department all while ordering the deaths of anyone who stands in his way and orchestrating a coup to put him on top of the Mexican cartel. Fring is unflappable, fearless, and meticulous in his designs towards power.