My top 10 villains from live action TV shows

Let's face it, sometimes you just can't help yourself from falling in love with the villain of a show. The reasons why these villains are so popular however vary greatly from villain to villain, but they all have one thing in common - An unstoppable and relentless dedication to overcome the good guys. Please enjoy my top 10 live action (non-animated) TV show villains who have all proven that they truly deserve a spot on this list.

1. Russell Hantz (Survivor, Season 19, 20)

"Nobody said anything. That's how easy it was to manipulate these people. All of them. They really sucked."

Let's face it - love or hate Survivor, you can't deny the unbelievable impact the show has had on modern society over the last decade. Through the course of the show's run, it has obtained a reputation for introducing couch patatos to some of the most interesting characters ever to grace the small screen. Sure, there were some great heroes like Rupert, Colby, Cirie and JT, but deep down everyone knew they were actually rooting for the villains, as these were the contestants that truly gave the show some of its best and most memorable moments. To single out one great villainous mastermind seems therefore almost cruel, but I can honestly give Russel Hantz the top spot on my list without any sense of hesitation. As the only contestant voted the 'Best player" for two consecutive seasons, Russel played the game harder than anyone in the show's history. As a master manipulator, Russel effortlessly managed to get the other contestants to do his bidding - whether this involved voting out their strongest alliance members, giving Russel their immunity idol or just listening to him out of pure fear for the revenge that might follow. Even though Russel never actually won the game of Survivor, he will always be remembered as one of the most influential players of one of the best shows ever created - still think he doesn't derserve all the praise?

2. Jasmine (Angel)

Blurring the lines between good and evil.

The fact that Jasmine is black is great, don’t get me wrong, but there’s much more to her awesomeness than mere racial chauvinism. The cool thing about Jasmine is that she was the first truly ambiguous villain I was introduced to as a child, resulting in her having a profound impact on my sense of good and evil (no, really!). Just like Angel (the protagonist from the show ‘Angel’) Jasmine’s ultimate goal was world peace and acceptance (which is a good thing, right?). The problem however was in her methods (which involved brain fucking the entire universe) – something that Angel just couldn’t accept with a clear, vampire conscious, believing that natural human suffering made much more sense instead. Jasmine’s excellent skills in diplomacy and rhetoric meant that it was even harder to decide if one should cheer for her or not. Even after Jasmine’s death, Angel and his misfit friends contemplate if they did the right thing...does the end truly justify the means? Jasmine, I thank you for raising this difficult question.

3. Ava Moore (Nip/Tuck)

“You lubricate acid. If I stick my dick up you, it would sizzle off.”

It’s hard to single out one villain from a show with such a great list of awesome baddies, but Ava Moore, first introduced in Season 2 of Nip Tuck seems to be the role model that all other modern would-be villains should aspire to be like. While Ava is introduced as a life coach, it soon becomes clear that she has a few problems of her own, with the biggest of course being her two saggy, hairy balls (aka her shallow vaginal canal). Yes, while it’s hard to take a transsexual serious, Ava is so damn hot, it doesn’t really matter. Ava aspires to ruin the entire cast’s lives and proves to be very successful with this, proving she’s a much better home wrecker than a life coach. She also manages to make sweet man love with many of the show’s male leads, leading to a few awkward but funny... “I had sex with a man” moments throughout the show. Ava returns a few seasons later, proving that transsexuals are harder to get rid of than you would think!

4. Maryann Forrester (True Blood)

"Feeling sorry for things is just an excuse not to celebrate your own happiness.”

Sure, Maryann’s impressive assortment of strange abilities which include enhanced strength, superhuman speed, the power to influence or control the behaviour of others, immortality, blood that is black and toxic are more than enough to send chills down any vampire’s spines, but that alone won’t give her a mention on this list. No, what makes Maryann truly special is her unique demeanour and her very positive approach to life – not to mention all her great sex orgies that she throws for all her beloved demon-enslaved redneck friends! Maryann is as funny as she is scary and intimidating, making her antics a true joy to behold. Maryann also has the talent of excellent motivational skills, giving some of the show’s characters truly great advice on how to improve their quality of life. This advice is however always extremely contradictory when compared with her actions (she enjoys performing blood sacrifices), making her inspiring words even more hilarious as the show progresses. Maryann, thank you for showing me that friends that literally want to rip your heart out are those that you should keep the closest.

5. Angel Zachariah (Supernatural)

"Well, can't make an omelet without cracking a few eggs. In this case, truckloads of eggs, but you get the picture."

Ok, most fans of Supernatural will be like "WTF? – From all the great villains you could choose from, you went for this dickhead?" A valid argument indeed... Supernatural has some great villains like the 'The yellow-eyed demon', Lillith, Lucifer himself, Ruby and the very slimy Crowley, to name but a few – all of which are trademarked by incredibly evil intentions and all the other great things that make an excellent villain. Angel Zacharia however has something that none of these have – the element of surprise! Think about it: Who would expect one of Heaven's higher ups to be such a complete dick? 'Zach' thinks of Heaven as a type of corporation where only the best and brighest get to climb the corporate ladder. It's a frightening picture, but one that makes a lot of sense...And that's exaclty what lies at the core of Supernatural – who exactly are the good guys – the forces of heaven or those from hell... or are mankind actually all on their own in this messed-up world? This makes Zachariah a very important character indeed, as he functions as the 'vessel' for the series' most resonating message.

6. Karin Walker (Will & Grace)

"Honey, you know what's really sad? Poor people with big dreams. Well, that's not so much sad as it is incredibly funny!"

Not only is Karen Walker arguably one of the most heartless characters ever portrayed on the silver screen, but she's also easily one of the funniest. Karen Walker's exact background story is never fully explored during the show, but a few things are sure: Karen is a borderline alocohlic with a deep love for prescription drugs and a very shaky moral balance. Add to this one of the most well-known high pitch voices on TV and you have a recipe for comedic brilliance. Even though Karen is obviously one of the most unstable characters in the show, she's also argubaly the most important one, as she functions as the link that joins this serious mismatch of characters. Even though the show might be called 'Will & Grace', it would have been nothing if it wasn't for the presence of this formidibale lady.

7.The mad Twatter (Skins)

"Yeah, yeah you could say that. You could say, ah, Pretty huge Dick."

Skins is definitely more well-known for all its great protagonists, but the Mad Twatter is such a diabolical genius that he definitely deserves a spot on this list of great villains. The slightly insane Twatter is first introduced at a brothel when Sid (the lamest TV show character ever) asks him for some weed. What follows is a whirlwind ride of deception and blackmail, as the Twatter tries to get the money back that Sid still owes him. The Twatter's induction into the hall of super villain fame is however due to a very specific scene where Twatter breaks a musical instrument as a symbol of his pure evil nature, proving that even something as beautiful as music is no match for him. The Twatter does however realise that all isn't well and therefore makes sure not to miss his psychiatry sessions before beating random strangers to a pulp. The Twatter might not be the most organised criminal mastermind around, but he definitely has some very original methods he uses to strike fear in his enemies' hearts.He also sports a very sexy moustache.

8. Sue Sylvester (Glee)

“You think this is hard? I’m living with hepatitis, that’s hard!”

Sue Sylvester, the primeval manifestation of the average high school cheerleader coach also happens to be one of the funniest characters ever portrayed on television. Sue will do anything to destroy the school’s Glee club and promote her Cheerio’s (the name of the cheerleading squad she coaches), even if it means getting dirty, using tactics like extortion, bribery, spying, verbal abuse, murder, nuclear holocausts and even staplers. Sue also has an extremely shady past: she euthanized her own mother, assisted in the capture of Noriega, torments the homeless, and is missing a uterus. Sue’s duels with her antagonist are a joy to behold, proving with each and every encounter that she is a force to be reckoned with. Cheerleading will never be the same again, thank you Sue!

9. Tuco Salamancah (Breaking Bad)

"This kicks like a mule with its balls wrapped in duct tape!"

This list is in serious need of a proper drug kingpin (and no, the Mad Twatter doesn't count). But choosing only one badass Drug pimp from a list of so many possible contenders is not an easy business. Luckily, this choice became much easier when I got the chance to meet the Mexican Druglord, Tuco Salamancah from the maginificent action-drama, Breaking Bad. Tuco's sociopathic nature makes him a sheer joy to watch onscreen, as he is not afraid to use extreme violence (some of the most intense I've had the pleasure of seeing on TV) to get results from his dealers and suppliers. Tuco also isn't an easy man to impress, as the main protagonist only earns Tuco's respect after blowing up his Drug headquarters ("You got balls. I'll give you that"). What makes Tuco even more frightening is his capacity for actual compassion as well as the ability to see the 'lighter side of a situation' – this whilst he beats and kills many a man during his time on the show. Pure bliss.

10. Stefano DiMera (Days of our lives) and Massimo Marone (The Bold and the beautiful)

The transcendental God of the Soap Opera

Stefano has been reported dead 11 times in Days of our lives over a period of almost 30 years, wreaking havoc on Marlena and the other retards from Salem in that horrible soap time and time again. Stefano even managed to overshadow the devil himself, proving that Marlena’s demon possession was mere child’s play when compared to what Stefano was capable of. Stefano also has the bragging rights that come with 26 different henchmen – a very impressive number that should make most villains very envious! But what makes Stefano truly remarkable is his ability to even transcend the boundaries of his own lame soap opera universe – When Stefano finally decided that Marlena wasn’t worth all the fuss of the last few decades, he teleported his existence to another soap, reincarnating himself as Massimo Marone in the Bold and the Beautiful. Truly, a villain to be reckoned with!

Other worthy mentions that didn't make the cut: 

Lucretia (Sparatacus)

Miguel (Dexter)

Parvati (Survivor)

Brother Justin Crowe (Carnivale)

Death (Supernatural)

Mr G (Summer Heights High)

Colleen Rose (Nip/Tuck)


  1. How did Carnivale's Brother Justin end up in the honourable mentions? He is the epitome of evil.


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