Everyone loves to root for a hero. But when it comes to really, really good television, we’re all about the more complex characters who don’t always do the right thing. You know the ones we’re talking about: the hustlers and swindlers, the ones ignoring their inner voices, and sometimes, the ones that are just downright evil.
In 2019 there were plenty of those characters to entertain us, but here are 10 that definitely won’t be getting a stocking full of presents come Christmas.
10 characters that make our naughty list this year
Villanelle, Killing EveThis fictional female serial killer is awful at her core, yet we can’t help but be completely entertained (and a bit scared, TBH) every time Villanelle (Jodie Comer) is on our screens. We mean, she kills people for a living and there’s really no coming back from that—no matter how much chemistry she has with Eve (Sandra Oh). Santa is definitely skipping her house this year.
Catch up on Killing Eve now.The Lede
Dany, Game of ThronesNot since the days of Walter White have we seen such a loveable character break bad in such a devastating way. But Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) definitely broke our hearts in the show’s final season when she fully embraced her family history and essentially wiped out everyone left standing. Were she still around we’re pretty sure Santa would be skipping her and her dragons this year. (Or, giving them all the presents out of fear.)
Catch up on Game of Thrones now. HBO
Serena Joy, The Handmaid’s TaleCan we all just agree that this woman needs to make up her mind as to which side she’s on? First she beats June (Elisabeth Moss), then she helps her. Then they team up, and then she betrays her. We’ve been longing for Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) to finally see the light, but let’s face it: everything she has ever done has been about self-preservation only. And for that she deserves all the coal.
Catch up on The Handmaid’s Tale now.The Lede
Krystal Stubbs, On Becoming a God in Central FloridaLook, we completely understand why this single mom is just trying to do her best and get by in a man-eats-man world (or is that gator-eats-gator?). However, we also have a teensy problem with the types of morals that Krystal (Kirsten Dunst) is raising her daughter with. In the show’s first season we saw her take advantage of many people that care about her, and while we do also get the need for revenge against a company, that type of behaviour just doesn’t fly with Santa and his crew.
Catch up with On Becoming a God in Central Florida now.The Lede
Martin, FleabagWe know Santa sure wouldn’t use the term “d-bag” to describe someone, but in this case we definitely would. Martin (Brett Gelman) was basically the worst from beginning to end, whether he was lying about Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) and her supposed advances on him or just treating Claire (Sian Clifford) like dirt. At least he helped move the story along and provided some comedic relief? Still, that is not enough to merit a gift-filled stocking in our books.Amazon
Gavin Belson, Silicon ValleyFor years we watched Hooli’s chief innovation officer make life heck for the Pied Piper gang, with one brief glimpse of redemption when he actually gave Richard (Thomas Middleditch) the patent for the alternative Internet he was trying to build. Still, Gavin (Matt Ross) was as awful as ever in the final season, taking the credit for everyone else’s work until the end. For shame, Mr. Gavin, sir. No presents for you.
Catch up on Silicon Valley now.The Lede
The entire Succession bunchWe almost feel like we deserve some coal in our stockings for how much we love to hate these rich, fictional family members and how entertained we are by all of the awful things they do to one another. As the owners of a TV empire who realistically don’t care how their words or actions affect… well, anyone, we feel comfortable saying that they’re pretty much the worst. But, in the best way possible? Whatever, they all get coal too. (Now if only there was a meme for that.)
Catch up on Succession now.The Lede
Nadia Vulvokov, Russian DollWe’ll admit that it took us a long time to wrap our heads around WTF was actually going on in the first season of this show, but we do know that Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) wasn’t exactly nice to those around her—even before she fell into that time portal, Groundhog Day scenario. Sure, she started to make some amends by the time the season wrapped, but we think we can all agree that she still has a long way to go before her stocking is filled with anything but coal. Netflix
Selina Meyer, VeepOkay so we have never been under the impression that Selina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) was a good person—far from it. But we had kind of hoped that even she had her limits in terms of just how awful she could be to those who stood by her. Nope. As far as we’re concerned, when she threw Gary (Tony Hale) under the bus in the show’s final season, she solidified her perma-position on Santa’s naughty list.
Catch up on Veep now.The Lede
Joe Goldberg, YouIt seems pretty obvious that Joe (Penn Badgley) would make this year’s naughty list. After all, he’s a stalker and serial killer who basically reminded us all why you should never trust a guy who is over-protective of his basement. However, we had hoped the man would turn things around once he got with Becks (Elizabeth Lail). Well we all know how that turned out, which means Joe also deserves eternal coal. There’s just no coming back from everything that he did, no matter how well-intentioned he actually was. Netflix