A while ago thepunktheory from Le Cinéma en Rose tagged me to join in a TV series blogathon adapted from a book blog tag related to FRIENDS… I have been a bit rubbish lately at blogathons and guest posts lately so it’s taken me forever to get to this but here goes. Finally! Read more…
Recently I have become a bit obsessed with The Bridge, a Swedish/Danish crime series that features a detective called Saga Noren, who may or may not have Asperger’s syndrome and is able to see connections that no one else can… but she’s also a bit of a social challenge. Watching Saga’s unusual behaviour onscreen made me think of some other genius characters I love who have… issues… and so this rather unusual list was born.
Played by: Benedict Cumberbatch
Show: Sherlock (2010 – )
Area of genius: Photographic memory, abilities of deduction
Flaws: Using others for his own purposes, destructive behaviour when bored, reveling in any crime he finds entertaining, complete lack of tact
“Sherlock Holmes: Dear God, what is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring!”
Dr Sheldon Cooper
Played by: Jim Parsons
Show: The Big Bang Theory (2007 – )
Area of genius: Physics
Flaws: Seeing himself as the centre of the universe and demanding that everyone else comply
“Sheldon: But then some poor woman is going to pin her hopes on my sperm, what if she winds up with a toddler that doesn’t know if he should use an integral or a differential to solve for the area under a curve?
Leonard: I’m sure she’ll still love him.
Sheldon: I wouldn’t.”
Seven of Nine
Played by: Jeri Ryan
Show: Star Trek: Voyager (1995 – 2001)
Area of genius: Astrophysics
Flaws: Relating to others, being overly literal
“B’Elanna Torres: [reading Seven’s study of her and Tom from a PADD] ‘Stardate 52647, 1400 hours: Subjects quarrel in corridor outside female’s quarters. Male returns with twelve flowering plant stems, species rosa rubifolia, effecting a cessation of hostilities. Stardate 52648, 0300 hours: Intimate relations resume.’ – How the hell do you know when we’re having intimate relations?
Seven of Nine: There is no one on deck nine, section twelve, who *doesn’t* know when you’re having intimate relations.”
Played by: Sofia Helin
Show: The Bridge (2011 – )
Area of genius: Making connections between events
Flaws: Saying everything that pops into her head, ignoring social norms, being overly literal
“Saga Noren: Very few women fantisise about small penises.”
Dr Spencer Reid
Played by: Matthew Gray Gubler
Show: Criminal Minds (2005 – )
Area of genius: Photographic memory, making connections between things
Flaws: Making connections with others, being overly literal
“Special Agent Derek Morgan: So tell me, what does keep young Dr. Reid awake at night? Wait, let me guess. Memorizing some obscure textbook? No, no, no. Working on cold fusion? No, I got it, I got it, I got it. Watching Star Trek and laughing at all the physics mistakes?
Dr. Spencer Reid: Actually, there aren’t that many scientific errors in Star Trek, especially considering how long ago it was made. There are certain improbabilities, but not that many outright errors.
Special Agent Derek Morgan: Right.”
Dr Gregory House
Played by: Hugh Lawrie
Show: House M.D. (2005 – 2012)
Area of genius: Medical diagnoses
Flaws: Lack of empathy for anyone, excessive drug use
“Dr. James Wilson: Your real fear is me having a good relationship.
Dr. Gregory House: Yes, it keeps me up at night. That and the Loch Ness Monster, global warming, evolution, other fictional concepts.”
Played by: Gustaf Skarsgård
Show: Vikings (2012 – )
Area of genius: Boat building and just generally being ahead of his time
Flaws: Being away with the fairies, talking in riddles, taking crazy risks.
“King Horik: Floki, you have betrayed the gods.
Floki: No, King Horik. I only betrayed you.”
Played by: Bryan Cranston
Show: Breaking Bad (2008 – 2013)
Area of genius: Chemistry
Flaws: No knowing when to stop, egomania
“Declan: Who the hell are you?
Walter White: You know. You all know exactly who I am. Say my name.
Declan: Do what? I don’t… I don’t have a damn clue who the hell you are.
Walter White: Yeah, you do. I’m the cook. I’m the man who killed Gus Fring.
Declan: Bullshit. Cartel got Fring.
Walter White: Are you sure?
[Declan looks at Mike and Mike shakes his head]
Walter White: That’s right. Now, say my name.
Declan: [quietly] Heisenberg.
Walter White: You’re goddamn right.”
Played by: Clare Danes
Show: Homeland (2011 – )
Area of genius: Intuition, making connections
Flaws: Mania, general lack professionalism, not knowing when to stop
“Carrie Mathison: [Saul and Estes question the validity of an asset’s intel] It’s not lost on me why people don’t trust my judgment. Why you didn’t even want me here.
Saul Berenson: Carrie…
Carrie Mathison: It’s not fair, I know, for you to have to be the one to decide.
[Carrie starts to cry]
Carrie Mathison: It fucked me up, Saul. Being wrong about Brody, it really… it fucked me up. Because I have never been so sure… and so wrong. And it’s that fact that I still can’t get my head around. It makes me unable to trust my own thoughts. Every time I think I see something clearly now… it just disappears.
[Carrie takes a moment to calm down]
Carrie Mathison: We have a chance to get Abu Nazir.
Saul Berenson: I know you want to think that. I won’t risk American lives on a hunch.
Carrie Mathison: And I would not ask you to. I recruited her, Saul, right here in this city. And it’s been eight years. I know… I know a lot of things can change. But I helped her through an abusive domestic situation. I practically saved her life. And I remember… I remember knowing at the time… that one day… she would be ready to leave here… and when that time came, she would be on my side. Look, the… the way I am now, I wouldn’t trust me, either. But the Carrie who recruited her… that one I believe. “
Played by: Richard Ayoade
Show: The IT Crowd (2006 – 2013)
Area of genius: Inventions
Flaws: Inability to actually take care of humself, understanding social conventions
“Moss: I wanna go back to being weird. I like being weird. Weird’s all I got. That, and my sweet sweet style.”
It’s not surprising that some of my favourite TV characters are “bitches”. I’m talking about the ladies that take no nonsense, tell it like it as and sometimes bring a level of mean we wouldn’t be brave enough to level ourselves. More often than not it’s the bitch that steals the show and keeps us coming for me. These are the ones I love.
Played by: Aubrey Plaza
Show: Parks and Recreation (2009 – )
Bitch style: Utterly disinterested by everything and anything
Bitch level: 3/10
Favourite target: Her colleague, Jerry.
“April Ludgate: Can you Photoshop your life with better decisions, Jerry? “
Pam De Beaufort
Played by: Kristin Bauer van Straten
Show: True Blood (2008 – 2014)
Bitch style: Blood-sucking, stone cold lesbian
Bitch level: 8/10
Favourite target: Sookie Stackhouse
“Pam De Beaufort: [to Sookie] Did I miss something? Are we girls now? Did we join a book club and read some queer chicklet memoir and now are bound together by estrogen and sisterhood or some other feminist drivel? “
Played by: Lena Headley
Show: Game of Thrones (2011 – )
Bitch style: Willing to do anything for power
Favourite target: Her brother, Tyrion
Bitch level: 10/10
“Cersei Lannister: [to Margaery] If you ever call me sister again, I’ll have you strangled in your sleep.”
Played by: Molly Tarlov
Show: Awkward. (2011 – )
Bitch style: Delivering brutal slights disguised as”helpful” advice.
Favourite target: Jenna Hamilton
Bitch level: 4/10
“Sadie: If you tell anyone I’m having this soft side moment I swear I will cut you.”
Galina ‘Red’ Reznikov
Played by: Kate Mulgrew
Show: Orange is the New Black (2013 – )
Bitch style: Rules with an iron fist and ready to punish anyone who transgresses.
Favourite target: Varies across seasons
Bitch level: 6/10
“Galina ‘Red’ Reznikov: Because no matter how hard you try and how much we want it, there’s the people who serve the bread, and the people who eat the bread!”
Played by: Mila Kunis
Show: That 70’s Show (1998 – 2006)
Bitch style: Manipulative, spoilt popular high school bitch
Favourite target: Her boyfriend, Michael.
Bitch level: 2/10
“Jackie Burkhart: Look, Eric, just write her a letter. That’s how I broke up with Michael. I was able to take my time and come up with good synonyms for… cowardly won’t-marry-me loser, run-away-to-California jackass.”
Played by: Vanessa Williams
Show: Ugly Betty (2006 – 2010)
Bitch style: Controlling, brutal and always stylish
Favourite target: Everyone
Bitch level: 6/10
“Wilhelmina Slater: Look at us! Two women of color out for a fancy lunch in the town! Isn’t this fun, girlfriend?
Betty Suarez: [laughs nervously] I guess.
Wilhelmina Slater: And that blouse is heaven! Where did you get? I love it!
Betty Suarez: No you don’t!
Wilhelmina Slater: No, I don’t. It’s hideous, like driving through Ohio.”
Played by: Megan Mullally
Show: Will & Grace (1998 – 2006)
Bitch style: Self-obsessed and mostly inebriated
Favourite target: Her boss, Grace Adler
Bitch level: 7/10
“Karen Walker: Hey I have feelilngs too you know…..
[Jack and Karen both break out laughing]
Karen Walker: Dammit, I was trying to keep a straight face.”
Played by: Jessica Lange
Show: American Horror Story (2011 – )
Bitch style: Power hungry and completely unwilling to grow old gracefully
Favourite target: Her daughter, Cordelia
Bitch level: 9/10
“Fiona Goode: Too much? Well, I don’t know. Maybe you’re right. Then here’s my other offer: You can all just die.”
Played by: Charisma Carpenter
Show: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003)
Bitch style: Completely self-obsessed
Favourite target: Her on-off boyfriend, Xander Harris
Bitch level: 1/10
“Cordelia: People who think their problems are so huge craze me. Like this time I sort of ran over this girl on her bike. It was the most traumatizing event of my life, and she’s trying to make it about her leg! Like my pain meant nothing! “
British TV has a really strong tradition of comedy, especially of the more off the wall kind, which is really quite different from US TV comedy. Being married to a Brit, I’ve been lucky enough to be introduced to a number of older shows that I probably would have missed out on because they were on before I moved to the UK. Fortunately almost all of these shows are available on BBC, iPlayer, Netflix, 4OD or Amazon Prime for you to enjoy. These are my 10 favourites.
The Fast Show
Years on: 1994 – 2000
Starring: Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson, Simon Day, Mark Williams, John Thomson, Arabella Weir and Caroline Aherne
The premise: A sketch show where most of the preamble is dispensed with and the punch line hits almost immediately.
Best character: Where do I even start? Probably the news readers from Channel 9.
Best episode: The final one where Johnny Depp visits the suit shop.
“Billy Bleach: She was half woman, half fish. Terrible in the kitchen, but a bloody good swimmer.”
The Mighty Boosh
Years on: 2003 – 2007
Starring: Noel Fielding, Julian Barrett, Michael Fielding
The premise: The surreal adventures of best friends Vince Noir and Howard Moon
Best character: The Moon
Best episode: Call of the Yeti
“Vince Noir: [grabbing book] Look at this one!
Naboo: Don’t touch that!
Vince Noir: All right! Easy!
Naboo: This is black magic. This is hardcore. Don’t mess with the occult.
Vince Noir: I thought it was good for you.
Vince Noir: Well, you know, good for your digestive system.
Naboo: That’s Yakult!
Vince Noir: Oh, yeah…”
Years on: 2007 -2014
Starring: Hugh Dennis, Claire Skinner, Tyger Drew-Honey, Daniel Roche, Ramona Marquez
The premise: What makes this family sitcom stand out is that it’s part improvised so the kids say the most hilarious things
Best character: Karen
Best episode: Cousin Julie’s wedding
“Karen: How can you not like somebody you’ve never met?
Sue: Good point, Karen.
Karen: Yes, you should only hate people you know.
Sue: Ye… er…
Karen: Like Miss Braybrook.
Sue: But you love Miss Braybrook! She’s the reason you’re Christian!
Karen: Not any more, that’s all rubbish.
Pete: Rubbish is a bit harsh.
Karen: I don’t believe in God anymore, I’m a Satanist.
Pete: I think that’s an atheist. Satanists…do things to goats.”
Years on: 2003 – 2013
Starring: David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Olivia Colman
The premise: Roommates, Jez and Mark are total opposites but somehow their friendship seems to survive all their terrible adventures, which we get to watch from both of their perspectives.
Best character: Super Hans
Best episode: Mark’s stag do
“Jez: There’s only so much happiness in the world and they’re hoarding it all!
Mark: That’s not how happiness works! (It completely is.)”
The Morgana Show
Years on: 2010
Starring: Morgana Robinson, Tom Davis, Ninette Finch
The premise: I don’t think anyone but Paul and I watched this bonkers sketch show but I love ever moment of it
Best character: Gilbert
Best episode: All of them
Years on: 2000 – 2004
Starring: Jack Davenport, Gina Bellman, Sarah Alexander, Kate Isitt, Ben Miles, Richard Coyle
The premise: Six friends navigate romance, relationships and life
Best character: Jeff
Best episode: The End of the Line
“Susan: Well, you know what it’s like at the start, when they’re all fiery-eyed, and eager, and they haven’t seen you naked yet. And it’s like he’s smashing at your door with his mighty battering ram. And he’s promising to ravish you forever. So you brace yourself for man overload, and throw open the doors, and what do you find standing there? An oversized toddler who wants his dinner. And before you can say, “There’s been a terrible mistake,” he’s snoring on your sofa, the fridge is full of empty bottles and the whole place smells of feet.”
How Not to Live Your Life
Years on: 2007 – 2010
Starring: Dan Clark, David Armand, Leila Hoffman
Premise: Dan inherits his grandmother’s house and would have a great future ahead of him if he didn’t keep making such terrible decisions.
Best character: Treacher
Best episode: Don Meets His Maker
“Don Danbury: [repeatedly during sex] Can I have my job back?
Maggie: [repeatedly] No
Don Danbury: [about to ejaculate] Can-I-have-my-job-back?
Maggie: [climaxes] Yes!
Don Danbury: So, shall I start Monday morning?
Maggie: Start what!
Don Danbury: My job, you said I can have it back!”
Years on: 1999 – 2001
Starring: Simon Pegg, Jessica Hynes, Nick Frost
Premise: Tim and Daisy move into a flat together where they have to pretend to be a couple… endless pop culture infused shenanigans ensue.
Best character: Marsha
Best episode: Art
“Daisy: Right, I’m going to the shops. D’you want anything?
Daisy: Tim, I’m not going to buy you porn. You can get it from railway sidings like everybody else.
Tim: I can’t, I’m an adult. I’m supposed to leave it there.”
Years on: 1983 – 1989
Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Hugh Laurie
Premise: The adventures of Blackadder and his faithful servant, Baldrick, throughout history.
Best character: Baldrick
Best episode: Beer
“Blackadder: I seek information about a Wisewoman.
Young Crone: Ah, the Wisewoman… the Wisewoman.
Blackadder: Yes, the Wisewoman.
Young Crone: Two things, my lord, must thee know of the Wisewoman. First, she is… a woman. And second, she is…
Young Crone: You do know her then?
Blackadder: No, just a wild stab in the dark which is, incidentally, what you’ll be getting if you don’t start being a bit more helpful. Do you know where she lives?
Young Crone: Of course.
Young Crone: Here. Do you have an appointment?
Young Crone: Well, you can go in anyway.
Blackadder: Thank you young crone. Here is a purse of moneys… which I’m not going to give to you.”
Years on: 1995 – 1998
Premise: The surreal adventures of a group of priests living together on the remote Craggy Island with their housekeeper Mrs Doyle
Starring: Dermot Morgan, Ardal O’Hanlon, Frank Kelly, Pauline McLynn
Best character: Father Jack
Best Episode: A Song for Europe
“Father Dougal McGuire: I’ve never met a celebrity before.
Father Ted Crilly: You met the Pope.
Father Dougal McGuire: Did I?
Father Ted Crilly: Yes, do you not remember that time we were in Rome?
Father Dougal McGuire: That was the Pope? That old fella living in the art gallery?
Father Ted Crilly: The Vatican, Dougal! The Vatican!
Father Dougal McGuire: Still, he’s not a celebrity in the true sense of the word.
Father Ted Crilly: He’s God’s representative on Earth, Dougal!
Father Dougal McGuire: You’d think he’d be taller.
Father Ted Crilly: You mean like a giant?”
Honourable mentions: League of Gentlemen, Little Britain, The Inbetweeners, Gavin & Stacey, That Mitchell and Webb Look, The Office
After the success of my top 10 Villainous Movie couples, there was a call for a TV version. I have to say this was a bit of a challenge. Firstly, I don’t watch that much TV compared to how many movies I watch and (don’t hate me) I have a real penchant for trashy reality TV because I mostly watch TV when I don’t have the brain capacity for a film. Secondly as TV shows tend to go on for multiple seasons, couples come and go and characters grow and change and are often more faceted through their longevity. Sometimes they develop and change from becoming villains to heroes and dynamics can be vastly different from one season to the next. However, I feel like I have represented couples who at one or other time in their show had a villainous period. There are also a couple in here who are not traditional couples but you know… if you can’t cheat on your own list where can you cheat. As always feel free to join in and post your own versions.
Angela and Dwight
Played by: Angela Martin and Dwight Schrute
Show: The Office
Signature crime: Ruining everyone else’s fun
“Dwight Schrute: [trying to comfort Angela] Hey, come on, don’t be sad. Just… Okay? Just… She’s in a better place.
Angela Martin: [sobbing] All right.
Dwight Schrute: Actually, the place that she’s in is the freezer because of the odor.”
O’Brien and Barrow
Played by: Siobhan Finneran and Rob James-Collier
Show: Downton Abbey
Signature crime: Framing people, spreading lies
“Thomas: Are we to treat him as the heir?
Sarah O’Brien: Are we heck as like! A doctor’s son from Manchester? He’ll be lucky if he gets a civil word out of me.
Anna: [drily] We’re *all* lucky if we get a civil word out of you.”
Harley Quinn and The Joker
Voiced by Arleen Sorkin and Mark Hamill
Show: Batman: The Animated Series
Signature crime: Anarchy, mayhem, disorder
“The Joker: [halfway through the Batman vs. Joker fight] Uh, Harley, a little help here, slugger?
Harley Quinn: [to herself] Ooooo, now he needs my help, ‘less wench’ he says, ‘more hench’ he says.
Harley Quinn: You’re on your own, puddin’!
The Joker: That Harley; won’t kill for you, can’t kill without you!”
Karen and Jack
Played by: Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes
Show: Will & Grace
Signature crime: Narcissism, spite and pettiness
“Karen: So that miniature pony offered you all his money just to take a few rides on him and you said no?
Jack: But I don’t like him.
Karen: Since when is that a problem?
Jack: Well played.
Jack: I can’t do it.
Karen: Oh you’ll do it. You’ll do it the same way any self-respecting woman does. Get on your back, point your heels to Jesus and think of handbags.”
Lucretia and Batiatus
Played by: Lucy Lawless and John Hannah
Show: Spartacus: Gods of the Arena
Signature crime: Political manipulation, extortion, bribery
“Batiatus: [after a new recruit is quickly killed in a test] Not every venture ends in climax.
Lucretia: A fact known well to many women.”
Spike and Drusilla
Played by: James Marsters and Juliet Landau
Show: Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Signature crime: Slaughtering the innocent
“Drusilla: Do you love my insides, the parts you can’t see?
Spike: Eyeballs to entrails, my sweet. That’s why I’ve got to study this Slayer. Once I know her I can kill her. And once I kill her you can have your run of Sunnyhell. Get strong again.
Drusilla: Don’t worry. Everything’s switching. Outside to inside.”
Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag
Played by: Themselves
Show: The Hills
Signature crime: Spreading malicious rumours
“Heidi Montag: Honey, I’m home.
Spencer Pratt: Oh, my favorite part of the day!”
Steve and Sarah Newlin
Played by: Michael McMillan and Anna Camp
Show: True Blood
Signature crime: Religious fanaticism, brainwashing
“Steve Newlin: You know Sarah doesn’t whip out her pudding for just anybody.”
Gemma Teller-Morrow and Clay Morrow
Played by: Katie Sagal and Ron Perlman
Show: Sons of Anarchy
Signature crime: Murder, robbery, assault, manipulation
“Clarence ‘Clay’ Morrow: What did you do?
Gemma Teller Morrow: Same thing you did. Nailed some little tart from Nevada.
Clarence ‘Clay’ Morrow: All the shit I got coming outta my ears and you go and do this.
Gemma Teller Morrow: You should have thought of that before your dick went on a cheerleader hunt.
Clarence ‘Clay’ Morrow: I didn’t ask her to come here.
Gemma Teller Morrow: But she’s here.
Clarence ‘Clay’ Morrow: Well that’s not my fault.
Gemma Teller Morrow: And it’s not my pussy.”
Earl Haraldson and Siggy
Played by: Gabriel Byrne and Jessalyn Gilsig
Signature crime: Land theft
Cannot find any quotes online 😦