The 5 Best TV Villains of 2011
What would a good show be without a good villain? The answer to that is a whole heck of a lot less interesting. This year the dial was chock full of great, delicious villains making our small screen heroes look even more heroic. It was a tough call picking out just five of the best TV villains of 2011, but these characters’ dastardly deeds put them ahead of the pack.
Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) - "Breaking Bad"
Can you think of a more frightening villain from 2011 than the mild-mannered chicken man from “Breaking Bad”? Because I can’t. Giancarlo Esposito was perfection in the role turning Gus into one of the scariest villains on televisions, often without saying a word. The meticulous Gus always seemed five steps ahead in the game, until his anger finally got the best of him. Even still, Gus got one of the coolest send-offs of any villain in recent memory.
Who knew straightening a tie could be so disgustingly cool?
Mags Bennett (Margo Martindale) - "Justified"
There are few villains that can make apple pie terrifying, but Margo Martindale’s Mags Bennett from the second season of “Justified” was one of them. Martindale won a much deserved Emmy for her turn as the matriarch of a truly twisted Harlan clan. Steely and vulnerable at once, Mags would literally kill you with kindness. Mags was a woman who would do anything to get what she wanted, but her struggle to lift her family out of a life of crime and drug trafficking made her infinitely human and relatable. “Justified” will have to work hard next season to find a bad guy even half as great.
Klaus (Joseph Morgan) - "The Vampire Diaries"
Last year, the quest to first avoid and then kill Klaus drove the plot of CW’s supernatural “The Vampire Diaries”. Having heard much about the character without ever seeing him, Klaus certainly had a big reputation to live up to. And he did in spades with Joseph Morgan confidently inhabiting the part of the murderous vampire-werewolf hybrid. Yet the show doesn’t shy away from Klaus’ vulnerability. His quest to make more hybrids is motivated at least in part by his loneliness. Plus he has more family issues (patricide and matricide?) than you can shake a (pointy) stick at. “The Vampire Diaries” loves a good bad guy, and we can’t help but love Klaus.
Victoria Grayson (Madeline Stowe) - “Revenge”
It’s a bit hard to pick out just one villain on ABC’s primetime soap-fest “Revenge”. After all, heroine Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) is on a mission of vengeance that includes most of the characters on the show. With a fun anti-heroine at the center of the action, who is villainous enough to take her on? Enter Madeline Stowe’s campy, amazing Victoria Grayson. The former lover of Emily’s father and the matriarch of the Grayson clan, Victoria always has a lot on her plate. But that never keeps her from delivering amazingly catty bon mots. How can you not love a woman that hugs a frenemy and declares the warmth of her body is her hatred burning through? Even her hugs are scary!
The House - “American Horror Story”
Sure, the latex gimp suit got a lot of the scary play on FX’s horror serial “American Horror Story”, even landing on the cover of Entertainment Weekly beside show stars Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott. But after finding out that lovestruck, whiny teenager Tate was the one embodying the suit, the scary got a bit zapped out. But the house where all the creepy madness took place never stopped being terrifying. Looking for a mad scientist, a school shooter, a pig baby or an angry gay ghost? The house has those to spare!
The creepy atmosphere of the “murder house” was a great backdrop for the disturbing happenings for “American Horror Story’s” freshmen outing. The house became like a malevolent character in itself, scarier than the sum of it’s parts. Although house didn’t work out very well for the doomed Harmon family, if you want to try your luck the actual house in Los Angeles where they filmed is on sale. Ghosts not included…or are they?
Who were your favorite TV villains of 2011? Sound off in the comments!