Five Television Characters You Should Technically Hate But Love To Root For


Let’s face it folks.  Fiction is fiction for a reason.  We read fiction so that we can be taken away from our everyday dreary lives.  So that we can root for the bad guy.  So we can see people do things we would never do ourselves and be in situations we’d never dare dream be in.

But even fictional characters have “limits.”  Even though we’re taken away into fantasy, we still know right from wrong.  We know left from right.  However, sometimes I find myself saying “how the hell can I root for this guy even though he’s such a prick?”

Yet I feel these “pricks” are the greatest people on television.

Here are 5 TV characters you’re supposed to hate but love to root for

Gregory House – House


Let’s face it.  From a doctor’s point of view he’s about as good as they come.   When you can solve say, 100% of the cases you are given and find the answers every time because some weird light goes off or you see someone scratch their crotch, you pass the skills test.  But when you are a drug addict, have zero regard for anyone in the entire world and literally go out of your way to ruin people’s personal lives, it’s safe to say people might not like you.   And yet there we are, rooting for House to be…House.  We like him mean, witty,  and rude to patients.  We enjoy when he deciphers someone’s actions and makes them feel miserable.  We root for the chaos in his life because it’s….entertaining as hell.

Dr. Christian Troy – Nip/Tuck


Sure he’s good looking.  Hell he even does “righteous” things once in a while.  Case in point the episode where he transforms that kid so that he can look like his “father” who puts on those sex shows for clients. When he finds out about it, he threatens the father, gets money, tries to allow the kid to live his life and does something “right.”   Yet the same episode he takes out a loan using Sean’s money (without his permission) and winds up screwing over Sean’s brother by planting fake evidence to support that he was a criminal drug addict just so that he could strengthen his relationship with Sean(and take advantage of him more). Christian is a manipulator, compulsive drinker, and a shit to women.  And every time he does something foolish it’s awesome.

Dexter Morgan –Dexter


Clearly Dexter is the most obvious case of them all.   I mean clearly we’re not supposed to be rooting for psychotic killers should we?  And yet every single time I watch the show I think how awesome Dexter is.  The fact that he really only tries to kill bad people is kind of cool.  So you have the “hero” factor which is helpful.  But I can’t help wanting him to kill people.   It’s awesome.

Hank Moody – Californication


He’s obnoxious.  He hates himself.   He cheats on Karen constantly.  He’s a terrible father.  And yet Hank is 100% compassionate, aware of his wrong doings, and is sympathetic to the plight of the women he screws over on a constant basis.  Basically he’s a child but an extremely intelligent one who is well aware of the fact that he acts like a child.  And every time he bangs a chick, punches someone in the face, or does something completely irresponsible, we want more of it.

Glenn Quagmire- Family Guy


Perhaps the most disgusting and vile pervert on the planet, it’s impossible not to love every bad thing Glenn does and says.   He’s just too damned funny.  Giggity.

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  1. I’d say the entire case of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia falls into this category too. They are all such terrible people but you just want to see their schemes succeed.

  2. This list makes me realize that I need to watch more TV I guess. I don’t think I’ve seen any of the shows outside of “The Family Guy”. However, I do have a few nominations for your list as well.

    1) Johnny Drama – Entourage – Let’s face it. He’s a prick. It is a shame that the writers of the show have fallen into such a predictable format regarding the characters on this show in terms of personal growth. In recent seasons, it was fairly safe to assume that every week Johnny Drama is going to react to something minuscule in a totally blown out of proportion way. However, I can’t help but root for Johnny to finally get his act together and reclaim a bit of his “glory” along side his brother. I just recently saw the comi-con episode for the first time, and it was great to finally see Drama get some of the fame that he’s worked very long for. To bad that happened in the second season and it’s been downhill from there.

    2) Ari Gold – Entourage – Again, another member of the entourage makes my list. Again, Ari is an insufferable prick when it comes to business, but I think that when we see glimpses of Ari with his family we get to see that he is much more then an arrogant blow hard, and that he cares for them greatly. It is these moments of compassion that make me love Ari. Ari may be crude, but at his core I think is is a very honest character who fiercely defends his inner circle.

    3) Barney Stinson – How I Met Your Mother – Barney is one of those guys, that if you didn’t know him you would hate him. A womanizer, and a shameless manipulator. However, his loyalty shows through time after time when it comes to his dealings with the rest of the HIMYM gang. No moment speaks more to this then his trip to San Francisco to visit Lilly during Season 2. Barney is a friend I would want at my back any day of the week.

  3. I’m surprised no mention of Sylar from Heroes…he’s the BEST when he’s bad.

    Awesome for including Quagmire, haha…”I did gagoogity that girl, I gashmoigitied her glavflavity with my googis”. Yes I have memorized that quote and it’s my favorite of his of all time.

  4. You have to throw in Vic and Ronnie from The Shield. Corrupt as you can get probably borderline sociopaths, but you know if you’re on the team they will have your back to the end, and you have to admit that they do more good than harm.

  5. Though no longer on the air, I would say the cast of Seinfeld, as well as practically the entire cast of Arrested Development aside from Michael (most of the time) and George Michael (except for the whole incest thing.)

  6. Just to bring a point to light for those that don’t watch Californiction regularily, Hank has never cheated on Karen. She is not his wife, nor are they in plutonic relationship. When they are together during they’re on again, off again relationship, he’s nothing but devotedly loyal and faithful to her. Her inability to commit to him results in his need to purge his sexual aggression on unsuspecting but willing females in the Los Angeles area. One a side note, this is the best written show on television.

  7. @ Steve

    It WAS one of the best-written shows; now it’s pretty much a slapstick sitcom.

    But anyway, you’re right – if Karen decided to be with Hank, he wouldn’t touch another woman.

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