Anti-heroes are dark, flawed characters that do not have the conventional qualities of the hero. Anti-heroes face moral dilemmas and struggle with what's right or wrong. Unlike the hero, anti-heroes may not always do the right thing. Television has some of the greatest Anti-heroes who blur the line between good and bad. Often times, viewers find themselves rooting for a character to pull off a crime, commit a murder or root for their villainous ways. Several of the characters spark a passionate debate amongst viewers over their debatable actions. Ratings and media attention goes through the roof with controversy and praise for both the series and the actor. Here is a look of some of the greatest and most memorable television anti-heroes.
11 Nucky Thompson - Boardwalk Empire HBO
10 Vic Mackey - The Shield FX
9 Dexter Morgan - Dexter Showtime
8 Omar Little - The Wire HBO
7 Patty Hews - Damages FX
6 Don Draper - Mad Men AMC
5 Archie Bunker - All In The Family CBS
4 Jackie Peyton - Nurse Jackie Showtime
3 Tony Soprano - The Sopranos HBO
2 Nancy Botwin - Weeds Showtime
1 Walter White - Breaking Bad AMC
Walter White is one of the most iconic television anti-heroes. Breaking Bad was a critically and commercially successful series about a high school chemistry teacher who finds out he has cancer, then starts cooking and selling meth. Initially, it's to pay for the cancer therapy and to take care of his family, but soon the money and power is all he craves. Creator, Vince Gilligan stated that he wanted to show a character’s transition from good to bad. A significant moment occurred in the season 2 finale when Walter allows Jesse's (Aaron Paul) girlfriend Jane (Krysten Ritter) to die from a drug overdose. Although Walter is not directly responsible for her death, he could have saved her. He struggles with his decision, but as the series goes he becomes more and more ruthless. Eventually, he loses everything, including his wife and kids. Walter redeems himself in the end when he sacrifices his own life for Jesse’s. Bryan Cranston has been praised by fans and critics for his portrayal of Walter White, including winning the Prime time Emmy Award for Outstanding Male Lead in a Drama three years in a row from 2008 to 2010.
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