"Reversal of fortune? No way. Reversal of skill." -Uffish Thought
Question #91629 posted on 09/12/2018 7:55 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Who is/are the best villain(s) in all of movies or TV?

-My Name Here

A:

Dear MNH,

I thought Kilgrave from Jessica Jones was fascinating. His power was that everyone had to do what he said (exempting Jessica Jones, who could resist him). He's fascinating for several reasons:

  1. He's played by David Tennant. I mean, come on. You can't get better than that.
  2. You could argue he's not actually evil. I mean yes, he tells people to kill themselves and kill others on the daily, but think about it: he was basically born with this ability and only knows what it's like to be obeyed. We know why things are bad primarily because we were faced with punishment if we did them. But Kilgrave never had that experience. He could do anything he wanted with no consequences, so he just never developed a sense of morality. He's like a grown-up child who's only ever had things his way. He's not evil, per se. He's just the natural consequence of giving a child the power to be obeyed by everyone. 
  3. He can never have true human connection. He never knows if people like him because of him, or because he's told them/implied that they should like him. So he uses, and discards, people like they're objects, because he's never known or learned anything different. Again, not evil, just...seriously messed up. 
  4. His interactions with Jessica Jones. She is the only person who has ever been able to resist him, so he finds her fascinating. And like any spoiled child who can't get that one thing, he becomes obsessed with owning her. It's interesting to see the lengths he goes to while understanding the psychology behind why he's doing that. (HE'S JUST SO PSYCHOLOGICALLY INTERESTING!)
  5. That power. It reminds me of another book, Bitterblue, where a guy had the same power, except he used it to take control of a kingdom and convince his followers that they enjoyed torturing others. Basically, people with that ability get pretty messed up. If you ever get the chance to get a superpower, don't choose this one. 
  6. It's David Tennant. Seriously, if that doesn't convince you, I don't know what will.

REALLY IMPORTANT WARNING: this show is basically rated R. Anathema and I were talking about Kilgrave and Anathema (wisely) said, "Wow, David Tennant as a villain, I need to watch that!" and I realized I forgot to tell her (and everyone) that there's a fair bit of gore and blood and sex. That's not my cup of tea but the sacrifice I was willing to make to watch David Tennant (and I intentionally crocheted and embroidered stuff while watching/listening so I could keep my eyes off the screen, and I was able to skip scenes that were too bad). 

-guppy of doom

A:

Dear Your Name Here,

The only things I really watch are Monk, Psych, Parks & Rec, and professional sports. They don't really have villains. Monk and Psych have murderers, but typically just for like one episode. Parks & Rec doesn't really have villains. Jam is always opposing Leslie's plan's, but he's definitely not worthy of the title of best villain.

While sports might not have villains per se, there are definitely teams that everyone hates and wants to lose. If we're going by that definition, the New England Patriots are the best villains of all time. History of cheating, unpleasant coach, far too pleasant and perfect star player Tom Brady. They've just been so good for so long that either you're a fan, or you just hate them. I don't know if any team or group has been hated by so many Americans. That makes them pretty good villains in my book.

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear Generic, 

The real question is, what criteria are we using? The best backstory? How truly evil they are? How ironically UN-evil they are? Best character development? Satiric commentary? I couldn't decide, so I picked several - 

  • Moriarty from Sherlock. His character creeps me out. He is sadistic in every meaning of the word. He also adds a significant philosophical element and is a good challenge for Sherlock. Also, the REACH of his villainy... even in death he still haunts everyone. The network of evil he created... Moriarty is a masterful villain and a crucial part of one of my favorite shows of all time. 
  • The Joker (especially as played by Heath Ledger). I think all the Batman characters have good depth of character. Mostly he's just on my list because of that one scene in The Dark Knight where he "makes the pencil disappear." I have never been able to get that out of my head. His voice also never fails to send shivers down my spine. 
  • Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb, because he makes me laugh. He fits the 'ironically un-evil' criteria. How could you be so bad that you literally lose daily battles with a platypus??? Classic. 
  • The Vogons from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The political commentary in that movie is priceless. They're the 'villains' of the novel, but really they're just annoying... "not actually evil, but bad-tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous. They wouldn't even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat and recycled as firelighters" (Douglas Adams.)  I can't help but snicker when I read that. They're literally just alien versions of Congress, and it makes me laugh that their "villainous" qualities are apathy and dedication to arduousness (read: bureaucracy.)
  • I also second Quixotic's addition of Michael from The Good Place.  I don't want to give plot spoilers, but he is truly one of the best characters ever. That show makes you think, and it would be nothing without Michael. 
Cheers, 
Guesthouse
A:

Dear Question-Asker,

****Before we go any further, SPOILERS FOR THE GOOD PLACE AHEAD.****

 

 

****NO, REALLY, SPOILERS FOR SEASON ONE AHEAD.****

 

 

My favorite villain of all time has to be Michael from The Good Place. The entire plot of the show hinges on the fact that the audience doesn't know that he's the villain. In fact, you don't even know that there really is a villain until the end of season one. It's a plot twist that is so well written that I was legitimately stunned when I saw it, and the writing only gets better from there. Michael is so convincing as a villain from that point on, and Ted Danson's acting is so detailed that once you know, you can re-watch the entire first season and understand so much more about him and his exquisite deception skills. Season two is also so amazing, and Michael quickly became one of my favorite characters (other than Chidi. I really love that anxiety-ridden dork). I'm so excited to see where the writers will go with season three, especially with all the things that happened at the end of season two that I'm definitely not going to spoil at all. It's just too good to ruin.

-Quixotic Kid

A:

Dear muggle,

Me.

-Lord Voldemort

A:

Dear Voldemort,

I think they were only asking about villains who have noses...sorry to break it to you.

-Alta