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10 Tv 'Bad' Characters Who Turned out to Be the Good Guys

Updated on June 14, 2021
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From comedies to dramas, there are characters that we simply detest. It can be because of their personality, their actions towards others or simply due to the role they play in the story.

But other times, the creators of a TV show go a step further and develop a character that is not purely evil… but not quite likable. In between these two extremes, we find people who redeemed themselves through epic endings or simple moments of grace.

By examining some of the most popular shows in the recent TV story we can find some marvellous examples of “bad” characters that are excellently written

Sam Sylvia from GLOW

Marc Maron does such an epic work depicting this misogynist, self absorbed director that from time to time, steals the spotlight from the rest of the female ensemble.

After he admits that he acted unfairly towards Ruth at the beginning of season 2, due to his own fragile ego, he also takes action to undo his mistake, even rehiring one member of the cast.

He also shows fierce protective instincts towards Cherry and is the only one to side immediately with Ruth aftter she confesses she was sexually harassed by one important producer.

In the final moments of the season, however, Sam falls back into a predictable behavior when he attempts to kiss Ruth. We hope he continues his path of redemption because he has proven to be so much more than the typical macho figure that he stood for in the beginning of the story.

Rajan from Sense 8

This is a tough one because throughout the series, Rajan's personality has sudden shifts. For example, during the first season he is the embodiment of the perfect husband, a fact that simply puts Kala under a bad light because it is unfair that she chooses to cheat behind his back.

Perhaps for that reason, Rajan displays a more elusive and aggressive behavior on season 2.

But for the finale, he makes a turn for the best and not only joins his wife's plan to end a malicious corporation, but he also is unbelievably understanding of the mental affair between his wife and some random german guy.

Steve Harrington from Stranger Things

The writers have confessed that Steve was created as an stereotyped unidimensional character, but Joe Keery took his character to a whole new level, making the writers change the plans for his future.

Instead of keeping Steve as the aggressive bully he was imagined, the creators of the show took a sharp turn and decided to let Harrington develop in the amazing scenes he shared with Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo).

In the end, this decision proved to be for the best because Steve walks out of season 2 as the coolest nanny ever.

Zuko from Avatar

Few characters on a show originally meant for a young audience are so well written as Zuko. At the beginning of the show, he seemed to be the classic villain in chase of the hero, but as more details of his life were revealed, we found ourselves sympathizing with the young prince.

Mainly due to the positive influence of Uncle Iroh, Zuko began shifting towards the redemption path with each chapter. By the end, he had shown he had unforeseen depths, sided with the good guys and had the happy ending he deserved. And after meeting Azula, a true power maniac, her brother doesn't seem that bad.

Daniel "Dan" Espinoza from Lucifer

Detective Douche, as Lucifer often refers to this guy, is actually non-douchey at all. Sure, he lets his ex wife take the blame for the infamous Palmetto case, but has come a long way from that mistake.

Breaking the mind control of a demonic blade or simply taking some improv classes to deal with his issues, Dan has become a stand up guy, a good father and an overall good guy.

Jake Peralta from Brooklyn Nine-Nine

This prankster is not really a bad guy, but more of an annoying one. He spends most of his time lazing around or mocking his colleagues. But when he concentrates and takes a case seriously, he is unstoppable and actually exhibits some good detective skills.

In addition, his relationship with Amy Santiago has contributed greatly to fix some of his childish attitudes. We can also thank the stern hand of Captain Ray Holt for steering this young detective away from his obnoxious personality and into a more interesting character.

Michael Scott from The Office

Many office workers related immediately to the experience of working under a selfish, childish and frankly incompetent boss. Michael Scott, however, had a tender, caring side, that he didn't display often.

The episode when we see him buy some of Pam's art because he sincerely believes on his talent is only one of the many glimpses of the “good” side of Michael we got to see through the show. His departure not only left a hole in our hearts, but also was followed by a stream of new bosses that got progressively more incompetent and mean.

Merle Dixon of The Walking Dead

Let me be clear, nothing excuses the racist and sexist comments made by Merle. However, after watching how he ended up on the show, many wonder if there was really no better way of dealing with him than leaving him on a rooftop to die.

Merle got his chance of redemption soon after we thought he was gone for sure. Not only did he proved he was pretty much unstoppable, but also demonstrated he really loved his brother. His ultimate sacrifice is one of the few deaths that have stuck with us through the show.

Jess from Gilmore Girls

Who could blame Jess for having some anger problems? It is true, he exhibits some harsh behavior towards everyone excpet for Rory during the original show. And compared to Dean, sure, he is a bit more dangerous. But he wasn't even driving recklessly during the infamous accident that casted him out of town

However, in the revival, Jess proves he was the best guy for Rory. Not only is he not married, unlike dreamboat Logan, but he is also the only one breaking the truth to Rory. He encourages her to restart her career and get on with her life.

Jeff Winger from Community

This is a special case because Jeff's selfish behavior is a key part to most of the arcs of the series. Every adventure of the study group somehow turns into a lesson for the former lawyer. The best part is that the show takes advantage of this repetitive behavior and even mocks Jeff's positive speeches.


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