I once did an article on characters who would be hated if they were real people. I noted that overall those characters are likable they just have quirks that, if they were real, would make them annoying. On their shows it works and they are loved characters. I also once discussed characters who are supposed to be jerks, but we love to hate them. Today I want to talk about five characters who probably would not be hated if they were real, and more than that are liked by many. And even I like them at times, but for one reason or another there are those other moments when I just hate them.
#5.Jack MacFarlane (Will & Grace)
I have heard Julia Louis Dreyfuss comment that she had no idea why Elaine on Seinfeld continued to hang out with Jerry, George, and Kramer and she should have moved on. I feel the same way about Will being best friends with Jack. I get it in the beginning when they first met, but by the time the series has rolled around why Will puts up with Jack is beyond me. This guy is a a**hole! I’m sorry, but he really is. Believe it or not, Karen shows more heart and compassion than this guy does! That may be a testament to the actors more than the writing, but either way Jack is a jerk. The guy is so self involved that when he is face to face with his idol Cher, he failes to notice! Unlike the rest of these I don’t have one big example, with Jack its all little things. Take the pilot episode, when Will explains that he doesn’t talk to his brother and Jack’s first response is regarding himself. The guy can be a good friend, but it just seems more often like he is around to sponge off Will & Grace more than anything. In one episode he notes that Karen pays half his rent, when Will comments he pays half his rent. Will then responds “yeah, so does my mother”. Nice guy.
#4.Julia SugarbakerÂ (Designing Women)
God I hate this woman. Yes she can be a decent person at times. She is a good friend and doesn’t take any crap which is nice. Especially when the show was on in the 80’s. But man is she a pain in the, you know. I don’t hate her because she is so opinionated, I hate her because her opinion is the only one she seems to care about. For instance, the episode about censorship is a perfect example. Near her house a newsstand displays a provocative cover to a magazine. Julia hates it, which is her right, and what does she do? She trashes the newsstand with her car! Uh no! She has every right to express her opinion but that doesn’t give her license to destroy private property. They have the right to put that cover up, but will Julia see it that way? She almost goes to jail over it! In another episode a minor storyline involves her walking to a drive up window at a bank. When she is told that customers have to be in vehicles, she insits that she is in a vehicle-her body! Yeah, nice try. Pretty sure that wont fly and she even ends up in an argument with a cop over it. There is a word for that which starts with a B….what is that again?
#3.Michael Scott (The Office)
Yes I know, we’re supposed to love to hate this guy, like George Costanza or Sheldon Cooper. Sorry, I just hate him. Now don’t get me wrong, I have seen enough episodes to know there is a good guy in there. He honestly and truly cares for his employees and I am not taking that away. I also find the way he is so inept as a manager kind of funny. However, the guy is a real jerk. He is just so blind to what others are thinking and feeling around him! The episode that crystallized it for me was the Christmas show where he rejects the gift from one employee (sorry don’t know her name please feel free to tell me) and then forces everyone to change the Secret Santa to a Yankee Swap. Why? Because he got everyone an Ipod and is looking for a gift of at least somewhat equal value. Douche. Everyone is so mad at him Michael goes out and buys alcohol that is prohibited to make them feel better. The reason he could buy the Ipod was because he got a big bonus for firing someone, something which he can’t keep a secret even though it pisses everyone off. Of course that is kind of a big example, he isn’t always that big a jerk but his inablity to tell a joke and his botched attempts at improving employee morale are just annoying. Fair is fair and I was glad he popped up in the series final episode. He still drives me nuts.
#2.Grandpa Russell Huxtable (The Cosby Show)
Of all the characters on The Cosby Show, this is the one I generally hated. Even though we were supposed to think of him as the lovable grandfather. Not saying he couldn’t be, he was to the kids, but there were other times he really bugged me. He treated Cliff like he was still a child and showed no respect for how Cliff parented, questioning everything and even trying to prove how much better he was at parenting. How about one episdoe where Cliff is on a diet. He gives Cliff some rice cakes and proceeds to eat ribs in front him. He also loved his alma matter a little mo much, practically threatening the kids if they didn’t got to Hillman. I hate him in the episode where they play Pinochle.Even if he wasn’t Cliff’s father he still comes off as a jerk im my opinion. But the most aggravating for me was the episode where Sondra gave birth to her twins. There was a scene which was mercifully cut from syndication where Russell challenges Cliff, saying he will one up him in the grandfather department. WTF?? Russell has been a grandfather five times, how about letting Cliff enjoy it especially for the first time? You could argue that Russell was from that strict old school which is why he was a little rough around the edges. Maybe, and while he did have some redeeming qualities here and there for the most part he was aggravating. I guess Cliff summed it up himself in the first episode Russell appeared when he explained he was not as nice as he pretended to be.
#1.Debra Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond)
I have been dancing around this one for two years. It’s time to finally discuss this nasty woman who we were supposed to sympathize with. The rationale being that Ray was so dumb and the family was over so much that Debra was entitlked to be stressed. Ok, I understand that. Did she have to be a total bitch too? Calling Ray an idiot, rolling her eyes when he says something, and those are just for starters! The first time I really watched an episode of the show I wondered why she was so mean. And that was an early episode! It got even worst. Debra is actually a wimp, but has no problem pushing Ray into things. She never takes his side. When Ray has an opinion she scoffs at it and makes the problem his and when it turns out that Ray may have been right there is never an apology. We saw this with the mean cookie lady, the annoying kid, and the episode where Robert’s date eats a bug. Even when Robert confirms it Debra argues that Ray is lying! When Ray is smarter than Debra she can’t handle it, and makes all kinds of excuses. She will blame anything she can on Ray. For instance, when a retirement community threw Marie and Frank out because they were a pain Debra tried to lay the blame on Ray because he had complained about the traffic. Even though it was clear Ray wouldn’t have been able to prevent what happened. She is also physically abusive, from grabbing Ray’s ear and dragging him out of the house to the time she elbowed him in…a very private area. And it wasn’t just Ray, she got a little carried away being so upset with Marie. I mean, Marie is Ray’s mother. I swear Debra forgot that several times the she would gleefully cheer at ways to get Marie out of her life, and then she expects Ray to adore her folks. Now, could Debra be nice? Yes. She had her moments when she was a nice person. She can often be a loving and supporting wife and not go all nutty. But man, when the venom started to come out it really came out! It became a joke through the series that Debra was always yelling, even the kids made these jokes toward the end of the series. The worst crazy episode was the one about the thank you notes, she just comes off llke a loon. But the biggest problem I have came from an episode called “The Christmas Picture”. I discussed this somewhere once before, but simply when Debra doesn’t get her way she intentionally sabotages a family photo shoot meant to be Marie’s gift…and then acts like she is in the right! Sorry Debra but the fact Ray shot down your idea, and Marie “always gets her way” doesn’t give you license to use people and hurt them! I think I made my point, and promise that this will be the last time I will talk about this character.
I think my next list should be five characters hated by others that I actually love. Hmmm, wonder who I will put on that,…..Â