Suddenly a new breed of baddies are appearing. The ones that play on our sympathies and make us say to ourselves...I can see myself going down that dark path....or I completely understand.
For example Regina a.k.a the Evil Queen from Once Upon A Time who, as the seasons progressed, I watched transition from a sweet young woman full of love to a vengeful and bitter evil queen. I found myself yelling at young Snow White (well the tv) to shut her trap when she blabbed to Cora about Regina's love indirectly causing his death and agreeing with Regina when she made the comment that she should have let Snow White die (is that bad). A broken heart can lead you down a dark path and I'm sure some of us can relate. (Regina's still my favourite character from Once Upon A time. I'm was so pissed at Emma at the season finale...lol).
While the writers of Once Upon A Time are having the characters make a distinction between Regina and the Evil Queen like they're two individual people (perhaps to make it easier to sympathise with Regina), Maleficient is one very bad, very vengeful fairy. Not only is this character a villain, but she's the title roll. How could I not cheer on her vengefulness after the brutal way she was betrayed by someone she considered a friend? Shouldn't I have been cheering on her friend a.k.a the king as he tried to save his daughter's life by destroying Maleficient. Of course by the end Maleficient had a restorative transformation to good like Regina did which made my struggle between good and bad a moot point.
Recently I watched the trailer for Dracula Untold (psst Luke Evans is in this one again...yum...so you know I'm going to watch it). Isn't Dracula a bad guy? The trailer is making him out as as father who'd do anything, including selling his soul to the devil, to protect his family. How can you fault a guy for that?
Or what about Walter from Breaking Bad? I've never watched that series so I don't have much I can say, but as I understand from the tidbits I've gleamed, Walter was a chemistry teacher, who after being diagnosed with cancer, turned drug dealer in the hopes of ensuring his family's financial security after his death. Another character doing something bad for the good of his family. Is that shade of grey to the Walter character what made him so popular? An upstanding citizen driven by circumstances to do things he otherwise never would have. It kind of reminds me of the Gerard Butler character in Law Abiding Citizen. I tried to have sympathy for some of his victims (not the killers) but having understood what drove Clyde to his depth of depravity it was a little hard (sorry Jamie, I was rooting for him to kill you too, you were such an insensitive jerk for a good guy).
There are also the characters who we know are good, but are just plain bad. They can be mean and surly, say vulgar and despicable things, and make you feel like smacking them. In essence there're not your stereo typical good guy. Because I watched this movie last night, I'm going to use the autobot Crosshair as an example. He advocated living the humans to fight the decepticons on their own, abandoning a seventeen year old girl and letting Bumblebee and Drift kill each other so he can take over without a fight. At times he was a jerk, but never once did he let his fellow autobots down. Through all his "jerkiness" he was a good guy.
In short, are the bad things some "villains" do ever good? And are those characters always "villains" just because they do bad things? And just how big of a douche bag can a good guy be?
These types of characters are so much more complex than the cookie cutter good guy or even bad guy. When they make you stop and think...wait...is he/she good or bad...
And that's my naughty thoughts on the bad...good...bad guy.
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