Things We Love: Mean Girls and the Villainess

Things We Love: Mean Girls and the Villainess

Okay okay hear me out.

As Tracy pointed out, we sometimes love things we hate in real life. This is totally true. There are a lot of characters on TV who I would detest if I knew them in real life, but I love their stories and, yes, sometimes their crimes. Which means a logical extension of that is the evil, bitchy, dark, outright mean women.

I don’t mean bossy women like Ava Sharpe, I mean women who would legitimately cut you or leave your body in the woods. Mean women, the women who will accept being the bad guy for the greater good, nuttier than squirrel poo, and some legit serial killers that will never be ‘good’ are on my list of the bad ones I love to watch.

Here are some of my favs:

Queen Maeve (The Boys)

Everyone on this show is totally insane. Like 100%, batshit, everyone is a terrible person. And the thing about Maeve is that she’s a Supe. A Superhero. She could kill you without thinking about it just because she sneezed. And yet, with Maeve you can’t help feeling a little sorry for her. She’s totally been brainwashed to believe she really is this amazing Amazon, and she’s closeted because she’s terrified of what will happen if people find out. So she lets Homelander murder and is absolutely a party to it herself.

Maeve looking bossy as she flies.

Maeve may be a knock-off Wonder Woman, but seeing her start to realize she’s not who she thought she was is enough to get me to dial in to season two.

Cheryl Blossom (Riverdale)

Doesn’t everyone keep their dead twin brother around the house? Cheryl’s crazy. In case you forgot, she tried to boil a football player (Chuck Clayton) alive in season one, and she’s shot enough people with her bow and arrow that really she needs to be in charge of the Southside Serpents. And while she certainly has just cause for being how she is, the girl is in need of some mental support that is, perhaps, outside the creepy Blossom mansion.

Cheryl pointing an arrow and smirking. She's totes gonna kill someone.

Even though Cheryl’s six kinds of crazy, she and Toni are why I hang on to Riverdale.

Emma (Vida)

Emma isn’t really the bad guy, but she sure shoulders that burden. Someone has to be the bad guy in life, making the hard choices and difficult calls to save the business and the family. Emma is, in so many ways, the hero we need but don’t deserve, and it’s because she is willing to do what it takes to succeed that people call her a villain.

Emma explaining she's not a monster to her sister.

Of course, she could also stomp on most of us and tell us to lick her feet, and we’d probably do it.

Villanelle (Killing Eve)

She is, literally, a killer. She’s a sociopathic obsessive who is in love with the woman trying to capture her (at least at first), and she kills without remorse. In the most recent season, she kills her protege for being weak. Villanelle is not even close to a single shade of grey known to exist, and she’s probably never going to be reformed. But that’s okay. We wouldn’t have her any other way.

Villanelle shouting "I'm going to skin your family alive!!" which is a hard threat to walk back from.

A killer with the heart of a killer whose name implies a villainess, how could I omit her?

Petra Solano (Jane the Virgin)

Petra is a reformed evil. In the first few seasons, she’s so very one-note that she’s easy to hate. She’s getting in-between people, causing their love to fail, and just messing everything up. Except as time goes by, you begin to realize that she’s actually a fantastic, if a little Type A, person. She has a huge heart, she just is very particular about how she likes things. That may be why she became a ‘villain we love’ — that and she’s not actually a villain.

Even The Narrator roots for Petra as he says "Hurry up Petra. Wait, why am I rooting for her?" while she looks around franticly.

From mean girl to clitourist to happily bisexual ever after, Petra’s story is awesome.

Root (Person of Interest)

Sure there was a concerted effort was made to redeem Root as the show carried on, but the reality is that her morals are absolutely her own, and they aren’t what most other people would think of as ‘good.’ Killing people for being ‘bad code’ is something she had to be coached out of, and she really only did it because of her love for The Machine.

An angry Root telling Samaritan "you can just call me Root, bitch" while trying to rescue Shaw.

It will always delight me that the AI had ‘better’ morals than Root did.

Margo Hanson (The Magicians)

The baddest bitch you’re ever going to meet, Margo is who she is and she literally does not give a damn if that bothers you. Oh boo, hoo. Suck it up, buttercup, and grab your clit because Margo is going to give up an eye to get things right, and she absolutely will be cruel to you while she does it.

Margo, disdainfully, commenting "You're acting like this is your first regicide."

While The Magicians ended, Margo is now and forever my High King.

Rose (Jane the Virgin)

Tracy was all over me to watch this show, and when the season 5 finale (with that big reveal) was airing and she was out at a concert, I was tapped to live tweet for it. I had watched one (yes one) episode before that, so a lot of my tweets were “Who is this? Wait, why is everyone freaking out?” I took the break to watch the whole show (much to the amusement of my coworkers) and fell in love. With Rose. She’s the absolutely evil, no jokes here. She’s vicious and cruel and kills people and gaslit poor Luisa, and OMG she was a terrible human… and at the end I was really hoping she’d also have amnesia and wake up a better person. Bridget Regan played her to perfection.

Rose smirking and asking "Or villain got your cat?" while holding Jane's cat.

Ah Sin Rostra, I miss you so.

Who didn’t make the list? Who are your favourite criminals? Speak up in the comments and let me know!

About Mika A. Epstein

Mika has been deep in fandom since she could say 'Trekkie.' With decades experience in running fansites, developing software, and organizing communities, she's taken on the challenge of delving into the recesses of television for queers long forgotten. Making this site with Tracy is nothing short of serendipity. Mika lives with her wife and their cats in Southern California. Of course she has a hybrid, but she'd rather ride her bicycle.

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