In order for viewers to become completely enraptured by a television show, a few vital ingredients must be present: a promising setup, a strong narrative vision, and a compelling cast of characters chief among them. However, another common theme we’ve noticed in some of the most popular shows is the presence of characters that viewers love to hate. These figures don’t necessarily need to be villains (though a number of standout ones currently populate the television landscape), but they do have to elicit strong emotional responses from audiences who profess to despise them, yet can’t help but come back for more week after week. Here are some of the most notable ones throughout television history, listed here in no particular order.
1. Robert Romano (Paul McCrane), E.R.
Dr. Romano was one of the few unlikable characters amidst a sea of charismatic figures that populate this must-see TV medical drama. Most notably, he lost his arm in a terrible accident and then later perished in a memorable incident involving a helicopter. Neither fans nor the other characters seemed to mind though, as his death was very nearly played for laughs.