Last week we said goodbye to my favorite NCIS character: Abby Sciuto. I was really bummed when I first heard that she was going to be leaving the show after playing such an integral role in it for 15 years. I’ve honestly struggled to understand how the show could feasibly continue without her, especially after the team has seen so much loss in one way or another, in recent years (Ziva and DiNozzo being the most poignant departures). But alas, the show must go on…
I often think about the television characters that I love. The ones that make me laugh, or cry, or whom I just feel some sort of connection to. It’s easy to think about all the characters who are such an important part of the team, and it can be difficult to picture a show without certain characters. This might be an unpopular opinion, but while I wasn’t a huge fan of Derek Shepard (sorry!), it was still really hard for me to envision the show without him. Some shows continue along after the loss of significant characters, and others don’t. I know that many still aren’t over losing Derek. I get it, even if I don’t feel the same sentiment towards his highness. 😉
But today, I’m not looking to talk about my favorite characters or the ones who have had a strong impact on myself, or the program in which they exist. Today, I want to talk about the characters I loathe. The ones that make me cringe – who, no matter how many times I’ve seen a particular episode, still irritate the piss outta me.
I realize that hate is a strong word. My mother used to always tell me not to say I hated something or someone. “Intensely dislike”, she would say, trying to correct me. But we’re talking about a plethora of virtual worlds and virtual people with virtual feelings I can’t hurt or offend, so I’m gonna stick with hate. Sorry, mom.
Let me say that this is not a countdown list – I definitely hate some more than others, but there’s really no rhyme or reason to the order of these characters.
Sam Malone & Diane Chambers // Cheers – Sam might be one of the main characters of Cheers, but man is he really a dick. He’s more or less, entirely self-serving and on top of that, he’s painfully dense. He’s a total jerk to Diane… but here’s the thing, she’s also pretty obnoxious and irritating. Perhaps one of their issues as a couple is the qualities they have in common because like Sam, Diane is also self-involved. Their whole relationship, no matter the stage, is just destructive and exhausting. There’s no humor in watching these two characters abuse each other constantly. I can’t help but wonder, would these characters be any more tolerable on their own? If one didn’t exist, would I find the other more palatable? Both characters played guest roles on Frasier and looking back, I didn’t find Sam as insufferable as I did Diane…
Mel Karnofsky // Frasier – Mel. Oh Mel… where should I even begin? Nile’s second wife is the most exasperating character in this entire series. She’s not the only cast member to make this particular list, but in terms of Frasier, she’s absolutely the worst. She brings manipulative to a whole new level – and then some. Her mannerisms, her voice (my apologies to Jane Adams, the actress who portrayed her), and her controlling and degrading behavior towards not just Niles, but the whole family is just cringe worthy. No matter how many times I see the episodes from the series that feature her, my irritation never wavers.
Eliza Minnick // Grey’s Anatomy – I feel like if you’ve been watching Grey’s Anatomy for any period of time, and you have had the displeasure of viewing Eliza Minnick, then you need no explanation as to why I hate this character. Minnick is clearly the type of character that is meant to be abrasive and insufferable. I understand that some characters are meant to serve this kind of purpose, but Minnick is above and beyond. It’s really hard for me to understand how Dr. Bailey would be able to step on Dr. Webber’s toes by hiring this woman. After everything they have been through over the years it just feels so unrealistic to me. Further, the idea that Arizona would have a relationship, whether serious or otherwise, with this woman is just astounding. There’s been many instances over the years where I was absolutely on #TeamArizona, but in this instance, I was just screaming, “Arizona, what is WRONG WITH YOU!?!”, over and over again…mostly internally. I would be lying if I said I didn’t cheer when Minnick got a nice dose of karma and reality and was shown the door. 🙌🏼
Bebe Glazer // Frasier – Oh, yes. This list would NOT be complete without including Frasier Crane’s wretched agent. It’s clear that this character was purposefully over the top, but that doesn’t make her any less annoying. Her voice and over dramatic way of saying anything and everything, her mannerisms, her aggressive and obsessive desire to sleep with Frasier, the many ways in which she nearly (or completely…) sabotages Frasier’s career…as Stefon would say, this character has everything! In this particular instance however, it’s not a compliment.
John Greer // Person of Interest – It’s without question, that we’re not exactly meant to have any sort of warm & fuzzy feelings for this particular character. I definitely get that, but I just can’t compile a list of characters I dislike without including this man. In his case, dislike is far too mild. Greer is one of the biggest enemies of The Machine and its motley yet lovable crew, and his smug attitude and pretentious air really seals the deal. I can’t tell you how much I yearned for this characters demise…
Barbara Thorndyke // The Golden Girls – In S3E15, Dorothy’s New Friend, we are introduced to Barbara Thorndyke, an uppity author who becomes friends with Dorothy. She’s snotty, completely full of herself, and condescending towards Rose and Blanche. All of which is more than enough to dislike her, but when she suggests that Sophia’s date cannot come to a dinner they planned to attend at an exclusive country club because he is Jewish, her fate as Dorthy’s friend is (thankfully) sealed. Adding racists to her many titles, this character is an easy one to hate.
Frank Buffay Jr. // Friends – I feel like this might be one character, where I don’t have too many people to agree with me, but I have to say it: I hate Phoebe’s brother!! It would have been one thing if she had met him and only seen him occasionally, but having his freaking kids – triplets no less – how about no! The whole situation is just cringe worthy!! Frank and his girlfriend just have a creep factor to them, and I just can’t get with them!
Ryan Howard // The Office – I’m slowly making my way through The Office for the first time ever. So while I’m not done with the whole series just yet, I’m gonna take a risk and assume that Ryan the temp does not redeem himself before the end (I just started season six). There’s definitely a lot about The Office that is utterly ridiculous and in many cases unrealistic, which I get is purposeful, but seriously – how does Ryan ever step foot back in Dunder Mifflin Scranton after what he did!?! He’s an untrustworthy leech and a total tool!! Also, I can’t decide what I hate more – Ryan with bleached hair, or Ryan with his douchey “I’m a hot shot” goatee/beard… thoughts?*
*My apologies to BJ Novak.
Dr. Preston Burke // Grey’s Anatomy – I’ve realized in writing this list, that there is definitely a theme to the kinds of characters that truly get under my skin, and Dr. Preston Burke exemplifies this to a T. He is pretentious and presents himself in such an abrasive way that just drives me nuts. The way he manipulates Cristina Yang to help him, but then throws her under the bus… yick. It’s easy I suppose to create accomplished characters who exhibit this sort of bratty, entitled vibe, but there is such a thing as humility and Dr. Burke clearly has none of it. I shed no tears when Burke left and really, if anything, I rejoiced because his character was a complete mood sucker. The same advice that Cristina gave Meredith concerning Derek could have easily applied to her relationship with Burke –“Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need. He’s very dreamy, but he’s not the sun. You are.” #Sorrynotsorry
I feel like I should finish this post by saying props to all the actors who portrayed these dreadful characters. You did an excellent job making me hate them. 😉 Got a list of characters you can’t stand? Share them with me in the comments!