TV's 21 Most Polarizing Characters: Do You Love 'Em or Hate 'Em?

We see the way you talk about them, you know….

There are certain names — belonging to fictional TV characters, mind you — that when highlighted in a TVLine news item or feature story elicit, um, “strong” reactions from their show’s collective fan base.

You love ‘em! Or… you hate ‘em! (And mind you, hate is a strong word.)

So, here now, we pay tribute to the most polarizing, divisive, love-’em or hate-’em TV characters now inhabiting primetime. Take a look at our list, then sound off in Comments if you find these folks desirable, or despicable. Awesome, or loathsome. Also feel free to nominate any other fan base rousers!

Comments (1,402)

  • I agree with Katie.

    Comment by S.M.S – March 18, 2012 04:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Blaine is a brilliant character. Blame the writers for not developing it further for over one season.

    Comment by no – March 18, 2012 04:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Blaine is far from a brilliant character. Probably one of the worst written things on Glee and that says something.

      Comment by Sara – March 19, 2012 07:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • lol “blame the writers” is the most pathetic excuse you blaine stans can possibly use. Considering Blaine is a television character and thus consists only of the writing the writers use to make him, sucky writers = sucky character. Regardless of the reason behind why he is, he is poorly developed and ergo, an awful character.

      Admitting the writers should be blamed (and thus implying there is something in their writing that is a fault to be blamed *for*) is the equivalent to admitting there are issues in Blaine’s character, so even you feel he has been badly handled but are just too much of a stan to admit it, so you blame anything else you possibly can even though in the end it all boils down to the same exact thing : Blaine is badly written by the writers and thus a poor character.

      Comment by someone judging you – March 19, 2012 09:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Of the ones I actually watch on this list, there is only one that I don’t like the character: fake Amanda on Revenge. And from Gossip Girl, I’d say Georgina is a FAR more polarizing character than Dan. I love Dan… sometimes… :) Depends on who he’s dating. Other shows I watch that I enjoy the character … HIMYM, Love Ted!!! And Chris from Parks and Rec, love him! And I love Jess on New Girl!! Just started Smash – only have watched the Pilot, but I like Karen okay so far.

    Comment by Soarin829 – March 18, 2012 07:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • OH! And I love Alex on Happy Endings!! And I loved Owen when I watched Grey’s… it’s been a couple of seasons, though.

    Comment by Soarin829 – March 18, 2012 07:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Pierce and Sutton I do not like. Pierce … I get why you need him on the show, and he’s admittedly funny, but as a character, he’s definitely towards the bottom of my Community list. And Sutton, she’s a total jerk. Just when you think she might be sort-of okay, she’s does something else even worse. I’m indifferent toward Jenna. She’s not my favorite, but she’s funny. I don’t watch Happy Endings much, but Alex seems delightfully dopey. And Ted on HIMYM, other than the fact that he fluctuates between becoming a jerk and then on the other end of the spectrum too mopey about not finding love, he’s a fine character. And Chris on Parks and Rec is so nice and joyful, how could you not like him??

    Comment by Little Scarf Girl – March 18, 2012 10:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I might have to hurt you for even considering putting Cas in this list.

    Comment by Josh – March 18, 2012 10:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I admit to watching glee, and watching Blaine 95% of the time he’s present on screen.

    Comment by minnie – March 19, 2012 04:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m so glad you added Blaine ‘Bland’ Anderson to this list. Probably the most over-rated, boring character to ever exist. Darren’s an awful actor which doesn’t help the already existing problem of how Blaine is written. He’s a one dimensional, processed singing machine and that’s about it. His facial expressions are to die for, literally die. He’s the whole reason I can’t watch Glee anymore. A dire, dire character and actor.

    Comment by Ruby – March 19, 2012 05:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How many canon facts can we name about Blaine in comparison with Tina?

    Comment by Riddick – March 19, 2012 05:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Likes singing at theme parks. (Six flags etc)

      Comment by Chronicles of Riddick – March 19, 2012 05:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Tina

    Comment by Chronicles of Riddick – March 19, 2012 05:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Pretended to have a stutter when she was younger due to shyness.

      Comment by Chronicles of Riddick – March 19, 2012 05:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I LITERALLY love Chris Traeger. People can hate all they want, it’s just more of him to love for me.

    Comment by Melanie – March 19, 2012 08:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • *sigh* If Lisa Edelstein was still on ‘House’, no doubt Cuddy would be on this list. I loved that character. A lot of House fans were annoyed at the fact that she told him she him “she didn’t want him to change ” when they got together, then broke it off with him because he hadn’t changed. I found that storyline incredibly heartbreaking and honest. Everyone on the show always said they knew the relationship could never last but it was worth exploring anyway. Cuddy even said herself after they broke up that it wasn’t his fault, that was who he was and she was the one who was wrong. How can you hate a character who takes full responsibility like that?! That’s life, you want something to work so badly that you’ll lie to yourself just to see it happen. It wasn’t that she thought he could change, it was that she thought she didn’t need him to. In the long run of course, she did. What I miss the most was that short period of time when Cameron, Thriteen and Cuddy were all apart of the show at the same time. I loved the presence of those 3 characters. *starts crying eyes out*

    Comment by Eliza – March 20, 2012 08:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Blaine is the reason I’m definetily not gonna watch S4 of Glee, since it’ll probably be all about him and Tina and Artie will be his background singers. S4 will be the death of Glee anyway.

    Comment by Maddie – March 21, 2012 05:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Blaine, Glee: love-hated
    Dan, GG: loved, hated, now loved again
    Owen, Grey’s: if only he could shut up…
    Ted, HIMYM: hated with love
    Jess, New Girl: loveloveloved
    Adrianna, 90210: disliked. then loved. then understood. then hated. then felt bad for her. now she’s just useless
    Castiel, Supernatural: can it be anything else than love?

    Comment by Camilla – March 21, 2012 06:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Absolutely loathe Tara. She is the biggest waste of screen time, not to mention she is either a sob story or acting like she’s a BA and never has solid ground to stand on. When she got killed off, boy was I happy…she better not return!

    Comment by Emily – March 22, 2012 10:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wasn’t gonna comment on this, but I just can’t help myself. Here I go…
    1. Pierce. Sure he’s horribly racist and sexist, but he’s also hilarious, and I enjoy him very much on the show. I love to hate Pierce!
    2. Deb. I like her just fine, and I am surprised others wouldn’t. She is very refreshingly honest. Not a fake bone in her body.
    3. Never seen Enlightened, but I can’t stand Laura Dern, so I don’t care to ever see the show.
    4. Blaine…I could take him or leave him. I have no strong emotion towards him, but if we’re talking Glee, the whole Brittany/Santana thing produces rage inside me. Brittany is a borderline special needs student who doesn’t have the mental capacity to take care of herself, and Santana is an evil psycho slut who hurts people (including Brittany, whom she claims to love), and I just cannot get behind that relationship. It makes me sick to see someone so evil and someone so borderline r-word together in a relationship that it disturbs me.
    7. Owen. I guess I have no opinion there, but I do lean towards liking the guy. I am confused about what there is to hate,unless people are just discriminating against gingers. :)
    8. Alex, really? She is adorable! How could anyone not like Alex? She’s pretty funny too. What’s not to like about anyone in that cast?
    9. Ted. This was another “huh” moment for me. What’s to not like about Ted or anyone from that cast?
    10. Winona. Okay, that one I kinda get. I liked her, but my ex boyfriend couldn’t stand her, so obviously there is something going on there that is making people hate her. I think I liked first season Winona a bit better than the Winona we have seen recently.
    12. Betty. I can understand why people would hate her as she is a TERRIBLE mother. But I do feel sorry for her since she kind of got screwed over in the marriage department and was thrown into being a mom before she was ready for the job. And I do think her character on the show is necessary
    13. Jess. I think she’s cute and funny, no problems there. Oddly, my ex loves her, but he can’t stand the male cast members of the show, who I have no opinions on.
    15. Robert California. Sigh, yeah, it was a wasted opportunity of James Spader’s tremendous talents. Plus I am so disturbed he is not hot James Spader anymore. I am ready for him to take a hike.
    16. Chris from P&R. At first I didn’t like him and didn’t get the point, but he definitely has grown on me as a character. I hope he stays on a long time.
    17. Amanda Clark. Meh, I could take her or leave her, but I definitely don’t hate her. She was growing on me towards the later part of the last few episodes.
    20. Jenna. Yeah, I get that one, I do. Sometimes she annoys the crap out of me, but sometimes she makes me laugh, but I always find her character to be necessary to 30 Rock.
    22. Rick. No problems here. I like the dude, and I’m glad he’s growing some balls finally. He’s very smart and always has wits about him. The group needs this cool-headed leader.

    Comment by Human Being – March 25, 2012 02:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lex Luthor in Smallville. Coolest villain ever!

    Comment by unknown? – March 25, 2012 03:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Tara, from True Blood, really? Where’s Sookie from True Blood? Love the actress who plays her, but cannot stand the character at all – and she’s the leading lady! I know I’m not the only one…

    Comment by Alex – March 26, 2012 10:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I LOVE Blaine! He is so adorable and charming and Kurt really loves him- I think their relationship will last a long time. <3 <3 Klaine/Blurt forever!! I love you, Darren Criss and Chris Colfer!

    Comment by Major Gleek – September 9, 2012 06:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Agree! I adore Castiel! :)
    And Jeffrey Dean Morgan is awesome too. ^^

    Comment by Restless – March 19, 2012 11:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What concern? Do you seriously think Sam and Dean could die (for more than an episode, I mean) or be seriously injured without Castiel around?
    GIVE ME A BREAK. If you think Castiel keeps Sam and Dean alive and unthreatened, you’re being silly.

    Comment by Restless – March 19, 2012 11:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Your “beautiful ways” are boring, KS Winchester.
    A character will always be better than a random spell pulled out of the writers’ butts. At least a character can build relationships and have a personality.

    Comment by Restless – March 19, 2012 12:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ditto what Beth said.

    Comment by spikesgrl – March 19, 2012 02:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think that the writers are at fault because they haven’t done anything with him. I liked how he was written in S2 when he had more material. But if they’re going to have him front and center in S3 they should give him something to do.

    I have no issue with the character itself.

    Comment by nope – March 19, 2012 03:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • He likes Brian Ferry?

    Comment by nope – March 19, 2012 03:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • He sense of style was Gothic and awesome. Except for season 3. Now it’s lame.

    Comment by nope – March 19, 2012 03:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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