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We have moved away from televisions to digital streaming and are constantly fed enormous amounts of shows and movies on a daily basis. Gone are the times when audiences had to restlessly wait for the release of a movie and queue up in front of theatres to grab the first show ticket. People are exploring new content every day and binge-watching it. There are many characters in television who have really inspired people, and some who have inspired them in the wrong way. Some shows have the same protagonist and antagonist, making us wonder whether we really like or dislike that character. There have been many iconic characters who have wrongly captivated us. We loved the evil and straightforward parts of them as men and often reminisced about them because of their “badass” ways. But we have to always understand the grey line between reality and fiction. They are characters playing their parts in such movies, and we are not to be inspired by them.
Here are the 10 most “badass” TV characters of all time that you will ever come across.
- Tony Soprano (The Sopranos): Arguably one of the most “badass” characters that one will ever come across, Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini in the crime mafia series The Sopranos, is a cult. Many critics consider the character of Tony Soprano to be one of the greatest and most influential characters ever played in television history. James Gandolfini, who has since died, played the part with such intensity that anyone who watches the character will be in awe of him. Tony Soprano is the mob boss of an Italian-American mafia gang, and his life is mixed with maintaining the crime syndicate and his mental delusions. He is unpredictable and ruthless at the same time. There are many personality traits attached to Tony, such as that he tries to be a protective father to his children, is unfaithful to his wife but still loves her, and eats a lot. The Sopranos, a highly rated series with much critical acclaim, is surely not to be missed for Tony’s character and other supporting actors who did a splendid job as well.
- Walter White (Breaking Bad): The most unexpected quantum change in a character can be best attributed to Walter White, or drug lord Heisenberg, played by Bryan Cranston. A chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with lung cancer, in a twist of fate, becomes a drug lord, manufacturing and selling methamphetamine. The soft-spoken and vulnerable White becomes more and more ruthless, seeking vengeance on anyone who comes his way as the story progresses. White does the unexpected, and the audience is so intimidated by his character that watching his antics gives them an adrenaline rush. Walter White is without a doubt one of the most important and powerful characters of all time. He is praised by both critics and audiences equally. Breaking Bad, rated as one of the best crime drama series, with its powerful supporting cast and Walter White’s iconic performance, is hard to miss.
- Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones): Game of Thrones has captivated audiences and has a great fan following. Game of Thrones fans must be acquainted with the character of Tyrion Lannister, the youngest child of Lord Tywin Lannister, the patriarch of House Lannister, one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in the fictional continent of Westeros. Tyrion is a dwarf on the outside, but a Schroeder on the inside. He frequently engages in politics and despises his family. Peter Dinklage, who rightly refers to himself as the most well-known dwarf in the world, brings a bonus to the entire Game of Thrones series as Tyrion Lannister.
- Pablo Escobar (Narcos): A non-fictionalised account of one of the deadliest drug lords in human history Pablo Escobar, played by Wagner Moura in Narcos, is one badass character. The character of Pablo Escobar piqued viewers’ interest in the notorious life of Pablo Escobar. Despite being a fictional character, Pablo Escobar’s pursuits are world-renowned, but the characterisation by Wagner Moura has had an intimidating effect on audiences after they watched Narcos. Pablo is the most badass drug lord in human history, with no fear of reckoning or repercussions.Pablo is unapologetic and rules by “intimidation” and “fear.” This character is surely not to be missed.
- Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell (Prison Break): Theodore Bagwell is often considered the creepiest or most villainous TV character of all time. Played by Robert Knepper in the hit series Prison Break, Theodore Bagwell is one tough badass criminal who is sharp, ruthless, and provocative. Theodore’s personality is that of a bully who enjoys control and dominance in prison, which is an accomplishment in and of itself because US prisons are said to be very “tough.” He is attracted to both males and females, and the character drops the insinuation that he is a paedophile as well. For all the wrong reasons, Theodore Bagwell is one of the most badass characters you will ever come across on television.
- Frank Underwood (House of Cards): Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, is one badass politician who will go to any cost to ensure his win. He is treacherous, sociopathic, a symbol of political corruption, and one who deserts his friends. House of Cards, hailed as one of the best political fiction series, is a highly rated series, and Frank Underwood’s character, who rises through the House of Representatives to become President of the United States, is one badass character not to be missed. Frank is ambiguous in his behaviour, but one thing about which he thinks clearly is his intimidation tactics and how to occupy the top chair.
- Thomas Shelby (Peaky Blinders): Arguably one of the most stylish and badass characters ever displayed on television, Thomas Shelby, played by Cilian Murphy, stands out from all the other mentioned characters. Thomas Shelby is bold, good-looking, and has a heart, unlike some of the characters mentioned in the list. The series is set in England after the First World War. Thomas Shelby is the lead protagonist in the acclaimed series Peaky Blinders, who heads a criminal gang called “The Peaky Blinders,” involving many of his real brothers and other family associates. The Peaky Blinders are arrogant and “masculine” and never run from a challenge. Thomas Shelby’s deep gaze and suave dressing sense adds “oomph” to the character. Audiences may have a feeling of “catharsis” watching Thomas Shelby on screen, as his mannerisms have the tendency to intimidate.
- Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead): Daryl Dixon, portrayed by Norman Reedus in the horror drama series The Walking Dead, is one badass character. In zombie hell, Daryl Dixon’s characters impress with calmness when zombies are creating havoc. Daryl Dixon symbolises boldness and is not someone to mess with. With his trusty crossbow in hand, he brings brains as well as brawn to the zombie party, and the show is all the better for it.
- Logan Roy (Succession): Brian Cox portrays Logan Roy, the Dundee-born billionaire founder and patriarch of media and entertainment conglomerate Waystar RoyCo. He is a brash leader whose primary focus is his company rather than his four children. Logan Roy is ruthless and a businessman both at heart and mind. He is not letting go of control of his empire and is always one step ahead of any rival. Logan Roy’s character symbolises dominance and absolute power. Succession is a multi-award-winning series headed for season 4 in 2023. Logan Roy is arguably one of the oldest badasses in television history.
- Omar Little (The Wire): What can be more validating than former President of the United States Barack Obama saying that Omar Little is his most fascinating TV character? Omar Little is portrayed by Michael K. Williams in the critically acclaimed television series “The Wire.” Omar Little is a legend around Baltimore for robbing street-level drug dealers. Omar breaks many stereotypes about being a criminal. For one, he is a homosexual, and two, he robs the robbers, making him kind of a Robin Hood figure. Omar Little’s badassery is evident in scenes in which the crime-infested streets of Baltimore are almost hurriedly cleared when people hear the iconic whistle signalling his arrival.