Everyone loves an antagonist.
And what better way to celebrate some of the best bad guys out there, by acknowledging their fondness for the dark side and keeping our dear heroes on their toes. Here's our list of the top TV villains of 2020 (so far).
Aisling Sheridan in 'Normal People'
The infatuation of the nation with Sally Rooney's adaptation was something else. Who would have thought one Irish novel would reach such a huge audience, introducing the world to Irishisms, GAA shorts, and the intricacies of modern dating in Ireland. Now, there are a number of so-called villains who spring up throughout the 12 episodes of 'Normal People', but the one we've chosen one we found to be the most chilling.
Marianne's mother Aisling (played by Aislín McGuckin) is a foul piece of work to put it plainly, and fails to do *anything* to protect her daughter. She can see Marianne is struggling with making friends at school, with her passive-aggressive brother, and with being her true self - yet she remains cold, distant, and unapologetic. Her final moment of redemption, to patch things up once and for all comes at Christmas time, but she chooses to carry on without even an acknowledgement of her daughter. Utterly heartbreaking.
Honourable mentions: Fionn O'Shea's Jamie and Frank Blake's Alan.
Moff Gideon in 'The Mandalorian'
Sure, 'The Mandalorian' arrived in some regions with the arrival of Dinsey+ late last year, but we here in Ireland didn't get the chance to see the 'Star Wars' spin-off until March.
The eight chapters served as a nice segway back into the realm in a galaxy far, far away, and as well as introducing a bounty hunter named Mando into the universe, it also established a worthy villain in Moff Gideon (played by the wonderful Giancarlo Esposito). Given that Gideon doesn't make an appearance until the final two episodes of the series (and he was presumed dead all these years), we're looking forward to him having an expanded role in future series - after all, he nearly put an end to the show's titular character.
Honourable mentions: Werner Herzog's The Client
Joe Exotic in 'Tiger King'
The nearly-too-impossible-to-believe reality saga hit Netflix at just the right time, leading practically everyone with a subscription to the streaming service to tune in and see what the whole hullabaloo is about. Granted, the message of the show might have become lost in the drama between the main antagonists of the show, but one thing's for certain - Joe Exotic is the worst of them all.
From what we're told in the series, Joe Exotic started out with good intentions, before a money-making scheme in his animal park in Oklahoma became too delicious to give up. Then, as environments for his animals and workers began to dip, Joe began to cut corners resulting in him losing the park altogether. He's currently in prison on charges of hiring a hitman to assassinate his former rival Carole Baskin. In all honesty, the whole cast of 'Tiger King' is deplorable. But Joe Exotic really is the true villain of the piece - just listen to his country songs if you don't believe us.
Honourable mentions: Carole Baskin, Jeef Lowe, and Bhagavan Antle.
Travis Leich in 'Hunters'
'Hunters' is about Nazis hiding out in New York City in the late '70s, and all hell breaks loose for Logan Lerman's Jonah Heidelbaum who gets hesitantly taken under the wing of Al Pacino and his band of Nazi Hunters. Interesting concept, even more interesting execution.
From the get-go of the series, we're thrown in the diabolical nature of both sides of the fight, and the most frightening of which is Greg Austin as Travis Leich. Sworn to do the bidding for Lena Olin's The Colonel, Travis is a man incapable of having emotions, threatening to eradicate anyone stupid enough to get in the way of his target. He's a much more worthy choice for the villain of 'Hunters', with Dylan Baker's Biff being too used to the good life (and complaining too much).
Honourable mentions: The Colonel and Biff Simpson
"The Stranger" in 'The Stranger'
Harlan Coben's mysterious book was turned into a Netflix series that everyone and their mother was gripped to earlier this year. After the arrival of a certain baseball-capped woman upon a small town in the UK, and types of weird sh*t begins happening for its residences (although who bit that decapitated alpaca, we'll never know).
Hannah John-Kamen (who played the primary villain in 'Ant-Man & The Wasp' too) turning up as "The Stranger" warrants her being added to our list of top TV villains of 2020, purely just because she causes so much destruction. She also had the audacity to walk away without being arrested after all of her blackmailing and extorting of people throughout the series, leaving it open for a second season. How badass.
Honourable mentions: Everyone who had a dirty little secret...
Callum Jones in 'Love Island'
We don't want to brand the contestants as "villains" - we're sure they're genuinely nice people in real life outside of manufactured environments. But when it comes to affairs of the heart, and considering that you're on national TV, all of your wrongdoings are going to be broadcast for millions of viewers to tune into and see each night. There's going to be some drama.
And so, this past winter our TV screens lit up with the first (and last) 'Winter Love Island'. Unfortunately for Callum however, his stint with Shaughna was one of the biggest talking points of the series, and one which we won't be forgetting in a hurry. We ALL felt for Shaughna when Callum walked down those steps with bombshell Molly on his arm, and he looked like he wanted the ground to swallow him up then and there. Alas, it is what it is. Until the next love triangle in 2021...
Honourable mentions: Nas Majeed
Henry Willson in 'Hollywood'
'Hollywood' divided audiences when it was released on Netflix earlier this year - some found it an interesting take on what the movie industry might have looked like in our day and age, if it had been more open and accepting - while others found it to be too much of a fairytale.
Whatever your opinion, there's no denying that Jim Parsons as the Dastardly Henry Willson was the big bad of the series. Parsons, known for his head-wrecking performance as Sheldon Cooper on 'The Big Bang Theory', offered up a scene-stealing role which turned him into a corrupt, fiendish, and egotistical man who would do anything to be one of the best in the business. A sh*t starter, it is cracking role which Parsons owned every inch of.
Honourable mentions: Rob Reiner's Ace Amberg
Tune back in later this year, when we add in some more top picks from TV shows set to release in the second half of 2020.