The Best TV Characters of 2022, from Stephen in Tell Me Lies to JP in Bad Sisters +2023

I’ve never thrown a punch, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t fantasized about it countless times over the past year while watching TV. Not since the early 2000s, when Ryan Atwood regularly worked his knuckles That’s OK, I’ve thought about fist fights so often. But in 2022, television embraced its beatable asshole era, bringing onto screen characters so hideous I just wanted to decorate them.

Before we review some of the most manipulative, obnoxious, narcissistic, irritating, downright abusive TV characters of the year (joke!), it’s important to note that this is not the case everyone Antagonist on screen is unbearable unbearable. As Better call Saul‘s Lalo Salamanca taught us that even the most ruthless villain can be charming. So, for the sake of this play, a beatable asshole is any character whose mere presence makes you roll your eyes, who unleashes angry screams on your TV screen, and whose comeuppance you welcome with open arms.

As the title of the show suggests, Kevin Can F*** himself Kevin McRoberts (Eric Petersen) fits that description perfectly. I wanted to kill Kevin in Season 1 of AMC’s cross-genre multi-cam sitcom/single-cam drama hybrid. But the abusive, immature Schlub becomes even more abhorrent in the show’s second and final season. Joining the growing list of unqualified candidates for office, he continues to plow through life with a pernicious lack of self-confidence, consistently humiliating and beating down his wife, Allison (Annie Murphy). The more she escapes her obnoxious laughter in the living room, the less charming his clowning becomes. And the show establishes its offensive, infuriating character so effectively that you’ll be screaming, “Fuck off, Kevin!” in no time at all.

Eric Petersen in Kevin Can F Himself
Photo: AMC

With such an obvious title, I wasn’t surprised that I wanted to beat Kevin. But one character whose awfulness I never saw coming is Hulu’s Stephen DeMarco (Jackson White). tell me lies. As the series begins, based on Carola Lovering’s best-selling 2018 novel, Stephen appears to be a promising crush for Lucy Albright (Grace Van Patten), a quiet college freshman whose roommate dies unexpectedly during Welcome Week. But with every scene that passes, Stephen reveals himself to be a toxic, smug man who compulsively lies, manipulates, and cheats. “Stephen’s arc was definitely the biggest challenge in the writer’s room, filming and editing from the start.” tell me lies Showrunner Meaghan Oppenheimer to Decider. “I’m just making sure you’ve found that balance between being a really shitty person and being a complete monster.” You’ll want to turn the lights off on this stealth puppet master regularly for serious offenses, but there was one small moment in episode 7 — when he took off the camera the cutest character intentionally dives into the pool and later acts unaware when she realizes she’s ruined – made me stop cursing him on my couch and haunts me to this day.

Stephen (Jackson White) in Tell Me Lies
Photo: Josh Stringer/Hulu

As much as the above characters got my blood boiling this year, they still don’t compare to my biggest punchable asshole of 2022: John Paul out bad sisters. The still underrated dark thriller from Apple TV+ – an adaptation of the Flemish series by Malin-Sarah Gozin, clan — follows Eva (Horgan), Bibi (Sarah Greene), Ursula (Eva Birthistle) and Becka (Eve Hewson) on their quest to assassinate her brother-in-law JP (Claes Bang) and rescue her sister Grace (Anne-Marie Duff). her abusive marriage. JP spends Season 1 gaslighting his wife at every opportunity, trying to destroy and isolate anyone who tries to lift her. With a smug grin and a grating voice, JP unleashes a new reprehensible hell in every episode. He’s quickly becoming one of the most obnoxious jerks you’ve ever seen on TV, but the promise bad sisters viewers in the first few minutes – that this man actually dies at the end of the season – is the silver lining.

Claes Bang as JP in Bad Sisters
Photo: AppleTV+

Out of She-Hulk: Lawyer Dennis Bukowski (Drew Matthews) and Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) from house of the dragon to euphoria‘s Nate Jacobs (Jacob Elordi) and Peaky Blinders’ (Sam Claflin) and Diana Mitford (Amber Anderson), the list of beatable assholes on TV of 2022 goes on and on. At FX The patient, the achingly passive Candace Fortner (Linda Emond) irked me the most, which speaks volumes considering the thriller focuses on a literal serial killer named Sam Fortner (Domhnall Gleeson) who kills his therapist Alan Strauss (Steve Carell) kidnapped. Although I was happy about it manifestIn Season 4’s triumphant return, I have absolutely no patience for eccentric kidnapper Angelina Meyer (Holly Taylor), who continues to spearhead some of the show’s most ridiculous storylines. And while Theo James smokes hot The White Lotus Season 2, its titular, adulterous, power-hungry character Cameron holds the number one spot for the punchable asshole of the moment. Congratulations sir!

People don’t fire on punchable assholes to do well on screen, but their presence plays a vital role in crafting compelling conflict and enhancing our favorite shows. The fact that 2022 played a role So many hideous characters is truly a testament to successful screenwriting and razor-sharp acting. As much as it pains me to say, I hope 2023 TV features some quality, unlikable characters.

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