Wednesday, January 08, 2014

TV VILLAINESSES

There are not that many great female villains on TV. I think of Mags Bennett on JUSTIFIED, but the great Margo Martindale doesn't do much wrong. What other women were memorable?


Check out my new story, STICKY FINGERS in LITERARY ORPHANS. 

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mags was a wonderful character because she was not just evil (although she was, of course). I suppose there will be votes for Joan Collins on DYNASTY but I never watched that nighttime soap. I always got the impression that she was a pretty cartoonish character.

Jeff M.

TracyK said...

I think of Livia Soprano, in The Sopranos, played by Nancy Marchand, as really evil. And a great role.

John said...

I immediately thought of Alexis Carrington. Not exactly evil but a character you loved to hate. Jeff beat me to her, of course. Betty White as Sue Ann Nivens fits the same category, but she's hardly evil.

If we're talking evil I can only think of two.

Olivia D'Abo as Nicole Wallace, the seductively sociopathic nemesis of Goren on Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Livia from I, Claudius -- going back to the late 70s for that one. Siân Phillips was a powerhouse of manipulative evil in that role.

Has anyone else noted the trend towards female master criminals on TV this season? Moriarty was turned into a woman on ELEMENTARY and on THE MENTALIST just three nights ago there was a woman drug lord who controlled Corpus Christi. I'm thinking KILLER WOMEN, the new show about a female Texas Ranger, may have its share of women as villains during its run as well.

Anonymous said...

Of course my Livia Soprano comment disappeared. I don't know WTF is wrong with Blogger other than that they seem to hate me.

I'm glad John mentioned the 'other' Livia because I thought of her afterwards as well.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Livia Soprano is the best example I can think of. Everyone else pales in comparison because her venom is directed against her own son. Oh, what about that woman on Luther. Can't think of her name but she is delicious.

Cap'n Bob said...

Baba Wawa.

Margot Kinberg said...

Off to check out that story, Patti! :-)

Dana King said...

Patti,
Wasn't the woman on Luther named Alice?

I think the dearth of female villains can largely be attributed to sloth. It's so much easier to write female victims and get the cheap reaction. A character like Mags Bennett takes real work.

Anonymous said...

Love Alice (Ruth Wilson) on LUTHER! She is certainly loyal to Luther.

Jeff M.

Al Tucher said...

I've been waiting for this discussion!

My choice would be Jane Alexander in the 1986 miniseries BLOOD AND ORCHIDS. I remember one reviewer saying, "Would-be villainesses of daytime TV should watch Ms. Alexander to see how it's done."

The series is based on the historical case of Thalia Massie, which was a major event in the history of Hawaii. Jane Alexander plays the Thalia Massie' character's evil mother.

pattinase (abbott) said...

She was (is) such a great actress. So graceful in any part. I don't think I ever saw this one but I remember her in many other roles, always with distinction.

Kelly Robinson said...

Glenn Close as Patty Hewes on DAMAGES. Such a fantastic show, especially season one. I understand why so many big names are willing to play small roles in it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I only saw the first two seasons of DAMAGES. She was terrific. Need to revisit. Did they take it off the network?

TracyK said...

I loved your story, Patti. Totally surprised by the ending. I haven't been much of a short story reader, guess I have to expand my horizons.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks so much. So kind of you to read it and write to me!