It has come to my attention more and more that there are a lot of television characters that people hate for being "whiny", "boring", or "annoying." These characters are almost always the main character of the show. Is there a reason so many people hate the face of the shows they adore? Is any of it deserved?
I've chosen a careful list of a variety of characters in different genres of shows that people just can't seem to stand. Let's talk about why the general audience hates them so much.
Elena Gilbert, The Vampire Diaries
The female lead of The Vampire Diaries has been subjected to a lot of hate over the years. While it's nothing compared to the hate other female leads of the TVDU (cough cough, Bonnie Bennett, cough cough) gets, there seems to be a growing number of people who have decided that the show may have been better off without Elena.
There are definitely some valid criticisms of Elena. Her character did a complete 180 after season 3 when she turned into a vampire. She lost her sense of morality and definitely became more selfish. These criticisms I agree with and have no problem with. However, there are often complaints of Elena being "whiny" or "boring" or "not deserving either of the brothers".
I think a lot of female leads in love triangles receive hate out of pure jealously, and people's excuse for hating Elena is that she's too whiny. She cries too much. I'd like you to consider that this girl has watched her entire family die. Granted, that isn't a rarity on the show, but I think she's allowed a few tears. It also annoys me when people claim they hate a female character for being whiny just because they're a woman who cries sometimes. If you watch The Vampire Diaries, you know there are male characters who are way more whiny than Elena. I'm talking to you, Damon.
A lot of people watching The Vampire Diaries simply prefer Caroline, one of Elena's best friends, to Elena. That's completely fine, we all have our preferences. But there's no need to tear a woman down just to prop another up. This goes for people who try to tear Bonnie down to prop Elena up too. There are worse characters on the show to go after, I promise.
Scott McCall, Teen Wolf
Teen Wolf ended in 2017, but I was a bit late to the game. I just binged the whole show over quarantine, and I upon searching for people to discuss it with, I was appalled at the amount of Scott McCall hate. I knew even before watching that most people preferred Stiles Stilinski, Scott's best friend. I like Stiles too, but Scott has a special place in my heart. I really can't fathom why people hate him so much.
I think a lot of the time he just gets hate for being the main character instead of Stiles, but the thing is-- Stiles wouldn't work without Scott. It works the other way around, too. Scott and Stiles' bond is what make their characters great. And Stiles could never be the main character because the show is called Teen Wolf. Scott is...the teen wolf. It's his show, show some respect!
All Scott really wants to do is protect the people he loves. He has the biggest heart and is the center of the show. No Scott McCall slander allowed.
Tori Vega, Victorious
If you watched Victorious as a kid, you know that everyone had a favorite character-- and it was never Tori. There's nothing wrong with Tori really, it's just that she's surrounded by people infinitely more talented and interesting than she is. I feel bad for Tori, I do. She's not that bad. She was a pretty good friend, she could sing decently, and she was fun to watch. They kind of set her up by surrounding her with characters like Cat and Jade.
I think we can appreciate the other characters without always tearing Tori down. At the end of the day, she was essential to the show. No matter how boring she may seem sometimes, she was integral to the story and to the dynamic on the show. You can't watch Victorious if there isn't a Tori.
Piper Chapman, Orange Is The New Black8. Name dropping Piper's memoir
Alright, this one is deserved. Personally, I thought Piper was okay enough in the early seasons, but then she became insufferable. The only thing that saved her was her relationship with Alex. Every other character seemed to outshine Piper in the end. They were all more interesting, had better story lines, and had more likable personalities than Piper.
Again, the show wouldn't have worked without her, at least not the first few season. Still, I wish it could have.
Serena Van Der Woodsen, Gossip Girl
Serena is another character that I think kind of deserves the criticism, but only if the same energy is kept with the rest of the characters when it comes to holding them accountable. If you are praising Chuck Bass and condemning Serena, I can't take you seriously. Yes, Blair is better. She's funnier, more interesting, smarter, and more talented. But the show really would not be Gossip Girl without Serena. She was the center of so much drama, it's what made the show good. Blair might be more likable, but the show needed Serena to thrive the way it did.
Lucas Scott, One Tree Hill
Again, this one is somewhat deserved. Lucas was lovable at first, but all the cheating on Brooke really turned the audience off from him. Then compare him to his brother, Nathan, who had some of the best character development on the show...it isn't looking good for Lucas. I think we can still appreciate some aspects of his character, though. I always loved his friendship with Haley, and his relationship with Nathan was heartwarming to watch. Deep down he was a good guy...he just treated Brooke awfully. Not too many fans missed the star of One Tree Hill after he left the show for the last two seasons. Some even think those seasons are some of the show's best. Sorry, Chad Michael Murray.
The Keating 5, How To Get Away With Murder
How To Get Away With Murder's main cast (after Viola Davis' Annalise Keating of course) has garnered a lot of hate as the show has gone on. Especially after the finale of the show, many fans have decided that the Keating 5 ( Laurel Castillo, Michaela Pratt, Wes Gibbins, Asher Millstone, and Connor Walsh) are just a bunch of ungrateful brats. While I agree I'm not the biggest fan of all of them, and they definitely owe some apologies to Annalise, I don't think it's fair to dismiss them as brats. They're all extremely traumatized, and for the most part are just looking out for themselves, just like Annalise is. Apart from Wes and Asher who (spoiler) are both dead, and Michaela who (spoiler), betrayed Connor and Annalise in the last episodes, it seems the rest of the Keating 5 and their friends ended on good terms with Annalise judging from the flash forward in the finale. If she can forgive them, surely so can the audience.
Rory Gilmore, the face of Gilmore Girls, started as a very lovable character. She was smart, kind, ambitious, and a great daughter. Over the years, however, her character changed drastically. Especially in the Netflix revival of the show, Rory was nearly unrecognizable. However, I think apart from revival Rory, she really wasn't all the bad. She grew up, she changed. And her not choosing the man you want her to end up with is not a good reason to hate her. Part of the problem is also that Rory was pretty dull in comparison to her mother, Lorelai. A combination of these things turned the general audience against her. I think some of the criticism is warranted, but we have to remember how young Rory was in the show. She was growing up, it's only realistic that she'll make a few mistakes along the way.
Ross Geller, Friends
The infamous Ross Geller is the least popular of the six friends. His character often came off as annoying, obnoxious, and unfunny. Especially now, there are some things Ross did and said that may have been appropriate when the show aired, but in today's age is hardly politically correct. I think that while Ross is definitely deserving of a lot of the hate he gets, we can't criticize him and forget about the other characters. Joey, a fan favorite for example, had a lot of misogynistic tendencies. It was a comedy show, not meant to be taken too seriously--but if you're going to call out one major character, make sure you're being consistent.
That being said, I don't like Ross Geller. He did not deserve Rachel, and he should've just sat there quiet playing with his fossils.
Eric Forman, That 70s Show
Another sitcom man that is disliked by many. Eric's house and family may have been the center of the show, but most prefer his friends over him. I have to agree that Eric was sometimes annoying and hypocritical. It's always bothered me how he treats Jackie, for example. When everyone was just fine with Kelso cheating on Jackie for months, but suddenly had a problem when Jackie wanted to date Hyde after Kelso FLED like a coward? What was that about?
Eric is extremely judgemental and hypocritical, but I don't think he's the worst character on the show. For me, that's Kelso. Eric is definitely a close second, though. It's not often that I like a teen character's parents more than them but...how could you not love Kitty and Red?
So, is the audience being too harsh on these characters, or are they just written terribly? I guess it depends on the character. Personally, I think we should cut main characters some slack. They're integral to the show, and if they were perfect all the time, there wouldn't be a show. Next time you find yourself hating a main character, consider giving them the benefit of the doubt. Unless it's Ross Geller...then hate away.