I do. Evil characters are often more interesting and more complex (and stronger) than the "good" ones. Not to mention smarter...and funnier. (Remember Kevin Costner's Robin Hood movie? Alan Rickman, the evil Sheriff, was terrific and hilarious. Kevin, not so much.) Pick the movie or soap of your choice. Think about it. I'll wait.
'K. We're back. One of my not-so-guilty pleasures is Once (Upon A Time), the show where all the fairy tale characters you've ever read about have been magically transported to this world by an evil queen's curse. Yeah. I hear ya (almost). I thought that too when I first read the show synopsis. Lame. One-shot story.
But then I watched. Then I watched again. Got hooked. Because of the "evil" characters. Sure, there's a lot of black, but also some interesting shades of gray, just like real life. Good people do bad things. Bad people do good things. Bad people might not have always been that way. Evil people seldom see themselves as evil. And so it goes.
Throughout history strong, accomplished women have been portrayed as evil, from Cleopatra to Hillary Clinton. Although I remain mystified as to why Ms. Clinton still causes such seething hatred and throbbin' neck veins in some men. Oh. wait. I already answered my own question. Never mind. ANYWAY, back to our regularly scheduled program...
The queen in Once is mean, dastardly...works constantly to keep Snow White and Prince Charming apart. Boo! Hiss! Um - heh - maybe not. I find myself rooting for her. She's by far the strongest woman (and character) on the show. And, to some extent misunderstood. (There's pain in those eyes. Lost love. Hardened heart. And she seems to genuinely care about her adopted son. See? Gray.)
Snow and Charming are - well - sorta boring, not to mention a little dense ad more than a little irritating. I can only watch so many teary-eyed close-ups. Not happy? DO something about it already!
The "good" lead, Emma Swan, the town sheriff, is - I'm sorry - as dumb as a stump. I mean, c'mon. If you were the sheriff of a town...that a ten-year-old boy told you was magically moved to this world by the Queen (and everyone had amnesia)...
...where nobody ever leaves. In fact, they CAN'T leave.
...where nobody ever seems to visit (except for that strangely hairy, weird guy on the motorcycle, with a mysterious box)
...where really weird stuff keeps happening.
Wouldn't you be a wee bit curious? Well, not our Ms. Emma. She's pretty much oblivious. Munching on donuts. Girl talkin' with Snow. Staring slack-jawed as she loses yet another verbal exchange with the mayor (who's always at least two steps ahead of poor Emma)...worrying about Henry (her biological son, adopted by the mayor; stay with me here, we're almost done)...yet never really doing much about anything. Even when she does rouse herself a bit, she gives up awfully easily. Oh. well. Back to the office. (This woman needs to watch a couple of seasons of Buffy, stat. Seriously.)
Even if you were peculiarly lacking in curiosity, wouldn't you be just a bit perturbed that your son's adoptee mother was evil? Even if you didn't believe the fairy tales, the queen, as mayor, does her fair share of dastardly deeds.
P.S. The other major evil character, Mr. Gold, breaks my heart. Poor guy. Really. Watching him with that chipped tea cup, I actually got a little teary-eyed myself. (You'll have to watch the show to get that reference.)
P.P.S. Once is available on Hulu.