Controversial TV shows are pretty standard, where the entire story is questionable, or the main character is toxic, so it is slightly uncomfortable to “like” them. But since they are the main characters, viewers are expected to like them. TV watchers are on the fence about this debate and regularly discuss some of TV’s most flawed favorites or famous questionable heroes.
1. The Wire (2002-2008)
- Image Credit: HBO.
The Wire is an American drama series that went on for about five seasons, starring big-name celebrities like Idris Elba. It is the story of a detective named James McNulty, who was very successful in his professional life. However, according to fans, his character itself was terrible and stubborn. Though he was not a definitive lead, he was close to it, and people were unhappy.
2. Dexter (2006-2013)
- Image Credit: Showtime.
Dexter is a TV show that has gained a lot of fanfare over eight successful seasons. It is the story of a man named Dexter, with homicidal tendencies, who kills heinous perpetrators at night. Even though his motive for the killing is positively motivated, the crime is, however, murder. The writers tried to show him as a hero, but fans claim he was just a glorified serial killer.
3. Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)
- Image Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.
This one is highly debated in terms of the flawed favorite aspect. This show is an American comedy about a mother and daughter and their bond with each other. Some fans love them, while others who rewatched the show at an older age say the dua are narcissistic women—especially the daughter.
4. Silicon Valley (2014-2019)
With six seasons, Silicon Valley fans are still debating whether the show writers aimed for Richard (the main character) to be liked as the show continued. Some say you are not supposed to like him, while others say it is a gradual process from picking to disliking. He started innocent enough but progressed to be very annoying and unbearable.
5. House (2004-2012)
The story of Dr. House is that of a skilled doctor despite his unconventional ways of practicing medicine and his even bitter attitude. This one is open for interpretation, as maybe the writers never wanted you to like him. However, what annoys most people is that the show encouraged the idea that Dr House’s toxic worldview was often correct.
6. Weeds (2005-2012)
- Image Credit: Showtime.
It is a show about a widowed woman named Nancy, who joins a marijuana dealing business after her husband’s death. Most fans agreed that she was very toxic, which is why her friends and family were sick of her. According to them, she created every problem she faced. Fans seem sure about their dislike, yikes!
7. Sherlock (2010-2017)
- Image Credit: BBC.
Undoubtedly, Sherlock is the most famous detective in the world. So, of course, the Sherlock Holmes franchise has die-hard fans and followers. Some are of the opinion that Holmes is nothing more than a rude loner who does his best to make everyone around him feel miserable.
8. The Office (2005-2013)
- Image Credit: NBC Universal.
You may be surprised to see The Office mentioned here, but it’s what the fans voted for. Despite the show being hilarious and a comfort place for many, fans have been evident by stating that Jim, one of the characters, is a bully in hindsight. People seem to think he is insufferable and egocentric when confronted and always assumes the victim’s role.
9. The Sopranos (1999-2007)
- Image Credit: Courtesy of HBO.
Again, it is a top-rated American drama series with fans remembering specific scenes to date. The way characters and storylines unfolded with suspense had everyone at the edge of their seats, yet nothing was perfect. Fans believe that Tony is not a good guy in any way, and the writers planned to introduce some horrific character arcs to stop people from idolizing the flawed characters!
10. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015-2019)
This TV series is labeled as a romantic comedy, and many people believe the tag. Many viewers say that they started watching the show to relax but quickly realized that some things about the main character, Rebecca, made them uncomfortable. According to them, her actions were not funny or ignorable. They were plainly toxic to watch.
11. Mad Men (2007-2015)
- Image Credit: Justina Mintz/AMC.
This show was about a guy named Don Draper who was very successful in his professional life but not in his personal life. The show was good, and people liked following the story, but for some viewers, it took effort to ignore that Don was portrayed as a James Bond-type guy. When in reality, he harassed women and was straight-up vile.
12. Eastbound & Down (2009-2013)
This show may have been a little obnoxious for some people, but it had humorous moments. The vibe and comedy combined gave a lot of comic moments, which people loved. Some fans say you were not supposed to like the main character (Kenny Powers). In contrast, others do not agree, as he is a pretty flawed person and many other characters in the show.
13. Californication (2007-2014)
Californication was a TV series based on the life of a troubled writer, and it caught the interest of many people. All the characters and story arcs were likable, and it was an excellent show to watch. Still, even though the writer was portrayed as a charismatic, likable person (some people did fall for that act), most thought he had severe flaws to consider before choosing favorites.
14. Suits (2011-2019)
- Image Credit: USA Network.
Suits is another show that continued for nine long seasons and picked up a lot of viewers. Many fans still debate whether the main character, Harvey, is a good person. Some say he was obnoxious, but others say his character developed over time. It was revealed why he acted in such a way. So, in that view, context is essential before judgment.
15. Big Bang Theory (2007-2019)
- Image Credit: CBS Entertainment.
Not only in the world of science, but this is also a popular name in the entertainment industry. This is a 12-season, very successful TV show that has gained itself a dedicated fan following. It is the story of seven friends, six of whom are geniuses. But for some fans, being a genius does not excuse Sheldon Cooper from being a bully to his friends. Some even label him as a psychopath due to his anti-social tendencies.
16. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
It’s a fan-favorite show with a storyline that incorporates drama and fiction. Viewers love everything, but they complain about the not-so-main character, Xander. Don’t get them wrong; they like him, but his whiny behavior is a little difficult to ignore.
17. Barry (2018-2023)
Barry is a unique show categorized in the black comedy genre because the main character, Barry, kills for a living. While working, he falls in love with acting, and the story ensues. The story is absurd but entertaining, and viewers can’t help loving the show. Still, as per fan reviews, the last season brought out the honest Barry and how bad he was as a person.
18. Friends (1994-2004)
- Image Credit: NBC Universal.
This is one American sitcom that everyone knows anywhere in the world. Because Friends was a world phenomenon at one point in time. However, if you look at the characters objectively, they were horrible people who made racist jokes, were offensive to a lot of people, and treated their friends/families really severely. If you ignore these elements, the show was fun overall!
19. The Boys (2019-)
- Image Credit: Amazon Studios.
This show dipped its toes into genres like black comedy, satire, superhero action, and drama. It was popular enough to have three seasons. Still, a lot of people think there was not a single character from the show that was likable or that they genuinely liked. Talk about bad reviews!
20. Rules of Engagement (2007-2013)
It is a popular show with a typical drama storyline of a sitcom husband having a beautiful wife. This story has been done many times on TV shows; some do it well, while others need to catch up, such as this show. One fan laments that he and his wife love the front and the main character, but rewatching it has made them realize how insufferable he is throughout.
21. Downton Abbey (2010-2015)
A high-production British drama series set in the early 20th century. If you are into period dramas and that stuff, you may like it. It is all about affluent families and high society events. Despite the entertainment, fans are honest about how some families, like the Crawleys, are terrible despite their shining moments. It causes a conflict if one should like them or not.
22. Two and a Half Men (2003-2015)
- Image Credit: CBS Entertainment.
This show is about two guys; one is objectively more attractive, and his life differs from his brothers. Charlie is expected to be loved and applauded, but in all honesty, he is an alcoholic and a womanizer. His story has a growth arc, which some people accepted while others were not convinced.
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