Who is the Villain of the Year? It’s a title that no good guy would want — and with that, it’s probably something that any good adversary would covet. It’s a new category in the sixth annual CarterMatt Awards, and we think that this one should be fun since being a villain doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve got a costume and your show is based on the comics. It just means that you’re a worthy opponent to some of the heroes who are out there, and you’ve got the ability to stir the pot and create all sorts of chaos.
We’re basing our nominees on two things — the quality of the character and the quality of the performance. The group of eight below are incredibly memorable and will be recognized, for reasons good and bad, for many reasons to come. At the bottom of this article (after our staff picks) is a poll, and it is there that you can make some of your own thoughts clear.
(Note: If you are on mobile and cannot see the poll, scroll to the bottom of the article and click to view the non-AMP version.)
Voting for this category is going to remain open from now until Friday, December 29 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time (1:00 pm. Pacific), when the results will be posted in a separate article. To see more categories / results and view official voting rules, check out our CarterMatt Awards landing page.
Now, without further ado, let’s get to the nominations.
Samantha Arias a.k.a. Regin (Odette Annable), Supergirl (The CW) – It feels weird still in some ways classifying Samantha as a villain given that she seems to be a wonderful person and a caring mother. Yet, this is a big part of what makes Reign so terrifying — you hate what Samantha becomes when she has this costume on and how she no longer has any control of her life. While the presence of Reign on the show is still somewhat minimal (the best / worst of the character, depending on your definition is still to come), we know already that this is the most compelling villain in the history of Supergirl. Kudos to Annable for playing both sides so fantastically.
Adrian Chase a.k.a. Prometheus (Josh Segarra), Arrow (The CW) – The greatest enemy of Oliver Queen has always been Oliver Queen and his own demons. What made Prometheus the perfect villain on this show was that he was a manifestation of that. He was born out of Oliver’s past mistakes and devoted his entire existence to ensuring that Oliver felt the pain and the guilt for his murderous ways. Segarra played the character in both psychotic and horrifying fashion, and allowed the story to build towards the best finale that the show has ever had.
Clifford DeVoe a.k.a. The Thinker (Neil Sandilands/Kendrick Sampson), The Flash (The CW) – Thanks to the recent season 4 winter finale, which saw The Thinker overtake the body of Dominic Lance, we now have two different actors for this role. That’s perfectly fine with us given who this character is and the powers that he possesses. Sandilands was wonderful in presenting the backstory of DeVoe and giving us a taste of his meticulous and maniacal planning. We’re only starting to get to know the new version of the character, but we certainly imagine that he will prove to be interesting and powerful in his own right.
Murdoc (David Dastmalchian), MacGyver (CBS) – Who would’ve thought that we would get such a worthy adversary on this show in such a short period of time? Murdoc is incredibly creepy, very dangerous, and he lifts up any episode he is a part of. He’s a classic villain in the sense that if you have someone on your show with a superpower, you need to have someone else who can counteract that superpower in almost every way. We do think that within the context of the world of MacGyver, Murdoc is that person. He’s vicious, but also charismatic enough that you want to keep watching him.
Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), The Walking Dead (AMC) – This is what happens when you combine the Joker and Kingpin into a single person. Negan has plenty of psychotic tendencies — killing people with a baseball bat with a human name is a great example of that — but he’s also a leader and a manipulator. His power lies mostly in what he’s able to make people do. While we know a little of his backstory thanks to his scenes with Father Gabriel, we still appreciate that there are huge chunks of his life on the show that are a mystery. He’s the perfect human adversary for Rick Grimes and the rest of the Walking Dead world.
Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies), Outlander (Starz) – As mentioned this is the first year of this category, and it’s going to be the only chance we have to recognize one of television’s most truly terrifying villains. Jack was a vile human — he used sexuality, brute force and mental manipulation as his weapons in one on one combat and beyond that, his position of power within the Army made him incredibly difficult to stop. While his impact on season 3 was fairly minimal, the battle scene in “The Battle Joined” was the culmination of a lengthy, super-intense arc that spanned both the first and second season.
Lazlo Valentine a.k.a. Professor Pyg (Michael Cerveris), Gotham (Fox) – What more could you have wanted from a recurring villain than what Professor Pyg brought to the table? He was one of the strangest and most-entertaining characters we’ve seen on Gotham — he sang, he danced, he murdered, and he did his best Hannibal Lecter impression. We give all the credit in the world to Cerveris for finding a way to bring this Batman villain to life given that he’s one of the more challenging ones to adapt. Yet, we totally bought into his story.
George Warleggan (Jack Farthing), Poldark (PBS) – There are few villains out there that fans enjoy hating as George. He’s such a smarmy tool — he’s manipulative, vile, has a poisoned tongue and apparently no qualms with taking an old woman’s birthday party away from her. He is the perfect moral counterpoint to Ross Poldark, and that is in part why we find the character so entertaining. You never know what he’s going to bring to any scene or how far he’ll be willing to take his rage.
Now … we turn this over to you!
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