Certain television protagonists are not always the most honest, upstanding heroes that good-guy-always-wins Hollywood has trained us to expect. Some shows feature outright criminals and monsters, and manage to build a story around them that causes the viewer to sympathize with, and even root for, the antihero.
Not all of these shows hit the mark, but the ones that do really explore the intricacies of circumstance, free will, and human emotion.
Over the last three weeks, you, Dear Reader, have voted in Omar Little from The Wire, Hannibal Lecter from Hannibal, and Tommy Shelby from Peaky Blinders as your favorite antiheroes. This week, all three battle each other in a head-to-head(-to-head) matchup.
Peaky Blinders – BBC Two
A gangster family epic set in Birmingham, England in 1919—just after World War I—this show centers on a gang known as Peaky Blinders (the name deriving from the practice of stitching razor blades to the peaks of their flat-brimmed caps to be used as weapons) and their dangerous leader, Tommy Shelby.
Hannibal – NBC
Hannibal is a psychological thriller/horror series whose characters are based on the Thomas Harris novel Red Dragon. The show features Mads Mikkelsen as the cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who is recruited by the FBI, and psychologically manipulates the fragility of his partner’s mind in order to attempt to turn him into a killer himself.
The Wire – HBO
An American crime drama series set in Baltimore, MD, The Wire had several “antiheros” throughout its run, but none more loved than Omar Little, played by Michael K. Williams. Known for his strict moral code that included not harming the innocent or cursing, Omar was a sort of drug-related Robin Hood of the streets of Baltimore that robbed drug dealers.
Disagree? Tell us who you'd choose in the comments below!