OVERTHINKING IT: Overused Types of Villains That I'm Sick of Seeing


Whether it be a video game, a movie, or a TV series, there will always be an antagonist. Sherlock Holmes had his Dr. Moriarty, House had his Michael Tritter, and Kratos basically had every figure of Greek Mythology that you can find an encyclopedia.

Villains are normally cold-hearted or deceptive badasses, because that’s how they written/created that way. At times you want to root for them. But in the end, you want to see them fall into a pit of molten steel or something full of spikes.

Sigh….I pine for the days when the villains was the Soviet Union’s top brass….that can turn itselve into a giant centipede weilding a hammer and a sickle.

Though these days, it seems like whenever Hollywood or the video game industry or any other form of pop-culture driven media puts out a story with a villain in it, they always seem to use the same type of villain over and over again. When they think they are throwing us a curve ball, they really aren’t. Because in the end, they’ve thrown it so many times it’s become predictable, it makes the audience go “Really? This crap again?”.

My Overthinking mind decided to put my frustrations to work, as I’ve come up with a few examples of overdone and overplayed villain roles.

1. Rich Evil Boss That Loves Money But Hates Nature/People/That Dilapidated Building in Your Neighborhood/etc.

According to pop culture, all big companies are run by evil corrupt bastards….except the entertainment industry, they’re run by sweet little angels that can do no evil.

It seems like every single time Hollywood makes a film about a business or a video game has to feature a large corporation, it has to make sure that the CEO is a rich bad guy. Their reason? Because every single CEO of every company out there in the world is evil; and they secretly have a lab underneath its offices that manufactures meth and motor oil by grinding up old people a’la Soylent Green.

Mainly you see these types of villains in kids movies where an evil corporate CEO wants to bulldoze a area that houses a type of cute and cuddly animal or served as a playing area for the kids and their parents while they were young. News flash kids, it’s called economic progress. And if you’ve been paying attention to the grown up news, our economy is in the shitter right now and any means of getting back to where it used to be is good news. Also, they never see the side of the “evil” CEO. He’s trying to make jobs and contribute to society. What’s he going to say to those people he promised to help out.

“Attention all future employees of Western Widgets Inc. I regret to tell you that we cannot provided you with the jobs we already approved you for at what was suppose to be our new corporate offices at Eagle Lake.”
“Why’s that?”
“Well apparently we can’t build in the area that we already bought and got zoned for because a bunch of ragtag kids threatened us with kid-friendly hijinks like putting sugar in the bulldozer’s gas tanks because we would have destroyed an area that is home to some eagles”
“So we’re now unemployed because of some goddamn birds?!”
“They won me with cuteness over when I confronted them. Sorry, apparently nature is more important than creating jobs”.

Should this have happened in real life, those non-employees would have created a lynch mob and recreated the “Riot at King’s Landing” (including the tearing of limbs part).

2. Corrupted Cop/Police Officer/Law Enforcement Agent

No matter what form of entertainment you look at, whether it be video games, movies, TV shows, or books, it seems like the most commonly used (read: overplayed) villain is the corrupt cop role. And while it is true there is a sizable amount of corruption in some police forces around the world, the level of corruption amongst those who are sworn to protect is inflated by a thousand-fold when it’s mentioned in pop culture media.

Now I know that in the GTA series, the cops are there to stop you from doing what the game wants you to do. But they always have to make sure that police force is so corrupt in their storylines, that they are more evil and thuggish than the thugs that walk the street selling smack and reefer.

It seems like everyone on the force, as soon as they are sworn in, instantly become the devil incarnate wearing black and blue (except for a few who must help the “heroic” thieves do their “non-evil” deeds).

3. Maniacal Religious Nutjob

Being a man of the Christian faith, I’ve come across a wide range of those of the cloth. Church leaders, pastors, reverends, the assorted lot of many creeds. While I may not agree with some of them 100% of the time on certain things, they all had one thing in common, they were all really nice and polite people. And when controversial topics did come up, they were calm and collected in expressing their opinion.

However, why is it that every time a TV show or a movie (like that waste of money film “Red State”) or anything else that I enjoy, there’s a huge chance that the antagonist pastor in it is always some maniacal nutjob whose only solution to every problem in the world is yelling really loudly or using violent force on those who oppose him and his congregation?

Also, speaking of the subject, why are they always depicted as anti-fun? (See “Footloose”). Just because you become one of the cloth doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have fun.

4. Pissed Off Former US Military Personnel Turned Domestic Terrorist

Seriously Hollywood? Do you even read the news about acts of terrorism? And when I mean news, I don’t mean the “Variety” Newspaper. After watching the movie “Non-Stop”, the straw broke the camel’s back. In the movie, it turns out that the person terrorizing the flight is an ex-US military commando who decided to get back at his own country because he hated his own country so much, he resorted to terrorism. In addition, his partner is an active military personnel who’s looking to make some quick cash by also resorting to terrorism.

Add this movie to the pile of movies (like “White House Down”) and other forms of entertainment that use this type of antagonist and it makes you rage in frustration. It frustrates me even more having some close friends who are currently and proudly serving our country both here in America and overseas. I really don’t know who came up with idea of an antagonist, but whoever did, should explain that to the faces of our men and women of our armed forces.

Listen, if you’re looking to make a villain, do what you’ve been doing when it comes to writing a storyline and think outside of the box. It isn’t that difficult. Be creative when making your villains. For example, how about a group of rogue vegan chefs who want to spread the message that “Meat is Murder” by kidnapping all of cows in Texas in order to halt the beef industry? See? Not that hard.