Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bad to the Bone

A confession: When I watch an action movie, a soap opera, or an anime, my favorite character is often not the hero or heroine, it's the villain. It's not that I've got a thing for maniacally laughing megalomaniacs who want to take over and/or destroy the world. It's just that the good guys are often so...boring.

Just think about it. In Disney cartoon musicals, who usually has the great big, catchy show-stopping numbers? The peppy sidekicks and the villains. In soap operas, when the good characters get it on, the background music is smooth jazz. But when villains knock teh boots they get electric guitar. In anime, the villain always has the most flamboyant clothes. Epaulettes, capes, helmets, breastplates, codpieces, lycra and thigh-high boots--all in the same outfit. What's not to love?

Heroes and heroines do things for noble, selfless reasons. Villains do things because they want to. And really, admit it, who is your favorite character on Dynasty? Krystle or Alexis? Who was your favorite character on Melrose Place, Allison or Amanda? Not only do villains have shorter skirts and jauntier hats, they just plain have more fun.

A lot of readers like bad boy heroes, but what about the heroines? Do they have to be nice? And if they're not nice, do they have to feel guilty about it?