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Soaps - Anti-Villians, Do they exist?


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Been reading up on Anti-Villains lately and I was trying to find some soap examples and I couldn't really think of any since Soaps these days seem desperate to whitewash their villains as a way to keep them on instead of truly embracing their villainy. But could you think of any anti-villains on soaps? Below is the definition of what an Anti-villain is and I think in theory it could overlap with the anti-hero, except the fact that the anti-villain is seen as being misguided into doing bad because they believe it's the best course of action.

Here is a brief description of the anti-villain:

The Anti-villain is a villain with heroic goals, personality traits, and virtues. An anti-villain is more someone who is only a villain at all because they happen to oppose the hero, their actual goals aren't villainous. Their desired ends are good, but their means of getting there are evil. They reach a kind of critical mass that makes them more good than normal villains but not quite heroes, blurring the line between hero and villain the same way an anti-hero does. The anti-villain is an attempt to humanize, lighten up, a villain as opposed to anti-hero, which has a tendency to darken the hero. Side by side, it can become hard to tell them apart. The only reason some would even be considered evil at all is because they're are made to oppose the designated hero. Despite this humanizing characterization, they are rarely less dangerous. They are probably well aware that what they're doing is "evil", but they'll see it as a viable means to a (possibly) good end.

Thoughts?

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I recently took a writing class and never heard the term anti villan. Where did you get your definition from?

They are freely found in contemporary media these days. The best example I could think of to exemplify the term would be the villains from the Animated Series Batman which was produced during the 90's. Mr. Freeze is seen as the template for this kind of character. That being said I got the definition from here.

http://tvtropes.org/...ain/AntiVillain

Suggestions:

Babe, All My Children

Amanda, All My Children

Gwen, Passions

Tess, One Life To Live

Kate, Days Of Our Lives

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I don't think Gwen & Kate would fit in that definition. Gwen did do some things to break up Ethan & Theresa.

I think her motivations could lead into Anti-villainish so to speak. She does everything she does so that she can keep Ethan and protect her marriage. She is doing bad things for the right reason. She is wrong, but she sees it as okay because she thinks something good can come from it. If Theresa wasn't "pushing" her she could easily be a heroine, but she does.

And Kate has done some pretty villainess things as well.

I'm not sure about Kate - but people do seem to see her as very sympathetically even though she is wrong at times.

Babe an anti-villain? In what universe? laugh.png

She does bad things for "the right reasons". She never wants to hurt others. That was pretty much her mantra.

Wouldn't this be the same thing as an anti-hero/heroine

I don't think so. I think Anti-hero is a good character who does bad things but is still primarily viewed and seen as a hero. They are supposed to be viewed as the hero no matter what they do - they do bad things because they need to go head to head with the villains. They have a loose code but still a code. The anti-villain knows that they are wrong but has no choice in the matter. They feel compelled to do bad but genuinely don't like doing it. They don't enjoy doing it but they have to. They don't mean to be bad but they are forced into it. They are "good" character(s) who are pushed into villainy, I think Will from Days could be argued as being an anti-villain because EJ blackmails him into doing bad things. Anti-villains are bad primarily from their circumstances it's not an active choice.

Basically an anti-villains "villain like qualities" are washed out because it's not an active choice on their part.

- They are evil only because they oppose the hero

- They are evil because their circumstances made them that way

- They are evil because they are protecting something or someone (a good intentioned overbearing parent perhaps)

- They are evil to put food on the table

Etc.

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Gwen, Passions

I realize I'm in danger of beating a dead horse here, but I don't consider her to be an anti-villain (or a villain, for that matter). That character was Passions' patron saint of being thrown under the bus and run over more times than I can count to prop an insipid heroine and the equally stupid hero.

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I could see Gina Blake DeMott Capwell Capwell Timmons Lockridge fitting this description (did I get the names right?). She did some downright evil things, but it was almost always with the good intention of getting her son Brandon back or keeping them together as a family. Brandon loved Gina so the things she did were for his well-being the majority of the time.

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I would be more willing to describe her as an anti-heroine, but can I see Gabrielle Medina owning this thread as well.

ETA: Except, now that I think of it, if Gabrielle were an anti-heroine, and that term means still basically being seen as a hero, more people in Llanview would have had sympathy for her during some of her misdeeds (the baby switch comes to mind), so maybe anti-villain DOES fit better for her (although she started out as quite the good girl-she changed as more of her innocence faded away over the years).

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I was thinking GL's Roger Thorpe (in the late 80s early 90s before McTavish was hired.) Zaslow used to talk about how Roger was a hero in his own mind and it was the problem of everyone else that they didn't like it. And much of what Roger did was motivated in a positive place like his family, but done in a negative way. For example, Roger wanted Blake's happiness, Ross made her happy so he tried to blackmail Ross into proposing to Blake even though they were enemies.

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I realize I'm in danger of beating a dead horse here, but I don't consider her to be an anti-villain (or a villain, for that matter). That character was Passions' patron saint of being thrown under the bus and run over more times than I can count to prop an insipid heroine and the equally stupid hero.

Agreed. Gwen was no villian or anti-villian

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