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Soaps - Anti-Villians, Do they exist?


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Babe was portrayed more as an anti-heroine, not anti-villian. Not once in the Babyswitch story was she written as a villian. She was at her core a good person, who wound up doing something awful, as opposed to a bad person who did something awful for good reasons. She never got any joy or pleasure out of the pain she caused (and she never intended to inflict any). She fell into something which other people put into mtion and she justified her reasons for not coming forward. She didnt really "own" it in terms of the pain she caused. She was written and portrayed more as a heroine, flawed anddigging herself into a hole. They ended up turning JR into the villian and her, his victim

Babe had two roles during the Babyswitch. I firmly believe that Megan wanted us to see Babe as the anti-villain in regards to her story with Bianca (she's wrong -- but it's not her fault) and conversely I believe she also wanted viewers to see Babe as the ingenue in her storyline with JR as the villain. Babe was the lesser evil but her actions were still wrong or villainous even though she didn't want to be a villain and she suffered with immense guilt during the entire story because she was doing things that she didn't want to do to her best friend.

An Anti-heroine is more along with Erica was to Maria during the similar baby switch storyline. She made Maria suffer by passing off Maddie as Sonya (the cruel side a hero would not possess thus the anti-), but at the end of the day she did the right thing by giving Maria her baby back and going to prison (moral good is upheld thus the hero is still there). Babe did the wrong thing by keeping the baby (villainous act) and even though she knew that keeping the baby was wrong she couldn't conquer her circumstances to do the right thing (that's where the sympathy is supposed to come from which sides with the anti- part of the definition, she was too weak to do the right thing, but those circumstances weren't her fault).

Anti-heroes even if they do the wrong thing always uphold the greater good in the end their processes are just different from typical heroes. Heroes do the right things in the right way all the time. Where as Anti-heroes do the right thing often in the wrong ways. Ends justifies the means. Anti-heroes are still heroes more then anything else, even if they are slightly less shiney, perfect heroes. Anti-villains ultimately succumb to their circumstances of villainy even if they don't want to. They are more sympathetic villains who have reasons for their villainy and are presented more humanely then a typical villain who just does things for their own pleasure or accord. They have inner conflict which makes their actions grey instead of outright black.

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I would have put Stephanie in this category when she was a consistent character. Stories like, "Stephanie gets Brooke raped...never mind," "Cry for Stephanie who has cancer and loves the homeless" kind of make her a mess to me.

I think Katherine and Jill belong in this category as well. Katherine is often written as the saint of Genoa City, but as the thrilling Fluckers storyline showed, she has a lot of damage.

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I would have put Stephanie in this category when she was a consistent character. Stories like, "Stephanie gets Brooke raped...never mind," "Cry for Stephanie who has cancer and loves the homeless" kind of make her a mess to me.

thats why I primarily mentioned the 90s, when her stories were more character driven. In recent years, its been too inconsistent and too plot driven.

I dont know but could Sunset Beach's Annie be one as well? She was one of the show's biggest bad girls but she had a certain charm about her which kept her from being full on villian. I mean she was pretty selfish and hardly motivated to do bad things for good reasons, but she was funny and the show made her very likeable.

Babe had two roles during the Babyswitch. I firmly believe that Megan wanted us to see Babe as the anti-villain in regards to her story with Bianca (she's wrong -- but it's not her fault) and conversely I believe she also wanted viewers to see Babe as the ingenue in her storyline with JR as the villain. Babe was the lesser evil but her actions were still wrong or villainous even though she didn't want to be a villain and she suffered with immense guilt during the entire story because she was doing things that she didn't want to do to her best friend.

An Anti-heroine is more along with Erica was to Maria during the similar baby switch storyline. She made Maria suffer by passing off Maddie as Sonya (the cruel side a hero would not possess thus the anti-), but at the end of the day she did the right thing by giving Maria her baby back and going to prison (moral good is upheld thus the hero is still there). Babe did the wrong thing by keeping the baby (villainous act) and even though she knew that keeping the baby was wrong she couldn't conquer her circumstances to do the right thing (that's where the sympathy is supposed to come from which sides with the anti- part of the definition, she was too weak to do the right thing, but those circumstances weren't her fault).

Um, didnt Babe give Bianca's back to her like Erica did? She jeorpadized her own getaway with her son to catch up with Bianca and tell her the truth when she found out she didnt get her baby back as planned. I still fail to see Erica as an anti-heroine but thats a discussion that was already had in a different thread. We'll agree to disagree bc the only time the show had Babe written as awful was in her first few minutes when she came on bitchy and owned her bitchness and skankness. They kinda did a 180 with her fairly early, kinda like Natalie whom you talked about earlier and said wasnt an anti-villian
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I could see Annie being in there, although she acted more out of wanting money and power, didn't she?

Your banner reminds me that Heather Webber, in her early years, and her return so far, is probably part of that doing wrong things for what she sees as the right reason (Steven Lars).

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I could see Annie being in there, although she acted more out of wanting money and power, didn't she?

Your banner reminds me that Heather Webber, in her early years, and her return so far, is probably part of that doing wrong things for what she sees as the right reason (Steven Lars).

oh yes definetly. I think the only thing missing is any sympathy bc Robin Mattson plays her so hard. The writing has her conming across as a psychotic lunatic rather than an overly concerned mother and RM seems to be channeling her inner Sheila Carter. With better writing, she could make for a more complex character bc her current motivations do seem rooted in doing the right thing, redeeming herself for her son and help him but she's donig absolutely horrific things to go about that

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I think Katherine and Jill belong in this category as well. Katherine is often written as the saint of Genoa City, but as the thrilling Fluckers storyline showed, she has a lot of damage.

VERY good calls. They're actually perfect examples. Both do awful things, but both feel like they have no other choice and that it's all for the greater good.

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Unfortunately there is no layered writing on soaps now, and Steve is so hard to care about. Still, Heather is more sympathetic than I had expected, mostly because of the way Olivia behaves.

I think OLTL tried to write Clint this way in the show's last few years. I've already gone on about that one enough so I'll just add it to the list without comment.

Asa was also written this way, much more successfully, IMO. It got to the point where viewers were siding with him when they weren't supposed to (the Rappaport vendetta).

VERY good calls. They're actually perfect examples. Both do awful things, but both feel like they have no other choice and that it's all for the greater good.

That's true. I love watching clips of their classic years, because they are so complex and damaged, but they truly think they are doing the right thing.

Stephanie is a similar character, but I don't enjoy her as much, because, as good as Susan Flannery is, she doesn't quite have that same spark which Jeanne and Jess (and, when she wasn't too ridiculous, Brenda) have.

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Um, didnt Babe give Bianca's back to her like Erica did? She jeorpadized her own getaway with her son to catch up with Bianca and tell her the truth when she found out she didnt get her baby back as planned.

That's true. I wasn't thinking about December. I was thinking mostly about the summer where she kept Miranda.

They kinda did a 180 with her fairly early, kinda like Natalie whom you talked about earlier and said wasnt an anti-villian

I do think she was supposed to be a comedic villain when she first came on, put they switched that quite early. I go back and forth on Babe because her characterization was completely mismanaged threw out the show. She was all over the place. I think the show tried to say she was a good person, even if she did bad things -- that sounds anti-villainous to me.

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Babe was portrayed more as an anti-heroine, not anti-villian. Not once in the Babyswitch story was she written as a villian. She was at her core a good person, who wound up doing something awful, as opposed to a bad person who did something awful for good reasons. She never got any joy or pleasure out of the pain she caused (and she never intended to inflict any). She fell into something which other people put into mtion and she justified her reasons for not coming forward. She didnt really "own" it in terms of the pain she caused. She was written and portrayed more as a heroine, flawed anddigging herself into a hole. They ended up turning JR into the villian and her, his victim

And now I read this and see a bit of Gabrielle too (being at her core a good person while switching babies). Honestly, one could probably say she skirted the line between anti-heroine and anti-villain all the time.

Blair may qualify as skirting the line between the two of them too.

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And now I read this and see a bit of Gabrielle too (being at her core a good person while switching babies). Honestly, one could probably say she skirted the line between anti-heroine and anti-villain all the time.

Blair may qualify as skirting the line between the two of them too.

Gabrielle was worse than Babe. She was a bitch and she owned it. There were times were she was downright antagonistic and awful to Brenda, who didnt deserve that. Babe was never like that with Bianca. She had a conscience and had more tact when it came to the victim of her lies

My goodness, she nearly killed Brenda to keep her secrets and then turned it around on her! Can you imagine Babe doing that Bianca. Actually she might have been more interesting...lol

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In response to those who bash "Anti-Villain" because of where Skin found the definition, allow me to take a direct quote from TVTropes:

" We are not a stuffy encyclopedic wiki. We're a buttload more informal. We encourage breezy language and original thought. "

In other words, TVTropes is intended to be EVERYTHING that Wikipedia (or any other encyclopedia, for that matter) will NEVER be... take it or leave it folks, I for one support Skin in using that site, I have read it myself a time or three... I'm a Troper and proud of it!

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Not to be uncooperative or anything, but even after reading the def. and everyone's comments, I am confused about the "anti-villain" and what differentiates it from a "grey character" (I understand how it differs from "anti-hero") . . .

Regarding Marty Saybrooke . . . maybe I'm biased, but I think she was contemporary "One Life's" (like 90's onward) definitive heroine, with Jess trailing behind. Susan Haskell and the gang rape story's (arguably contemporary "One Life's" definitive storyline) contribution had a lot to do with it, but despite the character's absences, I'd say she was that program's embodiment of the soap heroine on a soap that primarily wasn't interested in heroines (at least from the late 90's on). And apart from being thoroughly entertained by batshit crazy Marty and SH's inspired performances, I choose to ignore the exit story when thinking about her in totality.

I like to think that, regardless of anti-heroine or anti-hero or grey character or whatever, Babe (the writer's intention anyway) can be summed up with the "hooker with a heart of gold" archetype. McTavish and Alexa Havins nailed that in every way. It's a shame no one sat Amanda Baker down and gave the poor thing some notes on her portrayal. I thought she was fantastic on GHNS and she produced some great work on AMC, it was just that her Babe was so distanced from Alexa's.

Anyway, I'm drawing a blank on proposing an example that hasn't already been mentioned . . . Well, '02/'03 Skye . . . ?

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Not to be uncooperative or anything, but even after reading the def. and everyone's comments, I am confused about the "anti-villain" and what differentiates it from a "grey character" (I understand how it differs from "anti-hero") . . .

I don't think there is a difference. I think the entire goal of the anti-villain is to make them more sympathetic and understandable. It's a deviation from the true villain. It's a spin off the trope of all villains are evil. Not all villains are anti-villains but I do think it's an incredibly interesting character piece which is why I wanted to find some soap examples. I think Nicole from Days Of Our Lives could also be seen as an anti-villain of sorts -- her entire Sydney story was about trying to do the right thing even though she made poor choices and bad actions.

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