How do you like them apples, Madam Mayor?
The Evil Queen/Regina Mills
Who: The iconic Evil Queen of fairytales is brought to life in the new hit show of the season, ‘Once Upon A Time‘ (ABC). Played by Lana Parilla, the Evil Queen is a tour de force in camp, over the top emoting, while Regina Mills is shaping up to be a suitable candidate for the next Republican Party Presidential Candidate. She’s hard, hurtful and won’t spare your feelings if you cross her. Well, actually, she’ll still act that way even if you don’t. Revenge is the name of her game, even if she does cry over her adopted son’s refusal to return her affections. Confusing, layered, complex and deliciously wicked, Parilla has already won an award for “Best Villain” and it remains to be seen if the Emmys will take note of the shades of gray injected into our long-held perceptions of light and dark. This ain’t no fairytale.
Where: The Enchanted Forest, Fairy Tale Land/ Storybrooke, Maine.
Evil-o-meter: She rips people’s hearts out and stores them away for later use. But Regina’s not the most successful villain ever. In fact, thwarted at almost every turn by Rumpelstiltskin and Emma Swan, Regina is currently scoring pretty low in trying to bring her evil deeds to fruition. She’d like to be bad, but those darn feelings just keep getting in the way.
Best known for: Putting Snow White to sleep, ruining weddings, wearing fabulously outrageous outfits.
Quote: “I will destroy your happiness if it’s the last thing I do.”
Being good sucks
Who: Played by Denis O’Hare on ‘True Blood’ (HBO), Edgington is the former vampire king of Mississippi. Believed to be over 2,800 years old, Edgington (aka Korun) is commonly viewed by other characters as one of the oldest vampires in existence. Suck on THAT, Vampire Diaries! Unfortunately, Edgington is also one of the craziest vampires in existence, which only serves to make him even more intriguing and terrifying. He can invite you for dinner (just make sure you’re not the main course) and act like a graduate of Miss Minchin’s School of Manners, but he can also turn on a dime and prove that his bite is just as lethal as his bark. Machiavellian to the utmost, Edgington likes to manipulate, bully and threaten those he sees as enemies. And in almost three millennia, there’s a fair amount of people in his firing line, or on his dinner table. He believes that humans have squandered the Earth and is hell bent on revenge against those whom he views as obstacles to vampires ruling well, everything.
Where: Last seen buried under cement in Season 3, Edgington makes a vow that he “will be back!” At the end of Season 4, we discover that he has indeed escaped and will return in Season 5. Gather your garlic, people, just in case.
Evil-o-meter: Utterly soulless and wilful, Edgington murdered a newscaster live on air to prove a point. He had a consort, Talbot, but after he died, Russell appears to be losing the plot more than a little. Fabulously outrageous and thoroughly amoral, Edgington is a vampire on the edge. And I don’t think he’s in the mood for taking any prisoners.
Best known for: Tearing a man’s spine out of his body, serving the finest human blood at dinner, not really caring what anyone thinks about him.
Quote: “Why would we seek equal rights? You are not our equals. We will eat you. After we eat your children. Now time for the weather. Tiffany?”
Who: Considered by many as the “Queen of the Hamptons”, Victoria Grayson as played by Madeleine Stowe is the icy matriarch of ABC’s ‘Revenge‘. She’s prickly, domineering and will stop at nothing to protect her family, especially her prized son who has become involved with a woman Victoria knows is trouble. With one Golden Globe nomination under her belt, Stowe has likened Victoria to the “evil queen” and that’s certainly the impression we’re left under as we watch her connive, plot and manipulate anyone and everyone in order to maintain her social status and control over her family. She’s pushy and overbearing and able to cut anyone to the quick with her sharp tongue and hard stare, never mind the wicked schemes she cooks up and hides behind her polite, society smile. You don’t mess with Victoria Grayson, as her best friend Lydia found out when she slept with Victoria’s husband and, ultimately, paid the price by being frozen out of Victoria’s life. Having said that, Victoria is a joy to watch in a show that is about pretty, rich people doing dreadful things to one another and loving every moment of it.
Where: The Hamptons, darling.
Evil-o-meter: Victoria gave her best friend a Van Gogh as a “reminder” of the friendship they shared. Classy, but not necessarily evil. She had Amanda institutionalized in exchange for supplying a stream of rich clients to the court psychiatrist. Okay, now that’s a bit more like it. She goes along with her son’s plans to marry Amanda in order to gain control over Grayson Inc. and also the trust fund her son’s due for. Alrighty then. Not your average mom.
Best known for: Plotting, scheming and doing it all under the auspices of societal mores and traditions. She’s a lady, but she’ll cut you down as soon as look at you.
Quote: “I see a pretty girl with cheap shoes and limited social graces.”
Two for the price of one
Cersei and Jaime Lannister
Who: Queen of the Seven Kingdoms (Lena Headey) and her twin brother, the Kingslayer (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) are the power-hungry siblings in ‘Game of Thrones‘ (HBO). She married for power and he trailed along with her, fathering her three children in an incestuous relationship that, quite honestly, doesn’t help them shift ‘villain’ status much. It’s Cersei who’s the smart one, though, with cunning and wile that she uses to invest in political machinations as much as social ones in the kingdom. Jaime is arrogant and values his prowess with a sword more than involvement at court, but together they plot and plan their way to the top and probably couldn’t do it without the support, political clout and sheer ferocity of the other. Laughingly called “The Sopranos in Middle Earth”, Cersei is the guiding hand behind Jaime’s sword and they will kill, cheat and steal to get what they want.
Where: Kings Landing, capital city of the Seven Kingdoms.
Evil-o-meter: Where do I start? Regicide, for one. Manipulation. Throwing people out of high windows. A belief that fear is better than love.
Best known for: Killing King Robert Barattheon and taking over the kingdom, which Cersei rules through her son, Joffrey.
Quote: “Power is power.”
What a bloody mess
Who: The eponymous anti-hero serial killer of Showtime’s continuing drama, Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) is an odd sort of villain. You can’t help rooting for him, even as you watch him submit to his “dark passenger” and murder those he deems “bad” people. It’s easy to sympathize with him and understand his motives, even as we watch him throw body parts over the side of his boat and condemn them to the depths of the ocean. His difficult yet loving relationship with his sister, Deborah, grounds him somewhat, and he’s even able to enjoy a relationship with Rita (Julie Benz) and her kids. The confusing beauty of the show is that even though we know Dexter is doing something wrong, we’re kind of cheering him on from the sidelines. Believing he has no emotions, Dexter pretends to participate in daily life until he realizes that he is, in fact, fully invested in it. And yet, his urge to kill and The Code that he follows reign supreme and make him one of the most fatal villains in this list.
Where: Florida. Don’t go down to the marina alone at night.
Evil-o-meter: It’s hard to call Dexter a villain and imply that he’s made from the same stuff as a real, out and out baddie. For all the victims and trophies that he’s accrued over the years, deep down Dexter can be a big softy when it comes to Rita and her kids. In the end, Dexter’s actions are villainous, but the man really isn’t.
Best known for: All that plastic wrapping and garbage bags for the body parts. The slides with blood from all his victims on them. The careful, methodical way he prepares the murder scene.
Quote: “Harry and Doris Morgan did a wonderful job raising me. But they’re both dead now. I didn’t kill them. Honest.”