"Big Bads" in a TV show are a terrifying character that over-arches the whole season, frequently getting away from the heroes of the show and living to terrorise another day. They usually are super-powered and are seemingly invincible until the stars unlock a mystery or a secret that will see them defeated in the series finale of the season.
With so many TV shows and movies around, it's clear that some "Big Bads" are more villanous than others. Here are some of the best ones you can really root for the death of:
Kilgrave in Jessica Jones
Kilgrave is probably one of the most chilling "Big Bads" out there. Played by Dr Who's David Tennant, Kilgrave is frightening because he uses mind control and other tricks to force people to do things beyond their willpower, such as killing themselves or others. But it's not his mind control that makes him terrifying - it's the history of sexual abuse, harrassment and assult that follows him and his past with titular character Jessica Jones that catapaults this villian into the real world.
The deal is that Kilgrave took a fascination to Jessica, played by and kept Jessica Jones under his control for years, forcing her to sleep with him, to love him, to fight for him. It's modern day abuse - shown so accurately when Kilgrave tells Jessica to "smile!" - until she is able to regain control and get out of the situation. It's a harrowingly accurate tale and it makes Kilgrave one of the best "big bads:" around for his modern warnings.
King Joffery in Game Of Thrones
The TV show of Game of Thrones has enemies around every corner, but there was always one villian who took the cake when it came to "Big Bads" - and we're talking about King Joffery, the spoilt little rich King of King's Landing played by the actually very sweet and sensitive Jack Gleeson. Joffery was absolutely hated by viewers and characters alike for his annoying spolit brat tantrums, his taste for being demeaning, vile and cruel, and his delight in the pain of others.
From pushing Sansa Stark aside and forcing her to marry his Uncle (arguably not the worst thing to happen to her in the show) to beheading Ned Stark, Joffery was a snivelling coward with too much power - until he was posioned by a mysterious guest at his own wedding.
Little snot had it coming!
Negan in The Walking Dead
Honestly, the character of Negan (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) has to be one of the most popular and beloved bad guys of any TV show despite the murder, cruelty and sexual abuse he displays in the TV show The Walking Dead. The reason why? The dude is just so damn charming!
Walking around in a black leather jacket with a barb-wire strung baseball bat he named Lucille, Negan is the ruler of the Saviors in The Walking Dead's recent seasons and gives Andrew Lincoln's character of Rick Grimes a run for his money with his undermining and sneaky tactics. Despite his now more human development, Negan bashed in the skulls of beloved character Glenn and army major Abraham, not to mentioned gutted and burnt his minion's faces and stole their wives.
Negan might have swagger, but he is a dagger!
The Trio in Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, spends most of her days in Sunnydale fighting off the evil coming from the Hellmouth beneath her town, and some of the characters of the "Big Bads" (such as Glory - wtf was going on there?) are hit and miss, the season 6 villians helped create a new world of baddies. Why? Because they weren't really baddies - they were just nerds!
The Trio as they are refered to are a group of Dungeons and Dragon nerds from Sunnydale High who decide to use their fictious creative energy and their intelligence to take over Sunnydale. The characters of Andrew, Jonathan and Warren are taken less than seriously throughout the season, and their takes on the villianous warpath resemble hijinks seen in the Adam West version of Batman (such as making themselves invisible and stealing from a bank) but the real big bad turns out to be Warren (played by Adam Busch) who resorts to a very American modern-day villian approach.
Namely he resorts to taking a gun and shooting up the place - unleashing Dark Willow, a force that is so strong and bent on revenge that the "Big Bad" takes a terrifying twist.
The reason The Trio ended up being such a glorious "Big Bad" has even been explained by show creator Joss Whedon himself, who says the villian is "life itself". And honestly, there isn't anything scarier than that.
Delphine LaLaurie in American Horror Story
Ryan Murphy's anthology series American Horror Story has numerous "Big Bads" and characters who, may not appear to be specifically villianous, are certainly the bearers of good and evil. And while there are many that could be easily highlighted as the "Big Bad" here, the character of Delphine LaLaurie (played by Kathy Bates) really takes the cake.
Delphine is the "Big Bad" of season 3: Coven and while she is definetly character of levity, especially when brought back to modern day New Orleans, Delphine is not to be trifled with. As explained in the opening of the season, LaLaurie is a bloodthirsty racist who mistreats her servents, makes unnerving demands of her daughters, and tortures those of African descent believeing that if she wears their blood as a face cream she will cease the ageing process. Delphine's scenes of tortures are terrifying and range from removing faces and putting maggots in their place for her servents, and putting the dismembered head of a giant bull over the lover of one of the most powerful witches in town.
Delphine is a "Big Bad" because she knows no remorse for the lives she takes, but is an actual person whose activities are rooted in history. Yes, these barbaric things actually happened, and that's what makes her character so much worse.
Now obviously there are so many TV shows out there and so many villianous characters that it is hard to name them all. I have nominated these five characters for specific reasons as I see them as the worst "Big Bads" from every show I have ever watched. I chose them because their actions are quite cemented in realistic human traits, and honestly, to me, some of the souls of humans themselves can lead to the darkest actions.