3 Must-Watch Shows With Flawed Protagonists
By Rachel Jones - July 23, 2023

We often watch movies and TV shows with the intention of finding nice leads to root for in their trials and journeys. An extreme example of this is Forrest Gump. However, we often come across stellar movies and shows with characters that, while on one hand are very well crafted, are simply hard to root for. For those that enjoy this kind of content, we’ve compiled three amazing shows with largely unlikeable or questionable protagonists.

First up on this list we have Breaking Bad, a show that has amassed a huge following since its release due to its excellent writing, directing and acting. It follows the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), who is a high school chemistry teacher that contracts terminal lung cancer. His only option to pay for treatment and also to leave something behind for his family is to amass a fortune as a meth cook. While initially presented as a sympathetic character, White soon proves to be on par with all villains he faces till he eventually becomes one himself – self-serving and blinded by unrestrained ego.

Getty Images/ FilmMagic/ Paul Archuleta

Next up we have The Sopranos, revolving around mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) as he tries to balance criminal life with family life. The success with which he manages this is questionable. It was inevitable that his criminal life and morals would cause disastrous consequences for both his family and society at large. In this sense, Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano is very much like Cranston’s Walter White.

Lastly, we have Netflix’s The Punisher. First introduced in Daredevil, Frank Castle is a classic antihero. Unlike typical Marvel heroes, he does not believe in the idea of second chances or rehabilitation for criminals. His distrust of the system makes him take matters into his own hands, which he does by permanently putting an end to these criminals. Morals are constantly blurred wherever Castle, which sometimes makes it hard to root for him.