Ali MacLean of THE KIND delivers a pair of features celebrating the hottest bad asses, weirdos, and villains on TV.
For years my friends have argued and debated about the film Pretty In Pink. Did Andie make the right choice? Should she have ended up with her crush, Blane? Or best friend Duckie? This is the part of the conversation where I throw my ice cubes at them and yell BORING. The answer is neither. Neither of those guys were ever my choice. I only had eyes for Steff.
The choice is pretty clear. Blaine was weak, Duckie was possessive, and Steff was holding. Okay, Steff was mean, manipulative, and a total scumbag, but what girl didn’t spend her formative years making out with the James Dean poster on her wall?
With the current glut of bland, dimple-chinned super heroes clogging up the airwaves, I tip my glass to the binge-worthy on-screen skeeves, weirdos, and punks who’ll chew a mile of scenery on the way to landing one well-crafted fuck-you line. Here’s to the lovely psychos and beautiful freaks who make life infinitely more interesting.
SOLDIER (Jimmi Simpson) from HAP AND LEONARD
There is a checklist for figuring out if someone is a psychopath. Solider ticks off pretty much all the boxes. He’s a racist. He kills indiscriminately. He is cunning and callous. He deals drugs, and he will do anything to get what he wants. Soldier is impatient, intimidating, and tyrannical. He likes to take risks: Like breaking into a stranger’s house, have sex there, and hope they return home so he has a reason to kill them. He has no problem with extreme violence. In fact, it’s a big turn-on for him. The only thing that keeps him from being over the top is his love for his girlfriend, Angel. The fact that he can feel an emotion shows he isn’t a completely lost soul. It makes him a creepier individual when he drives nails through a woman’s hand. Unlike most psychopaths, he understands emotion and pain and does it anyway. Jimmi Simpson, decked in a nerdy checkered shirt and glasses, plays Soldier with unhinged charisma. You are never sure which wall he is going to bounce off next. Whether he is in a diner in broad daylight or in a field at midnight, Soldier could lethally strike. You gotta give it up to Soldier. He does it with style. Who else puts on a tape of electronica and dances for his captives before a torture session?
In an age where the Feds are actually investigating sexism in Hollywood, more and more women are taking charge and making their mark. Not satisfied with the damsel in distress, or happy housewife role, women are creating roles where they get to play bloodthirsty killers or off kilter kooks. Someone has to represent us.
Here’s to the Fempire. The kick ass ladies of the small screen, who steal scenes, hearts, and sometimes organs and refuse to go quietly into the night. I raise my glass to you wonderful weirdos. Long may your character arcs and seasons reign.
Here are some of the best female bad asses, villains, and weirdos broadcasting and streaming right now. Spoilers ahead. Don’t say you weren’t warned about the awesome.
Angel (Polly McIntosh) HAP AND LEONARD
I’d give Angel a mention just for the outfits alone. Anyone who can rock fluorescent pink tights, a latex body suit, and a Mohawk in the wilds of Tennessee is already a major bad ass. Add to that Angel’s bloodlust and you have some kind of punk princess monster -Peaches if she went on a killing spree. Angel travels with her boyfriend Soldier, inflicting as much pain as possible. She’s good with a crossbow and even better at strangling a man with her thighs. In fact, you don’t ever want to let her get that close or you’re done for. Like the song goes: psycho killer….run, run, run, run away.
James Purefoy and Michael K. Williams as the titular HAP AND LEONARD (James Minchin/SundanceTV)
But summer 2016 has blessed us with a hot streak of sweaty, pulpy crime TV, and it deserves to be celebrated before it goes out in a hail of bullets.
Add to that the news that SundanceTV plans to lean further into East Texas noir with a second season of Hap and Leonard. It’s a crime wave, set to the reassuring rhythms of fluff and/or prestige.