THE BLOG
08/13/2013 12:29 pm ET Updated Oct 13, 2013

Everyday TV Supervillains

The number one rule of storytelling is that there's no story without plenty of conflict (thank you, 5th-grade English). For our superhero-obsessed society, dutiful writers have delivered an assortment of truly awesome, very chilling supervillains along the lines of The Joker, Bane, and Dr. Octopus, to name a funny-looking few. But what makes them a little less nefarious is that, with all those explosives and extra appendages, you can always see them coming. Sometimes, the truly sinister villains are the ones that speckle your everyday life -- and a lot of the time, they're not what, or who, you'd expect.

The Bachelorette -- The Bachelorette

The poor Bachelorette. All she wants is to find true love, and maybe get a small part in a Woody Allen movie. So she goes on The Bachelorette, hoping against hope that one of the 25 men that have been hand-picked to be her husband will make it through the season without being exposed by a secret girlfriend and give her a ring. Yet she is thwarted at every turn by her own ultimate archenemy: The Bachelorette itself. Along her journey, "The Bachelorette" will do everything in its power to test the Bachelorette to the limits of her endurance and emotional sanity: forcing her to rappel off the side of a skyscraper with a suitor who is afraid of heights, trapping her in a small inflatable boat with two men ready to tear out each other's jugulars, presenting her with men intent on going through the season in a Zorro mask, and encouraging her would-be hubbies to "roast" her on national TV. The brave Bachelorette is often doomed from the outset, surrounded by testosterone-ruled fame whores, all itching to step up and rotate out with her as the next Bachelor. Little do they know. -- Naivasha Dean

Gravity -- The Real Housewives

What strikes fear into the heart of a Real Housewife? The failed launch of her blinged-out line of blenders? Having a frenenemy crash her stepmother's funeral and demand the mourners listen to their new "hit" single? Running out of baby seal pâté at a charity luncheon? Nope. The most horrifying thing to hit O.C., New York, Atlanta, New Jersey, Beverly Hills, Miami, and (briefly) Washington, D.C. is GRAVITY. With all of the nipping, tucking and Vanderpump(ing), there's no telling what these ladies look like under all of that artifice. Yet, these women bravely soldier on, fighting their arch-nemesis, General Gravity, with all of the powers at their disposal: silicone, Botox, Chanel foundation, Spanx, and a diet rich in red wine. Why can't they just age gracefully like Miami's Mamma Elsa? Oh... right... never mind. -- Courtney Hyde

The Clock -- 24

Sure, when you think of super villains from "24", characters like President Logan, Nina Meyers, or Sherry Palmer come to mind. They were memorably diabolical and wreaked the requisite havoc on America before being taken down by Jack Bauer. But these evildoers were fuzzy, adorable, harmless baby pandas compared to the super-est "24" super villain of all: none other than that infernal clock, always ticking away, bending our hero to its will as it counted down the seconds until doomsday. Tick-tock, tick-tock. Bauer was a slave to it, rushing to take down each criminal mastermind in the exactly 24 hours that the clock allowed, running his CTU team ragged as this evil device sucked down the seconds one by one. And most nefarious of all, the clock fought dirty, leaving nary a spare minute for the call of nature and seeking to defeat our hero in the most insidious way possible: a bladder infection. Tick-tock, tick-tock. -- Kristen Knox

Toby -- The Office

"I hate so much about the things that you choose to be," Michael Scott once said of his archenemy, HR representative Toby Flenderson. There were so many reasons to hate the man: his soft-spoken ways, non-threatening exterior, and simple ability to reason and logic. Fueled by his unrequited crush on Pam (and others), and the bitterness of dropping out of the seminary only to end up in HR purgatory, he made the lives of Dunder Mifflin employees a living hell. He was always foiling Michaels plans: for example, banning kids from Casino Night. What's kid-unfriendly about gambling, drinking, and eating Hooters chicken wings on a school night? And then there was that time he told Meredith that she couldn't show her boobs or crotch at work. What a prude. -- Sheila Dichoso

The Moon -- Teen Wolf

When you're a teenager, your enemies are pretty well-identified: acne, Algebra II, and anyone slightly higher than you on the high-school popularity ladder. When you're a teenage werewolf, though, there's no greater villain than that creepy, smug, reliable old moon. A truly evil villain knows how to bring out the absolute worst in a well-intentioned hero, and for the Teen Wolf, the moon is the ultimate provocateur. The most sinister thing about Lady Luna is the way she taunts Teen Wolf all month-long -- waning away until she's almost completely gone, tricking him into a temporary sense of security and then growing back fat and round like an "Extreme Weight Loss" contestant on a yo-yo diet. Even worse? The moon is super popular, so Teen Wolf can't even blow off steam by trash-talking about her at parties. -- Liz Brown

Ben Chang -- Community

The funny thing about most supervillains is that you only have to deal with them at the end of their evil plans, which could be after weeks or months have passed. The truly evil attack those weeks and months in between. Community's Ben Chang knows that you have to tolerate him because that's what we do at work and school: you tolerate people. Even though he says really awful things about everyone in the room even though he wasn't invited, you tolerate him because, hey, he's probably having some sort of troubles at home or had them growing up and ultimately, everything goes much easier if you just let him join in on your reindeer games. But that's not enough for Chang. He just gets nastier and more awkward to the point that he becomes the despot of Greendale, making sure that no one is happy, anywhere, ever ... just because you tolerated him. That's a special kind of evil. -- Martin Moakler