Least Favorite Characters

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Least Favorite Characters#1
Posted: 6/28/19 at 9:27pm

I hear people talk a lot more about the characters they love, rather than the characters that they hate. So at the risk of appearing overly negative, I wanted to make this thread.
Some examples of mine:

JD from Heathers - This is a character that I find genuinely offensive. The idea that we’re supposed to not only sympathize with him, but also find him dreamy and romantic is absurdly insulting. Especially in a day and age where school shootings become more and more common. No matter how hard the show tries, his tragic past has never made me feel for him because his actions are just far too irredeemable. His big “redemption” at the end similarly falls flat to me. If he sacrificed himself to save the rest of the school, maybe it could've felt earned. But instead he only does it for Veronica, whos the only character that he showed any real affection to throughout the story, thus showing that he’s still the same terrible person that he was before. The kind of person that would’ve been fine letting who knows how many kids be blown to bits. Even if you strip the character of all of his high schooler murdering, then he’s still nothing but a self pitying, pretentious dick.

Morticia from The Addams Family - Talk about the butchering of a great character. I love Morticia in the original tv show and movies, but the musical completely missed the mark when it comes to her character(along with many other things). It feels like the the librettist mistook the character being deadpan as her being an asshole. Contrasting other media where shes portrayed as a creepy, yet genuinely charming and nice woman who passionately loves her husband and children, the musicals version is rude, petty, overly confrontational, and openly pissed off at Gomez and Wednesday for almost the entire runtime. One of the shows biggest problems is how she acts so cold to Gomez while his affection for her isn't toned down at all. Eventually the audience has to ask, is she really worth it? It says something about the writing of the show when she says “It’s family first, and family last” in the opening number, yet she plans to leave her family in the second act without even trying to talk things out, while also refusing to accept any blame for the problems that occur throughout the show.

Grandmama from The Addams Family - This one’s pretty simple. The character is just horribly unfunny. Even the usually great Jackie Hoffman couldnt salvage all of her cringeworthy jokes.

That’s all I could think of off the top of my head, but I’m interested to hear about other theatre characters that grind people’s gears.

Updated On: 6/29/19 at 09:27 PM
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Least Favorite Characters#2
Posted: 6/28/19 at 9:58pm
The two side characters in DEH (the friend and the girl who spearheads the project) are frustratingly flat and one-note. They feel like rejects from early Putnam Spelling Bee drafts.

Also, as much as I love her and the show, Merrily uses Gussie as a crutch, and it’s one of the show’s biggest downfalls. For all of her lines about class and money, her role essentially reduces the moral of the show to “don’t run away with buxom ladies”. I know she comes from the much cattier source material, but she’s always been a double edged sword in the plot - great fun, but mechanically a detriment.
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Least Favorite Characters#3
Posted: 6/28/19 at 10:18pm
Curly from Oklahoma - as much as I love the show, he is quite the awful person. He basically convinces a man that he would get the attention he deserves if he goes and hangs himself all in order to get a girl that keeps dismissing his advances. Jud is no prize pig himself, but Curly is pretty horrible
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Least Favorite Characters#4
Posted: 6/28/19 at 10:32pm

SugarButterBroadway said: "Curly from Oklahoma - as much as I love the show, he is quite the awful person. He basically convinces a man that he would get the attention he deserves if he goes and hangs himself all in order to get a girl that keeps dismissing his advances. Jud is no prize pig himself, but Curly is pretty horrible"

The whole Poor Judd is Daid song is such a weak point for the show. Not that the lyrics and music are bad, but it’s just such a shallow and terrible thing for the main protagonist to do. Especially because Judd has yet to do anything wrong yet. The only time I’ve ever heard someone try to defend Curly’s actions in that scene was when I came across a YouTube comment excusing them because “it’s funny and tongue in cheek”. It’s really not. It makes Curly so much harder to root for since, while Judd ultimately proves that he’s dangerous and not a good person, Curly is the one who starts the conflict, and he starts it in a truly evil way. 

Updated On: 6/28/19 at 10:32 PM
LLW2
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Least Favorite Characters#5
Posted: 6/28/19 at 10:46pm

Well ... here are my nominations for Least Favorite Characters:

Evan Hansen's Mother: Evan Hansen’s mother blames her son for her own failings. When she snarls “good for you" at him, I despise her. How dare she accuse him of being selfish, after the situation she and his awful father (her chosen mate) put him in.

Jenna in Waitress: Jenna married a psychopath who is probably going to come after their daughter after the curtain falls. The show treats the situation as if she’s easily able to just toss the guy, but he is clearly a psycho, and I always thought the aftermath will be pretty bad. 

Updated On: 6/28/19 at 10:46 PM
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Least Favorite Characters#6
Posted: 6/28/19 at 11:01pm

Ogie in Waitress I find it appalling that people love this guy. In any other context, he'd be called a stalker and a restraining order would be given.

Dr, Pomatter in Waitress Another guy who would be arrested in real life. Aren't there laws against doctors having sex with their patients? 

The idea that a team of women were behind the writing of this is even more appalling. In both cases, this isn't romantic or funny. It is criminal.

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Least Favorite Characters#7
Posted: 6/28/19 at 11:10pm

[Deleting because I think I misread the post above.]

Updated On: 6/29/19 at 11:10 PM
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Least Favorite Characters#8
Posted: 6/29/19 at 3:20am

Hot Pants said: "JD from Heathers - This is a character that I find genuinely offensive. The idea that we’resupposed to not only sympathize with him, but also find him dreamy and romantic is absurdly insulting. Especially in a day and age where school shootings become more and more common. No matter how hard the show tries, his tragic past has never made me feel for him because his actions are just far too irredeemable. His big “redemption”at the end similarly falls flat to me. If he sacrificed himself to save the rest of the school, maybe it could've felt earned. But instead he only does it for Veronica, whos the only character that he showed any real affection to throughout the story, thus showing that he’s still the same terrible person that he was before. The kind of person that would’ve been fine letting who knows how many kids be blown to bits. Even if you strip the character of all of his high schooler murdering, then he’s still nothing but a self pitying, pretentious dick."

This x100. The writing of this character is one of the biggest reasons why I despise Heathers.

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Least Favorite Characters#9
Posted: 6/29/19 at 3:51am

Hot Pants said: "JD from Heathers - This is a character that I find genuinely offensive. The idea that we’resupposed to not only sympathize with him, but also find him dreamy and romantic is absurdly insulting. Especially in a day and age where school shootings become more and more common. No matter how hard the show tries, his tragic past has never made me feel for him because his actions are just far too irredeemable. His big “redemption”at the end similarly falls flat to me. If he sacrificed himself to save the rest of the school, maybe it could've felt earned. But instead he only does it for Veronica, whos the only character that he showed any real affection to throughout the story, thus showing that he’s still the same terrible person that he was before. The kind of person that would’ve been fine letting who knows how many kids be blown to bits. Even if you strip the character of all of his high schooler murdering, then he’s still nothing but a self pitying, pretentious dick."

Yes, J.D. is a horrible person but he's also the antagonist of the story. In the first act, he is played as a love interest but that changes as soon as he kills Kurt and Ram at the end of act one. It is shown that Veronica ended up in a toxic relationship (in more than one way) but despite all her efforts to stop him ("Seventeen" ), he pursues his path of violence. That's why neither the audience nor Veronica is truly sad when he dies at the end.
So, yes, he is an unlikeable character but that was the intention of the writers. Also, this stems from the source material.

The first character that came to my mind is honestly the adult Cossette from Les Miserables. Never really cared much for her but that might have to do with the fact that she's a very passive character and has not much to do in the show. She's just a little too bland to me.

Updated On: 6/29/19 at 03:51 AM
After Eight
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Least Favorite Characters#10
Posted: 6/29/19 at 8:25am

The worst of them all, Sweeney Todd, obviously.

Also,

Self-absorbed whiners: Bobby Baby, Ben Stone, Franklin Shepard, Inc, Boy from Once

Smart-ass know-it-alls: Charley Kringas, Mark

In -your -face know-it-all: Che

Predator:  Fosca

 

No doubt there are many more that I've forgotten --- for which I am grateful. Would that I could forget the ones I remember!

 

 

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Least Favorite Characters#11
Posted: 6/29/19 at 9:44am
Excluding the obvious ones (anyone who is obviously intended to be a villain) I have to say Maureen from RENT stands out to me as extremely insufferable. Most of the characters in RENT have at least a few bad moments but I don’t find any of them as unbearable as her.
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Least Favorite Characters#12
Posted: 6/29/19 at 10:02am
The entire cast of Rent save for Benny and Angel.

Sandy in Grease

Earl in Waitress

Turpin in Sweeney Todd

Cosette in Les Miserables

Heidi In Dear Evan Hansen

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Least Favorite Characters#13
Posted: 6/29/19 at 11:38am
Ermengarde from HELLO, DOLLY!

I'd rather listen to paint dry.
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Least Favorite Characters#14
Posted: 6/29/19 at 11:52am

I find everyone in Waitress to be pretty unsympathetic.

I know you. I know you. I know you.
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Least Favorite Characters#15
Posted: 6/29/19 at 12:04pm

Based on your subject line I thought you might have meant here and not from a show. :)

"I hope your Fanny is bigger than my Peter." Mary Martin to Ezio Pinza opening night of Fanny.
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Least Favorite Characters#16
Posted: 6/29/19 at 1:12pm

After Eight said: "The worst of them all, Sweeney Todd, obviously.

Also,

Self-absorbed whiners: Bobby Baby, Ben Stone, Franklin Shepard, Inc,Boy from Once

Smart-ass know-it-alls: Charley Kringas, Mark

In -your -face know-it-all:Che

Predator: Fosca



No doubt there are many more that I've forgotten ---for which I amgrateful.Would that I could forget the ones I remember!




"

At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, despite hating JD, Sweeney Todd is actually my favorite theatre character. In simple terms it can be summed up as Sweeney being a successful attempt at a tragic villain, while JD’s attempt falls flat. In more detailed terms, Sweeney feels more like a villain first, and a tragic character second. Once he turns to killing, the show never feels deluded enough to show him as anything but a terrible person. He has sympathetic moments, but while they’re genuinely sad, it never feel like the writing is trying to excuse his actions. Meanwhile, the writers of Heathers seemed determined to make JD a tragic character first, and a villain second, even trying to act like he’s been redeemed by the end of the show. I’ve personally always found the attempts to make the audience cry for JD to be in extremely poor taste. Yes, his childhood’s sad. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to feel bad for someone who wants to murder an entire high school. Another noticeable difference between Sweeney and JD is the build up to their villainy. It’s made clear very quickly that Todd is not only damaged goods, but that he’s completely determined to get his revenge on the judge and beadle. Since it’s made explicitly clear from the beginning that Sweeney’s bloodthirsty, vengeful, in mourning, and mentally unstable, it’s no big surprise that he eventually goes totally mad, and the big moment where he decides that everyone deserves to die is perfectly executed, showing his twisted view on the world in a way that makes it clear that we should be horrified, but at the same time, we can follow what he’s saying, and understand why he believes in such insanity. JD’s turn to villainy feels like it lacks the necessary build up and pay off. He just decides to start killing people. While Sweeney gets to show off his newfound logic in Epiphany, JD starts planning the deaths of the other students, seemingly just because. Also, no matter how terrible Sweeney is, Judge Turpin is far worse, and while the viewer doesn’t side with Todd’s random murders, it’s hard to not root for him when he’s getting ready to off the corrupt judge. And ultimately, the thing that truly sets Sweeney Todd apart from JD is that Sweeney’s genuinely entertaining, truly captivating, complex, and he gets to sing some of the greatest songs to ever come from Stephen Sondheim’s mind. All attributes that JD lacks.

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Least Favorite Characters#17
Posted: 6/29/19 at 3:46pm

Hot Pants wrote:

"And ultimately, the thing that truly sets Sweeney Todd apart from JD is that Sweeney’s genuinely entertaining, truly captivating, complex, and he gets to sing some of the greatest songs to ever come from Stephen Sondheim’s mind. All attributes that JD lacks."

 

I found absolutely nothing in the slightest degree either entertaining or captivating about this awful character. Quite the opposite: I couldn't stand being in his presence. I loathed his actions, his words, the songs he sang, and the show he was in from beginning to end.

It remains today the worst musical I've ever experienced.

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Least Favorite Characters#18
Posted: 6/29/19 at 3:57pm
That’s a shame.
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Least Favorite Characters#19
Posted: 6/29/19 at 4:59pm
Damn shame
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Least Favorite Characters#20
Posted: 7/1/19 at 4:21pm
Gussie and Curley definitely earned a spot here. Poor Jud is Dead makes Curley sound like a total sociopath. Nice observations on Morticia and Grandmama, especially when you consider how people love earlier versions of the characters. I remember sitting there wondering why Grandma was suddenly a drug-dealing hippie. Lucas and Mal also earn a spot here for being bland and adding nothing to the story. Alice ALMOST has a personality and something resembling an arc (telling everyone your creepy fetish is not an “arc”, Mal.)

A lot of the characters in All Shook Up have the personality of cardboard. I found all the characters in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to be pretty one-note and not all that interesting.

Anne from A Little Night Music is annoying but I think that’s intentional. She’s meant to be a naive young girl.

Rizzo is a complicated character and I like that. But I don’t like Sandy and the Pink Ladies from Grease because it seems like the solution to getting picked on is to just act like the people who picked on you. Even Frenchie makes fun of Sandy in the slumber party scene in the movie. Why does she want to be friends with them?

I also hate all the characters in Seminar by Theresa Rebeck.
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Least Favorite Characters#21
Posted: 7/1/19 at 5:04pm

Alana (sp?)/Connor Proj. Organizer from DEH. Hated her character both times I saw the show. Her actions don't even make sense in the context of the show.


Cosette from Les Mis I find to be an annoying character. So much of the show is indirectly about her, but the character brings nothing to the table for me.


Roger and Maureen in Rent, I find them both somewhat grating, and cannot for the life of me understand the infatuation with Maureen.


Danny Zuko in Grease is an insufferable douchebag of a character. 


There are others I'm sure but they're not coming to mind right now.

 

Updated On: 7/1/19 at 05:04 PM
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Least Favorite Characters#22
Posted: 7/1/19 at 5:31pm

HamilHansen said: "The entire cast of Rent save for Benny and Angel.

Sandy in Grease

Earl in Waitress

Turpin in Sweeney Todd

Cosette in Les Miserables

Heidi In Dear Evan Hansen


"

I would not include purposely horrible characters like Earl or Turpin - they are what TV Tropes calls “Hate Sink” characters, so they are MEANT to be despised (Other “Hate Sink” characters on Broadway include Prince Hans in Frozen and Stuckey in Pretty Woman). I’m no fan of this type of character, but they serve their purpose - badly written protagonists are far more appropriate for this list...

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Least Favorite Characters#23
Posted: 7/1/19 at 9:25pm

SugarButterBroadway said: "Curly from Oklahoma - as much as I love the show, he is quite the awful person. He basically convinces a man that he would get the attention he deserves if he goes and hangs himself all in order to get a girl that keeps dismissing his advances. Jud is no prize pig himself, but Curly is pretty horrible"

:sigh: As Aristotle explained 2,500 years ago, comedies by their nature are about characters who behave worse than the average person.

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Least Favorite Characters#24
Posted: 7/1/19 at 9:58pm
Dolly Levi x
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Least Favorite Characters#25
Posted: 7/1/19 at 10:55pm

VivianDarkbloom2 said: "Gussie and Curley definitely earned a spot here. Poor Jud is Dead makes Curley sound like a total sociopath. Nice observations on Morticia and Grandmama, especially when you consider how people love earlier versions of the characters. I remember sitting there wondering why Grandma was suddenly a drug-dealing hippie. Lucas and Mal also earn a spot here for being bland and adding nothing to the story. Alice ALMOST has a personality and something resembling an arc (telling everyone your creepy fetish is not an “arc”, Mal.)"

Agreed. Lucas and Mal are extremely weak roles. I considered putting Lucas in my list, but decided that while it’s a bad role, I don’t dislike it enough to give it special mention. But now that he has been mentioned, I suppose it’s the perfect time for me to map out why the part is terrible. There are a lot of bland love interests out there. But Lucas has the honor of being Wednesday Addams’ bland love interest. A huge problem in the plot of the show is that Lucas is so bland and almost completely devoid of any kind of personality. So it makes no sense that someone like Wednesday would ever have any interest in him. But not only is Wednesday interested in him, she’s apparently so head over heels about him that she’s now willing to change her appearance and interests for him. While the character acts nice enough throughout the show, there’s just nothing interesting about him to convince the audience that Wednesday would actually want to marry him. Mal is similarly terrible, in both the Broadway and Tour version. While he does have more personality than his son, his personality is just the generic jerk father. It’s sort of hard to tell if the Broadway or licensed version of the character is worse. The Broadway Mal gets to have a big number near the end, however his number is entirely based around one of the weakest plot points in the show(being raped by a squid and suddenly becoming a good guy for some reason). Meanwhile, the reworked Mal redemption scene is certainly better written from a story standpoint. However, this scene comes across as much more generic. And the tour version removes almost all of the character’s original singing, while giving him much less music in return. The lyrics to the original song In The Arms are completely nonsensical, but in my opinion, the music is actually somewhat catchy.  The same can’t be said for Mal’ s reprise of Crazier Than You. The original version of the song is in my opinion, one of the weakest moments in the show’s score(I know that Wednesday might be the age of people who like pop music, but having all of her music sound like pop just feels wrong for the character), and the reprise manages to sound even weaker. So basically, Mal acts like a bland, uptight jerk throughout almost all of his stage time, except near the end where his actor’s chance to let loose is either bogged down by him having to perform a somewhat catchy, but nonsensical number that’s tied to one of the weakest moments in an already very weak plot, or a song that’s better written from a story perspective, but as a song, is practically the definition of unexceptional. Talking about the differences between the two versions, I’ll give credit to the Broadway Morticia. She’s still a horrible interpretation of a wonderful character, but she’s not as bad as the later version. Her whole self conscience about aging plot is horribly out of character for a normally strong and confidant woman. But at least that version wasn’t so horribly unsympathetic. Seriously, the current version of Morticia actually feels like the show’s antagonist. While Mal is an annoying and disapproving ass, at least he doesn’t go out of his way to intentionally harass his family or try to sabotage Wednesday and Lucas’ relationship, unlike Morticia.




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