Don’t hate, appreciate

As the resident Miss Anne Thropist I feel it’s my duty to present this list of the haters we love to love. They might be misanthropic curmudgeons, but we’re fans of that sort around here.

House (House)

House is pretty much the archetypical television misanthrope. He’s not only grumpy, but also incredibly distrustful and contemptuous of people in general. His oft-repeated adage- that everybody lies- neatly wraps up his opinion of humanity, although there’s always the possibility that he was lying when he said it. House has a tendency to view people as puzzles rather than, well, people and enjoys being as rude as he can to them. He hardly has any friends (asides from the put upon Wilson) and his dislike of the norms of social interaction has led to him expressing jealously towards an autistic patient, because nobody questions his breaking of these rules.

Jaye (Wonderfalls)

Although clearly intelligent and over-educated (with a philosophy degree from Brown), Jaye didn’t want to emulate the shiny, successful lives of her family members, but wasn’t satisfied with her resulting lifestyle of intentional underachieving- working in a gift shop and living in a trailer. She barely makes even a cursory attempt at her work, is easily irritated by people’s stupidity and snarks at everyone. It takes the belief that toy animals are speaking to her (yes, really) to get her to do anything nice for people.

George (Dead Like Me)

Georgia Lass, another female character created by Bryan Fuller, shares some similarities with Jaye. Despite her intelligence she dropped out of college, and tended to keep her emotional distance from people, including her family. Her maturity and intelligence made it difficult for her to connect with her peers, and the birth of her younger sister left her feeling neglected. This led to her cultivating a disinterest in everything, as a way to ward of expectations- and thus disappointment. George had very little respect for authority, or for social niceties- which caused her boss at Happy Time, Delores, to purposefully give her the worst job she could. George’s pissy, potty-mouthed attitude lasted well after death, when she became a (grouchy) grim reaper.

Chuck (Gossip Girl)

Chuck Bass, the bad boy and party fiend of the Upper East Side, has a rather bleak view of the world. He believed that his mother died in childhood and that his father blamed him for her death, which was why they had a bad relationship. However he later discovered that his mother was alive, only to be scammed by her- in cahoots with his nefarious Uncle Jack- and lose possession of his hotel. His self-loathing was only added to by not being able to make a relationship work with his beloved Blair, and it’s no wonder that he tried to abandon his identity after being mugged in Prague. Like Blair, Chuck has a history of taking part in manipulative schemes, with a contemptuous view of other people and their feelings.

Hodgins (Bones)

The original flavour Hodgins- before getting all distractedly happy about falling in love and starting a family- was an angry, little man with a conspiracy theory obsession. His obsession with cover-ups threw him into conflict with FBI agent Seeley Booth, and his accusations of unscientific subjectivity initially made his relationship with the Jeffersonian’s administrator, Dr Goodman, difficult. He lost interest in conspiracy theories when his best friend became a serial killer’s apprentice, and his rabid paranoia was replaced by overwhelming misanthropy- he literally hated everyone. Dr Sweets, their resident psychologist, respected this vehement hatred as a legitimate coping mechanism.

Oscar the Grouch (Sesame Street)

The definitional criteria of misanthropy- essentially a hatred of people- seems to allow a non-human to possess the attribute. And being a certified grouch, who likes hardly anything or anyone that’s nice, means that Oscar counts as one. This angry individual, with a girlfriend named Grundgetta, was one of the only bright, engaging spots in the horribly patronising show which seems to have inadvertently instilled misanthropy in me from a young age. In another ironic twist, it turns out that Oscar is a secret Canadian- flipping the idea that Canadians are all nice and polite on its head.

Toby (The West Wing)

Morose, sombre and pedantic, the White House Communications Director had a reputation as a grump- as well as a fondness for whiskey. He was easily angered by people, and contemptuous of any perceived failing or ignorance (whether it was of politics or show tunes). His relationships with even his closest friends and colleagues were often strained, and his ex-wife- Congresswoman Andrea Wyatt- refused to re-marry him despite being pregnant with their twins, because he was too sad.

Malcolm (The Thick of It)

Angry, antagonistic, and aggressive- the Government’s Director of Communications might have been tasked with whipping everyone into respecting the party line (and spinning off any crises), but his foul-mouthed manner of doing so reflected his personality and rampant dislike of practically everyone. The character’s frequent threats of violence, and/or  bad press, had the Guardian blog celebrating the show for taking “profanity, the liberal use of the word cock and the fine art of the soul-puncturing put-down to a new high”, and with good reason.

This lot clearly have a point, people are truly awful. If you’ve got a favourite misanthrope of your own, or clips of someone pouring forth abuse, share all in the comments.

3 thoughts on “Don’t hate, appreciate

  1. Haha oscar the grouch! Amazing, love that you included him…thats me in the mornings!
    I like Richard from Caroline in the City too, he was definitely a people hater.

    • I love me a good people-hater! I used to love watching Caroline in the City, my babysitter would let me stay up to watch it, but haven’t seen it for yeeears (or decades!). Wonder how it’s stood the test of time?

  2. Pingback: You Can’t Always Get What You Want… « Pop Culture Playpen

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