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10 TV Shows You Didn't Realise You Were Following The Villain

Audiences got brilliantly bait-and-switched.

AMC

If the long-form nature of TV drama can take viewers on an epic journey with an ensemble of characters who evolve over the course of its run, sometimes this happens in ways audiences could've never quite seen coming.

A new TV show fronted by an out-and-out villain protagonist can be a tough sell, so it's decidedly more common for showrunners to introduce viewers to good-hearted or more ambiguous figures who, as the seasons wear on, become increasingly contemptible.

That's certainly the case with these 10 hit TV series, which initially left audiences sympathetic to their protagonists, but of course, life inevitably has other plans as it so often does.

By the time these characters left our screens, viewers had witnessed an unexpected slow-motion heel turn, forcing everyone to consider how they felt about spending several years clinging to every word of - and possibly even rooting for - such an ultimately detestable character.

In many ways that was exactly the conversation the creators wanted to spark among viewers, while in others they perhaps didn't realise quite how loathsome their apparent anti-hero protagonists had become...

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Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.