21 October 2012 9:17 AM, PDT | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

By Rachel Bennett

Television Editor & Columnist


When a new TV series, especially a drama, begins, it’s assumed to have one specific ingredient in its recipe for greatness: the antihero.

On any given night of the week, you can find an endless amount of antiheroes to choose from, including Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) from HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) of ABC’s Revenge and Hank Moody (David Duchovny) in Showtime’s Californication.

So what’s an antihero? An antihero is the protagonist of a show, but instead of expectedly being noble and fighting for the good of all, he or she has, as James Poniewozik of Time says, “goals you did not relate to, whom a decent person would, by and large, not cheer for.”

Despite this disagreement, viewers share the protagonist’s point of view or largely follow the antihero, eventually seeing sympathetic and relatable aspects »

- Rachel Bennett

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