Tv’s Anti-Heroes Take Charge

TV’s Anti-Heroes Take Charge

In the recent Emmys, four of the six nominees for Lead Actor in a Drama Series  portray characters that, while appealing, have enough flaws and faults to make any psychologist sweat.

A successful anti-hero must reside in that grey area between good and evil. We wondered which combination of attributes allows our four anti-hero Emmy nominees Dexter (Dexter), Don Draper (Mad Men), Walter White (Breaking Bad) and House (House) to effectively balance between damaged and admirable.

What Makes an Anti-Hero

Using E-Score Character we looked at the four anti-hero nominees, and found that the four characters share a number of similar traits. Each of the nominees earn above average scores in appeal, dishonest, aggressive and intelligent.


Source: E-Score Character

While each of the four nominated characters earned higher than average top-two box appeal; your friendly neighborhood serial killer Dexter is the most appealing with a score of 71.  Breaking Bad’s chemistry teacher turned meth cook Walter White is seen as the most dishonest with a score of 23, 19 points above average.

Somewhat surprisingly, Dr. Gregory House who sports a limp and a cane scored the highest in aggressive at 53, topping the category average of 21.  Along with aggressive, House is also seen as the most intelligent with a score of 69, more than double the TV character average of 32.

Source: E-Score Character, TV Character avg. consists of broadcast and cable characters excluding animated

While a successful anti-hero can show a wide variety of both negative and positive traits, E-Score Character reveals that TV’s most popular and successful anti-heroes share intelligence matched with dishonesty and aggression.

One comment

  1. Interesting that House (a character who saves people’s lives) is rated as more ‘aggressive’ than Dexter (who removes people’s lives).

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