The Bad Guy Always Wins on These Popular TV Shows

Yahoo Contributor Network

For the most part, TV shows feature stories where good triumphs over evil. But for a small percentage of TV shows, the opposite is true. On these sometimes bleak shows, the bad guy always seems to win. Sometimes viewers are rooting for the bad guy, and sometimes the bad guy wins despite the hopes of the fans. Here are prime examples of TV shows where the bad guy always seems to come out on top.


Dexter Morgan is a serial killer. In anyone's book, that makes him a pretty bad guy, even if he does try to only kill criminals who have escaped the criminal justice system. But as the show goes on, Dexter becomes responsible for an ever-increasing number of innocent deaths. So far, however, this bad guy has won every battle he's fought -- though there has been plenty of collateral damage along the way.

"Doctor Who"

For the most part, the Doctor always saves the day. But there is one foe in particular that seems to win: the Daleks. Sure, the Doctor might get away with his life, but it often comes at a terrible personal cost. The Daleks always survive to fight another day…and in the case of "Victory of the Daleks," the Daleks make a particularly devastating power play against the Doctor.


This cult favorite from across the pond is intensely dark. Unlike a lot of other supernatural shows where good triumphs over evil, "Hex" is positively nihilistic in its worldview. The main heroine of the series dies (after being seduced by a demon) at the start of the second season, and history repeats itself almost immediately with the replacement heroine and her love interest. Evil always triumphs in this series, despite the best efforts of good people. The series ends with "The End of Days," for crying out loud.

"Twin Peaks"

The bad guys definitely won out in this short-lived series. By the end of the series, Dale had been taken over completely by Bob, and the few truly good people in the town are almost all presumed dead. This small town is definitely not a good place to live.

"The Wire"

This gritty drama is all about the triumph of people who are brutal, corrupt, and violent. Good cops are coerced off the police force, honest journalists are beaten down, young children are abused, and innocent women are brutalized. Meanwhile, drug kingpins get rich and corrupt politicians climb the ranks. There are a few times each season where good people have good things happen to them, but the overall tone of the show is overwhelmingly tough and unidealized.

View Comments