I reached 100 followers recently (I’m currently at 123) and I wanted to do something special to thank you guys. I didn’t wanna make a whole post just to say that I reached that number (that seemed a bit pointless), so when I came up with this tag I thought it would be the perfect way to thank everyone!
We all have our problematic faves – characters who do bad stuff but who we love and support no matter what, because we see something good in them, something special. That’s what this tag is about.
I also want to add that I did a bit of searching and I think no one has done a tag like this before, because I didn’t find anything, but if you know of a similar tag that already exists, please tell me – I have no intention of stealing anyone’s idea!
1. A character everyone loves that you hate
It took me a long time to come up with an answer to this one, because there aren’t many characters who are super popular who I can’t stand. But ultimately I’m gonna go with Johanna, the main character in How to build a Girl. If you know me, you know that I really don’t like that book, but everyone seems to love it – so that’s my answer. Kinda funny actually, because my best friend’s name is Johanna.
2. A character everyone hates that you love
Bella Swan from the Twilight books. I freaking love that series and there’s nothing you can say to change my mind. Everyone hates Bella because she’s kind of boring, she doesn’t really have any special traits, and she’s not very emotional or expressive. But the thing is – I’m kind of like that. Bella loves staying home and reading or just watching a movie, she doesn’t have a lot of friends, she doesn’t like talking about her problems, and when something happens she doesn’t get all dramatic about it, she just stays calm and reacts to it internally, without showing how she feels about the situation on her face. I’m not an expressive person, I usually have the same expression on my face at all times, so I get Bella.
3. A character who started out problematic but grew to be a better person
Firstly, John Murphy from The 100. He starts out super problematic. He’s impulsive, aggressive and just completely insane. But he later becomes very likable – we find out his story and he gets to play the hero a few times. He’s still a jerk and kind of crazy, but I honestly loved him from the start – definitely a problematic fave of mine.
The other character I think changed for the better is Harry Potter. I mean, just think about him in books 3, 4 and 5. He’s such a jerk. Later he learns how to be nicer and how to treat people kindly. I still don’t like him that much as a character (I’m much more of a Hermione fan), but I think it’s fair to say that he grows a lot throughout the books.
4. A character who started out good but became problematic
The one that first comes to mind is Achilles from The Song of Achilles. That book is one of my all-time favourites, I absolutely adore it, and the ending is heart-breaking. Achilles starts as a happy, wonderful character, but later things get much darker for him. It’s not entirely his fault, but it’s still his responsibility.
Another character who made a dark change is Piper from Orange is the New Black. Keep in mind I’m talking about the TV show, not the book. The original biography is very different from the adaptation, and Piper does not turn into a crazy asshole. I didn’t really like Piper from the start, I thought she was boring compared to all the other inmates, and her story got old pretty fast. But when she started being a jerk on top of being useless, I couldn’t stand her anymore.
5. A problematic couple that you ship (doesn’t have to be canon)
One is definitely Aria and Ezra from Pretty Little Liars. I mean, there are the obvious things – he’s older, he’s a teacher while she’s a student … but then he also does something really bad, and I think a lot of people stopped shipping them because of it. I definitely hated him for a while after that, but over the seasons he got better and nicer again, and I kind of feel bad about it but I went back to shipping them, and so did a lot of fans.
A non-canon couple I ship is Draco and Harry from the Harry Potter books. They’re problematic for obvious reasons – they are always bullying and insulting each other. That’s not a good base for a healthy relationship. But I just think they would be SO cute together.
6. A couple everyone ships that you find problematic (doesn’t have to be canon)
This one also took me some time to come up with, but ultimately I realised it was Kvothe and Denna from the Kingkiller series (The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear). I can’t stand Denna, and I hate how she treats Kvothe. Maybe it’s because I know people who treat their friends like that, who just disappear on them and when they come back they don’t even say sorry, but their relationship bothers me A LOT.
7. A problematic trope that you love
The “male hero who is an asshole but has a tragic story and is really hot so everyone loves him”. I LOVE this trope. I know it’s really bad, because what it says is that it’s okay to be a jerk if you’re hot and had a sad childhood, but ALL my favourite characters are like that. Seriously, if I list my favourite fictional people they’re all tragic male heroes who are not nice. Draco Malfoy and John Murphy for example. There are some exceptions of course, but I tend to love characters like that.
8. A book/TV show/movie that is problematic but you love anyway
For this one I’m going with the TV show Friends. I had never seen it as a child because I didn’t grow up in the US, and in Europe it’s not that big of a deal. But I decided to binge-watch it about a year ago and I LOVED it. But it’s quite problematic in a lot of ways. I don’t like the portrayal of trans people, for example. I also thought it was quite annoying that while there is a lesbian couple, we never see them kiss, because apparently that’s not an okay thing to show on TV.
A book series that I like but find a bit problematic is the Shadow World trilogy by Jane Johnson. It’s a children’s trilogy but it’s very violent and a bit inappropriate for kids, and I also thought it was sexist at times, even though it was written by a woman.
9. A book/TV show/movie that you hate because it’s problematic
I have a movie and a TV show for this one. The movie is Baby Mama, and I’m mostly angry at it because I was so disappointed. It stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who I kind of see as very progressive, amazing women, but the movie had some really problematic jokes. They made fun of intersex people twice, which was completely unnecessary and not even related to the plot?!
The TV show I want to mention is Ray Donovan. I started watching it because it stars Kate Moennig, who played Shane in The L Word and is one of my favourite actresses, but I was so disappointed. Kate Moennig is barely in the show at all, and the other characters are unlikable to no end. The show has lots of problematic jokes and I honestly have no idea why it’s so popular – the story is really boring. I gave up on it after a few episodes and have no intention of watching it again.
10. Lastly, your problematic fave
I could repeat myself and name Draco Malfoy and John Murphy, but I’m gonna go with character I haven’t talked about in this post yet.
One is Brian Kinney from Queer as Folk. I wrote a post with 5 reasons why you should totally watch Queer as Folk this week, so if you feel like checking that out, you can do that here. Brian is one of the main character in the show, and he’s a jerk with a sad story and a very pretty face (see, there’s that trope again!). He’s possibly my favourite character in the history of all characters. I love that guy SO MUCH.
I also love pretty much all the characters from The Secret History. They are not good people, they do a lot of weird shit, and they think they can do whatever they want because they’re rich, smart and pretty. But I love them so much! Which is why they’re my problematic faves.
And lastly, Bucky Barnes from the Avengers! He’s not that problematic – all the crap he did was just because he was being controlled by some military freaks, so he wasn’t being a serial killer because he wanted to. But I think he still counts as a bit problematic, and he definitely falls into the “tragic guy who is really hot” trope, so bonus points!
So this was my original tag! What I like about this is that because I came up with it, nobody has done it yet, so I can tag pretty much anyone.
Amy @ Inkyspells | Fatima @ Noteable Pad | Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews | Kai @ Black Cat Kai | Beth @ Reading Every Night | Madeline @ The SFF Bookshelf | Emily @ Rose Read | Naz @ Read Diverse Books | Emma @ The Bookish Underdog | Stephanie @ Adventures of a Bibliophile | Sammie @ Bookshelves and Biros | Bina @ If You Can Read This | Jill @ Rant and Rave about Books
If I haven’t tagged you and you feel like doing this anyway, feel free! And if you think this tag sucks, just ignore me and don’t do it. No pressure.
‘Till next time and happy reading!