Television shows often introduce new characters to keep the storyline fresh and exciting.
But sometimes, these characters don’t connect well with the audience, and instead of enhancing the show, they may actually take away from it.
Let’s look at some examples of TV characters who many fans feel negatively impacted their respective shows.
Scrappy-Doo in “Scooby-Doo”
“Scooby-Doo” is a beloved animated series that follows a group of friends and their talking Great Dane as they solve mysteries involving supposedly supernatural creatures. The original series is filled with fun, suspense, and lovable characters. But when Scrappy-Doo, Scooby’s nephew, was introduced, things changed for some fans.
Scrappy-Doo’s bold and brash personality contrasted sharply with the charm of the other characters, and many found him downright annoying. The mystery and camaraderie that made “Scooby-Doo” a hit seemed to lose its magic with Scrappy’s inclusion.
Nikki and Paulo in “Lost”
“Lost” is a thrilling show about a group of plane crash survivors stranded on a mysterious island. The series is known for its complex characters and plot twists. But the introduction of Nikki and Paulo in the third season didn’t go over well with fans.
These characters seemed to be forced into the storyline, and their presence disrupted the flow and focus of the show. They were quickly written out, but their brief appearance left a negative impression on many fans.
Oliver in “The Brady Bunch”
“The Brady Bunch” is a classic sitcom about a large, blended family that faces everyday challenges with humor and love. In its final season, the show introduced Cousin Oliver.
This character’s quirky behavior and mischievous antics were meant to add freshness to the series, but instead, they clashed with the established tone. Many viewers felt that Oliver’s inclusion was a desperate attempt to boost ratings, and it turned them off from the show.
April Kepner in “Grey’s Anatomy”
“Grey’s Anatomy” is a popular medical drama that explores the lives of surgical interns and their supervisors. The show’s blend of medical cases and personal drama has kept viewers hooked for years.
The character April Kepner became a point of contention for some fans. Her often-irritating personality and questionable decisions did not resonate well with many viewers. While not everyone disliked her, the polarization around her character undoubtedly changed the show’s dynamic for some fans.
Randy Pearson in “That ’70s Show”
“That ’70s Show” is a comedy that takes a nostalgic look at the life of teenagers in the 1970s.
The show’s original cast had great chemistry, but when Randy Pearson was introduced in the final season to replace Eric Forman, fans were not pleased. Randy’s character lacked depth, and his attempts at humor often fell flat.
The connection and humor that fans loved about “That ’70s Show” seemed to fade with Randy’s presence, leaving many disappointed with the final season.
Dawn Summers in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is an action-packed show following Buffy, a young woman chosen to battle against vampires, demons, and other supernatural foes. The show was renowned for its character development and unique take on typical horror tropes.
However, the introduction of Buffy’s suddenly-appearing sister, Dawn Summers, was a divisive move among fans. Some felt that her character was shoehorned into the storyline, and her often petulant behavior grated on viewers who had grown to love the original cast.
Skyler White in “Breaking Bad”
“Breaking Bad” follows a high school chemistry teacher turned methamphetamine manufacturer. With intense performances and complex characters, it became one of the most acclaimed TV shows of all time.
While not exactly ruining the show, Skyler White’s character sparked controversy among fans. Some viewers found her actions and motives frustrating, although others argue that her character added depth and conflict to the series.
Poochie in “The Simpsons”
“The Simpsons” is a legendary animated series known for its satirical take on a middle-class American family’s life. Poochie, a character introduced in one episode, was actually a parody of the trope itself.
Created to try to boost ratings within the show’s universe, Poochie was hated by fans of the “Itchy & Scratchy” show (a show within “The Simpsons”). This meta-commentary on adding characters for ratings resonated with real-world audiences and became a classic example of self-aware storytelling.
Piper Chapman in “Orange Is the New Black”
“Orange Is the New Black” is a critically acclaimed series that explores life in a women’s prison. It starts with the story of Piper Chapman, who is sentenced to 15 months in prison.
While Piper’s character is central to initiating the plot, some viewers found her to be self-centered and unlikable as the series progressed. Her character’s evolution (or lack thereof, as some argue) caused frustration among fans who connected more deeply with the diverse ensemble cast surrounding her.
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