A protagonist is different from a hero in the way that they have no real heroic attributes (think Avengers) but they are the main character that you are supposed to root and/or care about. For instance, Mad Men has a plethora of protagonists but absolutely none of them are heroes. You still want them to succeed but in terms of role model material, they don’t even appear on the list.
The ones on this list are meant to be the main draw of their respective series or at the very least, be someone you want to see accomplish their goals. Yet none of them inspire the feelings they are meant to. Instead, viewers usually fast forward through their scenes or just ignore the character all together. Their main purpose seems to be introducing the other characters and storylines but then after that job is done, they lose all sense of importance. Viewers tend get more satisfaction seeing them told off or a character that stands up to them. Minor characters steal the spotlight, making it obvious that the show no longer depends on these particular protagonists to keep the audience coming back for more. In some cases, their death scene is the best thing that ever happened in the show; other cases highlight how dull these females really are.
Lori/Andrea (The Walking Dead)
Wow. Where to even start with these two.
Lots of people don’t understand the hate for Lori. Let us enlighten you: sleeps with husband’s best friend less than a month after Rick, her husband, “died”, doesn’t tell said husband when he turns up alive, tells husband to kill former lover to save their family and then turns him away when he actually does it. Also, she flipped a car on a deserted road for no reason. And somehow in a world where she did barely anything all day, she still managed to lose her kid and/or push him on to someone else. Over three seasons, we realized that Lori was literally useless – and that was during the most boring season of television ever.
As for Andrea…Well, she almost killed Daryl and that didn’t help her cause. Pretty much every episode had her sulking and crying about the lack of fairness in a zombie apocalypse. But more than that, she ditched her best friend and rescuer in favor for a man she had literally met that day and that is just not cool. Then of course she decided to spare the Governor’s life because she liked sleeping with him too much. Basically she had one job and she couldn’t even do it. Just like Lori.
Carrie Bradshaw (Sex & the City)
Sex and the City has some of the most flawed characters ever, which made them realistic. However, just like that one girl in a horror film who goes around screaming, no one wants to see that kind of personality play out week after week. She cheated on the perfect Aiden and then when he got mad, her voice-over made it clear that he just didn’t deserve her in all her cheating glory. Because gods only know that if the roles were reversed, the writers would have a whole episode dedicated to the girls bashing the man.
Ahhhh. Double standards.
But that was simply the tip of the iceberg with her as we watched her fumble her way about life in a way that was about 20 years too old to be cute and not old enough to be an excuse of old age. Frankly, she (and the other girls) were a bunch of teenage mentality women complaining about horrible their lives were.
Kate Austen (Lost)
Have you ever met someone who for some reason just got all the attention even though they never really brought anything to the table except good looks? That was Kate. Her backstory was incredibly lame compared to the others and her moral high ground grated on fans nerves. Writers made two of the strongest guys on the show, Jack and Sawyer, into her lapdogs that always second guessed their decisions based on her judgmental expressions. If Kate didn’t approve, it didn’t happen. And in the off chance that it actually did, there would be half of a season where she ignored the guy until the season finale where one or both of them were in mortal danger for the umpteenth time.
Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood)
It’s already been established why she is a rotten sister to have, but Sookie has proven that she isn’t much of a friend either. The people she had grown up with come second to her obsession with vampires and other assorted creatures with killer abs. Not to mention she turned 1,000 year old badass Eric into a lovesick puppy that could out-brood Edward Cullen.
Constantly crying over the situations she gets herself into (and others) before using her fairy vajayjay to call her lovers to rescue her, Sookie is by far outshined – and out-loved – by everyone. Hell, even the villains are more likable. As this upcoming season is the last, we suggest the show go the Game of Thrones route and just kill her already.
Yes, she was raped repeatedly and therefore we excused her pathetic behavior the second season; however, by the final season the majority of fans wanted her dead and rejoiced when it happened. Naevia didn’t start out being hated though. She was actually really lovable in the first season: delicate but with a little bite to her made her interactions with Crixus fun. She had tamed a beast.
But then came the third season. She barely did anything but complain about Spartacus and whine about the Romans – of which she was one. Did she forget that? And she knocked out Gannicus - the Daryl Dixon of the series in terms of likability - with a rock while he and Crixus were fighting. It was a dirty trick that angered fans and shot her straight to the top of death wish lists for many of them. We hated her more than the villains. She had become a poor man’s version of Lady MacBeth (and by poor, we mean poverty level poor).
This was a case of bad acting along with unlikable character development. Had Brandt returned, the character might have been able to entice some sympathy; but with Robinson, she merely sounded like a petulant child who had gotten her crayons take away. It was a shame too because the character’s journey could have been one that everyone rooted for.
When Glee first started, it was a parody with extreme characters. Then it became an after school PSA announcement about bullying and how if you’re gay, you can be mean all you want but if someone says something in return, they are a homophobe.
From Rachel’s incessant egotistical tendencies to Santana’s downright verbal and even physical assaults (but since it was against a guy, it doesn’t count), there is no one to really even root for anymore. Everyone sleeps with everyone like a bad episode of Degrassi – and that is saying something because all of those episodes were terrible. Who cares if any of them, especially these two, get happy endings? Just let the music die already.
Piper Chapman (Orange is the New Black)
The main problem with Piper is that she is that popular girl in high school who everyone thinks is nice but deep down is a horrible person; and the worst part is that she doesn't even realize it because she is too self centered to see it. With a narcissistic personality and a pretty princess complex, Chapman is by far one of the least interesting characters on the show. Not only has she lied and cheated on her fiancé, but she couldn’t even bring herself to be selfless at her own grandmother’s funeral. Many of the characters in the show have repeatedly told her that she is a horrible, selfish human being and even Crazy Eyes was sane enough to see it. That's when you know it's bad. Beyond that, she tends to think that if you break the law, you shouldn't really be punished, just sort of slapped on the hand and let go. Like summer camp.
Yet despite being the main character, she manages to be as bland as her typical blonde hair and blue eyes.