The Immortal and the Antihero

“Is Buffy home yet?”

Antiheroes are sexy. They are roguish free spirits that take what they want, live for themselves, and always come out on top. They are unshackled by the chains of morality, and they don’t spout some crotchety evil agenda to everyone within earshot. At least, that’s how writers want you to see antiheroes. Antiheroes tend to be a lot of things, but mostly they are just stupid. I’m not saying the antihero as a concept is stupid, I am saying that how they have been portrayed has generally been ridiculous. People who do whatever they want without regard for any guiding principles are just assholes. When you slap on the moniker of “antihero”, they suddenly become acceptable as heroic figures, with assassins (people that murder for cash) often being portrayed as agents of justice. One of the things that made Breaking Bad so amazing was its ability to see through that bullshit. Walter White did the things most antiheroes are known for; he acted selfishly (as much as he’d like to deny it) and thought mostly of himself. Yet there was nothing glossy about the whole enterprise and the audience knew that because of how ugly things got for Walt by the end. While Breaking Bad’s Walter White taught us the ugly truth about antiheroes, Angel‘s “The Immortal” taught us to laugh at them.

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