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5 Count Vol 1: TV's Biggest Jerks - Cinema Shelf
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5 Count Vol 1: TV’s Biggest Jerks

Television provides us many memorable characters and character types that leave a lasting effect on the viewer.  We have our heroes and villains, our quirky sidekicks, or the crazy extra that is making strange faces in the background.  Some characters fit in a number of categories, but some of the most memorable characters are also some of the biggest jerks that you’ll find.  These people are the ones you love or love to hate, but they will undoubtedly leave an impression when they grace the screen.  In this volume of 5 count, we take a look at a few jerks that make for interesting TV. Warning: slight spoilers ahead.


 

1. Chad Radwell / Scream Queens

scream-queens-chad

A new jerk who is making a name for himself is Chad Radwell, a completely self-absorbed frat leader in Fox’s new comedy/horror series.  Played by Glen Powell, if Chad’s full name doesn’t give you a hint as to the type of person you’re dealing with, then perhaps his personality traits will.  He thinks he is God’s gift to women, and treats all women like sex objects.  He claims to have a great understanding of psychology, although his interactions with others seem to show otherwise.  He also seems to have mommy issues and shows a disturbing preference for necrophilia. So, yeah.

Dude is a fruit loop, but plays to the “most popular guy on campus” stereotype quite well for the most part.  Overall, he is extremely warped and delusional, which is right up the alley for this new show.  We haven’t quite seen the limits of his jerkiness yet.  I’m sure there is still more to come.

Jerk Status: infant god


 

2. Eric Cartman / South Park

Cartman

While one the youngest jerks on TV, Cartman is perhaps one of the greatest representatives of this illustrious group.  With all of the terrible things he has done over the years, it is hard to understand why the other kids of South Park even hang out with him at all.  He’s had poor Butters doing crazy stuff for years now, and shows no remorse for the little guy’s plight.

From this show’s beginnings, he’s shown himself to be a huge racist, a terrible friend, and a terrible son. He even tricked one of his enemies into eating his parents, and proceeded to celebrate by licking away his foe’s tears of sorrow.  Perhaps the worst offense of all was when he ate all of the skin off of everyone’s KFC chicken.  That fiend! Definitely high tier jerk status, and his antics are usually highlights of some of the best episodes of the show. He may be young, but he’s had years worth of shenanigans to cement his place among the jerk elite.

Jerk Status: Demi-god


 

3. Dan Scott / One Tree Hill

Dan

Played by Paul Johansson, Dan Scott was one of the best parts of One Tree Hill, especially in the first 4 seasons.  He was a huge jerk to everyone, and his relationship with his two sons Nathan and Lucas was always pretty rocky.  His jerkish ways caused him to constantly be at odds with someone at any time, and his wife actually tried to kill him after her divorce attempts proved unsuccessful.  Dan had mistakenly believed that the attempt on his life was made by his brother Kieth, and Dan used the craziness of a school shooting as the perfect cover opportunity to take Kieth out first.  Yikes.

There were times when Dan tried to make nice with others, but that would usually be overruled by his more devious side. The good-guy act usually had a jerk-guy motive behind it, and  Dan would rarely do anything that didn’t benefit himself.  He did manage a little bit of redemption towards the end of the show’s final seasons, but he still had a long list of bad hanging over his head, biggest of which being Kieth’s murder.  Kieth did forgive Dan (from the after life) while Dan lied in his death bed, so that kind of makes up for his biggest sin at least.

Jerk Status:  Redeemed god


4. Sadie Saxton /Awkward

Sadie likes to act like she is the hottest thing In the school, and whether you believe it or not, she sports the confidence to back it up. Regardless, Sadie (played by Molly Tarlov) is definitely one of the biggest jerks on the show, playing up to some of the popular mean girl traits that are often found in high school movies and TV shows.  Head cheerleader. Rich Family. Antagonist to the main character.  All here.

One of her jerkiest traits is her ability to verbally trash someone while concluding as if she did the person a favor.  When you hear her say “you’re welcome,” you know you’ve just been Sadie-ed.  Still, underneath it all, you do get the sense that she knows her status is only manufactured, and her jerktitude is a cover for deeper insecurities.  Note quite elite status jerkery, but she gets an A for effort.

Jerk Status: goddess-in-training


 

5. Jeff Hunter / Saved By The Bell

Jeff

Patrick Muldoon just has that face that you want to punch.  This really isn’t his fault though, and is more so the after effects of his brief but highly effective stint on cult Saturday morning show, Saved by the Bell.  Jeff’s claim to fame was his involvement in the break-up of series sweathearts,  Zack and Kelly (played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar & Tiffany Thiessen).  After years of wooing Kelly, Zack finally managed to make her his girl and become the power couple of Bayside High.  All that hard work was turned upside down, however, when Jeff (college guy and current manager of the Max) put the moves on Kelly (high school junior?) and kissed her.  This got Kelly all confused (stupid), and eventually lead to Zack and Kelly breaking up (also stupid) with a badly covered Michael Bolton song playing in the background (kinda awesome, so slightly redeemed).  Kelly started dating Jeff after this (a little quick there, Kels?), sending Zack on an emotional roller coaster that capped off a two episode run that I always skip when doing my SBTB marathons.  The feels are too much, I tells ya.

Jeff’s jerk status was fully immortalized when it was revealed that he had been cheating on Kelly with another girl from college this whole time.  So the big break up of our favorite couple was all so Kelly could be a side chick.  Nice. Zack and Kelly did get back together much later on, and even got married (although I still ship Zack and Stacey Carosi).  As for Jeff, he was never heard from again, although Patrick Muldoon did receive tons of real life heat and hate mail due to his role as Jeff on the show.  Real life hate due to on screen role means jerk status is Odin-tier levels of godhood.  Well done, Jeff.  Well done.

Jerk Status:  Broken scouter levels over 9000

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