As Mad Men’s season 6 comes to a close, Don Draper’s descent into his own inferno cements his anti-hero status. You either love to hate him, or hate to love him. His ambiguous ethics create an interesting dynamic for the viewer – but he’s not the only one on TV like that.
Mad Men and its contemporaries – Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Scandal, The Walking Dead, Homeland, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, The Americans, and Boardwalk Empire – are shows that revolve around questions of morality. Whether it be an ad executive who will do anything to sleep with their married neighbors, a former high school teacher turned meth kingpin trying to provide for his family, kings and queens vying for the Iron Throne, or crisis managers who just happen to fix presidential races for the man they love, these series make us question who we’re rooting for and why.
There are incredibly likeable characters who do horrible things (Boardwalk Empire’s Al Capone) or characters who are, at their core, good people whom we don’t like very much (Game of Thrones’ Sansa). Then there’s everyone else – who falls somewhere in the middle on the scale.
Check out or “Likability Index” below, where we rank our favorites on two axes – from likable to hateable, and from good to evil.