You know how over time, after watching a character you dislike on a TV show for a while, you start to loathe that character? You start thinking of how much better the show would be if he or she just snuffed it and never came back. You begin to imagine elaborate schemes to get him or her killed, each one wilder and more macabre than the last. (Hopefully, though, you don’t confuse the character with the actor who portrays him or her, because killing actual people isn’t cool. Save your elaborate real-life murder fantasies for the darkest recesses of your mind. Or for playing Grand Theft Auto.)

But sometimes, it only takes a few episodes for that same level of loathing to be achieved. This fall’s new shows boast some of the most boring, irritating, useless, or flat-out despicable characters on television. Read on to find out which ones need to get killed off, pronto.

5. Missy, Up All Night
Why she needs to be killed off: When Up All Night debuted it felt like two shows in one: a sweet, funny one about first-time parents named Chris and Reagan (Will Arnett and Christina Applegate), and an awful one about an Oprah-like talk show host named Ava (Maya Rudolph). Up All Night has managed to merge those two shows into a semi-convincing whole in the past couple of episodes as Rudolph has toned down her performance, shedding its more cartoonish touches. But Ava’s assistant, Missy (Jennifer Hall) stubbornly remains stuck in the old, broader show. She speaks with a ridiculous little-kid voice, she has a permanent bug-eyed expression on her face as if she’s hopped up on drugs, and nothing she says is ever funny. Up All Night is on the verge of becoming a really good show, but Missy is holding it back. I hoped that she would be written off the show, but now Jennifer Hall has been added to the main cast, so it looks like she’s here to stay.
Best way to kill her off: Some sort of equipment malfunction on the set of Ava’s show could do it. If cartoons have taught me anything, it’s that getting electrocuted is hilarious.
Hatred index: 5/10. She’s irritating, but she’s not much worse than a particularly persistent mosquito.

4. Han Lee, 2 Broke Girls
Why he needs to be killed off:
I don’t really have a problem with ethnic caricature. However, I do have a problem with unfunny ethnic caricature. I don’t know why 2 Broke Girls’ producers thought it would be hilarious to have Matthew Moy doing stereotypically “fobby” things and speaking in an incredibly fake, exaggerated Chinese accent. But I do know this: Han Lee needs to go.
Best way to kill him off:
Han doesn’t seem very competent. Maybe he could accidentally set fire to the diner and burn to death in the blaze. That would have the added bonus of getting rid of the diner as well.
Hatred index:
6/10. I’d give him a higher hatred score, but I feel bad for Matthew Moy. He deserves so much better.

3. Whitney Cummings, Whitney
Why she needs to be killed off:
This is one of those cases where you have to be careful not to confuse Whitney Cummings the actress with the character she plays, also named Whitney Cummings. You really don’t want to kill Whitney Cummings the actress. That would be illegal. But as for Whitney Cummings the character? Fire away, I say. Taken separately, bad acting, a grating voice, unfunny lines, or irritating behaviour aren’t major sins. Altogether, though, they’re a perfect storm of awfulness. Cummings can’t act, she sounds like she has Kleenex stuffed up her nose, her lines aren’t funny, and her character acts like a tool. Whitney the character is the kind of person who has her boyfriend fill out medical forms when she’s roleplaying as a slutty nurse. In one episode, she forces her boyfriend to pretend not to know her so that they can have a “real first date.” How can somebody that dumb continue to function on planet Earth? Yeah, I know that if you kill off the title character, then there’s no show. Honestly, that’s not such a huge tragedy.
Best way to kill her off: I don’t know. Her boyfriend could stab her, I guess. I know that’s not very creative. Then again, neither is the show. *zing*
Hatred index: 8/10. “An 8? I don’t want an 8! It looks like a pair of boobs turned sideways!” *cue raucous laughter from studio audience*

2. Jim Shannon, Terra Nova
Why he needs to be killed off:
On a different show, Jim Shannon (Jason O’Mara) could be a pretty interesting character. He’s brash, he’s reckless, he’s rude, he has a brazen disregard for the rules, and his constant belittling of his wife’s ex, Malcolm, reveals some deep-seated insecurities. But all of that would require him to be a complex, three-dimensional character who is portrayed as flawed as often as he is portrayed as heroic. Unfortunately, Terra Nova wants me to like Jim Shannon all the time. That’s where I run into problems. Terra Nova wants me to root for Jim, even when he’s being a jerk. It wants me to cheer for him when he’s defying orders or punching his wife’s ex in the face. There’s not even the slightest bit of irony when he runs off to play Big Damn Hero. But it doesn’t matter; I’m supposed to root for Jim no matter what, because he’s an All-American Family Man™, which is the writers’ lazy shorthand way of letting the audience know that Jim is a character we’re supposed to like. The unintended message, though, seems to be that if you act all tough and get thrown in jail for needlessly punching a cop, then you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful, supportive wife and kids. (Whom do I have to punch to get to make out with Shelley Conn?) Between all the macho posturing and general jerk-assery, Jim Shannon is one of the most heinous new characters on television. His death couldn’t come soon enough.
Best way to kill him off: He should get eaten by a dinosaur, duh.
Hatred index: 9.9/10. On his own, he’s not that bad. But because his macho persona is often contrasted with Malcolm’s weak, nerdy scientist one, Terra Nova sends a disturbingly outdated and sexist message about gender and what it means to be a “real man.” That bumps Jim up an extra 1.9 hatred points.

1. Tessa Altman, Suburgatory
Why she needs to be killed off:
Look, I’m not here to deconstruct Suburgatory and explain exactly why it was the worst pilot I’ve ever seen. If you want to know how I felt about the show, you can read this review by critic Neil Genzlinger and multiply it about ten-thousand times, because I hated this show with a white-hot rage that I’ve never felt towards any other television show. I willed myself to sit through the entire pilot only because so many critics other than Genzlinger enjoyed it that I thought I must have missed something. But I never watched another episode, and a significant part of the reason for that is the lead character, Tessa Altman (Jane Levy). She’s yet another snarky teenage female character in the mold of Juno MacGuff, but with none of the charm, wit, or insight. (And I didn’t like Juno to begin with, so I’m starting from a pretty low baseline.) Everything she says is dripping with condescension and judgment, as if anything that isn’t to her liking is stupid. She has no respect for anybody either, not even her father (Jeremy Sisto). She refers to him on more than one occasion by his first name, George, and even dresses like a stereotypical “teen slut” to embarrass him at a dinner. If that weren’t enough, Jane Levy plays her with a permanent grimace on her face, as if everything around her smells bad. (Levy could really take some lessons from Awkward.’s Ashley Rickards, who plays a similar character but much, much better.) There’s really nothing likable about Tessa, and I keep hoping that one day, she’ll get hit by one of the many minivans or SUVs that roam the streets of the suburbs. (Like a Chevrolet Suburban, get it? Har har har.)
Best way to kill her off: In his review of the season finale of the The Killing, TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz proposed that The Killing could have been fixed if it had been played as a black comedy instead of as a serious drama. Imagine how much better the show would have been if it had poked fun at the detectives’ ineptitude and the mayoral candidates’ total lack of political savvy. I think that a similar idea could be used to fix Suburgatory. Instead of being positioned as the protagonist, Tessa could be reimagined as a sort of anti-hero who goes around passing judgment on everything. (“Nice teeth! Are they 75% polyethylene or 85%?”) Eventually, after pissing off everybody in her suburb with her never-ending stream of snark, the neighbourhood’s residents would vote to lynch her. (“‘Cause The Simpsons never did that before, right?”) All the while, she would continue making fun of the suburbanites, even while being tied to the stake (“Ooh, that’s tight, Mrs. Nelson. Do you practice on Mr. Nelson?”) and set on fire (“This must be the first suburban fire that wasn’t caused by plugging too many iPhones into a single outlet or a teenage weed party gone wrong.”) The series would end with Tessa’s ghost haunting the bleachers next to field behind the high school where she was burned to death, spookily whispering smart-ass comments into the ears of the teenagers who go there to make out. (“Ding dong! Stick your tongue half an inch further and you’ll win a special prize!”)
Hatred index:
27631/10. I don’t think I adequately described just how much I hate Tessa. I’m not even sure the words to do that exist in the English language. But hopefully, her score on the hatred index gives you some idea.

So, there you have it: five characters who could make the television world a better place simply by dying, or at least moving to Antarctica. I hope you enjoyed reading about my evil plans to have them killed, and I’d love to hear about the characters you hate and what sort of deaths you’ve imagined for them. Feel free to rant about your least favourite TV characters in the comments.

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