They may be terrible, but these are 15 TV characters we love to hate

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Walter White – Breaking Bad

What’s his deal: Originally a mild-mannered and kind of schlubby high school chemistry teacher, Walter White turns into a meth dealer after a lung cancer diagnosis. Once Walter beats cancer, his taste for the drug trade doesn’t wane, and he morphs into a super scary dude that even his family and friends don’t recognize.

Although he started manufacturing the meth so his family wouldn’t be crippled under his medical bills, it became something far more incendiary. It seems like Walter acquires a taste for the power being a drug kingpin affords, and he is constantly gobbling up more and more territory and authority. Even when there is more money than he could ever spend in his life, he continues to aggressively grow his business, no matter the cost. Everyone in his life suffers in some way because of his nefarious ambition, and he is not afraid to exploit them.

Why we love him anyway: Let’s face it: everybody loves an underdog. When we first meet Walt, he is working two jobs, bowing and scraping to his ungrateful students. He’s frankly a mess. The meth gives him an opportunity to not only provide for himself and his family, but a way to feel powerful and like he matters.

There is also something very satisfying watching a man who has been bullied and underestimated his whole life transform into a downright boss. Watching all that swagger and self-confidence rise to the surface is transfixing. Even when he’s doing his worst, we all still rooted for him because he wouldn’t take no for answer. He’s a much more interesting character as a drug dealer than he ever was a high school science teacher.

Where to find him: If you haven’t already watched Breaking Bad, you should remedy that immediately. It really is one of the seminal pieces of peak TV, and laid the groundwork for many, many other shows. You can watch the whole thing on Netflix right now.