Villains in fiction commonly function in the dual role of adversary and foil to a story’s heroes. In their role as an adversary, the villain serves as an obstacle the hero must struggle to overcome. In their role as a foil, they exemplify characteristics that are diametrically opposed to those of the hero, creating a contrast distinguishing heroic traits from villainous ones.
Other have pointed out that many acts of villains have a hint of wish-fulfillment, which makes some readers or viewers identify with them as characters more strongly than with the heroes. Because of this, a convincing villain must be given a characterization that provides a motive for doing wrong, as well as being a worthy adversary to the hero. As put by film criticRoger Ebert: “Each film is only as good as its villain. Since the heroes and the gimmicks tend to repeat from film to film, only a great villain can transform a good try into a triumph.”
Episode 216 of The Young and the Restless reminds me of the daytime drama I first watched in the 1980s as a boy: All My Children, Brooke English, Harold Loomis and Loomis’ obsession with Tom’s journalist wife Brooke. I remember Every Breath You Take by the Police being played on a loop as Harold was trying to convince Brooke that his deluded obsession with her was met but being denied by Brooke. Of course, on the side, as the solid young town doctor in Ruth Warwick’s home town of Center City was the hardest working man in show business, Peter Bergman as Dr. Clifford Warner. If Peter Bergman has taken 3 weeks off in 40 years it escaped me!
On #yr, it is Camryn Grimes as Mariah Copeland, locked up in a deluded person’s room. Instead of a popular song from the 1980s playing it is a song from the 1970s being mentioned: “Heroes,” by David Bowie.
Great cliffhanger especially for a Wednesday! Who is the captor? Ian Ward? Stitch Rayburn? An unknown rival of Tessa Porter?
The most difficult task of writing for a daytime drama seem as though they are twofold:
90% of the characters are protagonist good people for whom the viewer roots;
No foul language allowed.
Take this episode, for example. Every character is a truly good person. That’s tough to write for, but in 2020, who needs another antagonistic ‘heavy’? Who would not want to be a member of the Spencer, Forrester or Logan families, where each character, Quinn included, is supportive of others?