Times Television Shows Added Terrible New Characters

The worst new characters on television shows come from The Office, Dexter, and That 70's Show.

By Douglas Helm | Published

It can be tough to balance a dynamic cast of characters in a TV show, especially if that show goes on for a long time. Eventually, you’re going to get a character or two that the fanbase ends up hating. Here are some of the times that TV shows added terrible new characters.

Gossip Girl – Vanessa Abrams

While there are plenty of people that are hard to relate to on Gossip Girl, fans took special umbrage with Vanessa Abrams, portrayed by Jessica Szohr. While it was likely intentional on the part of the writers that Abrams was meant to be annoying, it still didn’t stop fans from being irked and angrily aiming their vitriol toward her.

Abrams would frequently intrude on the lives of the main characters and criticize the Upper East Side while also being someone who constantly engaged with the Upper East Side. In short, people thought she was holier-than-thou while also being a total hypocrite. Of course, it didn’t help that she was inserted into love triangles that interfered with fan ships. You can never come out as a fan favorite if you mess with a fan ship.

Dexter – Hannah McKay

If we’re being honest, after John Lithgow’s Trinity Killer brought us the best season of Dexter following the pretty-good initial season, the show had high expectations to live up to. Unfortunately, the show only got worse and worse. One aspect of the post-Trinity Killer Dexter that people didn’t love was Yvonne Stravohski’s character, Hannah McKay.

While Stravohski brought her usual charm to the role, fans felt like the writers started making Dexter act out of character. Namely, she becomes an exception to Dexter’s normal moral code, which rubbed fans the wrong way. While Dexter would continue to get worse after Hannah’s introduction, she marked the beginning of the end for a lot of fans.

The Walking Dead – Gregory

The Walking Dead went on well past its expiration date, which means there were plenty of characters that went off the rails and became hated by the fanbase. However, if there was one character that everyone unanimously hated more than anyone, it would have to be Gregory, played by Xander Berkely.

In short, Gregory was an unlikeable coward who lived in a massive house and was completely unhelpful to Rick and the rest of the crew. More than just being unhelpful, he even betrayed the group to Negan. There are plenty of characters that people love to hate, but fans just straight-up hated Gregory, and no one shed a tear when he was brutally taken out.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Riley

The core cast, aka the Scooby gang, is universally loved in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so adding a new element to that mix is always going to be risky. This is especially the case if that new element is a romantic prospect. Sometimes it pays off, such as with Willow and Tara. But sometimes it’s a total whiff — like Riley and Buffy.

Riley was introduced as part of a government agency that tracked down supernatural creatures, leading him to fun into Sarah Michelle Gellar‘s Buffy and eventually sparking a romance. Unfourntaly, he was a pretty toxic dude and always felt like he needed to overbearingly protect the much stronger Buffy. Needless to say, fans didn’t mind when he was shuffled off the board.

Two And A Half Men – Walden

After Charlie Sheen’s tumultuous exit from Two and a Half Men, was it good to continue the show and drive it into the ground? Nope. The answer is no. Instead of letting sleeping dogs lie, they tried to keep the show going by introducing Ashton Kutcher as a billionaire with very few social skills. Kutcher can be great in comedic roles, but this wasn’t one of them.

Part of the hate was because they were trying to recreate the dynamic that Sheen’s Charlie Harper left behind, to no avail. The new version of the show just wasn’t funny or interesting. The show had already probably well outlived its welcome by that point anyway, even with Sheen. Instead of trying to bring Kutcher on, they probably should have just shuddered things much earlier.

The Office – Pete Miller and Clark Green

It’s no secret that the late seasons of The Office don’t live up to expectations. After Steve Carrell’s Michael Scott left the show, it would have probably been better to wrap things up quickly. It didn’t help that they introduced characters that annoyed fans, like Pete Miller and Clark Green.

While Clark was a relatively harmless addition and even had some funny moments, Pete was introduced as sort of a new Jim, and it didn’t really work. His relationship with Erin wasn’t believable or enjoyable, and that relationship also led to Andy’s character becoming exponentially worse and more annoying in the final seasons. They ended up having some decent episodes in the final seasons, but it certainly went on longer than needed.

That 70’s Show – Randy Pearson

Eric went away to college, and then we got Randy Person. That’s all you need to say to get an immediate groan from That ’70s Show fans. The dorky charm of Topher Grace’s Eric Foreman was sorely missed after his exit, and Randy Pearson was not the solution. Not only did they replace Eric with the unlikeable Randy, but they also tried to pair Donna with Randy so soon after her breakup with Eric.

Eric and Donna were the Ross and Rachel of That ’70s Show, so anyone getting in the way of that was going to be poorly received. Overall, Randy just wasn’t that funny of a character, and his introduction was ill-conceived, which makes him one of the worst TV characters a show introduced.