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5 bad guys (and girls) who should play good

If you’re watching USA’s Complications, you have to have noticed Chris Chalk, who’s giving an underrated performance as Darius Bishop, the gang lieutenant who is John Ellison’s primary contact and biggest headache. Darius is definitely one of TV’s bad guys, but there’s something different about him. He could have easily been another stereotypical thug, but Chalk plays him with brains and nuance, making the audience think that he could’ve really been something if he hadn’t turned to a life of crime.

Likewise, it’s hard not to think back to when Chalk played producer Gary Cooper on HBO’s The Newsroom not so long ago, and how charming and adorable he was then. Put those two things together, and I found myself thinking that Chalk could easily play a hero in a future project.

He’s not the only one, though. There are a number of actors and actresses who are currently playing or are best known for having played villains, but who are so impressive to watch that we find ourselves wanting to flip the script and see them go good, either again or for the first time.

Here are five known antagonists who would make interesting protagonists the next time around:

1. Chris Chalk

One of the points that Complications makes is that Chalk’s Darius didn’t have to be a gang member. He could’ve had a completely normal life. That’s reflected in the way that Chalk plays him; he’s not just another trash-talking, faux-menacing bad guy. Sure, he’s not somebody Ellison wants to make an enemy out of, but he’s got as much depth as the good doctor. Plus, if you can handle Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue like Chalk did for his recurring role on Newsroom, you can pretty much do anything. It would be fun to see him play an up-and-coming detective on a cop show—or maybe we’ll see what happens with his other gig as Lucius Fox on Gotham.

2. Mo McRae

Currently in residence on TNT’s Murder in the First as drug dealer Sugar Kaskade, McRae is underused and underrated. The episode “Oh Mexico” showed that he can bring real emotion and a surprising vulnerability to the table … and let’s not forget his role in the feel-good sports pic Gridiron Gang. But so far, his other biggest TV role has been playing a gang leader on Sons of Anarchy. What if he was part of a task force dedicated to busting gangs, similar to what TNT tried with its equally undervalued action-drama Wanted? Or he could easily be a hard-charging lawyer on the next legal procedural. But it’d be fascinating if his next TV role didn’t have him doing something illegal.

3. Melinda Clarke

Chances are, you’re still associating Clarke with her multiple-season run as the nefarious Amanda on Nikita, in which she was such a great villain that it was sometimes downright uncomfortable to watch. She was the ultimate wicked witch on that series, and she wasn’t that nice as Julie Cooper on The O.C. either. But TV has this trend in recent years of casting experienced actresses as the leads in procedurals, so why not Clarke? If Patricia Arquette can do CSI: Cyber and Marg Helgenberger can star in Intelligence, she could easily kick some behind for the FBI or another agency with an acronym. At least she’ll be reprising her role as Lady Heather for the CSI finale TV-movie.

4. Jason Gedrick

Gedrick scared the daylights out of the audience as the serial killer Raynard Waits in the first season of Amazon’s Bosch. But does anyone else remember a kinder, gentler Gedrick as Officer Tom Turcotte on NBC’s Boomtown? He made a pretty great cop there, and it would be nice to see him head in that direction again, if only to get our thoughts of his roles on Bosch and Dexter off the brain. Gedrick is one of those actors whom you just really want to like when he turns up somewhere. So let’s give ourselves a reason to like him again, and give him a project where he gets to save the day instead of ruin it.

5. C. Thomas Howell

Howell has played a lot of both sides over his lengthy career, but TV fans likely know him best as the recurring nightmare George Foyet, alias “The Reaper,” on CBS’s Criminal Minds. It was the kind of creepy performance that made you afraid of the actor because the character was so downright evil. But at the same time, he had another repeating role as Officer Bill “Dewey” Dudek on Southland, which showed that he could be a good hero too. That part, however, wasn’t necessarily the best fit for him; it would be really intriguing if he landed something like a quirky drama—think Rake or Perception—where he could showcase his humor and have some fun while getting us to root for him instead of against him.

Which actors and actresses currently playing bad on TV would you like to see turn good? In what type of project would you like to see them play the hero? Leave me your suggestions!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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