Though there is nothing to laugh about or love about sexism in real life, it is a character trait that keeps rearing its head in a bunch of characters, both old and new. Sometimes it is a deliberate choice by the writers, other times it is not quite as clear.
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Still, as terrible as it is there are instances we find ourselves drawn to, or even sympathetic towards these characters. After all, what is good television if not good escapism, right?
For that reason, we have compiled a list of a few of those characters who, though would be the cause of a lot of complaints to HR in real life, are quite likable onscreen even if they are a bit problematic.
The Vulture (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
He may have acquired his nickname because of his penchant for swooping in and stealing cases from the detectives at the 9-9 right at the death, but he also is unrivaled in his ability to drop hilariously sexist comments practically anytime he sees a woman.
Barney (How I Met Your Mother)
Funny, charming and highly charismatic. But over the course of the show's run, Barney showed a tendency to treat the women he was involved with as nothing more than objects for his own gratification.
Tony DiNozzo (NCIS)
Ever the infantile prankster and general deadweight, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything special Tony brings to the team other than movie references and a strong whiff of arrogance and chauvinism. The logical half of our brain is telling us not to like this guy, but somehow we do, and that is why he got to stay on for over a dozen seasons.
Ari Gold (Entourage)
He may have been a faithful husband, despite his tendency to makes empty boasts in front of his friends about sleeping with models, Ari has taken every opportunity to lambast or grope any woman that happens to be around him at that time, including an imaginary sister.
Serena Joy (The Handmaid's Tale)
As one of the chief architects of the dystopian hellhole that is Gilead, Serena's situation captured the very essence of karmic retribution after she was pushed aside in favor of the men. In spite of her colossal missteps, it's hard not to feel sorry for her when Fred physically abuses her.
Christian Troy (Nip/Tuck)
If we were to make a list of Christian's sexual partners it'd be longer than the Nile, but that fact alone, in and of itself isn't the problem. It's the way Christian exploits his position as a doctor to get his patients into his bed without a hint of remorse, and that's just the tip of this iceberg. The writers decided to not only use his sex addiction as a crutch, but they also added an unnecessarily dark backstory just to make him sympathetic. In hindsight, it kinda worked because we were rooting for him in spite of his many atrocities.
Grant Ward (Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D)
We kind of liked Grant when we still had no idea he was a HYDRA sleeper agent, but we loved him as the host of the inhuman Hive. In one of the few moments we had of Ward being totally honest, he made it clear he thinks Melinda May is only part of the team as eye candy and not because of her competence as an agent.
Ralph Dibny (The Flash)
Much progress has been made, but it still wasn't that long ago that Ralph was referring to women he meets by their body measurements instead of their names. There was a bit of apprehension after the character's introduction, and quite rightly, but fans have warmed up to him since then.
Douglas Fogerty (Single Parents)
Despite being a highly educated and successful individual, Douglas has repeatedly stuck to his opinion that any open display of emotion is for women, not to mention his borderline obsessive infatuation with "Big Red" -- a woman he constantly talks about like some sort of trophy to be won. All of that and then he turns around and teaches his twin daughters to be the most independent of all the other kids.
Penny Hofstadter (The Big Bang Theory)
Early on, Penny had a nasty habit of making some pretty mean comments directed at women about everything from their fashion choices to their sex lives. It dwindled as the show went on, but it is a habit that pops its head out every now and again, even after gaining female friends.
Walder Frey (Game Of Thrones)
You could excuse Walder's behavior as a consequence of the time period he lived in, but his attitude towards women, his daughters, in particular, is really gross. Still, there is something about his sleazeball, creepy-old-man demeanor that makes you like him.
Gregory House (House M.D)
House is naturally a foul-mouthed person, and he throws jabs at either sex almost randomly, but some of his stereotypical insults directed at women definitely cross the line from slightly annoying into really offensive on so many levels.
Dennis Duffy (30 Rock)
What made Liz date him in the first place isn't something that'll become clear to anyone anytime soon, but we're glad she broke it off, even if he is funny and quirky. For context, Dennis plays Halo online with the handle "Slut Banger" and tried to sleep with an underage girl once. Also, that's two entries for actor Dean Winters who is hilarious in these kinds of roles.