Why We Like Dark Characters

Walter White, Don Draper, Hannibal, Dexter… TV’s golden era is filled with anti-hero, good men turned bad and straight up sociopaths. Why do we like these characters at all? And what makes them not just likable but oozing charisma? The answers teaches us about how human connection works and the nature of attraction and intimacy.

To get into this discussion we first have to answer: “What is a character?” To start, let’s say “his characteristics”: is he charming, courageous, vindictive or generous? This is a good start and one of the reasons we like stories is to explore the “character arc”: how and why a character changes over time. Luke Skywalker learns self-assurance through the events of “A New Hope” so w