TV Madness: A New Tournament Begins

In March of last year, we held a Movie Madness tournament featuring a bracket of 64 film icons to identify cinema’s truest badass. In the end, Darth Vader kicked everyone else’s butt. Now that we know the baddest person in movies, let’s tackle the world of TV action stars to see who will win in that realm.

Here’s the thing, though. Movies are a tad different than television. There’s more turn-around in television. Shows and characters we may have forgotten might fit perfectly into our bracket. I won’t pretend to know each and every action star from television that deserves a spot. It was hard enough to pick 64 movie characters, and most of them were iconic or ingrained into our pop-culture DNA.

So I’m asking for your help here. I have a few obvious choices in mind like Jack Bauer, Vic Mackey, Sydney Bristow, and maybe even Fox Mulder. Still, I need more names. Suggestions from you, our readers, would be very helpful. Which characters would you like to see compete in the Television Tournament o’ Death?

Remember that this tournament is a fight to the death. No matter how great a show like ‘Seinfeld’ was, we’re not picking anyone from there (except maybe the Soup Nazi), because those characters would all get dismembered in the first round. What we’re looking for are TV’s resident badasses, grizzled characters who know how to take a punch, and better yet, know how to give one right back.

This tournament will feature another 64-character bracket broken down into quadrants. After we have a sufficient number of suggestions in the form of comments to this post, I’ll randomly pick the first round matches, and off we’ll go.

Thanks for helping out. I’m looking forward to finding what characters Bonus View readers come up with. Let’s make this a memorable tournament.


  1. John

    John Reese (Person of Interest)
    David Robert Jones (Fringe)
    Daryl Dixon (Walking Dead)
    Ziva David (NCIS)
    Raylan Givens(Justified)
    Sterling Archer (Archer)

  2. Here are my votes… 🙂

    – Male
    Titus Pullo (Rome)
    Starbuck (Original Galactica)
    Kosh (Babylon 5)
    Lt. Col. McQueen (Space: Above and Beyond)
    John Crichton (Farscape)
    Bender Bending Rodriguez (Futurama)
    Ham Tyler (Original V)
    Sharpe (sean Bean in the series of the same name)
    Teal’c (Stargate)
    Dean Winchester (Supernatural)
    Kai (Lexx)

    – Female
    Xena (Xena, surprisingly)
    Cameron (Terminator)
    Atia (Rome)
    Sarah Walker (Chuck)
    Shane Vansen (Space:Above and Beyond)
    Charmed Sisters (If it’s possible for them to be a team)
    Sally (Third Rock from the Sun)
    Leela (Futurama)
    Max (Dark Angel)
    Dowager Countess (Maggies Smith in Downton Abbey… She could defeat so many with a few simple cutting remarks… 😉 )

    Somebody mentioned Hypnotoad… The only problem there, is that this competition at least has to have the ILLUSION that others can win. If the Hypnotoad is allowed, then it’s simply a foregone conclusion… ***ALL HAIL TO THE HYPNOTOAD…***

  3. The problem with TV series Robo, is he kept getting knocked on his a$$ too easily, and temporarily foiled by simple minded criminals… Having said that, I have a soft spot for TV Robo. I don’t know why, it’s terrible in most places, but somehow… I dunno, I think it’s heart was in the right place, and I still found myself empathising with the character and rooting for him. Hmmm… I might have to dig out my DVD box set some time soo…. ALL HAIL TO THE HYPNOTOAD…

  4. J.R. Ewing (Dallas)
    Tony Soprano (The Sopranos)
    The Fonz (Happy Days)
    Russell Edgington (True Blood)
    Kenny Powers (Eastbound & Down)
    Benjamin Linus (Lost)
    Eric Cartman (South Park)
    Q (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

  5. JR Ewing (Dallas)
    BOB (Twin Peaks)
    Benjamin Linus (Lost)
    Tony Soprano (The Sopranos)
    Eric Cartman (South Park)
    The Fonz (Happy Days)
    Ralph Hinkley (The Greatest American Hero)
    Kenny Powers (Eastbound & Down)
    Sherrif Lucas Buck (American Gothic)

  6. I second Stan Smith from American Dad!

    I also forward Peter Griffin, at least insofar as he can fight a giant chicken during protracted action scenes.

    Also, Turanga Leela of Futurama is a pretty badass fighter.

  7. Niea Vickstrøm

    FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. Seriously, the best character ever to grace TV… if he is not included in this, then there is certainly no validity to it!

    Sarah Lund from the Danish TV series “The Killing” perfectly fits the definition of badass (this is especially true in the second season).

  8. Bryan

    I loved “Alias” more than anybody, but skip Sydney Bristow and include her father Jack. Jack was the real bad-ass on that show!