Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Best 'Baddie' Ever

The Best 'Baddie' Ever

I've been a very keen watcher of 24 since Christmas when I recieved the box set of all 8 series as a Christmas present. I'd never watched any of the series before as when it started I was 9 and it never really crossed my mind until the last couple of years. Anyway, so far I'm halfway through series 3 and have been hooked from the start.

If you haven't seen 24 yet but intend to, don't read this paragraph because it's a spoiler alert. I think the twist in season 1 of 24 at the end of the series where Nina Myers turns out to be a baddie is the biggest twist and biggest shock I've ever seen in any television programme or film. And in season 2 and 3 she comes into them for a few episodes as a baddie again and whilst watching her come back again as ingenius, dangerous, limitless, villianous Nina Myers again I've come to the conclusion that she is the best baddie I've ever seen.

She is played by American actress Sarah Clarke, in her early 30's whilst in 24 and is attractive, trustworthy and admirable as a nice, likeable, intelligent woman at the beginning with a close relationship to Jack Bauer and Tony Almeida, the agents either side of her grade and has had romantic experiences with them in the past.

Yet, despite working with Jack and the rest of CTU throughout season 1 to bring down terrorists and save Jack's wife and daughter, thus gaining our trust and respect as a good character, she turns out to be a baddie working against Jack and CTU as a mole in order to assist the terrorists. It was a massive twist and a huge shock and all of a sudden our minds place Nina as a complex character, one we initially recognise in our minds as the trustworthy, good, life saving character, but now also the treatourous, evil bad character she really is. She kills Jack's wife and then comes back to help plant a bomb in Los Angeles and try to unleash a deadly virus.

So when she comes back we see her formerly usual loyal, trustworthy, nice facial expression having turned into one possessing an evil smirk and a devious glint in her eye. All of a sudden she's completely untrustworthy, manipulative, dangerous and highly capable of causing mass disaster. We're brought into the reality of her being a character with no morality or conscience, someone who is capable of killing anyone for her own gain. The actress describes it well in the above video, Nina was a 'role model' at the start and yet turns into a mole, this role model figure being dramatically turned into the complete opposite worked very well and created huge drama and suspense.

And it's very effective on the mind, it's not exactly a technical term, but it's mind blowing. The complete transformation of this character and not only that, how good she is at being a villain is amazing. She's evil, dangerous and yet sexy with a clever wit and it extremely unpredictable and intelligent. Yet you can't help but always compare her with the noble, role model character she portrayed in season 1 and be shocked at the dramatic twist of her character and what a great villain she's become later on. 

I always thought the best baddie I've seen is Alan Rickman in Die Hard (as Hans Gruber) and that people like Ralph Fiennes in Harry Potter and Philip Seymour Hofmann in Mission: Impossible 3 where close runners (off the top of my head) but Sarah Clarke as Nina Myers beats them all. She not only beats them but comes back, slaps them in the face and then beats them again.

She's evil, mind- blowing, manipulative, extremely capable, dangerous, super intelligent, beautiful and scheming, as well as having no moral conscience. She's the perfect baddie and her relationships and links to other characters in the series help this as they make her villainy more personal and emotional. Kim seeing her for the first time since she'd killed her mother in season 3 is a dramatic moment, it's so emotional and personal and has that shock factor. How will she react? What will she do? What would I do in her shoes? The same with Jack when he sees her for the first time again in season 2 and even has to work with her to get information on other bad guys.

It's brilliantly worked and fantastically written, I can't help but admire the writers for how well they created and developed Nina as a character and equally I can't help but admire Sarah Clarke for acting out her role so terrifically, I don't know if she could have done it any better even.

The show is utter genius and Nina is without a doubt the best baddie I've ever seen.

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