Characters Badly Mistreated By 'Heroes'
While we tend to focus on the protagonists of our favorite movies and TV shows, there are a ton of supporting characters worthy of our attention. For every James Bond, there's a Moneypenny. For every Captain Kirk, there's whatever Ensign was in charge of weaving Captain Kirk's toupees. If we look back at some of our favorite stories from the point of view of these minor characters, we can't help but notice that some of them get totally crapped on by our "heroes" such as how ...
Back to the Future-- Jennifer is Treated Like Literal Garbage
In addition to the legacy of Chuck Berry, the Back to the Future series really screws over Jennifer Parker, Marty's girlfriend and denim vest trailblazer. She's barely in the first movie and even though the ending tees her up for an expanded role in the sequel, Doc Brown immediately zaps her with one of the many over-the-counter electric roofie machines we all had in 2015. Why? Well she had a few entirely reasonable questions about the flying DeLorean she was currently wedged inside that apparently Doc couldn't spare 45 seconds to answer.
Jennifer isn't part of Doc's plan to manipulate the timeline, so instead of simply leaving her in the damn car, Doc and Marty toss her limp body on a pile of garbage down a filthy alley. She ends up getting picked up by the cops which, considering they could have discovered her being whizzed on by futuristic drunks, seems like kind of a best-case scenario.
When they return Jennifer to 1985, Marty and Doc make the baffling decision to drop her off in the middle of the night, even though they left in the morning, presumably worrying her family for absolutely no reason. This also means that they can't get into her house, so yet again they just abandon her unconscious body, this time on a porch swing.
Which would have been a dick move even in the regular timeline, but we later find out that Marty and Doc inadvertently created a murder-filled alternate 1985. So do they go back for her? Hell no. Doc theorizes that if they go back to the '50s and fix things, Jennifer will be fine -- which is a total guess. Once Marty has repaired the timeline, he could return to Jennifer just 5 minutes after his past self dropped her off, because, again, he has a time machine. But, for some reason, he sets the time circuits for the next morning.
Home Alone-- Harry and Marv are Victims of a Troubled Economy
As kids, we all rooted for Home Alone's Kevin McCallister, the abandoned child whose only real crime was wanting a slice of cheese pizza. But thinking about the movie now, it's a little weird that we all cheered for the rich kid as he straight-up tries to murder two unarmed burglars. While we don't get a full backstory for Harry and Marv, there are some subtle details that imply that the situation may be more nuanced than we first thought. Remember how they're the "Wet Bandits"? They don't just steal things, they flood people's homes on their way out. This isn't incidental; it's a clue to their tragic origin. The other big clue is the fact that they ride around in a plumbing truck!
This implies that the bandits are out of work plumbers who have been forced to turn to crime. And they're not just robbing anyone, they're specifically targeting the wealthiest neighborhood in town; exacting revenge on the 1%. In this light, one could easily imagine, say, a Hustlers-esque story where these cash-strapped working class heroes who seek retribution from the millionaires who profit off of their suffering.
The problem is Home Alone never imbues these two with an ounce of humanity, they're just two bags of meat who exist only to absorb unnecessarily cruel injuries perpetrated by a bloodthirsty 8-year-old. Which is especially disturbing because in one brief shot, you can clearly see that Harry is wearing a wedding ring.
We never see where Harry lives -- for all we know he's a family man, and these burglaries are just to put food on the table at Christmastime. God forbid the McCallisters get robbed and can't afford another swank European vacation everyone complains about.
Return of the Jedi-- A Lot of Folks at Jabba's Palace Didn't Deserve to Die
Over the years, some fans have pointed out that Luke Skywalker likely blew up the unwitting custodial staff of the Death Star in their Rebel assault, but we'd like to point out some other innocent lives that were claimed by this reckless, superpowered youth. At the beginning of Return of the Jedi we see the occupants of Jabba's palace, albeit through a haze of space-opium smoke. Sure, there were a lot of crooks and bounty hunters, but there was also a musical group: the Max Rebo band, led by an alien that looks like a waterlogged Babar on vicodin.
There was nothing particularly evil about the band, they probably just went where the work happened to be. Since the only other venue in town was being hogged by that damn Cantina Band, Jabba's joint was a public forum for Max to play his (unfortunately named) "jizz" music. Booking gigs is tough for any musician, let alone one whose genre is synonymous with ejaculate. So Max Rebo and his pals are just innocently playing their spermy tunes on Jabba's sail barge when this happens:
Having lived through a decade of Limp Bizkit music, we're not unsympathetic to the urge to blow a band to smithereens -- but Luke Skywalker is supposed to be a Jedi, shouldn't he be protecting the innocent? We even feel bad for Jabba's monkey-lizard sidekick Salacious Crumb. He was basically just an abused pet with a tragic backstory; kidnapped and forced to amuse Jabba once a day or be executed. Sure he had an annoying laugh, but you wouldn't want Seth Rogen to explode to death in a desert, would you?
Ghostbusters-- Pretty Much Every Customer is Needlessly Mistreated
After leaving cushy university jobs and investing all their money and assets into a new business, you'd think the Ghostbusters would treat their customers, you know, like human beings? Instead these struggling entrepreneurs never miss an opportunity to dunk on, or outright harass, their undeserving clients. At the beginning of the movie, the Ghostbusters have just two customers. First there's Dana Barrett, who they assist by sending Peter Venkman over to her apartment where he relentlessly hits on her. Then comes their first big gig: the Sedgewick Hotel haunting. They show up, loudly proclaim that there's a ghost in the building, then Venkman mentally undresses a guest. Real professional, guys.
The Ghostbusters proceed to bring illegal nuclear devices into the hotel, almost killing a member of the cleaning staff.
Think about it; if you hired someone to mow your lawn and they almost murdered someone in the process, you might expect some kind of discount. But no. Even after the near-deaths and a smoldering hotel ballroom , these grossly negligent men charge $5000 for their work. The total is seemingly full of made-up fees purely to bilk the snooty manager.
But this working class vs the elite framework makes no sense; this guy's just the manager of the hotel.. The Ghostbusters probably made more money as academics than this fellow does in his stressful job, which he probably won't even have after this debacle. The Ghostbusters totally con this member of the service industry because they're in massive debt thanks to rampant, irresponsible spending. These jerks deserve to be doing the children's birthday party circuit just five years later.
Riverdale-- Pop Tate Should Get the Hell Out of Riverdale
The "David Lynch meets Teen Vogue" hit CW show Riverdale has been going on for four long seasons now, and no one has suffered more in that time than poor old Pop Tate, the friendly owner of the local diner. That's literally all this man wanted to do; run a damn diner. But his life has constantly been thrown into a state of perpetual chaos, mostly because of the selfish actions of Archie and his friends. Throughout the course of the show, Pop's Chock'Lit Shoppe has been home to multiple shootings and later becomes ground zero for a violent gang war, thanks to Jughead.
And poor Pop gets dragged into an escalating rivalry between Veronica and her mobster dad Hiram Lodge. Hiram secretly buys the diner and forces Pop to wait on gangsters in a clandestine poker game. Then Veronica buys Pop's and opens a friggin' speakeasy in the basement, where she later runs an illegal casino. Veronica is such a sociopathic jackass about all matters concerning this senior citizen's livelihood that she gambles the deed to Pop's in a blackjack hand.
Demeaningly, Pop has to beg this wealthy high school girl to stop running criminal enterprises in the diner that's been in his family for generations.
Yeah ... she doesn't. In the most recent season, the joint gets raided because Veronica (who, again, is in high school) is operating a bootleg rum business. Pop should just pick up and leave for literally any other town. Preferably one where his happiness isn't constantly being threatened by the narcissistic whims of entitled adolescents.
Top Image: Warner Bros. Television