These Characters Have the Most Baggage… Ever
Characters with lots of baggage are arguably the most addictive ones to watch. We all have an affinity for baggage that mirrors our own lives, especially in its varying extremes as seen on the small screen. Getting to watch someone else grapple with similar s**t is both satisfying and educational. We're reminded that we're not alone in our struggles, and we get to witness what may (or may not) be viable solutions.
Somehow, it's equally enthralling to witness those with baggage that's totally different than our own. We get to step into someone else's shoes and feel things we may have never experienced—even if those feelings aren't fun. Hey, humans are weird.
Below, we're celebrating characters who are seriously weighed down by their baggage. (Meanwhile we'll continue carrying the weight of our own invisible backpacks of shame. Let us live). Fair warning, there are mini spoilers below!
Matthew Roydon, A Discovery of Witches
When you’ve lived for thousands of years, you're bound to collect baggage. Matthew Clairmont—or, Roydon, depending on where you are in the season—has many secrets he's harboring from his loved ones in the present. We won't spoil what those are... however, the loss of his wife and child thousands of years ago, returning both physically and mentally to his traumatic past, and having Daddy Issues adds a lot to Matthew's list as he time walks in season two of A Discovery of Witches.
This inevitably begs the question: can love survive under so much pressure?
Saul, Better Call Saul
Jimmy/Saul in Better Call Saul has that sibling inferiority complex. You know, that ole familiar baggage some of us carry from feeling we'll never live up to our sibling's achievements. Similar to Kendall Roy of Succession (who we'll get to next), Saul finds himself being weighed down by his older brother Chuck. His pain manifests itself in ways that you can both loathe, and sympathize with, all at once.
Kendall Roy, Succession
There isn’t one member of the Succession family that's light on baggage, but Kendall takes number one. One thing characters with baggage rarely do, is come to their issues with vulnerability and openness. Instead, they tend to project their baggage onto others. Kendall's emotional baggage may be wrapped up in Hermes and Louis Vuitton suitcases, but even those can get overpacked. Soon they begin to bursts at the seams. With his drug abuse, Daddy Issues, and the pressure to remain a good dad and partner, Kendall's problems seem to erupt every episode, making him a strong nominee for this category.
Here Kendall has a rare, vulnerable moment with his sister:
Mr. Big, Sex and The City
I recently rewatched SATC in my thirties, and I gotta say it felt like a completely different show than the one I watched during puberty. Anyone else feel that way? Maybe it's due to the multiple narcissists my friends and I have attracted over the years, but today, watching Mr. Big string Carrie along feels like the biggest, tallest, brightest red flag ever. His fear of commitment, mercurial nature, and womanizing ways makes him a perfect fit for this list.
If you need more convincing, or just miss seeing Mr. Big be Mr. Big, here are the top ten moments when Mr. Big was, well, the worst:
Don Draper, Mad Men
Don Draper tried to forget his past as Dick, but it all caught up with him. He was the boy who lost his mother at birth, and later when he was 10 years old, lost his alcoholic father when he was kicked to death by a horse. If that wasn't enough, Draper was then raised in a brothel and forced to pickpocket to survive. It was here that he became a victim of molestation, losing his virginity to an older sex worker. And if that wasn't enough baggage already, he then enlisted in the Korean War and experienced all the trauma that comes with that. As Don Draper goes from used car salesman to ad exec, he tries to leave all of his trauma behind, disguising it with nice suits, cigars, and smooth-talking. But, as we all know, trauma is never gone. And in Don's case, it was left to simmer until it all came back to haunt him.
Mare, Mare of Easttown
Kate Winslet acts her socks off looking like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders in Mare of Easttown. Mare, the e-cigarette chain-smoking detective looks like she's trying to exhale some of that painful baggage with every drag. But her baggage is very heavy. Mare lost her son to suicide and that grief is sown into her soul. Her ex-husband lives in the house behind hers, the one they used to live in together. Plus, she's entangled in some major mother-daughter relationship issues. But all of this is what makes Mare so watchable. You root for her and ache for her, all while wondering how the hell she gets out of bed in the morning.
Ruth Fisher, Six Feet Under
Ruth Fisher has been the caretaker all of her life. As the exquisite Six Feet Under progresses, those 30-years of uncared for baggage starts to boil over. Ruth Fisher is a first class lesson in why it's so important that we care for ourselves before we care for others. If not, we risk bursting at the seams just as she did.
Tony Soprano, The Sopranos
All of the guilt around being a Mafia Boss leads Tony Soprano to develop a major anxiety disorder. Plus, he's trying to deal with balancing his work, his home life, his mistresses, and his very difficult mother. It all starts to take a toll on every aspect of Tony’s life. Having to pretend he's fine adds another layer of stress, and soon the stuff he's holding inside gets released in the worst kinds of ways.
While he does seek help, Tony Soprano is a tough nut to crack, even for the best of the therapists:
Now we all know that this is just the tip of the iceberg. People with baggage are what make TV and Film worth watching. So let us know who you think we've missed!
Plus, don't miss Season 2 of A Discovery of Witches, to see Matthew's baggage on full display. You can stream new episodes every week on amc.com and AMC apps. New episodes air Sundays 8/7c.
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