If you were asked which fictional TV characters you would invite round for dinner, some people might say JD and Turk, maybe the Doctor for his endless adventures or possibly John Luther for his grizzly outlook on life. Here, however, are a few characters it might be best not to serve your home-made cheesecake.
Nelson Van Alden (Boardwalk Empire)
The first on my list is Nelson Van Alden, the prohibition enforcement agent on a mission to cleanse the earth from all sin.
It is fairly obvious that one of the main reasons for not dropping Nelson an invite is his tendency to brutally assault anyone serving alcohol. This is a man who took great pleasure in luring an unsuspecting waiter into a trap by ordering a celebratory ‘drink’ before smashing his head into a table. Therefore I think it is fair to say his presence certainly limits the beverage options to Shloer and other non-alcoholic drinks.
An important element of an enjoyable evening is fluid conversation. Therein lies the main problem in inviting Mr Van Alden. Not only does he lack any detectable sense of humour, but additionally he is in possession of one of the most blood chillingly creepy smiles you will ever see. It’s a smile which renders you unsure if he is planning to disembowel you or if he genuinely found something tickling – so even if he is having a hoot we’ll never know.
And finally, post-Age of Enlightenment, debate about religion is now acceptable in the public sphere. However, if you value life itself and the air that you breathe then religion is a conversational direction I would strongly advise against should you invite Nelson. This is an individual that has a tendency to whip himself out of penitence and once drowned a man at a baptism ceremony. Therefore, all things being considered, it would probably be best not to invite Nelson.
Gustavo Fring (Breaking Bad)
The reasons against inviting ‘Gus’ are less obvious than the other two characters in this article, but he is by no means less threatening. On the surface Gus may seem like the ideal dinner guest. An educated man with much to tell of his travels and business ventures (the legitimate ones), he could even bring his Chilean soup that he frequently drones on about. But, like an innocent looking Death Cap mushroom, you will not realise the fatal mistake of misjudging Gus until it is too late.
However, unlike a Death Cap mushroom, with Gustavo Fring liver and kidney failure isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. His danger is multi-faceted, be it arranging a hit on you in typical drug world fashion for insulting his mum’s soup or by simply poisoning all the guests present for boring him. In relation to the last danger in particular, don’t be fooled if he consumes the food and drink as readily as the rest – this man is so ludicrously committed to killing that he will ingest the poison himself to lull his victims into a false sense of security.
Like Nelson, it may be best to stay out of Gus’ business if you don’t want to meet a gruesome end.
Joffrey Baratheon (Game of Thrones)
My final nightmare guest is the top nomination for TV character people would most like to be thrown into a boxing ring with Muhammad Ali at his prime. It is a task out of my skill set to effectively summarise all the reasons for my blinding hatred towards Joffrey.
As I said, Joffrey has many intolerable features but perhaps surprisingly the first nightmarish drawback to inviting Joffrey is not him but his entourage. Joffrey has an absence of any sort of identifiably ‘normal’ sense of humour, but he is far and away surpassed in this absence by Illyn Payne – a man of few words. It would certainly be an atmosphere killer having this cold figure awkwardly standing around. In addition to Illyn Payne, you would have to invite Cersei Lannister along too. She would definitely sneer at anything and everything you served and in all honesty nobody wants to dine with someone who has slept with their own brother.
Now onto to the little snotty-nosed brat himself. To say that Joffrey’s sense of humour is a tad strange is about as much of an understatement as saying Nick Clegg is a tad unpopular with the students of 2013. For whatever reason should you possess a crossbow, I would keep it out of sight should you invite this piece of work. But most of all, Joffrey’s response, should he be at the wrong end of a joke; ‘I am your king…!’ may get a bit tiring after a while.
It is never a good idea to invite an irritable child to dinner, but especially not this one.