Sue Sylvester

February 01, 2011

You're doing nothing dimwitted on Sue's watch.

Not in years has a villain been both universally reviled and adored on television. Actress Jane Lynch has bagged that kind of attention from playing the viciously calculating Sue Sylvester on Fox’s hit show Glee. Lynch even has the Emmy and Golden Globe as proof.

Sue Sylvester is the ultimate take-no-prisoner woman in McKinley High School. She is as mean as you can get without being a murderer. Sometimes there are far worse lots than death; one of them is being victimized by Sue.

She is virtually McKinley High’s biggest bully. While other school bullies are still throwing slushies, Sue has already browbeaten and blackmailed teachers, students, and one principal. That is, to say nothing of randomly pushing people in the hallways. She manages to deliver the show’s bitchiest comebacks all at the same time:


Scheming and tenacious, Sue Sylvester wants everything done the way she “Cs” it, notwithstanding how twisted such a new order would be. She hatches more devious plans than she has Adidas tracksuits, each with far-reaching, Loki-style consequences.

Throughout the show, Sue Sylvester’s object of hate is the newly revived glee club of the school, led by Will Schuester.  She sees New Directions as an ever-present threat to the budget of Cheerios, the cheerleading team which she coaches. At times, her animosity toward New Directions is just irrational.

For all her vindictiveness, Sue is docility itself when faced with her sister, who suffers from Down’s Syndrome. Her scenes with her sister can be among the more heartrending episodes of the series. Generally, whenever she finds love, whether in a man or her sister, Sue is not averse to showing her softer side.

Politically, Sue Sylvester is all over the place. At one point, she would be campaigning for pro-littering. In another, she would be taking up cudgels for Kurt and his atheism when New Directions forced him to perform spiritual songs.

In any case, Sue Sylvester’s nature can leave even the most seasoned politician foaming at the mouth.  She has a way of making wrong things right and vice-versa, a skill for better or worse lacking in many government officials. Either Sue is one of the most irritating TV baddies—or the craziest president America never had. 

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