Some of the best shows on television are about the dirty drug world. Whether they’re selling pot, meth, heroin or vampire blood, drug dealers make for fascinating characters. Enjoy this list, but first, a public-service announcement from Paste: Don’t deal drugs. You’ll either end up dead, in jail, pregnant, in Mexico, or pregnant in Mexico.
1. Walter White, Breaking Bad
This high-school chemistry teacher found out he had cancer and two years to live. He wanted to leave a nest egg for his wife and son, and his part-time job at the car wash wasn’t cutting it, so he did what anyone would do—called up a former student and started cooking crystal meth in an RV. Did I mention that his brother-in-law's a DEA agent?
2-3. Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell, The Wire
It's just not possible to pick one dealer in a show full of them. So with all due respect to ice-cold Marlo Stanfield, and to well-intentioned Prop Joe, we hereby acknowledge the two kingpins of the Barksdale empire—Avon and Stringer, the brains and the muscle—whose yin and yang partnership finally splits at the seams in this unforgettable scene.
4. Nancy Botwin, Weeds
She was just your average suburban soccer mom. Then her husband dropped dead and she started selling pot to provide for her family. Then she started growing it. Then she married a DEA agent. Then she got involved with a Mexican drug lord. Then she got pregnant with the mayor of Tijuana’s baby.
5. Lafayette Reynolds, True Blood
This guy’s a multi-tasker—a short-order cook and prostitute who sells a narcotic called “V,” which is really just vampire blood. Oh, and he does construction.