1. Gretchen Mol as Gillian Darmody on Boardwalk Empire
We pity Gillian. She was raped at 13, subsequently impregnated, and left to raise a son on her own with only some help from the pitying Nucky Thompson. But responding to that unfortunate situation by developing an increasingly unhealthy, inappropriate, and manipulative relationship with her son Jimmy (Michael Pitt) earns her the number one spot on this list as the worst TV mom ever.
The 13-year age difference was always going to hinder it from being your typical mother-son relationship, but the more time spent with her and Jimmy the more it became apparent that something was not right. By mid Season Two it was clear that Gillian had an actual attraction to her son and we feared he would be too powerless to her controlling ways to prevent something gross from happening.
Then came the big game-changer: It already happened! One drunken night Gillian successfully seduced her son, and the morning after he was so freaked out that he enlisted in the army and fought in WWI, setting in motion a chain of personality-altering events that would lead to his death. In effect, Gillian drove the confused, impressionable Jimmy to both incest and to betray Nucky, the only person who ever truly cared for him. Did we mention that leaves his toddler son orphaned and in her hands now? Ick.