100 Years, 50 Losers: #50 – #46
Posted by Andrew Unterberger on November 22, 2008
Played By: John Hensley
Born to Lose: Unlike many on this list, Matt McNamara was not actually a natural born loser. Good-looking, bright, moderately resourceful–there’s no doubt that in the proper set of circumstances, Matty could’ve led a healthy, fulfilling life in the silent majority. Unfortunately for him, he happened to be born into the most fucked up TV universe in primetime soap history, and his first two major relationships were with a lesbian and a psychotic MTF transsexual. Oh, and his father turned out to be his faux-father’s best friend from an affair his mom had 18 years previously. Cults, religious zealotry, hard drug use–all just a season or two away at this point. Last I saw, Matt was in the hospital for blowing his motel up doing meth, and apparently since then he’s fallen in love with his biological sister. A fascinating piece of evidence in the Nature vs. Nurture loserdom debate.
Ultimate Low Point: Hard to choose for Matt, but I think getting beaten up and then pissed on by a group of vengeful trannies would have to at least be in the top five.
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Born to Lose: To be fair, it’s possible that The Dog (or Barnyard Dawg, as he is apparently officially known) has a very rewarding homelife, with a loving bitch and obediant pups, where he lays his hat every night and that allows him to sleep easy with a light heart. But in the daylight hours, he couldn’t be too much more of a sap, perpetually at the receiving end of banzai assaults from one Foghorn Leghorn, jogging him from his slumber in the cruelest ways possible (pictured above is the most frequent form of attack, that of the wooden plank upside the ass). It’s not entirely clear why FL decided to play the tormentor with regards to The Dog, and often times he pays the price for it, since BD usually comes back to whoop Foggy’s ass tenfold after his rude awakenings. But such victories are pyrrhic at best, since it never dissuades Foghorn from smacking him in the nose during the next day’s naptime.
Unknown Depths and Complexities: According to the Wikipedia entry, The Dog might not be as innocent a pawn in the rooster’s game as it would seem. “Although Dawg is normally potrayed as the straight man for Foghorn’s pranks, in Mother was a Rooster, he is potrayed in a very negative light, as he not only steals an ostrich egg (he justifies this by explaining that it’s been kind of dull round the farm lately, giving reference to his four year peace between him and Foghorn between “Weasel While You Work” and “Mother Was A Rooster”), he mocks the hatched ostrich, which Foghorn has adopted, and cheats in a boxing match with the rooster.”
Played By: Nicholas Brendon
Born to Lose: Xander was never really the most loveable of losers–even his best friends seemed to just sort of be humoring him a lot of the time. Still, he earns a place on this list due to having one of the more potent unrequited crushes in TV loserdom history, as his feelings for Ms. Buffy remain perpetually unreciprocated, as she goes out with a seires of some of the blandest dudes on the planet (including those who are not even human). Xander eventually gets with enough hot chicks over the course of the show that he can not be much higher than #48, but his never-consumated passion for Buffy makes him forever at least an honorary loser. Plus, his gabbiness, nerdiness and nervous twittering make him the unofficial precedent for a loser to come significantly higher on this list.
Moment of Triumph: In “The Zeppo,” after helping her fight off some demons, Xander swiftly loses his virginity to Faith (Eliza Dushku, at the very peak of her formidable hotness). Later, in the midst of planning how he’s going to stop a group of undead from wreaking havoc on Sunnydale, he takes the time to remark, “I can’t believe I just had sex.”
Played By: Kaitlin Olson
Born to Lose: Sweet Dee was originally planned in Philly to be a tempering influence, to be the sort of voice of reason among the lunacy of the rest of the Paddy’s gang. This was stupid for a number of reasons, one being that it fell in line with the common TV misconception that females were somehow incapable of being as scummy as males, and two being that Sweet Dee was more likeable the more pathetic and despicable that she got. She was always a good loser, crushing on gay guys, teenagers and felons, but you could say that the episode towards the end of the second season, where she tempts Rickety Cricket away from his life in the church with vows of her love and then suggests that maybe he should try to go back, was sort of her official indoctrination into the gang’s nihilistic universe. From that point on, she was as miserable, evil and unsympathetic as anyone else on that show, and certainly all the better for it.
Real-Life Retribution: Kaitlin Olson has apparently found real-world happiness with Rob McElhenny, who plays the similarly hapless Mac on Sunny.
Played By: Kyle Gallner
Born to Lose: Remember, kids–sexual dysfunction = mass-murderer. From the torrents of abuse he received from his older brother Dick (the impressively detestable Ryan Hansen), and his apparent lack of interest in girlfriend Mac (the suitably cute Tina Majorino) it was always obvious that something with young Beaver was not quite right. Still, props to Rob Thomas (show creator, not M20 mastermind) for taking it as far as he did with Cassidy, making him not just a troubled young soul but the veritable criminal mastermind behind the grand msyteries of season two. It’s almost difficult to classify Cassidy as a loser because he was clearly prodigious in his villainy, manipulating his family and friends into making his schemes possible, but his misdeeds were not out of a desire to get rich or take over the world, but just to cover him his own sordid past, as well as his alleged homosexuality. Plus, he doesn’t get away with it at the end. Loser.
All’s Well That Ends Well: Apparently Gallner goes on to play a High School student accusing a teacher (played by Melissa Joan Hart) of statuatory rape in an ep of Law & Order: SVU. Niiiice.