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100 Years, 50 Losers: #35 – #31

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on December 4, 2008

#35.

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Bud Bundy, Married With Children

Played By: David Faustino

Born to Lose: To me, the story of Bud Bundy was something of a Great American Tragedy. He was, at least as John Hughes and his like would have me believe, your typical 80s teen male–that is to say, he had little social life or social skills to speak of, but would’ve pushed his grandmother in front of an oncoming train for a chance to get laid. Yet Bud’s dream girl, the girl for whom he probably would’ve committed a small genocide, just happened to be his sister. It’s a sexual tension I don’t believe is ever directly addressed on the show, but think about it–a near supernaturally horny dude like Bud lives a door or two down from a dumb, relatively easy, older girl like Kelly, played by possibly one of the five hottest women of the 1980s…and he can’t do a damn thing about it. If that’s not true loser tragedy, I certainly don’t care to know what would qualify.

Moment of Triumph: Apparently late in the series, Bud ends up getting with his cousin’s fiancee, played by Joey Lauren Adams. Not quite Christina Applegate, but a much more than respectable consolation prize.

#34.

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Jason, Home Movies

Voiced By: H. Jon Benjamin

Born to Lose: Jason is one of the all-time great Weird Kid characters–slightly loveable, somewhat creepy, unfortunately relatable. There are no real winner characters to be found on Home Movies, with the possible exceptions of gloriously enigmatic bully Shannon and Cynthia, the girl that Brendon had a crush on in a couple episodes, but you can tell that there’s something a little bit deeper to Jason’s loserdom. Like the episode where he and Brendon become fat enablers for each other and Jason keeps tempting him back to the dark side. Or when he shows his disturbing sugarholic tendencies at Fenton’s birthday party. Or any time his temper is stoked and he lets forth one of the most ungodly wailing voices ever heard from a TV character. It seems pretty likely to me that Brendon grows up to be a relatively functional NYU film student, and maybe Melissa goes on to be a theater kid at Vassar or something, but my bet is that Jason discovers how much better things look when they’re on fire when he’s 14, and it’s all downhill from there.

Classic Loser Quote: “PEOPLE HATE ME!!!

#33.

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John Munch, Homicide: Life on the Street, Law & Order: The SVU…

Played By: Richard Belzer

Born to Lose: Let’s talk about loser lifetime achievement, huh? John Munch is probably best known for his appearances on the two shows listed above, Homicide & SVU, but he has, as of December 2008, appeared on seven other shows as well, including both the original Law & Order and L&O: Trial By Jury, and episodes of The X-Files, The Wire, The Beat, Arrested Development, and even an episode of Sesame Street (“Special Letters Unit”)–thus making Munch the most prolific character in TV history, loser or otherwise. Still, despite this undeniable popularity, Munch is still a neurotic nerd at heart, tortured by bad marital decisions (at least four divorces to date) and the apparent eternal loneliness of being a Baltimore / New York police. And special points to Mr. Munch for repping the Jew loser lake no one since Woody Allen–especially because he doesn’t even seem to like being Jewish, which makes it all the more perfect.

Partner in Loserdom: Such is Munch’s kinship with the similarly romantically hard-lucked Detective Lennie Briscoe of the original Law & Order that they even shared a woman once, Briscoe revealing (on one of several Homicide / L&O crossovers) that he slept with Munch’s ex-wife Gwen after their divorce.

#32.

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Edgar Stiles, 24

Played By: Louis Lombardi

Born to Lose: Say what you will about 24–when you get past the show’s primary legacies of break-neck action, mind-numbing repitition, right-leaning ethics and uh, bear traps, the most long-lasting effect of 24 might end up being the fact that the show put forth two of the weirdest, most awkward recurring characters in modern television–the unsinkable Chloe, and the sadly departed Edgar. Lisping, heavily overweight, and lacking in certain social graces, you get the feeling that Edgar wasn’t going out for drinks with Jack, Tony, Michelle and Milo after work too often. His brilliant work for CTU was often detracted by his superiors, as well, and when he successfully stabilized 98 out of 99 nuclear power plants on the verge of meltdown, Secretary Heller just gave him shit for not getting #99. And worse, he clearly had a thing for Chloe, who instead goes off and sleeps with arrogant and possibly treacherous co-worker Spencer, who humiliates Edgar by asking “Do I have to spell it out for you?” when hinting at their previous liason.

Ultimate Low Point: Edgar’s death scene, as he gets trapped in CTU during a nerve gas attack while the rest of the staff is secured in the situation room. He exchanges a final glance with Chloe, and stares at her as if to say “I’ve loved you all this time and it would be really great if you could somehow let me know that you felt similarly before I die three seconds from now.” Her return glance, however, is more along the lines of “Gee I wish you weren’t dying right now because I hate having to feel anything besides mild annoyance.” Fat, lisping techies just can’t catch a break.

#31.

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Toby Flenderson, The Office

Played By: Paul Lieberstein

Born to Lose: No character on TV right now is as good at not smiling as Toby. Not frowning, necessarily–just not…smiling…ever. Toby is like a less cartoonish version of our #39, Ted from Scrubs–also divorced, also joyless, also with a near-violent distaste for their boss. But Toby isn’t so melodramatic as to appear suicidal, rather, he just walks around like the living dead, a man who has completely surrendered to life. His only real sort of happiness in life appears to come thorugh his unrequited crush on Pam, and he doesn’t even have the biggest (or closest to reciprocated) unrequited crush on Pam in his own office. Meanwhile, he is insulted, humiliated, and just all-out negated by Michael at all costs, including with the immortal “Casino Night” quote, “Why are you the way that you are? I hate SO MUCH about the way…that you choose to be.”

Little Known Fact: Paul Lieberstein is the real-life brother-in-law of Office show creator Greg Daniels, and won Emmys as a writer not only for this show, but on Daniels’ previous show, King of the Hill.

(Prev: #40-36 / Next: #30-26)

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100 Years, 50 Losers: #40 – #36

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on December 1, 2008

(Apologies for the near week-long sabbatical, suffice to say, various familial, economical and stuffing-related pursuits had to temporarily take precedence. Will not happen again in the immediate future.)

#40.

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Landry Clarke, Friday Night Lights

Played By: Jesse Plemons

Born to Lose: Further proof of Friday Night Lights‘ peerless abilities to make horrific cliches not only bearable but suspiciously compelling, Landry started out the show’s run as little more than the Horny Best Friend to the show’s moral center, Matt Saracen, and has ended up as one of the program’s core characters. Landry currently represents the show’s push and pull between wanting to be an accurate portrayal of teen existence and wanting to be a top-shelf Teen Drama; consequently, he somehow made the football team, but without making enough of an impression to get the coach to remember his name, and he somehow got school femme fatale Tyra Colette to fall in love with him, but eventually lost her to a French-speaking rodeo cowboy. But at the very least, Landry is not one of those Teen Drama loser characters where TV execs slap a pair of glasses and a shallow love of comic books on an otherwise normal person and expect audiences to understand; he looks like a loser, talks like a loser, has loser interests and, most importantly, loser charms. We could be doing a lot worse than to have him currently repping our ranks amongst the young’ns.

Partner in Loserdom: For a while in the show’s second season, the producers flirted with the idea of giving Landry a female equivalent as competition for Tyra. Jean was a cute, zombie movie-loving metalhead pixie accurately described by Matt as “God’s little gift to Landry.” As with Anna on The O.C., however, producers wisely concluded that one Landry was plenty, and Tyra and Landry were quickly reuinted. Jean has not returned since.

#39.

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Ted Buckland, Scrubs

Played By: Sam Lloyd

Born to Lose: Aside from being gainfully employed in something close to a respectable profession, Ted pretty much represents the Loser Worst Case Scenario. Middle-aged, bald, completely lacking ambition or self-confidence, divorced, still living with (and apparently sleeping in the same bed as) his mother, overworked and underappreciated. Such is the patheticness of Ted’s existence that he is shown contemplating suicide remarkably often for a show like Scrubs, he is usually either temporarily dissuaded or simply distracted before being able to follow through. His life is not completely without joy, as his a capella group and Air Band are shown to be sources of pride for Ted, as well as the one or two times a season he decides to stand up to Kelso, feels great, and immediately reverts to stoogedom aftewards. Still, were this list simply a measure of loserdom magnitude–or maybe if his character was a little less repetitive–Ted would be a certain top fiver.

Moment of Triumph: Making out with Danni (Tara Reid) at Turk and Carla’s not-wedding, and/or granting a sick patient’s with of hearing his favorite song once more by performing an a capella duet of Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me” with not-so-secret love Carla.

#38.

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Richie Cunningham, Happy Days

Played By: Ron Howard

Born to Lose: In retrospect, Happy Days was kind of ahead of its time in its representation of loserdom–a group of friends in which only one really appeared to have any notable success with the opposite sex, and seemingly refused to share his particularly egregious wealth. Even amidst the only semi-lovable goons he hung out with, though, Richie had to stand out as the short stack of the bunch, due to his goody-goody nature, sickly gait and quintessentially red hair. It’s hard to say whether gingerdom is an inextricable point towards loserdom, since off the top of my head, I can’t even think of any other TV shows brave enough to put one out there in any sort of prominence, much less as the show’s protagonist (an honor even referenced in one of the last funny South Park episodes). But who’s to say? Maybe a little dye job and some of the disturbingly large percentage of the female population of Kenoshia that the Fonz had tagged could’ve trickled down to him. He certainly wasn’t particularly discerning.

Breaking the Cycle: Apparently Richie goes on to find love at college, has a son with her (while she visits him at his army base in Greenland?), and eventually moves to Hollywood to become a screenwriter. There’s probably a reason they didn’t show any of these eps on Nick at Nite re-runs.

#37.

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Cavemen, GEICO Commercials

Played By: Jeff Daniel Philips and Ben Weber

Born to Lose: By almost any standards, the GEICO Cavemen are successes. They dress well, eat well, dance well, play tennis well, and keep company with attractive females. However, their status will always be held in check because of what they are: pawns in the game of a particularly cruel insurance company that appears hell bent on belittling them and haunting their existence at every possible turn. Consequently, they are unable to enjoy their success–hounded at basketball games, mocked in political debates, forced to question their identity at all times–frankly, it’s no surprise that they ended up in therapy. Perhaps if their TV show had run on a little longer, they could’ve exorcized some of their demons, or at least gotten out from the oppressive GEICO thumb. As is, the best they can do is take solace in the fact that they still have a higher station in life than that idiot explorer dude from the Gekko ads.

Unlikely Loser Branding: I can’t help but wonder what effect, if any, these commercials have had on the popularity of Roast Duck with Mango Salsa throughout the known universe of fancy restaurants.

#36.

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X the Eliminator, Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law

Voiced By: Peter MacNicol (Really? I had no idea)

Born to Lose: “I’m trying to kill him, and he doesn’t even know I exist!” All comic supervillians are pretty losery to begin with–by definition, really, since they tend to lose to the superhero 99% of the time, but also because they tend to be obsessive, nerdy loners, occasionally with extreme wealth but usually without much of a social life. X took this predilection to its logical extreme, as his relationship with arch-enemy Harvey Birdman is more that of a creepy stalker and his unreciprocating stalkee than of any legitimate rivalry, and his duels with Birdman not only rarely result in victory, they rarely result in anyone even noticing that they’re happening. Unsurprisingly, X’s home life is shown to be uninspiring at best, and even his sole goal in life–to procure the crest of Birdman’s helmet, possibly by killing him–is largely purposeless, since no one, including Harvey, seems to know if Birdman’s crest actually does anything. One of the great underrated Adult Swim characters.

Damned With Faint Wikipedia Description: “X sometimes arrives at Harvey’s office to destroy him, he tends to be thwarted by inattentive office personnel.”

(Prev: #45-41 / Next: #35-31)

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100 Years, 50 Losers: #45 – #41

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on November 25, 2008

#45.

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Stewart Stevenson, Beavis & Butthead

Voiced By: Adam Welsh

Born to Lose: Beavis and Butthead weren’t exactly kings of the hill themselves, but they were still at least one step higher in the pecking order than poor little Stewart. A nice, mild-mannered mama’s boy, Stewart for some reason made the questionable decision to make hanging out with B&B his greatest social aspiration, a judgement call which resulted all too often in him either getting in trouble when B&B framed him for their misdeeds or getting his ass kicked by associaton. If we could’ve seen him grow up for a few years, no doubt Stewart would wisen enough to realize how little B&B cared for him, make friends with one of his science teachers and run out the High School clock in a life of dignified loneliness before getting into a good school and learning that the only thing better than watching The X-Files at 3 AM by yourself is doing so stoned with a bunch of friends. Too bad the show was animated, I guess.

Little Known Fact: Stewart’s legendary Winger t-shirt–permanently sealing the band’s metal punchline status–was created out of vindication. Had Kip Winger not so incensed Mike Judge by bitching about the boys’ cruel disregarding of his band’s videos, “Miles Away” and “Headed for a Heartbreak” might at least currently be karaoke perennials. As is, I think we need at least another 20 years.

#44.

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Roz Doyle, Frasier

Played By: Peri Gilpin

Born to Lose: A relatively smart, sneakily attractive and comparatively earthy working girl, Roz might’ve been an unqualified winner if she had better luck (or taste) in dudes. Forever harboring a penchant for ex-frat boys, Roz was perpetually in and out of bad relationships, including glorious scumbag co-worker Bulldog, a college student that ends up knocking her up, and on at least one regrettable occasion, ol’ bossman Frasier himself. Not that Frasier and Niles always had impeccable taste either, as the latter especially flirted with romantic loserdom over the course of the show, but somehow it was always Roz who ended up on the losing end of the bad jokes. She ends up relatively successful as a station manager and single mom, but while everyone else on the show seemed to couple off by the end, Mr. Right never did quite show up for Roz. Maybe she ended up giving Noel a chance after getting drunk on her 50th birthday or something.

What We Almost Lost: Before she went on to frolic around a fountain and listen to The Rembrandts, Lisa Kudrow was famously groomed for the role of Roz. Ironically, the actress who would go on to define aggressively quirky sitcom acting in the 90s was cut from the show because Grammar “overpowered her” in scenes together.

#43.

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Hugo “Hurley” Reyes, LOST

Played By: Jorge Garcia

Born to Lose: It wasn’t just that Hurley was a loser by nature–nature made damn sure at every possible turn that Hurley never actually won. With a ~400 lb gait, a slacker’s demeanor and Cheech Marin as a father, he was never going to be much of a go-getter, but even winning the lottery turned out to be nothing but a huge curse for Hurley. Maybe he thought he had escaped his bad luck on the Island, making some friends, going on some nifty missions and even getting a little girlfriend for a little while, but there’s no escaping The Numbers, and not only does his belle ends up getting murdered by one of his friends, his potentially automatic weight loss is offset by bountiful rations of food getting dropped on the island (DAMMIT!). And though we don’t know why yet, the fact that he ends up back in the mental hospital, haunted by his dead islandmates, probably doesn’t bode too well for Hurley’s fortune turning around any time soon.

Moment of Triumph: In the proud tradition of fat guys everywhere, Hurley turns out to be a master ping-pong player, schooling a predictably cocky Sawyer in a Season Three episode. Too bad there are no bowling alleys or bar trivia contests on the island.

#42.

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Trent Lane, Daria

Voiced By: Alvaro J. Gonzalez

Born to Lose: “Hey Daria.” God bless the 90s for allowing a show where a character like Trent could not only avoid being comic relief, but could actually be a veritable pixilated heartthrob–girl losers wanted him, and guy losers wanted to be him. A post-adolescent with no considerable aspirations beyond singing and playing guitar in his band Myystic Spyyral (but they’re thinking about changing the name), Trent was the animated poster boy for the soy un perdido decade. He was scruffy, he was rail-thin, and he was laid back to the point of near-sonnambulism. Unlike live-action slackers-in-arms like Jordan Catalano or Daniel DeSario, though, Trent was actually a pretty cool guy, not nearly as emotionally inept as the former or as insiduously manipulative as the latter. He was just sapping up the glory of those last few years of youthful aimlessness before 25 squelched his passion and he ended up as a “townie doing Doors covers.”

Legacy of Loserdom: The similarly guitar-fixated, van-driving, lax-demeanored (not to mention exceptionally more talented) Dwayne from Home Movies owes much to Trent’s shining example. He’d merit a place on the list himself were he not amidst such stiff competition from his co-stars.

#41.

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Andrea Zuckerman, Beverly Hills, 90210

Played By: Gabrielle Carteris

Born to Lose: Oh, Andrea. There’s not a single character on this list less enjoyable to watch than Andrea Zuckerman–she was shrill, she was boring, she was an impediment to just about everything good that 90210 had going for it. But it would be heavily remiss of me to not at least pay some low-seeded respect to the first loser girl of the teen soap genre, a tricky archetype that almost 20 years later, has arguably still yet to be perfected. And oh boy, was Andrea a loser–stressing about safe sex while remaining a virgin herself, taking her high school newspaper far too seriously, and harboring a (mostly) unreciprocated infatuation with co-writer (and in many ways, co-loser) Brandon. But rather than being cute and endearing for her dorkiness, Andrea was just kind of a wet blanket, looking and acting like she should be handing out tardy slips or Scarlet Letter lesson plans instead of pretending like she was one of the gang–unsurprising, given that in real life she was about a decade older than many of her co-stars.

Breaking the Cycle: Ironically, Andrea would appear to reverse-age as the show went on and she started dressing and getting into soapy entanglements more like the rest of the cast, evolving her character from irritating to redundant. Whether this was an upgrade is (possibly) a subject of great debate.

(Prev: #50 – 46 / Next: #40-36)

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100 Years, 50 Losers: #50 – #46

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on November 22, 2008

#50.

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Matt McNamara, Nip/Tuck

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.

#49.

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The Dog, Foghorn Leghorn Cartoons

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.”

#48.

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Xander Harris, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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.”

#47.


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DeAndra “Sweet Dee” Reynolds, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

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.

#46.

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Cassidy “Beaver” Casablancas, Veronica Mars

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.

(Next: #45-41)

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GDB Essentials: 100 Years, 50 Losers

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on November 21, 2008

You call THAT a list?

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Things have been slow around here lately, I know. My creative energies are being sapped by a new job and another blog, no doubt, but I’ve also just been sort of short on inspiration in general lately. However, there is one thing that never fails to inspire me, and that is the long-form list format. And this–the top 50 loser characters of all-time–is one I’ve been planning for about as long as I remembered. As a card-carrying loser myself, this is obviously a subject very near and dear to my heart, as these are the characters I’ve looked up to over the course of my TV-watching life, measured myself against loser-wise, and found solace with when my loserdom occasionally got me down. I just wanted to make sure I could come up with 50 concrete entries before I actually set out to write it, to properly give the subject the treatment it deserves. But now I think I’ve come up with a good bunch, and it seems like as good a time as any to start unveiling it.

What makes for a loser, you might ask? Well, as with a villain, there is no concrete definition. Generally speaking, though, they are a character whose station in life would be perceived in common wisdom to be lacking or unsatisfactory, either due to lack of professional success, personal success, or success in the achieving of other desired goals. Perennially single, often unemployed, disrespected by their peers, domineered by their betters, always a step behind in their main objective and outpaced by the competition–these are all fairly telltale signs of loserdom. Unsurprisingly, many of these characters are unhappy, frustrated and/or anger-filled individuals. However, the loser appelation need not always be seen as a negative, as several of these characters have found comfort in their life’s status, learned to work within their limitations, and made the wise decision to not question why or ask for more.

As for the more precise qualifications, I generally tried to stay away from show protagonists, so while Adrian Monk or Lindsay Weir may have compelling loser credentials, we see a little too much of their worlds for such a branding. Also, while characters need not either revel or despair in their loserdom, they need to at least be slightly aware of it, so completely oblivious characters like Leopold “Butters” Stotch would be disqualified as well. For the interest of diversity, I put the limit of losers per show at two, though a remarkable few could have fielded at least four or five worthy Top 50ers. And generally speaking, it has to be a show I know pretty well to make the list, so a lot of 70s and 80s sitcom characters will be MIA, and the list will probably have a fairly disproportionate amount of cartoon characters–kiddie, adult and in-betweeners.

Unfortunately, my list is also extremely heavily skewed towards the male. I attribute this to several things–first and foremost, to the fact that before Square Pegs, I’m not even sure if TV realized that girls had the capability to be losers, and then after that continued to rend them an extremely under-represented minority group. Second, I think girls are held to a different standard for loserdom than guys are, since the primary exit from loser status is usually sexual prowess, which it seems most girls are assumed to at least possess in some capacity by mere virtue of having tits. Thirdly, as a male loser myself, I can’t help but tend to identify the obvious qualities in other males, likely easier than I would in a female loser. Ladies, feel free to holler if you hear me and let me know where I’m missing out when it’s all over. I’ve at least included a couple from your ranks than can certainly hang with my guys any day.

Five a day, starting tomorrow and continuing sporadically. Prepare to get crazy with the cheese whiz.

(Next: #50 – #46)

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