I am a perpetual rooter for the underdog. In any given situation, if there is an underdog, you’d better believe I’m in his corner. While this is usually a benign trait, there are times that it causes trouble. For example, I’ve recently read the Hunger Games trilogy (which I’ll write about soon, I promise) and very early into the first book of the series, I found myself drawn to a character I was 95% sure would not live through to the end of the series. By the end of that book, I resisted the urge to quit reading in an effort to spare myself the disappointment I knew I’d feel when that character eventually met his end.
Films like “Napoleon Dynamite” and “Stranger Than Fiction,” wherein the underdog is the main character and likely to end triumphant, are destined to be favorites of mine (and they are). But even in others, several romantic comedies, for instance, I go for the character you know will not win the girl. I rooted for Duckie over Blane in “Pretty in Pink,” Mr. Crawford, the charming rake in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, over the sweet but clueless Edmond and, though I’m not really a fan of the Twilight series, I did read it and was team Jacob from start to finish, knowing full well he didn’t stand a chance. I swear, I probably would’ve even chosen the geek over Jake, the hunk, in “Sixteen Candles.”
Why do I always side with the one least likely to succeed? It’s irritating as hell because I predict my inevitable disappointment early on but still hold out hope that somehow, my guy will pull through (though he rarely, if ever, does). What about you – do you usually go for the safe bet? Or, like me, do you root for the unlikeliest of heroes?