Group C: Deserving Winners
Subtype #1: In on the joke despite high status: Audience love to meet an intimidating boss and then be surprised when the boss joins in the jokes at his expense. (Of course, most of these also belong in the next group, too, just for good measure.)
- Both Tiny Fey and Alec Baldwin on “30 Rock”
- William Peterson on “CSI”
- Hugh Laurie on “House”
- Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive
Subtype #2: The smarter one who can see the nature of the situation: If a boss won’t pal around with his underlings, then we want some proof that he deserves his job. He’s got to be ten steps ahead of everybody. But this category includes not just bosses but also rogue cops like Popeye Doyle and John McClain, ambitious underlings such as Jack Ryan, and those who rise to take control of a group of equals, such as Michael Corleone.
- James Gandolfini in “The Sopranos”
- Jon Hamm on “Mad Men”
- Mark Harmon on “NCIS”
- Ken Watanabe in Letters from Iwo Jima
- And Also:
- Gene Hackman in The French Connection
- Al Pacino in The Godfather
- Bruce Willis in the Die Hard movies.
- Alec Baldwin in Hunt for Red October