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Tracy Flick overachieves in Election

For whatever reason, film and television teem with overachievers: type A strivers who charm and irritate in (sometimes) equal measure. Comedian, author, and actor DC Pierson has done society the favor of devising an appropriately competitive method of determining the most overachieving of them all. It’s called the Tournament Of Overachievers, and it’s close to crowning the one overachiever to rule them all. His explanation of the tournament, from its launch date late last month:


Pierson tells The A.V. Club the idea was born out of recently watching Election shortly after a student-election-themed episode of overachiever-rife Gilmore Girls. Once Twitter introduced polls, he realized he had a way to pit overachievers against each other by public vote. In assembling his admittedly “super-duper subjective” initial bracket of 16 overachievers, Pierson focused specifically on characters who are children or teens, or who at least see their adolescence depicted at some point, because he sees the black-and-white know-it-all-ism of youth as an important part of the archetype (hence the exclusion of adult would-be candidates like Parks And Rec’s Leslie Knope, Mad Men’s Peggy Olson, and Breaking Bad’s Walter White).

The tournament is now down to the final four, with the current round of voting matching up Lisa Simpson and—full circle—Gilmore Girls’ Paris Geller. At press time, Geller looks to be cruising to a landslide victory, which, according to Pierson, is evidence that the tournament is working as intended.

“I never could’ve foreseen that, but in many ways I think the voters are doing exactly what I hoped they would: setting aside sentimentality and trying to figure out who’s really the most go-for-the-jugular,” he says.

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