Friday, January 18, 2013

Review: King of the Nerds

Recently I watched Judge Dredd (twice) in order to do my last installment of Ask Erik.  A new show has started on TBS called "King of the Nerds."  I'm going to put this out there right now:  I would sooner watch every other Rob Schneider film that exists than watch the rest of this series.  I would sooner....well, let's make a list.

  1. I would sooner spend a whole day sick in bed than watch this series
  2. I would sooner spend a day sprayed by a skunk than watch this series.
  3. I would sooner snow blow the Delorme parking lot after a blizzard than watch this series.
  4. I would sooner eat a golf ball than watch this series.
Why do I hate it so much?  Let me start by saying that, in comparison to this program, the Big Bang Theory cast looks "normal."

I knew I was in trouble as soon as I saw the cast.  This is the most stereotypical group of nerds you could possibly find, which I get.  You're playing it to humor, and yes, a lot of nerds look like this.  But for a show that touts that nerds now run things and it's cool to be a nerd, you sure picked a group of people who almost make me ashamed of being nerdy.

But why not take advantage of the "nerds are cool" to show that it's not just people who don't fit in who have nerdy traits?  You want people who play role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons?  Vin Diesel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mike Myers, they all come easily to mind.  Hell, I can name five female porn stars who take part in a regular RPG group.  You want comic book geeks?  Ryan Reynolds, Rosario Dawson, Kristen Bell, the list goes on.  Math-types, perhaps?  Danica Mckellar (Winnie from The Wonder Years) has a math theorem named after her and wrote numerous books on the subject.  There are musicians who are astrophysicists and athletes who play video games more often than they play the sport they're paid to play.

So why remind us, even in jest, that society still views the term "nerdy" with the same disdain as we use the term "infected?"

It's difficult to watch from the very beginning, and that's because of Alana.  Anybody who begins a competition, before the teams are even divided up, going "I'm probably going home first" and acting like they forgot their antidepressants that day make me wonder if the show is prepared to operate a suicide watch.  Someone who days "I've always lost" just sucks the enjoyment out of a series, whether or not they actually lose.

Of course, it doesn't help that the show gives Alana (and many other contestants) the type of personality that reminds you of moldy bread.  The inability to articulate clearly and concisely, nervousness around people, and a sense of intellectual superiority...yeah, sure, they might have some of that, but I'm willing to bet the producers made sure to tell the editing team to highlight that because that's what nerds are like, right?

Now, would I want to hang out with any of these "characters?"  Yeah, maybe.  I might have said Genevieve before she announced that anybody who smokes is an idiot.  Joshua's rather quick-witted and might be fun to hang with.  Celeste...she's cute, that's an automatic buy-in.  Moogega seems fun.  I think one of them worked at NASA, that might be fun to talk about.

And don't get me started on the chess match, where giant pieces were moved around by what the contestants described as a stripper cat girl.  Sweetie, I hope you got paid well for that humiliation.

This program embodies everything that's wrong with nerd culture.  It should be looked at with shame and revulsion, like one would look at someone who decides the best way to have fun at a party is to drink too much, puke on the guests and fall asleep in a puddle of their own liquids.  Except that this show will come back to hang out each week, and never seem to be embarrassed on its own behalf.

I hate this series more than I've hated anything in a long time.

The only thing more painful than watching it?  Badly edited clip commercials for Cougar Town and other programs.  Has TBS always been this terrible?

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