Saturday, October 13, 2007

Geeks in Hollywood

Alas, too long between posts... my own fault.

But I was finally pushed to write today because of something I have noticed within the new TV lineups. There are, to put it mildly, a lot of geek shows compared to previous years, when there were none.

We've had "Numb3rs" for a few seasons, and "Heroes" has some geekish qualities, but this year things have expanded. We have "Big Bang Theory" and now SciFi (visible online at their website) has "A Town called Eureka". All these shows have, in some position, geeks or scientists or computer nerds or other specialists in their fields. "Eureka" is geek heaven with all the brilliant minds supposedly living together in one town.

Actually, I'd like to pick on "Eureka" a bit, because they come so close to getting it right--but fall flat. First, while there are some super geniuses who feel as if regular men and women do not deserve any attention, that's not true of all of them. And those who act that way actually don't talk to regular folks at all. They avoid them like the plague. (And unfortunately, I know a few of these people--from far away.) But most of them realize that there super abilities are only in one field, and know that others can far exceed them in other specialties.

And while super geniuses can do amazing things, they generally don't mess up in the small areas; the small areas are so obvious to them they can't escape the attention. (It does happen, but with far less regularity than "Eureka" plots.)

They have nailed down the odd habits and hobbies that some geeks have. I mean, that was one of the things that got me interested in the show. But no one has a pet, which is odd. Either the animals are either lab animals being tested on or they are science projects that are released into the wild.

I have seen, first hand, how really intelligent people can have hugely emotional arguments about how right they are and how wrong others are, and it's amazing how well "Eureka" gets that right. Someone must know or have seen such arguments in the past. I'm not sure if it happens if they work together in proximity for so long that they start grating on each other, but the fireworks are simply astounding.

But the thing that is starting to bother me greatly about "Eureka" is how the sheriff is always the one to solve the problem. Always. He's always the one risking his life, figuring out the "out of the box" thinking that the supergeniuses aren't doing. Well, hello! That qualifies him to be a supergenius too. So either start changing the plots, guys, or get more people to realize his abilities for what they are. It's becoming very predictable. I wonder if that is because regular folks are trying to write the script as regular folks and haven't got a real geek to pull on to help them?

There's another issue that is actually good with "Eureka"--it admits that the supersmart aren't perfect and in fact can have serious flaws. Those of us who believe in Christ and the Bible would call that "sin", because sin is essentially a character flaw in all of us.

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