Monday, November 26, 2007

Nerd Night

National Blog Posting Month Day 26

When you have a seventeen-year-old son, there are few father-son bonding experiences left to exploit. Fortunately I have found one. On Monday nights, my son and I drive my wife out of the bedroom where the HDTV is and watch two of the nerdiest shows on television back to back.

Since they are both on at the same time on separate networks, it takes the miracle of DVR to make this happen. Sometime between 8:00 and 8:30 we fire up Chuck, skipping commercials, and then roll right into The Big Bang Theory. Chuck was a dark horse on my Show Killer Shortlist but it’s the only one of the four I’m still watching, mostly because it appeals to my kid enough to make it appointment television. Neither show is flawless, but they have something in common that makes them worth watching. See if you can figure it out:

That's right. Both shows have seriously talented actresses that give Meryl Streep a run for her money. Seriously, we watch the shows together for the geek humor as much as for the eye candy. My wife gets a little worried when we are cracking up over some obscure string theory joke. Of the two shows, Big Bang gets the geek right and Chuck teeters a little closer to guilty pleasure territory. The plots on Chuck are hokey and formulaic (Drink a shot whenever someone tells Chuck to stay in the car), but the light-hearted goofiness works in its favor. The endless Moonlighting-lite will-they-or-won’t-they sexual tension gets a little sophomoric, but you have to admire a show that puts it’s heroine in pigtails every week.

Big Bang has a little more, well, banging. By my count, three of the four chief geeks have gotten lucky already. Leonard the glum goofball geek’s big score was with fellow physicist Leslie. Leslie is played by out-lesbian Sara Gilbert who was Johnny Galecki’s TV sister girlfriend/sister-in-law/wife on Roseanne which makes the hook-up doubly meta-ironic or just uber-creepy depending on how twisted your sense of humor is. Put me down in the ultra-hilarious camp.

Over on Chuck, neither Chuck nor co-nerd Morgan have gotten past second base, but supporting character gum-snapping quasi-harajuku girl Anna has a past that needs more exploring. Adding to Chuck’s nerd cred is the casting of former Firefly crewmember Adam Baldwin as chief cockblocker John Casey who is a complete 180 degrees different from Jayne Cobb. The slapstick action sequences are barely tolerable, but the endless innuendo keeps things amusing.

Both shows are trying to get a lot of mileage out of nanotube thin premises and part of the fun is figuring out which show will run out of steam first. Until then, my son and I will be chuckling along with every nerdy double entendre.


Dave2 said...

So sad that I had to give up Chuck... I like every single supporting character on the show, but can't stand Chuck himself. His constant whining and nervous bumbling is funny the first few shows, but is just stupid now. Grow up.

Jamy said...

I like "Big Bang" and I agree, it mostly gets the nerd right. I have enough math friends to confirm...except I don't know anyone quite so socially maladroit. Nice thing is that the pretty girl isn't an idiot, she's just not a super genius.

Also, Gilbert and Galecki weren't blood relations on Rosanne. His character's brother married her character's sister--and they were a couple too.

Thumper said...

pssssst...Galeki and Gilbert weren't related on Roseanne...they were doing each other there, too...

I gave up on Chuck already...but I do like BBT...

yellojkt said...

I think your giving up to soon on Chuck the character. He shows signs of developing a spine, but I get your point about the whining. I would like to see more stories about the Nerd Herd. They have a lot of potential.

In a lot of ways Penny is much more savvy than the geeks. She is definitely no Chrissie Snow.

jamy and thumper,
Thanks for setting me straight. I will update and correct.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

The geek humor is the same reason I watch The Girls Next Door. For example in one episode Holly was having trouble with Hef's lap top. Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen either of these but then again I have Cinemax now, so when I want the cheesecake I can always tune in around midnight to see Bikini Pirates or Bikini Girls from the Lost Planet. (Are you sensing a theme with these titles?) Softcore movies are about the funniest thing I have ever seen.

Seriously, though, of the new shows I've been enjoying Journeyman and Pushing Daisies, although the latter is going to have to shake things up a little before long.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I just have to say...I have a huge crush on Galeki...yup...Leonard's one of my tv crushes...I like em geeky :)

2fs said...

"TV"? That's one of those new technologies I'm not familiar with...ya lost me on this one.