There’s a new show on TBS that debuted last night called ‘King of the Nerds.’ The premise: Take 11 self-proclaimed nerds and pit them against each other in nerd-ified competitions for a chance to win $10,000 and be crowned King of the Nerds. Well, of course, with a site called ScienceFiction.com, we just had to take a look at it.
I must admit, I went into this rather warily wondering how the show would exploit the stereotype of what the producers think a nerd should be. The TV spots didn’t help my perception of the show either as the contestants looked rather…well… stereotypically nerdy (at least the majority did). A true set of typecasting if I ever saw one!
This episode basically introduced the 11 contestants as each talked about their strengths. It was quite an impressive array of people which included a comic book fanatic, a fantasy writer, video game blogger, a professional gamer, a disruptive technologist (which is just fancy way of saying computer hacker) mixed in with a NASA Engineer (which made me wonder if she was laid off because why would she be on a show like this?), a physicist, a mathematician and a neuroscientist. Already I’m sizing up who should stay and who should just start wearing a red shirt now.
True nerdgasms occur as the contestants enter their house. I’ll admit it. I geeked out. I love that house! A project room, life size statue of Batman, a periodic table table, a big screen TV for gaming… yeah, it’s called Nerdvana for a reason. I’ll give the show props for that.
The first challenge/nerd war is to pick teams and with an odd number of people, that means someone doesn’t get picked. Shades of elementary school! After playing Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who gets to pick first, the team captains pour a concoction of either blue or orange liquid goo over the person’s head to be on their team. Really? You might as well just give them a slushie facial.
Just as you are about to feel sorry about the one contestant that was not being picked on a team, the show redeems itself (a little) and gave that person immunity and the power to pick the winner of the challenge. Okay, I can dig that, but the jury is still out on whether this show is worth tuning in to.
So one team is safe and the other team have to send two of their members to the ”Nerd-Off.”
This week’s Nerd-Off is a game of chess but with life size pieces and a scantily clad well-endowed cosplayer moving the pieces as the contestants play against each other. When a piece is captured, another male cosplayer dressed in Roman garb takes his ax and smashes it as red confetti strews out from the piece. While the other contestants “oooo” and “ah” over the act, I’m left thinking nice way to litter the lawn and waste air time.
The first contestant goes home (boo hoo) but after seeing this on air, it might have been a good thing.
This first episode was not as damaging to nerds as I thought it would be, but there are 7 more episodes to go and 7 more weeks where the show can do more harm to adding to the stereotype than good. From the clips of upcoming shows, this first episode was rather tame and rather lame. I will admit, though, that I’m wondering if 1 or 2 contestants were thrown in there to round off the cast as my nerdar (similar to gaydar but with nerds) seemed to scream imposter at the sight of them.
Next week George Takei and Kevin Smith will be doing some judging so that should get interesting.
Did you watch ‘King of the Nerds?’ What did you think? Is the show exploitive to the culture or is it just another fun reality show? I’d love to know your thoughts so sound off in the comments below!