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Geek Stereotyping by the Numb3rs

April 10, 2006

Last Friday’s episode of the pseudo-nerdy drama Numb3rs really hit me in my pop-culture solar plexus. The premise of the show casts a set of brothers as the main protagonists. Charlie is a math nerd, and Don is an FBI agent. Charlie assists his brother through liberal applications of higher-level math in non-obvious ways. Some of the supporting characters are kind of interesting, and the overly simplified explinations of mathmatical concepts are always entertaining to see.

Most of the time it’s just some mindless entertainment, with an occasionally well-written episode. Last week’s just plain sucked. Touching on MMOG guilds, school shootings, RFID tracking of students, geek rage, and rape, it had the potential to be a thoughtful consideration of the lives nerds are living in the here-and-now. Instead, the actors fumbled through lines hemming and hawwing about the way things were when they grew up. The fact that the nerd group involved in the shooting was a MMOG guild seemed like a tacked-on element to make them seem more ‘alien’, and the hamfisted climax to the show completely removed any sense of closure or humanity to the proceedings.

The show was already on my fast-forward list because of some mediocre writing, but this episode has made me reconsider it’s place on my Season Pass list. For the most part the show does ‘pulled from the headlines’-type storylines, but this felt more like pandering to scared parents than anything else. Bah, CBS. Bah.

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One comment

  1. […] Random Dialogue « Reading Rekindled We All Use Math Everyday May 16, 2008 While Katie and I don’t have cable, I use iTunes to keep abreast of a handful of television shows. Tony Bourdain’s No Reservations, Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs, and the CBS drama Numb3rs all fall into this category. I’ve been hitting the Numb3rs pretty hard recently, which may be slightly surprising if you recall my (now ancient) post railing against the show for geek stereotyping. […]



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