Wednesday, 4 March 2009
The Original TV Nerd Hero
I have read articles before on how now is the time for the nerds to get their revenge when geeky nerdy guys now frontline as heroes in their own TV series, supposedly spearheaded by the reluctant secret agent Chuck. The fact is I remember growing up watching late night screenings on RTM of a pathologist solving homicide cases, Quincy M.E. The series must have been very good as I made the extra effort to stay awake to watch a nerdy doc solve cases that crosses his examination table. This was in the eighties mind you when TV3 has yet to come to my Ipoh hometown, and Quincy M.E was really a cutting edge series in a TV detective world that consisted of heroic type gumshoes, even for an anti-hero character like the title character in Rockford Files. So even though you are brought into an alien world of investigative science to finger the criminal, you are kept enthralled by the wonder of science being opened up to you when it is used to investigate the crime. I bet this series had created a whole new generation of CSIs everywhere, though then Medical Examiners took the leading role instead of staying in the background like in the CSI series. Nevermind that the new crop of M.E.'s helmed series like Bones and Crossing Jordan feature a more gungho examiner, and heroines at that.
Well what do you expect from these copycats of CSI when other than the original Gil Grissom who studies bugs as a hobby, the parallel CSI series leads are respectively an ex-war hero and ex-undercover cop. Only the Gil Grissom character has managed to maintain a geeky profile despite being given an edge to his geeky persona, and I have yet to see him fire a gun. His main weapon is still his brains, and that is the essence of a heroic nerd. And that is why I am drawn to continue to watch House MD, who uses his observations(usually fortuitous) to come up with the life-saving prescriptions, though he has hit his patients before in order to verify his conclusions. Dr House is not only a geek, but an insular geek that nonetheless enjoys some hotdog lifestyle of riding a sports motorbike and playing a mean guitar or, air guitar with his cane at his office. That to me is the essence of the modern geek, brainy but also knows how to get with it if he wants to. So Chuck my boyo, sorry but to me you are just a softie who tries to play the hero using that world knowledge database that we are expected to believe you downloaded into your brain, just like the old TV series "The Greatest American Hero who got his powers from an alien suit and is not a real geek or nerd who actually has the brains to figure out things on their own. So seriously folks, do try to separate the patsy softie from the geek or nerd, as the geeks and nerds have actually been always heroes in their own right who has managed to solve the myriad world problems and in the course of doing that, changed the world accordingly. You know who they are, whether you like them or otherwise, eitther its Bill Gates or somebody else. And these are the people who were watching Quincy when he was giving geekdom respectablity that time not so long ago.