Category Archives: Geeks

KING OF THE NERDS on TBS: Curtis Armstrong Interview

Curtis Armstrong and Robert Caradine, "King of the Nerds," on TBS

Curtis Armstrong and Robert Caradine, “King of the Nerds,” on TBS

When Curtis Armstrong and Robert Caradine first pitched the idea of a reality TV show that played off the franchise, “Revenge of the Nerds,” it was met with bewilderment by one network. Could something like that work? Well, you’ve got two of the original actors from the hit franchise, with impeccable credentials, and they’ve come up with a twist on the reality TV model that taps into true nerd culture. TBS liked the idea for “King of the Nerds” and now it looks like we have a hit show. Season Two is underway and this is a perfect time to jump in and try the show out. It airs tonight. You can regularly see it on Thursdays, 10/9 Central on TBS. Check out details on the show here.

Jack, Zachary, and Nicole from "King of the Nerds," on TBS

Jack, Zachary, and Nicole from “King of the Nerds,” on TBS

Curtis Armstrong is a very interesting actor who has been quite fortunate in his career. Lucky for him, as well as for us, he’s been in some of the greatest television shows in history. He’s been a recurring character on “Moonlighting,” “Felicity,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Boston Legal,” “New Girl,” and “Supernatural.” He’s done some hilarious voice-over work on such hit animated shows as “American Dad!” and “Dan Vs.” His work in film includes, “Risky Business,” “Southland Tales,” and “Ray.” And, of course, there’s “Revenge of the Nerds.” In this interview, we chat about a wonderful career, nerd culture, and the reality TV show that gets it right about nerd culture, “King of the Nerds.”

Just click the link below to listen to the podcast interview:

As Curtis Armstrong makes clear, “King of the Nerds” is all about the people on the show. You will be rooting for your favorite contestants on a show that celebrates all things nerd.

Watch “King of the Nerds” on Thursdays, 10/9 Central, on TBS.

1 Comment

Filed under Geek Culture, Geeks, Nerd Culture, Reality TV, TBS, Television

WHAT IS A GEEK?

What is a geek? The question seems simple enough but it is in that simplicity that lies an utter complexity. I’m sorry but, for instance, you’re not truly a geek if you “geek out” on discussing your favorite Merlots. Even if you get really nerdy about discussing letting your wine breathe, it doesn’t guarantee you’re a geek. In “Sideways,” Paul Giamatti gives a star turn performance as a miserable guy, at middle-age, with little to show for it. One thing that gives him solace is his encyclopedic knowledge of wine. He’s not trying to be a geek or even aware of the term. In his case, he has a passion that, by default, makes him a, well, wine “geek.”

Why does everyone now want to be a “geek”? I’m  not sure they even know. It’s a cyclical thing, you understand. Something is underground, it is co-opted by the mainstream media, eventually everyone is in on it, and, then, when the general audience tires of it, it goes back from whence it came and thrives once more in the fertile underground until it is yanked back out for a whole new feeding frenzy. But that never means that, during this feeding frenzy, the general audience digs deeper into whatever is currently in the spotlight, like, for example, “The Avengers.”

“Geek” has gone beyond entering the mainstream, its tipping point has been reached, as CNN declared in 2009. It is common knowledge. Like George Washington, Babe Ruth and the Dalai Lama are considered common knowledge. However, it’s not like “geek” is as well known as, say, Britney Spears, which is ironic given that geek culture has been touted as being part of the pop culture. “Geek” has been equated with what is hot most fervently by those trying to profit off some part of it. You know that your favorite niche comic has lost something once it’s being featured on G4’s “Attack of the Show.” But, most likely, your favorite niche comic will go unnoticed by these expert show biz “geeks.” And, if they do catch on to something that has an intrinsically cool quality to it, for instance, “The Walking Dead,” then you grin and bear it or you can go all counterintuitive and be happy for a wider audience. Sometimes popularity is a good thing. Sometime everyone wins. But, getting back to my point, most viewers of this zombie show are not readers of the comics that the show is based on.

Is there something horribly wrong with “Attack of the Show”? Well, let’s just say, live and let live. There’s no harm if a show is helping to bring in a new audience. This is sort of a game of survival of the fittest for any media, big or small, that is connected with geek culture. Let the content providers do it for as long as they care to. Some will stay just for the love it and not even notice or care where they stand within current trends.

So, people who are geeks are not trying to be geeks but just are geeks. The term defines someone who is totally lost in a particular pursuit and, because of that, is oblivious to other things. This term neatly fits in with the tech savvy crowd. And it moved on to cover other subjects that attract a niche audience. To be a geek, by this definition, is to be removed from general social circles. However, as marketing departments would have it, it’s actually way cool to be a geek! That is the disconnect. But when has a marketing department been sensitive to the finer aspects of human interaction? That’s up you, my friend. And, really, you don’t have to be a geek. It’s all a bunch of hype, unless you know better.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comics, Commentary, Entertainment, Geeks, movies, pop culture