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The Fall Geek TV Lineup

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the hollywood-nerds-don't-reallly-match-up-with-the-real-thing dept.

Television 318

An anonymous reader writes "Wired has an article looking at this Fall's bumper crop of geek TV. McG, who directed the pilot for the show Chuck, opines that the appearance of nerd culture on network television is a long-overdue reflection of real life. From the article: 'Hollywood, he said, is playing catch-up with IT culture. "The classic shape of the computer geek is over when Bill Gates became the (richest), most aspirational, coolest guy in the world," he said. "He is the original thick-glasses, pocket-protector guy. Now who doesn't want to be like Bill Gates?"' They have reviews of the lengthy list of shows, for clues as to what to watch and what to miss."

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318 comments

I don't want to be like BIll Gates (5, Funny)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726753)

I just want his money.

Re:I don't want to be like BIll Gates (4, Insightful)

the_womble (580291) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726885)

I agree.

Most people (apart from the saintly) want money! However, most people have other aspirations as well.

The problem with the article is that is assumes that Bill Gates is the richest man in the world, therefore he represents other aspirations. Other aspirations do not count.

How pathetic to ONLY aspire to money. Why not aspire to be Nelson Mandela or Mother Teresa or ....

Re:I don't want to be like BIll Gates (1)

lwriemen (763666) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726939)

Who are you to judge what is a better aspiration?

Re:I don't want to be like BIll Gates (5, Funny)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727067)

Who are you to question who he is to judge what is a better aspiration?

Re:I don't want to be like BIll Gates (5, Funny)

edittard (805475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727141)

I'm having trouble judging whether aspirational (as used in TFA) is a word, and if so, whether it makes any sense in that context.

Take inspirational. That means you inspire other people. But you can't aspire other people, so how can you be aspirational? It's unlogical.

Re:I don't want to be like BIll Gates (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727161)

I think you meant illogical Captain Corrects-a-lot!

There it goes! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727421)

If you quickly run to your window you should be able to see the joke flying by...

Re:There it goes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727479)

If you quickly run to your window, JUMP.

Re:I don't want to be like BIll Gates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727005)

I want money AND power...and a nice bacon sandwich would be nice. No, I've got some coffee, thanks.

Re:I don't want to be like BIll Gates (3, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727113)

Most people (apart from the saintly) want money!

Yeah, but I think for those people who have thought about it carefully, they only want money in moderation.

It's nice to be able to afford only doing work you find meaningful, and not having to worry about affording food, health care, etc. But I've also heard that most lottery winners end up unhappy (and often broke).

Re:I don't want to be like BIll Gates (2, Insightful)

Scaba (183684) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727185)

You've probably mostly heard that from lottery losers. Though...I'd imagine someone who counts on the extremely unlikely combination of some bouncing plastic balls as their key to financial freedom already is unhappy because they have no goals or purpose in life, and is also rather bad at handling finances.

Re:I don't want to be like BIll Gates (2, Insightful)

jahudabudy (714731) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727527)

I recently read an article about a self-made millionaire, who had earned somewhere around $15 million with his concrete business, that cleared around $100 million winning the lottery. He said in the article that with that kind of money and publicity, he went from a wealthy private individual to a public figure. The spotlight on his personal life destroyed his marriage, an ugly kidnapping attempt drove his daughter away from him, and some other bad things happened that were tangentially related to the lottery win. This of course was all his side, but I can easily imagine that life actually becomes much MORE complicated with ridiculous sums of money.

Re:I don't want to be like BIll Gates (5, Interesting)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727647)

But I've also heard that most lottery winners end up unhappy (and often broke).

You probably heard that most lottery winners end up feeling the same as they did before hand. After a major life-altering event for the good or the bad people will generally settle to the same level of happiness within 6 months to a year. Those that are generally happy with there life will generally maintain that happiness even if getting paralyzed in a car accident, and those who are miserable will maintain misery even after winning the lotto.

Re:I don't want to be like BIll Gates (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727125)

Ok,
I aspire to beable to give away 100 million a year; all the money I make off the interest in my checkbook savings account.

Re:I don't want to be like BIll Gates (4, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727147)

> Most people (apart from the saintly) want money!

Nope, people want what they are told money can buy. It's the system at power that makes sure that the only way you can achieve your dreams is through money, and it did it in two ways. Hollywood on one side, communism on the other (and we fall for the non sequitur that the only alternative to the system at power is a system with no property at all)

In the process they stripped money of its core value: being something that makes wealth easily kept and converted. Inflation makes sure you have to trot all your life to accumulate paper. Or, you choose to be the kapo of the system, and accumulate more wealth subjugating your peers. The lucky ones who are good and smart enough to accumulate wealth in a honest way are shrinking.

Re:I don't want to be like BIll Gates (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727565)

I'm not sure why you think Gates has ever been motivated primarily by money. Dropping out of Harvard to sell software to a market of maybe 75 people isn't something you do to make money. Gates loves software, as much if not more than any rabid Lunix fanboy does.

Incidentally, how many of you people have ever seen a "pocket protector" or even know why they used to be used? Can't this ludicrously anachronistic trope be dropped at some point?

Re:I don't want to be like BIll Gates (1)

brother_b (16716) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727781)

The only person I've ever seen wear a pocket protector is my dad, and he's a retired auto mechanic. It made sense for him since he kept small tools in his shirt pocket, and they often were greasy.

He's very non-geek as far as electronics go. He doesn't even know how to operate the microwave. I guess you could consider him a mechanical /engine geek though.

Re:I don't want to be like BIll Gates (1, Informative)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727685)

How pathetic to ONLY aspire to money. Why not aspire to be Nelson Mandela or Mother Teresa or ....
Yeah, but money can buy you those other things you want, like a penis big enough to be mistaken for a third leg. Never mind that there are few women who could accommodate such an appendage, that's not the point. The important thing is you're the one who has it.

Re:I don't want to be like BIll Gates (5, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727701)

How pathetic to ONLY aspire to money. Why not aspire to be Nelson Mandela or Mother Teresa or ....

Probably because it's not a good thing to aspire to:

-Oppose condom usage in AIDS-stricken areas
-Take money from despotic regimes and spend only a small portion on its intended purpose
-Run a completely non-transparent operation
-Make your clinic painful to teach people the value of suffering
-Convince people that they should fake miracles in your name

Not so much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20726773)

"Bill gates...most aspirational"

Bwahahah!

Not everyone wants to be a scumbag just to be rich.

Re:Not so much (2, Informative)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726879)

Yeah! What a fucking bastard! [gatesfoundation.org]

Also, vaguely related to TV shows starting soon, House MD season premiere tomorrow. Who's excited? I know I am!

Re:Not so much (1)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726997)

Lucky bastards, they haven't even finished in the previous season here (Netherlands). Guess I'll be firing up BitTorrent tomorrow :-) But I'm really looking forward to the closing season of Scrubs! Just one more month...

Re:Not so much (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727079)

Meeep, 0wned!

Ever heard of PR? The Gates-Foundation is basically expensive PR, that does not even come close to undoing damage done by Microsoft. Basically created to make others feel good about Microsoft. In order for this to work, of course the foundation has to do genuine good work. But what counts is the overall picture, which looks quite bad.

Re:Not so much (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727221)

The Gates-Foundation is basically expensive PR, that does not even come close to undoing damage done by Microsoft.

Microsoft is starving children in Africa? Perspective, please.

Re:Not so much (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727319)

Of course the good work will be done as far removed from the bad work and of different type. Quite elementary and obvious. You do not seem to understand how PR works...

Re:Not so much (1)

Johnny5000 (451029) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727617)

Of course the good work will be done as far removed from the bad work and of different type. Quite elementary and obvious. You do not seem to understand how PR works...

Right... Microsoft does shitty things for the business world and other businesses.
The Gates Foundation does good things for actual humans.

I suppose if you value business way more than human life, then you could argue that Microsoft does more damage than the Gates Foundation does good.

Re:Not so much (1)

schon (31600) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727877)

Microsoft does shitty things for the business world and other businesses.
yes, and as we all know, businesses and the business world exist in their own separate reality, completely separated from people. So when "bad" things happen to to businesses, it has absolutely zero effect on real, living people.

Just like those house loans recently.. that was just business. No real actual people were affected.

Re:Not so much (1)

Johnny5000 (451029) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728005)

yes, and as we all know, businesses and the business world exist in their own separate reality, completely separated from people. So when "bad" things happen to to businesses, it has absolutely zero effect on real, living people.

I should have clarified that I do understand the point that the negative effects on business do actually impact people.
Maybe some loss of wealth, people losing their jobs, etc. All bad things, sure. I realize this.

The OP was making it sound like for every one life the Gates Foundation saved, Microsoft killed two.

Re:Not so much (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 6 years ago | (#20728061)

You do not seem to understand how PR works...

Sorry, but you're quite wrong. I'm not arguing that the B&MGF somehow makes up for the douchiness of MS. Quite the contrary: I'm arguing against the logic which produces both the preceding statement and your own statement about the B&MGF not making up for the douchiness of MS. If you believe either statement, then you're buying into the same overreaching frame of reference as the PR folks.

How about this:

Bill Gates' business acts in an oft-reprehensible manner.
Bill Gates' foundation acts in an oft-commendable manner.

Hey, look, those statements refer to completely different activities. Why should either be taken as a reflection of the other?

Meanwhile, what does this say about Bill Gates as a person; is he bad or good? Well, he's a bad person with regards to the computer industry, and a good person for the charitable works industry. Why is it necessary to conflate both into some abstract "person?"

Frankly, I think it's pointless to assume that a person's or a company's good deeds can make up for, or fail to make up for, their bad deeds, and I think it's illogical to assume otherwise. Nothing personal, as it's a very common form of illogic [wikipedia.org] that I catch myself in all the time, and usually in hindsight.

Re:Not so much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727099)

It isn't Lupus.

Re:Not so much (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727747)

5 billion less people on Earth would solve nearly every socio-economic and environmental problem we currently face.
Everybody talks about overpopulation but nobody does anything about it. Although come to think of it, I believe Dick Cheney has a plan... :)

Related stories (3, Insightful)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726777)

I'm really having a hard time seeing how Bill Gates being nominated for president is a relevant story to nerd tv shows... unless its going to be the premise of a new bad comedy?

Re:Related stories (1)

Chrisje (471362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727285)

WTF? I'm afraid that if the choice was between Dubya, Cheney or Gates, I'd go with Gates for president in a heart beat.

You don't realize it, but you're already living in a bad comedy. It's kinda like Southpark, but without the humor.

The IT Crowd (3, Informative)

Burb (620144) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726863)

For those of us in the UK, there's always the IT Crowd. It's a bit hit and miss, but the second season seems to be hitting the spot more often compared to the first.

Re:The IT Crowd (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727047)

Huh? the new IT Crowd is much worse than season 1.. they're always going off on unrelated adventures, and are only 1/10th as geeky as they were before. That being said, I do like the new Wernhem (sp?).

Re:The IT Crowd (2, Interesting)

Scutter (18425) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727121)

The second season is doing better because it has nothing to do with IT the way the first season did, so it's got broader appeal. Oh, and what's up with their office looking like an apartment this season? It's like the producers have never seen the inside of an IT department.

Re:The IT Crowd (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727313)

The first three episodes of season 2 were weak, but it's picked up since. Though having said that, when you only have 6 episodes to work with, taking three of them to "warm up" isn't good.

Oh and Wired, no they can't drop the "laugh track". It's filmed in front of a live audience, you dolt.

Re:The IT Crowd (1)

Xiaran (836924) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727899)

I agree the second season is fairly weak so far... but I forgave them greatly for the parody of the "You wouldn't steal a car would you" ad... That stupid anti-piracy ad definitely needed the piss taken out of it.

Re:The IT Crowd (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727437)

the last episode (about Jen's bra) was rather good though, but the three or so first ones were lacking on the nerd factor (still better than most of the other shows out there anyway) But then .. I'm white, male, wear jeans and t-shirts, 30ish, and work with a nerdy black guy I'd call my friend in the IT department of a company, so it's rather hard not to identify ;)

Who doesnt want to be a two legged stereotype? (4, Insightful)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726867)

He may be a skinny Dilbert but Gates is also Narcessisstic and dull. There has to be a better geek poster child? Yes everyone wants the money but the point is who wants to be Bill Gates without the money? Hes a pain in the ass and people put up with him because he has money. Take away the money and all you are left with is the pain in the ass.

Cool? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20726875)

What's so cool about being a monopolist who can't code for shit?

Apart from the cash.

Re:Cool? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727969)

I think Bill Gates is very lucky that he turned out to be a better businessman than he is a programmer.

IT Crowd? (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726883)

What distinguishes the five best shows -- ... U.K. Channel 4's The IT Crowd...

If the lineup is bad enough the the IT Crowd shows up in the top 5, I wouldn't exactly call this a bumper line up. Sitcoms are meant to be funny.

Re:IT Crowd? (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727037)

The IT Crowd is hilarious. Perhaps you don't appreciate British humor? Not everyone is into it, and this show is full of it. I know many people who love the US version of The Office, but hate the original British version.

Re:IT Crowd? (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727239)

I'm English, my favourite sitcom is probably Fawlty Towers, but I just didn't find the IT crowd funny. I watched about half the first series before I stopped, from the first episode of the new series I saw the other day it hasn't got any better.

It was just too laboured and slow, jokes that should be quick throwaway jokes are stretched out far too thin.

Re:IT Crowd? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727203)

Well, each to his own but I think it's the best Comedy on in the UK at the moment by a long way..

e.g. Moss and Roy setting up Jen to announce at the heads of department meeting that entering the word "Google" as a search term into google could "break the internet. Really - Don't do it - Not even for a joke" .. and Moss inventing the ultimate bra with only minor overheating problems.. Oh well, maybe you have to see it...

Re:IT Crowd? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727815)

The current series is better than the first one (honest). It's not Father Ted or Black Books, but it's not Hippies either.

Why does the media still call tech folks nerds ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20726913)

What the hell! Its about time we stopped perpetuating ignorance. So what if someone likes computers why should they be called geeks, nerds, and dorks. Have you ever wondered why US school suck so much? It might have to do with the fact that intelligent educated people are belittled by the media.

Re:Why does the media still call tech folks nerds (3, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726971)

Actually, they still call techies 'nerds' because that's the word to describe the type of people that techies are. However, the meaning of the word has changed. Well, rather, those of us in the know call us 'geeks'. Difference? A geek knows the difference between geek and nerd, a nerd doesn't. :P It used to be that 'geek' meant 'reject', now it means 'smart, technically inclined person who is likely to be rich and/or interesting'. Or maybe it's different in the US...

Re:Why does the media still call tech folks nerds (1)

riffzifnab (449869) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727519)

Danger Will Robinson Danger!

From what I have read the word Geek and Nerd have different definitions even within the US. Here in New England the common definition that I have heard is a nerd is just a generally introverted person who is rather obsessive about something (computers, comic books, music, etc) geek is more computer fixated and is a sub-category of nerd. However I have heard that on the West Coast that this is reversed. So be careful with your terms.

Re:Why does the media still call tech folks nerds (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727663)

I always thought that a nerd was highly knowledgeable about something somewhat practical, (computers, math, science) while a geek was highly knowledgeable about something less practical. (Star Trek, LOTR, D&D)

Re:Why does the media still call tech folks nerds (1)

lwriemen (763666) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727009)

You forgot socially awkward. The humor and angst are lost if the tech person is also popular and outgoing. Where are all the roles for the tall, well muscled, good looking IT personnel? ;-)

Re:Why does the media still call tech folks nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727215)

Fantasy channel, yup yup yup

Re:Why does the media still call tech folks nerds (1)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727263)

Where are all the roles for the tall, well muscled, good looking IT personnel? ;-)

I took them.

:-P

Re:Why does the media still call tech folks nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727131)

... You do realise you're at a site whose slogan is "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters" don't you?

Gates Didn't Change the Face of The Geek (2, Insightful)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726919)

Gates didn't change the face of the geek. He reaffirmed it. The only thing Gates did was make people more conscious and envious of geek achievement.

Nerd TV is not good TV (1)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726923)

I am sure that these shows, will be crap. Just like all the pandering that networks do when someone INVENTS a new audience. If it is too good, "Firefly" or "Farscape", they will immediately run out and cancel it because the audience is too small and they cannot sell advertising on Sci-Fi.

Five years is immediate? (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727139)

Farscape lasted for five years on the Sci-Fi. I wouldn't call that immediate.

Re:Five years is immediate? (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727251)

The Sci-fi channel has a very specific audience. It means that the only competition for advertising revenue is from other people who would advertise to that audience.

You run into a problem when trying to place a show on a large network. While the show may be very well done, the amount the network can actually charge for advertising is less because the demographic is a smaller slice of the pie. Lets say 100k people watch 'Sci-fi show' the network can only charge so much for that 100k audience. However, 'reality show B' draws in an audience of only 400k. Not a huge audience by network standards, but it completely blows the sci-fi show away in terms of advertising revenue.

But as you said, Farscape did 5 years on the Sci-fi channel. Thats because while it may not draw much of an audience, any replacement show isn't going to draw more of an audience than a sci-fi show on a sci-fi network UNLESS that show is better. (There are always exceptions of course)

Re:Nerd TV is not good TV (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727405)

Battlestar Galactica's still on, and even though it's entering into its last season, I imagine that it wasn't ever meant to last much longer. The great thing about BSG is that it's enjoyable from the perspective of Nerds, SciFi geeks, and normal people alike. The writing's good, and the acting is well above-par as far as primetime TV is concerned. It's accessible in the sort of way that the original 1970s Star Wars films were.

Heroes also has huge nerd appeal, and is currently NBC's top-ranked show -- and it deserves it too. Almost everyone I know who's watched it has become immediately hooked.

"Geek" as main character != geek TV (5, Insightful)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726957)

This is geek culture? And goes it appeal to geeks? I suppose it could be that I don't understand the difference between IT culture and geek culture, but that would be a crime that all of network TV is guilty of, too. I'd much prefer if those slots were filled with good Science Fiction or good educational TV, as I'm sure is true with most others in the geek community. A show about a guy with a pocket protector doesn't qualify automatically as about, or appealing to, geeks.

Re:"Geek" as main character != geek TV (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727247)

Assuming they are done right, a geek as the main character IS a geek show. If it's not done right, there will be so many glaring problems that it'll be nobody's show.

The IT Crowd is hilarious, if you've ever worked tech support for any company, anywhere. Second season has drifted away from the geek jokes, but I have faith they'll come back. Oh, and their first question is -never- 'Are you sure it's plugged in?' That's the second one. The first is always 'Have you tried turning it off and back on again?' If they're going to review the show, they should probably actually watch it, instead of watching clips and pretending to have seen it all.

Chuck is okay, Journeyman looks interesting but probably cliche, Reaper and Pushing Daisies I had -never- heard of, but now want to check out the first ep, and the Sarah Connor Chronicles worries me... Will they REALLY do a good job of this, or will it be worse than the last couple movies? Series are usually worse, and I don't know if I could handle that. Also, Summer as 'genius' bothers me... I still see her as the not-all-there River from Firefly. (Oddly, wikipedia has a picture of her looking normal... I guess the producers didn't want that.)

Re:"Geek" as main character != geek TV (1)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727649)

Reaper is crap, Sarah Conner Chronicles is seriously questionable. Meanwhile, Pushing Daisies absolutely rocks.

Chuck, Big Bang Theory, and The IT Crowd (4, Informative)

Tipa (881911) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727881)

Chuck and Big Bang Theory had free previews on Yahoo! So what the heck, I watched them.

I work in the IT department of a major insurance company, so I think I qualify as a geek.... plus I read Slashdot, and if THAT doesn't seal the deal, what can?

Chuck -- okay, if you're going to make a show about a geek/nerd/whatever, would it kill you to run the script past one? The premise: a guy is running from people with guns! And they're firing at him! If only... he... can... finish writing a quick email to his friend he hasn't seen since college. Hey guys, could you quit it with the guns? I'm writing an email here.

Cut to Chuck, who staffs a kiosk called "The Nerd Herd" in some anonymous warehouse store. If they were meaning to riff off Best Buy's "Geek Squad", then instead of Chuck showing his fellow employees about a porn star virus which effects a certain kind of laptop that can't possibly be important later in the show, he would be showing them how to pack it up to send it to the third-party repair folks who really fix the laptops for Best Buy.

Chuck's sister plans a disastrous birthday party meant to introduce him to real girls, but of course it goes wrong, so Chuck silently escapes, turns his TV on and look, there's an email... on his TV... and it has a password based on Zork. Supposedly. Now, every single oldschool game-loving geek would cheer if they read "You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a mailbox here." with Chuck. And they would scream, "OPEN THE MAILBOX!". But no. Calm down. It's not that.

So anyway he types in the answer, "use nasty knife on troll" (huh), and then that quick email turns out to be a montage of NBC's fall lineup in black and white.

But no! It's ALL NSA's and CIA's secrets! And since CHUCK has them, the NSA and the CIA no longer have any record of them whatsoever! In fact, the CIA (or the NSA, whatever) forgot that some general who was to address a conference in a hotel minutes from Chuck's place, was to be blown up by a terrorist.

See, they researched this out, spied everywhere, found out what, where, who, and when, and then this guy emailed the details to Chuck and then they ALL FORGOT.

So anyway, Chuck, Jayne^WAlec Baldwin, and the girl who was sleeping with his best friend from college whom he hadn't heard from since until he destructively emailed Chuck all the nation's secrets from his smartphone and then died^KChuck's future love interest saves the day by finding the bomb, getting to the DOS prompt (well, he says he does, but he doesn't actually), and setting off that porn star virus which stops the bomb... WITH OMG JUST ONE SECOND TO GO! PHEW!

So anyway. All the nation's secrets are now in Chuck's head, and the nation doesn't have them anymore. Somehow. Won't these secrets kinda get stale? Sure, he knew the date & location of this one general's assassination, but new secrets are going to be happening from this point on that he will know nothing about, right?

Anyway, the show is for idiots, about idiots.

Big Bang Theory -- a pair of repellant, smelly losers and their idiot friends, and the porn star next door who undresses in their apartment. Nothing to see here.

The IT Crowd (American) -- Moss (Richard Ayoade) will join Joel McHale (The Soup) on the American adaptation of the British series in February. I thought the first season of the British series was brilliant (or should I say, Brie-illiant), and the second season, without the IT focus, a little less funny... Dunno how the American one will go. I expect disaster.

chuck is OK? (1)

ImTheDarkcyde (759406) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727963)

you kidding me? I could barely watch Chuck! Every five minutes they're making some outlandish tech reference.

"yeah fingers so hurt from call of duty"
"lets go upstairs and play gears of war"
"we programmed our own zork game" (which loaded .zrk files, rather than zorks actual .dat's)
"the government smashed your harddrive which erases your email" (not too outlandish, some people might actually run their own email server...)
"here is an image made of other images, each a 1x1 pixel, which in turn house other images"

McG sucks (1)

Johnny5000 (451029) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726983)

If McG claims that "Chuck" is a reflection of real life, then you can bet it's about as far from real life as one can possibly get.

Hollywood Understands (5, Insightful)

cloudwilliam (517411) | more than 6 years ago | (#20726993)

I'll bet all these shows will just ooze cool sophistication. I mean, why didn't we start getting shows geared toward us fifteen years ago when everyone saw how awesome Unix was when they watched Jurassic Park?

Seriously, I hate to be cynical, but as much as Battlestar Galactica is the coolest show I've seen in years, most of Hollywood's understanding of biological science seems to be some variation on Frankenstein, their physical science based on Looney Tunes, and their concept of computer science is best left unmentioned. I'll bet they're making the same mistakes they've always made: thinking good shows can be about some World's Fair technology show and the World of Tomorrow when they should be about the story and the people.

Not me... (2, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727017)

BG has a keen sense of business, no sense of fair play and as an engineer, he is third-rated at best. There is evidence that he does not know he is a bad engineer, which makes him even worse. Furthermore he has wasted so many hours of lifetime of others by the failing in the engineering department, that he is a serious mass-murderer by accumulation.

Redeeming features: None that I can see. Money is not a redeeming feature, since making a lot of it typically means taking it form others without giving back fair value back.

And he is not even cool. I have zero aspirations in his direction. In fact, I think he is the prototypical high-profile failed geek, that has not managed to use his skills for good.

My fall TV lineup... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727043)

is waiting for Weeds to come back to showtime :(

Journeyman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727073)

Look, I just hope that in Journeyman, he travels back in time to Rome, and does another season of it.

Uneven Shows (5, Interesting)

Brazilian Geek (25299) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727075)

I watched a few of the leaked shows that they reviewed (don't you love the Internets?) so I'll comment on them.

Chuck: Fun like Burn Notice and Psych but not very nerdy. It's got the nerd culture in it, the socially inept folks and close friendships get good grades from me. However, some parts are very poorly executed: magical images that contain steganography that the brain decodes, an HD explodes from a 4' drop inside the case and a few others that fell flat to me. Oh, it's got Jayne so that's a plus.

Big Bang Theory: Imagine, as someone one EZTV said, Revenge of the Nerds written by mindless jocks. It's crap, crap, crap, so much crap that I was insulted by it.

Journeyman: I thought it was an interesting story, maybe we've seen it before (Quantum Leap) but we haven't as he's not leaping into other people nor is he shifting into the distant past so I think it'll have mainstream appeal (for a few episodes at least). Disclaimer though, I like Kevin McKidd, for a guy in his early 30's he had a lot of heart in his Vorenus character.

The IT Crowd (UK): I watch the show and I have a lot of laughs with it but I'm a sucker for UK comedies. As for geek culture, I have to say it's not perfect but it comes close. In case you've never watched it, the references are the stickers in the office, Roy's t-shirts and Moss' and Roy's personalities (they're socially challenged). I guess that it does come close as, being a practicing nerd, I'm not always talking about gadgets and geeky sites nor am I obsessed with computers and science so I guess it's more organic.

Gates??? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727095)

when Bill Gates became the (richest), most aspirational, coolest guy in the world

Well, at least 1/3 correctness is better than nothing.

Seriously... I doubt many non-geeks thing Gates is cool, and a large fraction of bona fide geeks loathe him.

Would be interesting (1)

esconsult1 (203878) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727149)

But hey, I don't watch live TV anymore, so, what fall lineup?

Seriously, one downside of Tivo'ing (or Myth'ing for the zealots) everything is that you FF through the ads and just never see the promotions for silly new shows. You also miss the movie promotions. So what then?

Re:Would be interesting (2, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727609)

Seriously, one downside of Tivo'ing (or Myth'ing for the zealots) everything is that you FF through the ads and just never see the promotions for silly new shows. You also miss the movie promotions. So what then?
True. If only a nerd-focused website I visited often would point me to reviews of.... heyyyyy!

Fell TV doesn't look very good. (1)

teflaime (738532) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727165)

And Wired left off Moonlight, which, with Reaper, are the only vaguely interesting new shows in the lineup...Looks like a less TV, more exercise/Age of Conan, kind of fall season for me.

A Show For Geeks (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727207)

There is one show for /.'ers on television that I can recommend - The Universe, on the History Channel.

Why? For the quality science? No. I recommend it because it teaches one very important lesson, which is -
astronomy has, by far, a higher ratio of females to males than any other branch of science.

If you are a young, male slashdotter and you too have dreams of one day getting to have sex with a woman,
then astronomy is the only field of study to consider. FACT - people who have had sex with women often
report that co-workers are an excellent source of sexual partners. FACT - if you choose the field of
astronomy, you will have many more female co-workers than you would have in any other field of science
or engineering.

I mean, just watch the show! Half the astronomers they interview are women! Easily half, maybe more!

Is this a good thing? (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727237)

I much prefer that geek culture not become popularized, because then all of our sekrits become known and spread widely.
It's kinda like when mom shines her unwelcome bright flashlight down into the basement.

Re:Is this a good thing? (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727693)

I much prefer that geek culture not become popularized,


OK, then don't worry. Popular and geek are mutually exclusive. Even if something is popular, the geek approach to it will be ... different. Take the Simpsons. It is popular in the general public to watch, but it is geeks treat the show as a codex in which are written the secrets of life.

Now we must distinguish between shows for geeks, and shows about geeks. Any show with an elaborate fantasy component can be a show for a geek. Shows about geeks are necessarily comedies. Because geeks are supposed to be losers, it is natural to laugh at them.

This doesn't mean the show has to be stupid or offensive, it just means that a show with little ambition or talent can go for cheap laughs.

Frasier, was hands down the most artistically and economically successful show about geeks ever. The Crane brothers are not tech geeks, but they are undeniably geeks: they seek to boost their status and importance by their command of intellectual arcana. What's more, because they are geeks they are losers. Everything we see them attempt ends in frustration. However they are more than caricatures. There isn't a word I can think of for what they are: they are neither admirable nor really contemptible; they are neither unlikable nor truly likable. Somehow, you want them to win but you enjoy watching them lose.

I think the secret of that show is that while the writers give us very broad caricatures, they then proceed to write against the stereotype. The Crane brothers are arrogant and self important, but they also demonstrate an underlying sweetness and goodness in every episode. Although this always serves only to deepen their humiliation, they somehow manage to exceed expectations while they lose. They're the plucky team of losers that doesn't pull an offset against overwhelming odds (which we know in our hearts that movies that tell that story are lies), but surprises everyone by scoring at all.

What makes a show an enduring success are interesting characters, written about in a compelling way. Geeks, with their enthusiasms that often border on mania, their propensity to march to a different drummer, their tendency to be the proverbial square pegs in a round hole, are usually the most interesting people in any group. The trick is writing about them in a way that gets underneath the surface to something anybody can identify with.

"nerd" sure covers a lot of ground (2, Interesting)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727261)

At least by Hollywood standards. A "nerd" can be anything from a top scientist or engineer, to somebody who owns a lot of shares in a software company, to a guy who works at bestbuy.

What are the best nerd shows? (1)

acherrington (465776) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727275)

So what are the best nerd shows out there right now? What are you looking forward to? Where do you turn to to find shows you would like?

The best place I have found to get real numbers on what nerds are watching is by checking out Couchville Buzz [couchville.com] . This is a readout of what people are recording with their beyond TV setup (in bulk, not by individual). Beyond TV is like windows media center in that it requires a little level of technical know how to get it going correctly (large drive capacity, auto defragging, TV tuners), but not so much to the point that it scares people off like mythTV (well, used to... I haven't checked it out in a while).

On a side note: McG worked on [imdb.com] "The O.C". Seth does not epitomize nerd culture in my book. So I am curious on what his marketing of nerd culture to the media will be.

The Fall Anti-Geek line-up (5, Insightful)

Cuban B (1161131) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727417)

Personally, I find the fall line-up to be particularly insulting - especially the new show, "Chuck." The guy is obviously extremely socially awkward, portrayed as being exceptionally smart, yet they say, "saving the world at $11/hr." in the advertisements. I'm failing to see the up side of Chuck's life. He's not athletic, he's only funny in the sense that you can laugh at him, his career is non-existant, but hey! He has smarts that you don't! Let's point and laugh at his situation because that thing I'm jealous of isn't as great as I secretly think it is!

I think that show in particular is quite anti-nerd, anti-IT, anti-intellectual, etc. I've certainly met people like Chuck - not very good at what they do, but they're damn sure extremely awkward, but the majority of IT folks I've met are insanely happy, always joking, and do stuff like ride their motorcycles or go mountain climbing on the weekends, they don't sit in their mother's basement playing DnD and fixing people's computers for almost no money.

I think it was already mentioned above, but if you want a truly great show for geeks/nerds/whatever you should check out House. The main character is a Doctor that is insanely intelligent and in a position of power. He's not socially awkward at all and quite funny even to a general audience. The only sense that he's "awkward" is just that he doesn't like dealing with morons and shows it every 10 seconds with hilarious insults by anyone's standards.

So who would you side with? The not-socially-awkward Doctor in a position of power or the "let's all point and laugh at the Nerd Herd!" show?

But speaking of house, the new season is on tomorrow night - check it out if you haven't already.

Most cool guy in the world (1)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727557)

"... when Bill Gates became the (richest), most aspirational, coolest guy in the world."

Even if you really like Bill Gates, that's a pretty bold statement. I certainly don't mean to disparage the guy, but I don't think he's the coolest guy in the world. There is no objective metric for such a position, and if you look at it relatively it still makes no sense. Cooler than James Dean? Cooler than Martin Luther King? Laurence Fishburne? Ridley Scott? Name a few thousand more well-known personalities and they're probably "cooler" than Bill, who isn't noteworthy for being cool, but rather for being rich, philanthropic and rather clever.

Numbers (1)

LnxRocks (759556) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727667)

This article was probably only talking about new shows but CBS Numbers is a very good geek/need/mathwiz type show as well.

Now who doesn't want to be like Bill Gates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20727793)

I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Avoid the Big Bang Theory like the plague it is (3, Interesting)

DrLudicrous (607375) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727825)

Please do not watch this show. It is utter crap. I'm a grad student in physics, and am offended by the stereotypes it portrays. Sure, I'm a geek, as evidenced by me posting here. But I also like to have fun, know how to socialize, have had many many relationships with the opposite sex that for the most part have been positive, and basically am known for my personality rather than my career choice, JUST LIKE MOST NORMAL PEOPLE. Oh, and I really hate most Star Trek related things. I did enjoy (but am not a psychotic fan of) the original series (more for its campiness and originality), as well as the 2nd-4th movies. And I like Star Wars, just like any other red-blooded American male who was a little kid in the early 1980's. But that's it. Also, I love sports. Especially baseball, which for some reason seems to be common among physicists (maybe it's all those statistics). Put me in a bar on a fall Saturday or Sunday with football on the TV and I'm happy. Why can't physicists be portrayed for what we really are, which is normal people who happen to do physics? Look at Einstein! Witty, charismatic, and womanizer! Now that's a physicist!

Current shows too (2, Insightful)

BiloxiGeek (872377) | more than 6 years ago | (#20727901)

Can't understand how that article fails to mention current shows. SciFi Channel's Eureka is good geek TV fare and damned funny.

And there's always Doctor Who, reruns of old shows and the new shows are great.
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