Well. That was awkward.
King of the Nerds premiered on TBS this past Thursday much to the excitement and dismay of the nerd/geek community. Whenever a show on a major network tries to showcase the nerd culture, it is nearly painful to watch. KotN left a bad taste as the contestants tried to prove who was “nerdy” enough to stay in the competition just based on their backgrounds which varied from video game blogger to NASA scientist to fantasy writer. This ultimately left one contestant in tears as they exclaimed they were not nerdy enough with only an associates degree.
What followed was a “competition” of sorts where a team won without doing anything at all, but be chosen by the remaining contestant after a school yard pick involving colored paint. Two members of the losing team then faced off in a giant game of chess with a gladiator and a “Harajuku girl” controlling the pieces with no explanation as to why.
So, the first episode of this show was quite horrible. With only one member of the cast seemingly not letting their “nerd” cred be their entire persona, it does not show the audience of the show that nerds are diverse in how the act. They’re not all overtly nerdy that you can pick them out of a crowd.
Pros about the show is that although not diverse in appearance, the nerds are diverse in what makes them nerdy. Oftentimes we forget that nerd culture is just as much about science as about comic books or video games. Being a nerd is about being passionate about your subculture. The show emphasizes that a bit too much at times that it hits you over the head.
Geek decor throughout the house is another great thing about the show. The set designers did awesome especially with the near life-size Batman statue featured in the background of most of the shots within the house. Lets not forget the awesome hosts, Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong from Revenge of the Nerds, and the great guest judges that will be appearing over the course of the season (George Takei and Yaya Han will be on this week).
With eight episodes, the show already seems to be grooming who it wants to win as with most reality tv shows. The cosplay episode looks incredibly interesting, but the future of the series looks a bit bleek.