There’s a new show on TBS called King of the Nerds, hosted by two of the stars of Revenge of the Nerds, Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine. It’s a reality show where a bunch of self-described nerds try to be nerdier than each other in an attempt to win $100,000 dollars. This is my review of the first episode.
1. Your mileage may vary on what qualifies someone to be a “nerd”. One contestant is a planet engineer with NASA, and another collects comic books. It seems odd to throw them all in the one box and expect them to perform at the same level.
2. This show celebrates all the worst “nerd” stereotypes you can imagine. It’s not an exercise in reclamation, it’s just cheap and horrible. You will wince at least three times while watching it, but the biggest wince has nothing at all to do with how “nerds” are portrayed and is outlined below.
3. The girls are all thin and moderately attractive (although I guess YMMV on that too) except for one, Alana, who gets dumped on pretty much all the time, for nothing other than her appearance, as far as I can determine. They claim that it’s because of her limited skill set, but they seem to be very forgiving of similarly limited skill sets in the other girls. You’d expect more from a bunch of people who describe themselves as nerds. In fact, the first time she does anything deserving of a negative reaction (she pretty much loses an elimination challenge for someone who chose her as an advisor based on her stated skill set) is at the very end of the episode. One of the contestants even openly says “UGKH” about her physical appearance in an ITM, which is so irredeemably awful that it should never have made to air, and fuck that guy. Seriously. Fuck him all to hell.
4. Once you get past the horrible stereotypes, and dumping on the non-skinny girl for no reason, the show is fun. I don’t know where they film it, but the location is great. They have a huge sculpture of an atom outside, and the front of the building has NERDVANA written on it in big capital letters. Inside, there are lots of Rubik’s cubes and video game stuff and a life-size statue of Batman, so that’s cool too.
5. A cautiously positive review. And I’ll certainly be watching the rest of the episodes. If you can make it past the bad stuff I’ve mentioned, you might like it too.
Update: I have been informed by Rose (who would know) that this show is filmed at the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena.
I saw the commercial for it and I didn’t even consider giving it a chance. Reality shows are reality shows, so “nerdy” or not, the people mostly seem annoying. Does the NASA employee not make enough money, by the way?