2007 Trends: Revenge of the Nerds
2007 Trends: Revenge of the Nerds
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
In BuddyTV's 2007 Fall TV Guide, we diligently went through all the new shows to uncover the common trends of the new season. The three main trends we found fall into the following categories: Canceled, but Not Forgotten, Revenge of the Nerds, and Chucks, Trannies, and “Young Folks.”

One thing is for certain: nerds are definitely in this year. Plenty of new shows star lovable losers who may or may not have special powers, all of whom are lusting after, or getting, super hot chicks. There are two possible explanations for this unusual phenomenon.

The first is that writers are hoping to cash in on the success of Hiro (Masi Oka), the breakout star of last season's hit series Heroes. TV is always trying to duplicate successful formulas (remember the glut of serialized sci-fi dramas the year after Lost?), but this year they seem to be trying to capitalize on a single character rather than a whole show concept.

NBC's Chuck is one such character, an every day nerd who gets government secrets embedded into his brain, filling his dull life with excitement. Much like Hiro, is in an ordinary man thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Ned (Lee Pace) in Pushing Daisies is another geek, a pie-maker, with a special gift of bring the dead back to life with his touch that makes him attractive to his childhood crush. Reaper star Bret Harrison plays Sam, a go-nowhere guy who discovers his parents sold his soul to the Devil, and he's now a demon bounty hunter. Hellish as that may be for him, his new power certainly makes him more attractive to that comely female co-worker he's had his eyes on.

In all these instances, ordinary, geeky guys are now given a special talent or power, and TV writers can only hope this kind of wish fulfillment will appeal to the same comic book crowd that fell for Hiro. The other reason for this nerd trend is also about wish fulfillment, but this time it's more pointed: the nerd gets the hot girl to notice him.

Joshua Malina, whose bespectacled presence always suggests a nebbishy nerd, is a successful businessman in Big Shots who is having an affair with an uber-sexy young blonde. And in CBS' The Big Bang Theory, nerds Sheldon and Leonard (Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons) live next door to a smoking hottie (Kaley Cuoco) whom they befriend with their awkward charms. Realistic? No. Wish fulfillment fantasy written by men who were once the nerds in high school who never got the girl? I think so.

Whatever the specific reason, it's clear that nerds are in this TV season. The only thing left to see is whether audiences love them as much as the networks do.

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Read our other trends: Canceled, but Not Forgotten and Chucks, Trannies, and “Young Folks”. Comment and tell us what we missed.

-John Kubicek, BuddyTV
(Image courtesy of CBS)