The Geek Seek: the week in geek TV ending 16 May 2010

Another week gone and another week of great TV has passed us – with some great surprises! There’s really a lot of TV out there masquerading as televisions for geeks, but then again one wonders if its because we’ve been so starved for quality TV that now we just take everything they throw at us – a “quantity wins all” notion. They’ve even recently tried to pass Flash Forward and Heroes as food for our soul. Cynicism aside, there’s a lot to be encouraged by standards and variety today, at least we’re not stuck watching ST: Voyager reruns on long-haul flights when searching for something geeky. These days the geek in us has a lot more to choose from, however circumstantial the relevance is. So this week we begin trying to dig into each show (I watch) and seeing where they stand… and no order at all, I’ll try to highlight some of the better shows – and mention others in passing.

How I Met Your Mother
This was possible the geekiest episode of HIMYM in a long, long time – this coming from the show that told us that having watched Star Wars is a minimum prerequisite to be dating material. None of the usual geek out suspects this time – instead it features the spirit of geekdom to its logical conclusion – to meet the like in spirit while your normal friends try to run away (after scoring some free food). Architecture / Literary (Italian) Geek, anybody? Like Korgath mentioned – HIMYM did a TBBT!

The Big Bang Theory
Honestly the longer they try to make Leonard out to be a geek the further this slow slides away from true geek greatness. He’s just socially inept and wants to be around people so he just does what the rest of them do. Judy Greer (Kitty Sanchez from Arrested Development) portrays a dorky nymphomanic who “makes science come alive”. The witty repartee is definitely very appreciated, and continues to be somehow strangely representative of how I imagine we talk when HBG gets together. A very very funny episode. But other than apocalypse survival kits, I guess the only true hit of the night was mentioning disposable gloves for reading comics – that should be mandatory!

Anybody get a strange out of body experience when Chuck mentioned Chevy Chase from the movie “Spies Like Us” – who’s also already appeared as Ted Roark – the Chuck universe version of Steve Jobs. Also one of 2 shows with dream sequences this week – but this one had them really all drugged out. And THEN we have Christopher Lloyd as… “Doc”. Man, I was just waiting for that to happen. Also, the 2nd best guest star from the first half of the season reappeared! Things are afoot, and there’s not much time left. Also those trippy images swapping back and forth with the rorsarch – that was just a nice touch. But the guests stars sealed the fun on top of what was a pretty solid episode that got the cogs moving for the 2nd half of the half season.

As Lost rumbles and bumbles and smoke monsters its way towards its conclusion, this ep brings us from the early “eh? wot?!” feeling to realisation dawning to “well, ok that’s a cool thing about those bodies in the cave mentioned so long ago.” to “eh? wot?! they didn’t actually answer any questions!”. Largely unsatisfying, like a chocolate cookie in Cookie Monster’s mouth.

After a game changing episode Community returns to a bit more normality this week. Here we hear about Anthropology again, have off the cuff mentions of Avatar and Time Travel (such as easy thing to target)… but the cake gets taken with the HUGE HUGE Good Will Hunting shoutout. Much props for that. Also, a keytar! And Klingon being taught as Spanish. And Indiana Jones. Man. “You could be a plumber! You could be a plumber…”

The Office
It’s sometimes hard to define The Office as a geeky show, except for a few moments of brilliance usually involving Dwight Schrute or Jim Halpert. Last week we had morse code shenanigans, and this week we learnt about how to kill 3 people with a single bullet with influence from a (comic book) movie (no prizes for guessing). Dwight and Angela’s contract to have a baby together reveals Dwight’s “deft” touch in writing the contract – mentions of replicants, Benjamin Button and… the Matrix. Also, a mention of anthropology (actually, probably Anthropologie.), the first of 2 shows to mention it this week for some reason (the word, not the shop).

What an awesome week for Fringe. No exact references to this world (given that they were in another), but it’s fun to see Massive Dynamic’s School for Gifted Children (aka the… D-Men? MD-Men? M-Men?). Olivia Dunham, in her red hair and let loose just shows that Anna Torv isn’t as stiff an actress as we might think she is – it’s just that Olivia’s a wet blanket by nature (in this universe). It also goes to show that alternate realities, no matter how dystopian (or close to shuddering out of existence) they are, are just way cooler than the universe we have. Better tech, better science, redheads, who says blondes have more fun?

30 Rock
“Sexual Time Travel”. And more Japanese weirdness: “I’m a plushie… our term for intercourse is ‘yiffing'”. 30 Rock continues to hit the right notes in introducing us into the seedy underbelly of geekdom.

Doctor Who
A nice spin on the whole catch-22 situation, and it was rather thrilling and compelling till towards the end. The path to resolution didn’t seem clear until it’s revealed that Amy was the “constant” (using a Lost term here) and it was “Amy’s Choice”. Sadly what didn’t work for me was how Amy was forced to make the choice – it would have been more compelling if both the Doctor AND Rory were in proper mortal danger / died in the separate dreamscapes – then she would really have to make the choice. It changed from “happy mundane life” vs “life of adventure” to Rory vs Doctor real quick, so I think this episode could have done a lot more in making it difficult – and making it a real challenge. But still, the way the show began was edge of your seat stuff, and an interesting choice of motivation for the villian – jealousy? Special mention goes to Truman Capote aka Toby Jones aka Arnim Zola and bonus points for those who spotted him!

Hope this gets all your geek juices flowing – another week of TV is upon us, and who knows what to really expect?

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