Blog Archives

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 256 (or “I’m your biggest fan….”)

Now that Stephen King has joined Twitter, part of you wants to just tweet the man all day as if he was your pen pal. 

However, you know that this is an ill-advised course of action, as it is fueled by nerd-guided admiration for an author’s body of work rather than an invitation to annoy Stephen King with constant tweets not unlike the following:

“When are you going to be on Sons of Anarchy again?” or “What’s your favorite pizza topping?”

Having read Misery, you can appreciate the need for boundaries between author and reader, especially if the roles were reversed.

You did tweet him once to welcome him to Twitter and a second time to ask if he was aware that NBC’s Revolution makes a lot of references to his works. After all, they just aired an episode titled “Captain Trips” about an outbreak.

Does that remind anybody of anything King related?

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 245 (or “Is that a terrifying, classic film villain on your TV screen, or are you just happy to see me?”)

The thought occurs to you that if your younger self from twenty years ago were suddenly transported in time to the present, the world would seem very both fascinating and a bit scary, just based on the fact that you have a digital video recorder that allows you to record high definition versions of television programs without a VCR, which you can use to fast forward commercials.

Furthermore, two of the television shows on your DVR are centered around terrifying film villains Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter, the latter being broadcast on a major television network, which bewilders your younger self even as it confounds your present self, considering that people once found shows like Married With Children and The Simpsons edgy and controversial.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 133 (or wake up… and consult a physicist)

You have become a fan of the new NBC drama Awake, starring Jason Isaacs, as a police detective who was in a car wreck with his wife and teenage son.  He then wakes up each day to alternating versions of the wreck’s aftermath.  One morning, his wife is his fellow survivor, but once he falls asleep, he awakens to a reality in which his son survived.  The act of falling asleep acts as a switch that sends him back and forth between these realities, in which he sees different shrinks and has different investigative partners.

The show centers around the idea, as suggested through the two shrinks, that one reality is true and the other reality is an elaborate dream, and he should figure out which one is real for the sake of his sanity.  However, you are becoming increasingly frustrated because the show completely ignores the idea that neither reality is a dream.  You believe that his consciousness is being bounced back and forth between two parallel universes.  You further believe that the professional help he really needs is that of a quantum physicist.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 112

For years, whenever you’ve watched an episode of the NBC sitcom Frasier, in which the character Niles Crane’s allergies are discussed, you’ve balked at the existence of “parchment mites”.  Therefore, you couldn’t resist asking your Rare Books instructor if parchment mites are a real thing.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 15

You and someone you’ve dated had a conversation not unlike the following:

YOU: They’re showing Office Space right now.

YOUR DATE: I didn’t really like that movie, or the TV show version.

YOU: What are you talking about?

YOUR DATE: You know… The Office on NBC.

YOU: Those are two separate things. Office Space was created by Mike Judge in the late 1990s. The Office, on the other hand, was based on a British television series of the same name by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

YOUR DATE: They’re both about people in offices. It’s all the same thing.

YOU: *sigh*

NBC picks up magic-oriented cop show from “Battlestar” reboot guru. This will go well…

Ron Moore, the man who rebooted the Battlestar, franchise has a sold pilot to NBC about cops investigating crimes in a town where magic exists, called 17th Precinct . The show is described as “Harry Potter for grown-ups”.

At least one fan of the Dresden Files books, here at Nerd Odyssey, is convinced that one of the Seven Laws of Magic has to have been broken for this project to be moving forward.

Take a look at the full story

Ron Swanson: Pyramid for Greatness

Ron Swanson, possibly the greatest sitcom character on television, provided a fantastic guide for living on last week’s episode of Parks and Recreation on NBC. To behold the greatest visual aid I have seen since the Rosetta Stone, check out the link below.


Alternatives to network television medical drama detritus

We here at Nerd Odyssey have long been at odds with network television medical dramas. Whether it is FOX’s House, NBC’s ill-fated Mercy, or ABC’s melodramatic weepy doctor show Grey’s Anatomy, the current array of medical dramas is about soap opera romances or cartoonish behavior mixed with a dash of medical information. You may notice CBS absent from previous mention, but that is due to CBS’ problem resting in their over-reliance on cookie cutterCSI spin-offs.

Rather than condescend audiences, why don’t the networks start a new breed of medical dramas that take place in historical periods before modern medicine existed. A show that takes place in medieval Europe would be much more entertaining. You could have the romantic elements of a Grey’s Anatomy but with leeching and witchcraft accusations.  Another idea would be a show about an arrogant Ancient Egyptian brain surgeon, which could attract House fans (and yes, I know House is a diagnostician, not a brain surgeon).

Try a new approach, network executives. Admit that modern medical dramas are as close to real medicine as muzak is to actual jazz and move into the great unkown that is originality.

A bit ‘o “Chuck”

This week’s episode of Chuck on NBC featured some truly distracting dialogue. The source being a description of a missing bottle of wine that had been injected with a government nanochip (don’t you just hate when you misplace those? I know I do). The wine had “a stable on the label, and a stork on the cork”. Not only was this line repeated multiple times, invoking the comedic sensibility of a cartoon, but it didn’t stop there. One character on the covert spy mission exclaimed, “This place is crawling with French bad guys!”

When a French dandy had his wine stolen, he cried out, “My pinot!” The team is later told that they must return to France, which prompts one team member to respond, “Not again!”

Nice one NBC…

Beware “The Cape”

I recently watched NBC’s premiere of The Cape about a cop, played by David Lyons, wrongly accused of crime in fictional Palm City, who becomes a superhero to fight corruption and reclaim his good name. The villian, played by James Frain, is the head of an evil corporation, and is secretly the evil criminal known as Chess… yes, as in the game of strategy.

These are my impressions of this disaster of a show:            

Firstly, I recognize that the show is probably entertaining to children, and more power to family television, but I feel bad for any nerds with kids who may be forced to endure this show for their kids’ sakes.

The dialogue is very campy and is heavy-handed, and each character is a royalty-free version of a real comic book character. The Cape is essentially a Costco Batman trained by circus folk (yes, there are actual circus characters in the show), and his partner in taking down Chess (a villain who is a Lex Luthor reject) is a mysterious investigative blogger named Orwell, as in George Orwell the author of 1984 and Animal Farm (how subtle!), played by Summer Glau… Lois Lane with a website; enough said. This ain’t Firefly quality character depth, folks. I wish better things for her.

Also, Chess wears contacts with chess pieces as irises… maybe they’ll introduce a henchman named Chubby Checkers.

Lastly, Scales, a thug played by Vinnie Jones, is a Family Dollar version of Killer Croc who dresses like a a character out of Midnight Cowboy, but with a skin disease.

My advice is to just buy your kids some real comic books, and wear headphones when watching Costco Batman run around fighting the Parker Bros. Who knows, the Tron: Legacy soundtrack might improve the viewing experience of The Cape.