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King of the Nerds


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#1

bulldawgtownie

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Posted Jan 11, 2013 @ 4:29 PM

Hosted by Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong, King of the Nerds is the ultimate nerd-off. The series will follow eleven fierce competitors from across the nerd spectrum as they set out to win $100,000 and be crowned the greatest nerd of them all.

King of the Nerds will take the glory of geekdom to a whole new level as the eleven competitors live together in "Nerdvana." Each week, they must face challenges that will test their intellect, ingenuity, skills and pop culture prowess. In each episode, the nerds will first compete as teams and then as individuals, facing challenges that range from live gaming to a dance-off to life-sized chess. One competitor will be eliminated each week until one nerd stands alone as the ultimate champion off all things nerdy.

I'll watch anything with "Booger" in it the fact that Lewis co-hosts is just icing on top of the cake. The show premieres Thursday, January 17th at 10pm est on TBS.

Here's the show's official website.

Edited by bulldawgtownie, Jan 11, 2013 @ 4:34 PM.

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#2

SVNBob

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Posted Jan 17, 2013 @ 4:50 AM

Now this is interesting. On Monday, the editor of Topless Robot (SFW, despite the name) posted an article on this show. He expressed some concerns, as did the site's usual commentors. In response, a crew member sent in his side of the story.

So there's at least an attempt by the crew to paint this realistically and fairly to the nerds, even if the TPTB want to use the "laugh at the nerds" brush used liberally on Big Bang Theory.

I'll give it an ep or 2.
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#3

TigerHawk310

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Posted Jan 17, 2013 @ 11:28 PM

So, I kind of liked the show, though some contestants (Vergil in particular) are getting real jerk-ass edits. But the biggest comment I had on the episode was that the chess game was awful! And makes me dislike Alana even more, because while she might claim to have been on her school's chess team, she clearly is a terrible chess player. If that's supposed to be her strength, she doesn't have one.
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#4

Twilight Man

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Posted Jan 18, 2013 @ 12:03 AM

"To decide who goes first - Rock, Paper, Sissors!!"

Um.... Lizard, Spock???


"You're going to play the nerdiest game of all - Chess!!"

What? You mean Vulcan 3-d chess, right?

And no reference to "Wizard chess" when Barbarian Man smashed the chess pieces???

Come on!!!! You guys are supposed to be nerds!!!!

This show definately has shades of Stan Lee's "Who Wants to....",
but most of these contestants are no way as outrageous as most of the heroes were
(especially Major Victory).

Heavy Metal Head-Banger is a bizarre man, but is no way a nerd.

And finally, just for group concensus, what exactly is the difference between
a geek and a nerd?????
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#5

MostExaltedLoaf

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Posted Jan 18, 2013 @ 4:07 AM

It seems to me to be a matter of degrees. A geek is someone who has obsessive, unusual interests. A nerd has such interests, but there is a more specific, academic focus, tending toward mathematics and sciences. "Nerd" also implies a certain level of social maladjustment tending toward introversion, whereas "geek" carries no such stigma. Nerds, in their off time, are expected to have a narrower range of extracurricular interests -comic books, science fiction, chess and other complex strategy games and/or tabletop RPGs such as D&D.

The closest example at hand - I am an animation geek, but my ineptitude at mathematics precludes me from nerddom.
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#6

Joymarie

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Posted Jan 18, 2013 @ 6:58 AM

I liked this show a lot. I think what makes it so likeable is that the majority of the contestants have a great sense of humor about themselves. There are no stupid reality show cliches like I'm-here-to-win-not-to-make-friends douchebag, etc. The exceptions seem to be Alana (too insecure) and Virgil (too full of himself).

I liked the chess game. I was skeptical they would be able to pull off a chess game that was good television but there was just enough commentary from the nerds to follow along. Also, the guy hacking up the captured pieces was a nice touch.
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#7

Banna

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Posted Jan 18, 2013 @ 8:08 AM

What, no anime geeks!?

When I saw the girl with the Rubicks Cube and then ending with the chess game, I was reminded of a Cracked.com article about things that may make people seem smarter, but it's stuff anyone can do (the cube and chess were on the list): http://www.cracked.c...-can-learn.html

I knew something was up when they had to create teams, figured it was somewhat ironica that people who are "always picked last" would be doing the same thing to othersa. That being said, Alana does need to get herself together. When she wanted to be Hendrick's (?) consultant on chess, I figured it was to immediately prove her self worth to the others and show them up. But she failed miserably. I did like the chess game and how they destroyed the pieces. Plus I LOLed at the "destroying" of Hendrick as he left the house.

Overall I liked the show and will probably tune in again. So far I don't hate anyone, but I don't love anyone either. I do like that no one seems to take themselves seriously, but do want to win.
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#8

Isuzu

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Posted Jan 18, 2013 @ 8:12 AM

I liked it as well. I though the parsonalities were fun and mostly I liked that I could see on TV people who wouldn't normally be invited.
While I believe Danielle, Ivan, Joshua and Celeste could realistically be invited on say, Big Brother, people like Alana or Hendrik would never be and I praise the show for their inclusion.

In fact I consider the show to be sort of like RuPaul'd Drag Race in that it skewers the genre of competitive reality shows while being one itself. Their house is amazing for instance.

That being said, I felt the first episode was really slow , on account on there not being a proper challenge. But the Chess game was awesomely badass. Who knew? But it was kind of a riff on the Harry Potter scene, and the two models brought along the ride were delightfully dorky as well. And the sheer fact that something like chess is celebrated makes me warm and fuzzy inside.

I'll definitely be back for the next episode.
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#9

futurechemist

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Posted Jan 18, 2013 @ 11:19 AM

When they announced the challenge would be the nerdiest game of all time, I assumed it would be Go, but I guess that would have been too hardcore for American TV. I did like how the chess game was played straight with no unnecessary reality show quirks. Well quirks to the rules of the contest itself, not counting the giant chessboard and the 2 guest-players.

Overall I'm liking this show. The contestants seem reasonable, or at least not stereotypical reality TV contestants, and Curtis Armstrong especially is bringing a lot of passion to his role as presenter.

Edited by futurechemist, Jan 18, 2013 @ 11:20 AM.

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#10

LoneHaranguer

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Posted Jan 18, 2013 @ 1:26 PM

Can't say I like the guy they've been featuring so much in ads (who's more of a dork than a nerd), and the editing of the first episode was a bit rough, but the show has potential.

With all of the nerds around, you'd think that someone would have known that first pick for each round of choosing up teams should alternate (i.e. after blue went first for the first two, orange should have picked first for the second pair, and back to blue for the third).

But the biggest comment I had on the episode was that the chess game was awful! And makes me dislike Alana even more, because while she might claim to have been on her school's chess team, she clearly is a terrible chess player

In fairness, it can be difficult to adequately see what's going on with an oversized board, much less with the "life-size" setup they were using.

And no reference to "Wizard chess" when Barbarian Man smashed the chess pieces???
Come on!!!! You guys are supposed to be nerds!!!!

Given the nerd context, I'm certain that was Battle Chess, a computer game released in the late 80's. With all of the subsequent knockoffs (including Wizard Chess) and the ages of the contestants, I can't blame them for not putting a name to it; it was a generic style of chess that was just around them while they grew up.
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#11

TigerHawk310

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Posted Jan 18, 2013 @ 1:57 PM

In fairness, it can be difficult to adequately see what's going on with an oversized board, much less with the "life-size" setup they were using.


I'm a USCF-rated Class A player, formerly Ohio State elementary, middle, and high school champion, a chess coach, and I've played on "life-size" boards before. The thing that makes me say Alana is a terrible player is that the checkmate she played into is a really common pattern that any halfway decent player knows to avoid. Unfortunately, I can't find a way to create a diagram that TWoP's forum will let me post, so I'll try to describe it:

Hendrik/Alana had a typical castled position with the White king on g1, rook on f1, pawns on f2, g3, and h2, and knight on f3. Jon playing Black had a knight on g4 and his queen on h6.

From that position, Alana told Henrik to play h3?, which simply hangs a pawn. Jon snapped up the pawn with Qxh3. And then Alana made the insanely stupid move Ng5??, which allows Qh2 checkmate.

In my expert opinion, any decent player would be familiar with this pattern and see that h3 and Ng5 were atrocious moves for White, even on a somewhat confusing life-size board. Ng5 in particular is inexcusable.
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#12

Kromm

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Posted Jan 18, 2013 @ 5:40 PM

Wow, Batman-shirt girl was pathetic.

I think this show kind of highlights the difference between a nerd (socially inept but smart) and well... a loser (socially inept and NOT all that smart).
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#13

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Posted Jan 18, 2013 @ 6:12 PM

I liked it way more than I expected to. The only bit I didn't like was the inclusion of the anime chess chick and the 10,000 gratuitous ass shots when she picked up a piece, just because it felt like a desperate attempt on the part of the show to add some sex appeal.

I thought it laid some truths about "nerd-dom" out there pretty honestly: While it's nice to see intelligence and academic prowess being celebrated and become the main social currency in a TV platform other than something like Jeopardy, it ultimately isn't any more fun for some than when looks or money are what dictate the social order. Sometimes groups of nerds and geeks can be nicer and more welcoming than your average clique, but they can also be just as judgemental and mean.

Also, I liked that Danielle extinguished the infuriating myth of the "fake geek girl" by showing you can be BOTH a super intelligent geek and a narcissistic twit.

I strangely find myself rooting for Alana a bit at this stage, even though I know I would find her pretty tiresome IRL. I imagine she didn't really know what she was signing up for. It probably sucks to have been outcast as a geek for most of your life, then you reach adulthood, find a niche where you belong and your eccentricities are accepted and then be basically thrust back into that horrible high school situation all over again - one where you can't even find solace in the uncool group or telling yourself, "Well at least I'm good at math and gaming."

I also thought Henrick was a bit of a dick for blaming his loss on her. He was the one who put his hand up in the first place, and even though they ultimately lost together, it didn't seem like anyone else on the team could have done a better job.
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#14

LoneHaranguer

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Posted Jan 18, 2013 @ 6:57 PM

I also thought Henrick was a bit of a dick for blaming his loss on her. He was the one who put his hand up in the first place, and even though they ultimately lost together, it didn't seem like anyone else on the team could have done a better job.

He was also the one who turned her role as adviser into playing for him. If she started to feel like "nerd stuck doing the popular kid's homework for him" and lost interest in doing a good job, or even said "screw it, let's end this", I can't blame her. Ultimately, this show is a competition. You don't want to unnecessarily torpedo a teammate, but sometimes you have a teammate you're better off without.
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#15

NYTeacher

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Posted Jan 18, 2013 @ 8:20 PM

I had trepidations going in, but I wound up enjoying it. The way they presented everyone's credentials suggests that Alana had the fewest skills and academic accomplishments.
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#16

mooncreek

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Posted Jan 18, 2013 @ 11:12 PM

I like the way the show has skewed reality conventions. Having the person not picked (knowing geeks are picked last) end up making the decisions was a nice touch.

While I thought Hendrick was a dick for blaming Alana, I am sorry he's gone so soon in the context of this show.

I have this suspicion that Brandon is actively aiming for a role in the next Revenge of the Nerds movie. I kind of don't believe he is what he says he is.
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#17

Isuzu

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Posted Jan 19, 2013 @ 9:19 AM

I also thought Henrick was a bit of a dick for blaming his loss on her. He was the one who put his hand up in the first place


Frankly, he deserved to go just for volunteering AND voting for himself. I mean, there's being noble if you put yourself out there because you screwed it up for your team, and then there's being a complete idiot. One of his teammate said that he didn't even know what the game was so why sacrifice himself, and sure enough, it was a game he had no knowledge of and was booted for it. I mean, he can blame Alana all he wants, he didn't know how to play, so without her, he'd probably have been out even sooner.

The way they presented everyone's credentials suggests that Alana had the fewest skills and academic accomplishments.


I don't know: Celeste the blogger, Genevieve the [s]fanfiction[/s] fantasy writer and Joshua the video game and comics enthousiast don't seem to have any qualifications at all either. What killed Alana was her meek, tears in the throat demeanor, not her credentials. Sure, she doesn't have the academic accomplishments Brandon, Hendrik, John and Moogega have, not the gaming/informatic thing Ivan, Virgil and Celeste have, but as Celeste said, being a pro gamer is all she can offer (that and her rubik cubs prowesses). I actually thing being a sort of trivia jack of all trade can work for Alana if she just believes in herself more. I was actually glad she stepped up in the chess game, because it proves she has it in her.
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#18

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Posted Jan 19, 2013 @ 12:45 PM

I though the parsonalities were fun and mostly I liked that I could see on TV people who wouldn't normally be invited.



Was this a typo? If not, I think that Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory would appreciate having a noun named after him about being a "nerd" or a "geek".


This show has potential, if it can work out some of the kinks.
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#19

Karanadas

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Posted Jan 19, 2013 @ 9:43 PM

Lots of fun characters in this one. Hendrik was dumb to volunteer to go on the chopping block- no matter what reality show, the person who volunteers to go up usually ends up leaving.

Most of the characters are pretty fun. Danielle is definitely set up as the narrator, in my eyes and Ivan as the early front runner.

Thoughts on the teams:
Blue team seems like a team of hardcore nerds. Definitely the more socially awkward of the two teams, and definitely the less likely to see backstabbing and the like coming. I suspect that they're going to be outplayed by the orange team, which seems to have more socially cunning characters. For that reason, I give the edge to the orange team, though excepting Moogega and possibly Brandon (not quite sure about him), I don't actually think anyone on that team is of impressive intelligence.

Thoughts of specific people:
Virgil is portrayed as bit of a douche, but I suspect it's mostly a lack of social niceties. Whether its due to ignorance or just plain not giving a crap, I don't really know. I saw plenty of both during my time at Caltech. I doubt he's as bad as he's being portrayed.

Alana is pretty pathetic. It's all about the way she carries herself. She's not a winner because she doesn't see herself as one. Unlike the other competitors, I don't get the impression she's ever really gone for anything in her life. She seems pretty content to just sit around in her woe is me, I'm down and out, I give up attitude. Get a grip. I'm sure she's gotta be good at something, but damn if she doesn't make it really hard to root for her.

I'm tipping Josh for the win. He's definitely not the most straight up intelligent, but he appears to be the most aware of what's going on. He strikes me as someone who's actually playing the game, whereas the rest of them are just like "YAY NERD STUFF.", which is cool too. Though, if I was to crown someone as king of the nerds by attitude and interests alone, it'd probably be Brandon, Jon's probably a close second- they both seem like genuinely nice guys who're in it for the fun experience, Ivan too, though I have the feeling he's going to start feeling like he's in control when he in reality, he's being played.

No favorites yet, though my favorites on each team are Celeste and Moogega. Not really sure why everyone is terrified of Celeste, outside of gaming and cubing, she's a sitting duck. Both have that reserved confidence.
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#20

justtired

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 2:12 PM

I'm a USCF-rated Class A player, formerly Ohio State elementary, middle, and high school champion, a chess coach, and I've played on "life-size" boards before. The thing that makes me say Alana is a terrible player is that the checkmate she played into is a really common pattern that any halfway decent player knows to avoid. Unfortunately, I can't find a way to create a diagram that TWoP's forum will let me post, so I'll try to describe it:

Hendrik/Alana had a typical castled position with the White king on g1, rook on f1, pawns on f2, g3, and h2, and knight on f3. Jon playing Black had a knight on g4 and his queen on h6.

From that position, Alana told Henrik to play h3?, which simply hangs a pawn. Jon snapped up the pawn with Qxh3. And then Alana made the insanely stupid move Ng5??, which allows Qh2 checkmate.

In my expert opinion, any decent player would be familiar with this pattern and see that h3 and Ng5 were atrocious moves for White, even on a somewhat confusing life-size board. Ng5 in particular is inexcusable.


Total agreement with TigerHawk 310. I'm a woodpushing patzer and even I could tell that was a absolutely the losing line of play! I wondered briefly if she actually threw the game. Hendrik didn't seem to know anything about the game if he couldn't instantly see why that hung the pawn and loses the game. The only good excuse is where they were placed - don't know or couldn't tell if they were actually standing off to one side. Usually in these large format games the players sit up in elevated chairs like a life guard or some higher platform on their side of the board.
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#21

DrGirlfriend

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 2:58 PM

Alana is pretty pathetic. It's all about the way she carries herself. She's not a winner because she doesn't see herself as one. Unlike the other competitors, I don't get the impression she's ever really gone for anything in her life. She seems pretty content to just sit around in her woe is me, I'm down and out, I give up attitude. Get a grip. I'm sure she's gotta be good at something, but damn if she doesn't make it really hard to root for her.


ITA. Except I'm even harsher. Sure, part of the essence of nerd-dom is dressing a bit out of the box, but I'm not sure how being a nerd makes you incapable of finding a shirt that fits you. (As Ben Wyatt would say, "Board game t-shirts usually only come in extra large.") Her entire appearance is disheveled and sad-sack. And while nerds are generally viewed as having poor social skills, their areas of interest should be the one thing they CAN express well. Alana was a massive fail at this (though in fairness, there may have been some wonky editing). That said, I was willing to cut her some slack, as I like to see someone with a less-than-perfect body on television... until she brought out the gleeful "[suck it/in your face], bitches!" not once, but twice in her THs (I don't remember the exact words). I can't stand the use of that term in that way, especially from someone who perhaps should have a little more self-awareness.

Henrik was an idiot for volunteering himself. And it was probably just me, but I truly thought the competitors might opt for a chess advisor from the other team over Alana.

I look forward to next week's ep, but hope there is more nerd-on-nerd battling! The first ep of a competitive reality show is often introduction-heavy, but I wished there had been, say, a chess tourney between the teams to determine the winner instead of leaving such a huge decision to one player. Alana could have been given immunity and told she'd join the losing team. Same result, but with more hot chess action!
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#22

Suck it Trebek

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 3:33 PM

"She's a Mu!"
I enjoyed this show much more than I thought I would. Alana bugged and that kid who said, "I think of that more as a margin of error pick" made me laugh out loud.
Seriously...these people are nerds. It's not just a clever title.
I just wish I was half as smart as some of them.
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#23

Facilier

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 5:26 PM

I was actually glad she stepped up in the chess game, because it proves she has it in her.


Completely disagree with this.

Unlike the rest of the people on the show who were honest, or at least deliberately deceitful about their chess game she didn't even know how bad she was at the game. Her coaching beforehand and the moves she advised were awful.

I hope the show will focus more on the fun that can be had in nerdy pursuits rather than go with the "It's ok to be a loser nerd!" twist, so I hope Alana goes soon. Moogega is a great example of how nerds can be tremendously successful by finding the right way to apply their nerdy talents, so at least there is some hope that the show will reveal the remorseless joy of being a nerd rather than celebrate an occasionally tragic stereotype.

I feel they already made an unfortunate choice in the casting in not including a few physical people to help show the world that nerds and gamers really permeate all walks of life and that you don't have to wear some kind of nerd uniform or come under a certain level of fitness to be a happy nerd. I fought as a heavyweight in kickboxing varsities and played board games with my friends on Saturday night. Until quite recently my Dungeons and Dragons group who would debate the virtues of Punisher vs Deadpool and other vital topics consisted of a bouncer, a car salesman, a taekwondo instructor, and an actor. I know they were never going to get Chris Kluwe or some such to be on the show, but would have been neat to see a more mixed group.

Anyhoo, we'll see what spin on nerdom they give to the show over the next few episodes.
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#24

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 7:19 PM

The only bit I didn't like was the inclusion of the anime chess chick and the 10,000 gratuitous ass shots when she picked up a piece, just because it felt like a desperate attempt on the part of the show to add some sex appeal.


Disagree. I think the piece-pusher girl was brought in as much for comedy as for incredibly niche sex appeal, and I enjoyed her for the former. That actress was totally committed to playing this space cadet character, which is why even some of the girl nerds were squeeing about her.

I'm torn over Alana. From her talking heads, I just find her very off-putting and tiresome. But at the same time, I know what it's like to find yourself being a total loser even at things you're supposed to be good at, because sometimes life just kicks your ass. I feel sorry for her, but I'm not compelled to root for her either.

Right now I'm torn between championing either Celeste or Moogega, because Celeste seems the most capable of manipulating the game aspect of - well, of this game - while Moogega's background is just freaking impressive. Plus she doesn't come off like a total reality TV freakshow.
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#25

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 12:40 AM

Hendrik seemed like a ringer to me. Have him get eliminated so you don't run the risk of one of the more interesting people getting sent home in the first episode.

No matter which team Alana chose as the strongest, his team would have been up for elimination. They could have twisted the explanation either way. And, while it's not out of the realm of possibility he could have volunteered himself, it seems to fit into the producers' wanting to throw that curveball without losing a real contestant. I've seen people volunteer themselves to go in elimination rounds before, but not the first episode. Also, the nerd-off was a game that could easily have been thrown by him.

Edited by thethe, Jan 21, 2013 @ 1:35 AM.

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#26

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 3:40 AM

I couldn't not read the name of the house as "Nerduana" because that's what I think when I see a V carved in Roman-style architecture.
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#27

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 4:28 AM

I was actually glad she stepped up in the chess game, because it proves she has it in her.


Completely disagree with this.


What do you disagree with? I mean, she did step up, was ready and fully willing to do so. None of the others did. Now was she some kind of chess goddess, obviously not, but I was just glad she got out of her funk and stepped up to the plate.

I think the piece-pusher girl was brought in as much for comedy as for incredibly niche sex appeal, and I enjoyed her for the former. That actress was totally committed to playing this space cadet character, which is why even some of the girl nerds were squeeing about her.


Completely agree. Both the actors were really committed, and cosplay (and the sexualistation thereof) is an important part of nerd- and geekdom anyway. Since everybody was in on the joke, I loved it.

Henrik seemed like a ringer to me. No matter which team Alana chose as the strongest, his team would have been up for elimination.


What do you mean? That if she would have chosen the blue team as the strongest they would have sent them to the nerd off instead of the oranges? That seems awfully convoluted. I'm much more willing to believe he's someone who as never seen one minute of reality TV (and good for him frankly) and didn't know squat about how those things worked.
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#28

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 5:55 AM

The excessive catch phrasing is going to grate. The bits they've shown from the intro featuring moments from later in the show already do. There's a difference between sharing geek culture and gloating geek culture (geek hipster, if you will), and a lot of things seem to be edging into that gloating geek culture.

I am curious to see how many references cause arguments during the competitions. Things get recycled, as with the battle chess/wizard chess issue mentioned earlier. People, but especially geeks, don't like being told there's an earlier reference than the one they've cited.
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#29

Facilier

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 10:02 AM

The excessive catch phrasing is going to grate. The bits they've shown from the intro featuring moments from later in the show already do. There's a difference between sharing geek culture and gloating geek culture (geek hipster, if you will), and a lot of things seem to be edging into that gloating geek culture.


I was hoping this was part of the opening excitement of "Yay! Nerditude!", but yeah the random exclamations were a little sad, like the guy getting picked then shouting out "That which is dead can never die!" which had nothing to do with what was happening at that moment, and as you say ends up just alienating outsiders to the "true geek", hipster-style.

It's a different situation if they use a statement from show to express a feeling about a situation, like if Alana got philosophical about being picked last with "All this has happened before and will happen again.", but just shouting out quotes is weak and will hopefully be curtailed.

Edited by Facilier, Jan 21, 2013 @ 6:13 PM.

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#30

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 5:16 PM

like the guy getting picked then shouting out "That which is dead can never die!" which had nothing to do with what was happening at that moment


Oh good, that wasn't supposed to make sense. I'm not the biggest geek/nerd (g'nerd?) out there, and that moment definitely left me scratching my head as to WTF that guy was on about.
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