Geeky Characters Are Defined Only By Their Ability To Spout Pop Culture References
A lot of people in the world are geeks. Not me. I only talk about Digimon when I'm drunk. But a lot of people are. And you'd think that since "geeky" interests are so commonplace, we'd get more great geeky characters in pop culture. Characters that we see aspects of ourselves in. Sadly, what we do get are shows like Big Bang Theory, or characters like Steve Urkel from Family Matters, Ross Gellar from Friends, Morgan from Chuck, Noah from the Scream TV show, and about 75 percent of the denizens of Kevin Smith movies. These are characters who don't make geekiness look fun. Instead, they drag it around like a cross, burdened by their own existence.
I would probably relate to more "geeky" film characters if the writers knew how to identify them as geeks without having them bleat like farm animals about Star Wars or Dungeons & Dragons. Either that or they're like Spencer from Criminal Minds, who refuses to shut up about how his special, powerful, super computer brain works differently from the average brain. He's supposed to be likable, but I've never met a single likable person who went into detail about how much smarter he or she is than most of the population.
It's like they're so afraid that we won't get it unless they crank it up to cartoonish levels. The "funny" control room employee in Jurassic World wears a Jurassic Park shirt with the original movie's logo on it. That's great! It builds his character and it adds to the theme of the movie that you probably shouldn't recklessly commodify prehistoric beasts. But he then explains why he wears that shirt and how much it costs and how much he loved the first Jurassic Park, and any chance we had of identifying with him goes out the window. If I buy a Spider-Man shirt, I don't go around the mall asking people about their favorite Doctor Octopus moments; I just wear the shirt.
It's so strange because you'd assume that most writers are themselves geeks, the ones who have to borrow clothes to attend a red carpet premiere and then are kept far away from the cameras. You have to imagine them toiling away on their sitcom pilot thinking, "Hmmm ... what would a geek say in this situation? It's so hard for a cool, sexy beast like me to put myself in their mindset. I know, I'll have them suddenly speak Klingon."
Daniel has a Twitter, which he uses as a platform to yell about Pokemon.
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