Is anyone actually learning anything from The Learning Channel anymore? It seems the only things they teach anymore are stereotypes. The former educational network has offered programs about parents who have a lot of children, people who bake pastries and the revolting world of youth beauty pageants, but these shows are not exposés; they don’t attempt to change anyone’s minds. Instead, they provide comforting portrayals of people we’ve already made our minds up about.
A new opportunity to point and laugh presents itself December 18th in the form of Geek Love, a new show about speed dating events that are specifically designed for sci fi/fantasy fanatics and take place at conventions. Founder Ryan Glitch, in the extended trailer for the show, pronounces that “the bar scene doesn’t work for them,” as if Geeks are some strange breed of creature that couldn’t hope to thrive the way “normal” people do. However, he runs the event while dressed as a Jedi Knight and is overweight enough to be seated quite comfortably inside a glass house.
The people used as examples of Geekdom include a hapless man (once again overweight), who imitates the mating call of a Wookie, a girl dressed as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas who gripes that non-Geeks just don’t understand. I don’t have to tell you that these are quite possibly the most exploitative examples of the subculture they could have found. Perhaps they should pair up and become Mr. and Mrs. Total-Loser.
Glitch kicks off the event by stating that they will be seeing “real live girls,” further cementing the idea that guys who read comics or play video games have never even had a conversation with a female, let alone kissed or stroked. Our Wookie friend has a date with a striking blond dressed as Wonder Woman who feels like an obvious plant from TLC. Another inexplicably beautiful blond in cosplay fires back with her own Chewbacca impression as he gawks at her, mouth agape.
The trailer does give a definition for “Nerdgasm,” which they define as “when one experiences subsequent events of nerdiness, fandom, or geekiness that causes a sensory overload, loss of bodily functions, and a climax deep within the brain.” So I guess they ARE still trying to educate. But, seriously, “loss of bodily functions?” Have you ever shit your pants because of Star Wars?
This show is yet another exploitative parade of fecal matter from the once respectable TLC. Judging from the trailer alone, there’s nothing of value for any Geek. The show isn’t interest in dispelling negative ideas about fanboys and girls anymore than Jersey Shore is focused on positive portrayals of Italian-Americans. It’s not targeted at people who want to witness a true underdog story and see a misfit find love. This is a show for the mainstream to mock the fringe. “Look, that guy has Star Wars toys in his BEDROOM!” people might exclaim to their fellow viewers. “I’m so glad I’M not like THESE guys.” The show gives people the opportunity to feel better about themselves without doing any work, which is sort of the side effect of reality television in general. Why improve your own situation when you can sit back, relax and take solace in the fact that even though you’re single and lonely, at least you go to bars like a normal person.
Glitch tells the attendees before the dating starts that “normal people suck.” In the context of the show, this is not a rallying cry for like-minded individuals; it comes off as the temper tantrum of socially awkward mongoloids. Laughable freaks who despise regular people for not sharing their obsessive love of Doctor Who. It says to the average person, “They hate normal people. Isn’t that adorable?”
Everything this show represents is a slap in the face to all enthusiasts. TLC is not laughing with you; they’re laughing right at you…all the way to the bank.