So TBS is starting a new show this week called King of the Nerds. I am very guarded about this show, because I'm afraid the show will be designed to exploit rather than explore nerd culture. I'm afraid that instead of presenting the contestants as they really are, TBS will present them as caricatures to be laughed at. The Big Bang Theory gets a lot of criticism about that, but I enjoy the show for 2 reasons. 1) I think it's a genuinely funny show. I'm not a big fan of sitcoms, but the unique theme has allowed them to use situations that other sitcoms haven't been able to do so. There are only so many ways sitcoms can make mother-in-law interactions funny, but only the Big Bang Theory can have a scene where a physicist tries to do a biologist's work. 2) Because it's a sitcom, I'm willing to tolerate some level of caricature. The characters are SUPPOSED to be a bit goofy. The guys on the show are a little more awkward than they have to be, and Penny (early on) and her boyfriends are a bit more ditzy than they had to be. This has changed in the later seasons, for what it's worth. The men on the show have been fleshed out and made less awkward, while Penny is less of a ditz. Since this new King of the Nerds show is a "reality" show, I fear that if the contestants are portrayed to be completely out of touch, nerd culture is going to be laughed at rather than being intriguing. Nerd culture has come a long way in the past 20 years. Comic book movies are now blockbuster hits every year, rather than a rarity. People who aren't otherwise particularly nerdy are calling themselves nerds and trying to dress the part because "geek chic" is in style. I just hope shows like this don't start turning the public against us. I can almost see a situation where people say "Well, I might like the Spiderman movies, but at least I don't LARP!" I believe that if the producers set it up right, they can use this show to dispel myths and preconceived notions about self-described nerds. I really want them to show the normal human side of the contestants. If they manage to do this, I will probably be a big fan of the show. By the way, I don't want this to become a discussion on Big Bang Theory; we already have a thread for that. If BBT is a borderline case, I'm afraid that King of the Nerds is going to take a flying leap across the line. What do you guys think? Have you seen the previews? Will you tune in to watch? I plan to watch it, and I really really hope they don't set this up to exploit nerd culture.