We’re going to let you in on a little secret: Many of us in the TV-watching profession are geeks. How could we not be? Whether we’re rallying over a little-watched show like “Community” or obsessing over the details of an episode of “Breaking Bad” or “Parks and Rec,” we bring the same passion and attentiveness that you tend to see in the people who go nuts over “Doctor Who” or the “Star Wars” trilogies. It doesn’t hurt that our TV-watching habit came about via many youthful hours not doing the usual social activities that kids our age tended to do. And, while we may be married with kids now, we do remember how painful it was for us on the dating scene, even when we kept our geekiness hidden.
So it was heartening to see the try-out episodes of “Geek Love” that TLC aired on Sunday night. It showed what dating is like for the rest of us who aren’t the perma-tanned, teeth-whitened messes like TV’s other dating extravaganzas show us. It showed people who don’t cruise the bars with a wingman, and who don’t even like to do normal speed dating, because they’re either shy or can’t relate to people who don’t have the same passions they do.
The episodes were built around the “Sci-Fi Speed Dating” events held at the New York Comic Con (not to be confused with the huge Comic-Con International in San Diego) in October and run by Ryan Glitch, who’s a pretty hard-core geek himself. Each episode profiled three people looking for love while wanting to let their “geek flag fly,” as Glitch advises all his speed daters to do. If any of the three profilees get matched up, we follow them to their post-Con dates.
What was so enjoyable about the episodes we saw was that they didn’t just poke fun at the geeks for being themselves. Did they focus their cameras on the small percentage of Con attendees who come in costume? Sure. But there were enough non-costumed speed daters to let us know that not everyone comes to the Con in full Klingon regalia.
And, while there was a fair amount of “normal” geeks around — pretty girls dressed in hot costumes, guys who had an idea of how to dress and groom themselves when meeting women — they didn’t shy away from showing the girl who awkwardly takes her mom on her date or the guy who dresses like Boba Fett hooking up (with a girl who, coincidentally, dressed like one of Boba’s fellow bounty hunters).
Yes, they also showed the poor schlub who made Wookie noises during his speed dates, and you knew from the first second you saw him that he wouldn’t get a match. But even if being a geek is the “in” thing now, where even the guy who dresses like Iron Man can find a pretty Robin to play video games with, there are still those among us geeks who have yet to figure out that sounding like Chewbacca can be a turn off. Hopefully, they’ll figure it out eventually; even Wookies need love, right?
Let’s hope TLC picks “Geek Love” up as a series; there needs to be a dating show that people who don’t work out and have shelves full of “product” can relate to, even if we don’t wear a Boba Fett codpiece.