19th May2010


by jerad.formby

When you’re burned, you’ve got nothing. No arguments. No evidence to argue. No way to bring someone to your point of view.

You blog for the website that got you started. You blog whatever nerd topics come your way. You rely on the numbers at your Facebook “like” page. Podcast listeners too.

Bottom line, as long as you’re burned. You’re not going anywhere.

As a nerd, you get used to all sorts of complaints about the things you love. These charges can be anything from minute details to blanket judgments about stories, characters, and themes represented in seeming infinite forms of various media. As the list of complaints compiles, it’s important that you not let your emotions get the best of you.

But sometimes, even the most relaxed nerds will take these remarks and run to their nearest blog to post some kind of rebuttal. Even if that blog may or may not be read by the offending party.

If you’re a particularly desperate kind of nerd blogger, you might even turn to a super-team of spy characters from another show to try and combat the dissenting opinions.

Once your team is in place, it’s important that you come up with a plan to cause your target to re-examine the show in question. The plan could be to simply get the target to recant their remarks, or, if you’re more ambitious, get them to watch the show again with a more opened mind.

All of this gets more involved when the show in question is more complicated than any show you’ve ever seen. You might think of yourself as an engrossed fan, or a rabid fan, or like a certain operative: an obsessed fan.

In a situation like Lost, where you found yourself addicted after only the third episode, it can be particularly disheartening to learn that what weaved a spell on you did very little for others.

In these situations, you might want to boil the show in question down to its base components.

You assume that most people who have at least a passing interest in science-fiction will be the same sucker you were for something as awesome as a creature shaking the trees in the jungle.

Your training so far has given you confidence in the fact that most people enjoy roller coasters, bombs blowing up in movies, and are at least mildly interested in monsters. But that doesn’t always mean that a monster can be counted on to ignite interest in some viewers.

In the field, there’s not a lot of opportunities for “do-overs.” You might be one or two Mojitos in when the nerd arguments are posed. In these situations, improvisation is your best friend.

This can be delicate because even if your target might be giving up on the show you still don’t want to spoil anything just in case they come to their senses later.

So the very best nerd operatives bite their tongues and don’t mention the words “hatch”, “numbers”, “smoke monster”, and “Jacob.” Should you make a mistake and let any of these words slip, you most certainly don’t follow those words with “have paid-off already and the show’s not even over yet.”

Of course, it only frustrates you more when such an accidental spoiler does nothing to impress the target.

In the field, it’s a common mistake to rely on your passion and conviction to get a newbie to like your favorite show. It’s a mistake because this bag of tricks doesn’t work as often as you think it does.

So when all else fails, it’s best to try another tactic. If you want to convince someone that your show is worth something, sometimes its best to work outside of the concept. Don’t tell the enemy that it’s like the Twilight Zone meets Gilligan’s Island and don’t tell them that it’s all about the mystery. Instead, try and pitch them the characters.

Characters work in something called archtypes. That’s a storytelling term that helps writers model their own characters after previously successful ones.

This is why when you’re confronted with an enemy assault, you just might try relating your favorite characters to their favorite characters.

The success of such an operation is usually determined by the degree of affection your target might have for any of these other different but equally nerdy things. If the enemy is not prepared to reveal a weakness that could endorse a show about an island that can move anywhere, chances are you’re left with even fewer options.

In this instance,  the best nerds will attempt a counter campaign against their target’s favorite shows. The intelligence is fairly easy to gather because nerds, even light nerds, love to talk about what they’re watching. Any good operative knows to listen and look for instability in the things the target loves.

Of course all of this goes a lot smoother if you’re familiar with the shows that they are watching.

If you’re not familiar with the show in question, you can create a cover-fan-ID. This can be particularly dangerous, because fans can spot each other with ease. It’s important that your cover-fan-ID know only basic things. With Prison Break, a moderate familiarity with Wikipedia reveals that it ran a mere four seasons, involved a “prison break”, and was sued for copyright infringement.

The purpose of any cover-fan-ID is to make the target feel important and help them believe that they have celebrated tastes. A cover-fan-ID should be just enough to have a cover conversation. This can be dangerous if you’re asked any specific question about characters, plot points, or DVD Extras.  It can get worse if you’re asked to have opinions on such matters.

If you find yourself facing down the barrel of a direct question, a less experienced agent might panic and drop their cover. A more experienced nerd knows it is better to commit to their new fan-status and furrow their face in a dramatic attempt to remember something. It’s best to be careful, because such a face can be a potential tell for your target, so use this weapon sparingly.

If the cover conversation gets too hot, it’s best to move the conversation to an area you’re more comfortable with.

In the case of Prison Break, it’s best to take the show’s famous serialized structure. From this point in the discussion, you can safely move the conversation to Battlestar Galactica, 24, or, if you’re desperate, the new V Reboot. Whichever show you choose, make sure you know it better than Prison Break!

At this point, the best nerd will remember the objective.

Lost is most often celebrated as the show that kicked off the popularity of serialized prime-time television. With that information in hand, it’s easy to argue Lost’s historical significance and that could end the argument for some targets. Most targets, however, just want to watch good television.

Sometimes, the best-planned operations do not yield the desired result. In those instances, it’s best to take comfort in the fact that you like the show even if the enemy doesn’t.

You always have the option to see the series finale on its way and let yourself think back over the journey so far. You consult your own list of questions for the show and feel comfortable with the fact that even if every single red-herring doesn’t have an answer, it’s still been one hell of a ride.

You can be proud that you count yourself among the many fans who have been involved in an epic series since 2004 and you’re not alone in being sad that it’s leaving. You know it’s important that Lost end because it’s exactly the sort of cash cow most networks misunderstand.

You take solace in the fact that your favorite show will not out-stay its welcome and be re-hashed with new characters you don’t care about.  There’s no room for another X-files.   Enough nerdy things have outlived their stories and it’s nice to know that Lost won’t be that.

Remain focused and confident, even though your last ditch desperate attempt to get people you care about on-board before it’s finally over is a classified failure.

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  • zack

    I thought Lost couldn’t get any worse….and then Michelle Rodriguez appears. One of my top 3 most disliked actresses. Now along with; Redundant Life Trials for Everyone!, Hooray!, 360 degree camera rotations that are so prolific even MICHEAL BAY is sick of seeing them, and characters all suffering from severe chemical imbalances who’s main form of communication is a SOCK! to the jaw of anyone causing them ANY sort of problem(insert fight for toy airplane here), I get the dubious pleasure of watching M.R. try to prove, once again, that she is the toughest person alive. Ever. Of all time even. Before there WAS TIME in fact! Including JOHN MCLAIN.(is that the name of matt’s fanboy crush played by bruce willis?). So tough in fact, that she can take the time to OVER-ENUNCIATE every line of diolog….well who’s gonna stop her right?! I mean, it’s Michelle Rodriguez fer cryin’ out loud! Also, she has to use something to distract from those dead eyes, that oddly shaped and swollen pair of lips, the fact that she can’t even play the role she’s been type cast into well.
    But enough about THE TOUGHEST HUMAN EVER!
    Lost. Hmmmmm.
    I will give it this:
    Elizabeth and I have had more fun laughing at Lost than any other show to date. Sadly the show is not meant to be a comedy but at least it is entertaining.

  • http://www.varicoseveinsfaq.com Landon Phillips

    Burn Notice is one hell of a great tv series, i love spy movies and tv series like this one..~-

  • http://www.egg-donor.net Charlotte Hughes

    i love Michelle Rodriguez because this girl is fiesty`:’

  • http://www.mirroredfurniturelab.com Isaiah Roberts

    michelle rodriguez is a bad ass woman, i like her tough woman personality`-;

  • http://www.hairremovaldigest.com Hair Removal

    i like fiesty girls and michelle rodriguez is a really fiesty girl that i love to marry `’-