The Telefile
Computer Geeks: A Not-So-Proud TV Tradition

After watching last night's hysterical Season 3 premiere of The IT Crowd, I started thinking about computer geeks on TV, and how there really aren't that many. There are a lot of science geeks, like the physicists of Lost and The Big Bang Theory, but usually it's all about the math, and all they need is a dry erase board. In honor of the unsung heroes of the keyboard (computer, not piano), I thought I'd run down some of my favorites, past and present.

1. Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Although she would later be better known for her witchcraft, it should be remembered that Willow was introduced to the practice by her computer teacher, and that this wiccan used to be a big ol' hacker. In fact, while scanning library books to create an online database, Willow once uploaded an ancient demon who had been trapped in one, and unknowingly started an online romance with him. Internet love with a digital demon? Compu-pervy!

2. Chuck Bartowski (Chuck)
The resident computer expert at Best Buy stand-in Buy More, Chuck is a member of the Nerd Herd, a team of highly trained computer repairman. Of course, that knowledge won't help him deal with the massive computer database that's been downloaded into his brain. Even if he can't control it... c'mon, the guy's got a database in his head. That's hardcore.

3. Nick Burns (Saturday Night Live)
Jimmy Fallon was actually a computer science major before it got "too hard." One of his recurring characters on SNL was Nick Burns, the mustached tech support guy who solves computer problems by making fun of his co-workers until they get out of his way in embarrassment. If they don't, he tells them to "moooove!" He's actually kind of a major tool.

4. Angela Montenegro (Bones)
While Angela is one of the most normal, well-balanced and creative members of Dr. Brennan's forensics team, she is also in charge of pretty much everything involving the computer. While her colleagues are stripping flesh from bones and looking up different types of bugs, Angela is creating lifelike 3-D renderings and even real-time crime simulations on her advanced graphics system. She usually ends up doing most of the non-bug-related Internet research, as well -- probably because she has the biggest computer monitor in the office.

5. Maurice Ross and Roy (The IT Crowd)
While most of their repair-related advice to co-workers is limited to "Have you tried turning it off and on again?" Maurice and Roy are gleeful technophiles, and can speak in a computer-term-based language that even their boss Jen cannot understand. Of course, in Roy's case, that may have more to do with his Irish accent.

6. Steve Urkel (Family Matters)
We really didn't want to put him on this list, but the kid built a robot, a time machine and a teleportation device. He makes the cut.

Who are your favorite computer geeks?




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