Lots of people are saying that nerd tv is taking over. All the recent big popular shows as well as the brand new shows this fall have either nerd-type stars, such as Chuck, or are the sci-fi that us geeks have been known to love for a long time. Lost, Heroes, Bionic Woman, Journeyman, Battlestar Galactica, etc. The internet is a-buzz that TV is made for us now. But that's not the underlying theme of all these shows. It's not designed specifically for geek, or just the genres that we enjoy.
Nope, it's a much more traditional style and genre that is taking center stage on TV. You have to look at some of the other popular shows as well. Not just the brand new ones, some that been going for a few years as well. Look back a bit, and look on other channels, even look at the ones that didn't last because people are trying to exploit this new popularity all over. 24, Prison Break, Drive, Dead Zone, Monk, Psych, Burn Notice, CSI, and more. What do these shows have in common with the ones mentioned above?
On the most basic level, all of these shows are about the mystery. Some are individual whodunnit mysteries in each episode. Some are action or drama or sci-fi at first glance, but what truly draws in the audience is the big mystery story arc that is running through the whole season. Some have individual mysteries with a big mystery arc on top of it.
I think it's because we're getting smarter. We want more from our entertainment. We want to be challenged and feel like we can figure it out for ourselves. I am reminded of a story I heard on NPR a couple of years ago, interviewing an author of a book called Everything Bad is Good For You. He talked about how TV shows are much more complicated now. There are multiple stories going on at once. Characters are more complex. We have to think about our shows. Not everything is completely spelled out for us. The mystery genre is just the natural progression of where we've been going all along.
Think about it.