We're living in a golden age of ‘nerdiness’. Comic books, video games, and extreme fandom are all hugely popular, with comic conventions being some of the biggest events in American pop culture. What this means is that nerd chic is all the rage, especially in television. Chances are good you know at least one person who can quote The Big Bang Theory line for line, or who goes on and on about "The Doctor." Even if you don't consider yourself a die-hard "nerd", you've probably watched one of these sitcoms.
Nerdy Sitcom #3: The Office
For 9 seasons, we watched the ridiculous antics of Michael and Dwight, pined for the love between Pam and Jim, and primarily simply laughed at the office of Dunder Mifflin. A curiously successful adaptation of a British comedy of the same name, The Office was a hugely successful sitcom, one of NBC's biggest. It's the nerd crowd, however, that bolstered the ratings and kept it going for 9 years. A show about awkward people in an office setting, trying to interact and find their place, is a concept that's pretty easy to relate to, especially for well, nerds. Spanning a multitude of story-lines, personality types, and varieties of humor, The Office's appeal is still apparent, even now, two years after it ended.
Nerdy Sitcom #2: Doctor Who
This is a very unique program, in that it's been on the air for so long. Beginning in 1963, and only increasing in viewership and popularity as time has gone on, the show exemplifies what high-quality writing can do for a series. And a popular one at that with nerds for many reasons. Doctor Who is at its heart, a sci-fi series about an immortal "Time Lord" and his travels throughout the universe, helping people and saving lives. The heroics resonate with viewers for sure, but the ability to manipulate time and space makes for an endlessly refreshing potential for plots, locations, and companions for the Doctor. As previously mentioned, the show is incredibly well-written, which serves to fill the gaps that the small-budgeted and often silly special effects create.
Nerdy Sitcom #1: The Big Bang Theory
With 4 extremely nerdy personalities and a beautiful neighbor, The Big Bang Theory seems like an odd mix. It's only after you see the effective humor, cogent cultural references, and appealing humanity of the characters that you really understand why nerds (and everyone else) loves this show. While nerds can identify with the characters' personalities and struggles, it has done a lot to help 'nerdiness' become mainstream in general and allow people to feel good about letting their inner nerd out.
While there are plenty of other nerdy shows out there currently, these are undoubtedly the biggest and most influential. What shows can boast the broad viewership of The Office, the longevity of Doctor Who, or the cultural impact of The Big Bang Theory? Do your nerd-side a favor and check them out if you haven't already, and see what the nerds already know!