Imagine the drudgery that would afflict television if computer technology was never invented? There’d be so many fewer hacking shows to watch. What would we even do with all that spare time? Invent computers, probably…Has anyone settled on the collective noun for a group hackers, by the way?
Here’s a brief list of some of our favourite male TV nerds:
Huck (Diego Munoz) from Scandal
Played by Guillermo Diaz
A gruff hacker in our favourite crisis management team (led by Olivia Pope) in Scandal, Huck is a former CIA agent that is light on conversation but heavy on mystery. ‘…Low-key and quietly brilliant Huck…’ proffers a sturdy air that you can’t help but interpret as reliable.
For an added bonus the actor that plays Huck is gay and has a tattoo of Madonna’s face on his arm… what’s not to love?
Walter O’Brien from </Scorpion>
Played by Elyes Gabel
The show and character was inspired by the real life Walter O’Brien who is a hacker and computer expert. At only eleven years old, he hacked into NASA (just like the real life Walter O’Brien did) and has since been commissioned by Homeland to work for them.
One of Walter’s most endearing traits is his rapid connection with his on again, off again love interest (Paige)’s son.
The TV show, Scorpion, was suggested to producers by O’Brien with the hopes that it would attract more employees to his company. Now that’s an expensive recruitment drive!
Abed Nadir from Community
Played by Danny Pudi
A personal favourite of mine, with his russet skin and his adorable quirks and of course, his obsessive love of television (relatable), Abed is the full package.
It is alluded to in Community that Abed displays characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome and doesn’t pick up on emotional or social cues as well as the other characters.
Abed also has a strong and admirable life philosophy and self esteem:
‘I’ve got self esteem falling out of my butt. That’s why I was willing to change for you guys because when you really know who you are and what you like about yourself, changing for other people isn’t such a big deal.’
And whilst he may be no match for his counterpart Troy who is played by Donald Glover (you all know him from Childish Gambino fame) our boy can rap in Spanish.
And in English…
Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory
Played by Jim Parsons
Everyone’s favourite pedant and TV nerd, Sheldon (pardon me, that’s Dr. Sheldon Lee Cooper, B.S., M.S., M.A., Ph.D., Sc.D.), is as fresh faced as he is intelligent. As a theoretical physicist, Sheldon steals the show with his prodigal abilities, stilted personality traits and particularities and his top Theremin playing.
Plus those over expressive eyebrows.
Elliot Alderson from Mr Robot
Played by Rami Malek
Struggling with dissociative disorder, clinical depression and social anxiety disorder, Elliot is the people’s cyber vigilante that “hacks for good” on the intriguing Mr Robot. Played by the enigmatic Malek, of Egyptian heritage, who is also a twin. The show is often praised for its accuracy when it comes to detailing their hack-ventures and technological authenticity.
Elliot’s pet fish is called Qwerty and isn’t that just the best name for a nerd pet?
Did you know: Malek took typing lessons to prepare for his role of quick fingered hacker Elliot?
Bertram Gilfoyle from Silicon Valley
Played by Martin Starr
With monotone delivery and an acerbic tongue Bertram, known as Gilfoyle is the long haired, Satan worshipping Senior Security Architect in Richard’s hacker group in the HBO series, Silicon Valley.
I could literally name the entire core group of start up-preneurs in Silicon Valley but since Martin Starr is a bonafide favourite, Gilfoyle gets the mention. Martin Starr gets bonus points for his entrenched nerdism from his Freaks and Geeks days.
Did you know: in season two of Silicon Valley, Gilfoyle named the computer servers Anton, after Satanist, Anton LaVey.
Chidi Anagonye from The Good Place
Played by William Jackson Harper
Unabashedly one of my favourite characters on one of my favourite TV shows is Chidi. Chidi is a philosophy professor with a passion for moral ethics who was born in Nigeria and moved to Senegal. The name Chidi means ‘God lives’, which is fitting symbolism for The Good Place and even for the eternal code of ethics that the character abides.
‘Who needs a soulmate, anyway? My soulmate will be… books,’ Chidi Anagonye.
Who has been missed? Share your favourites below.