Love Bites, a new NBC comedy, is probably one of the most boring episodes of television I have ever sat through, yet it's probably one of the most important 42 minutes of primetime TV for geek girls in recent history. Why? Because it was the very first time I can think of that a female science fiction geek has been portrayed as "normal." Instead of being an outcast or the quirky best friend, the geek girl heroine was socially adept and even attractive to "normal" guys. We're witnessing the evolution of the geek girl archetype on TV.
Though Jordan's friends debate whether or not it's a good idea that he date Cassie, there's no debate among the group that loving sci-fi is hot. Later on, both Cassie and Jordan confess to lying when they met (she's not a virgin, he's not a writer) but the two decide to give their burgeoning relationship a fresh start based on an allegory from Battlestar Gallactica.
Don't let Jennifer Love Hewitt fool you. This is a different clip.
An attractive, socially adept television couple just based the foundation of their relationship on a science fiction show? Why? The show clearly isn't aimed at geeks; this was no attempt at building geek cred with their audience. This wasn't a throw-away line. A significant portion of the plot is based on a mainstream-type guy attracted to a mainstream-type woman because she likes Battlestar Gallactica.
We're witnessing the evolution of geek girl acceptance.
Love Bites' Cassie is solidly in the fourth stage of respect. She's portrayed as being socially adept and even sexually desirable while being a geek. A geek female character being presented in a positive light in everyday situations was a small step for situation comedies but a big step for geek girls everywhere.
The only thing left for geek girl archetypes on television is to be portrayed in Clark's fourth stage on better quality shows.