Friday, December 15, 2006

NUMB3RS = Romance?

CBS has a series that's in it's second year (I think) called NUMB3RS. It's about a math prodigy professor for "Cal Sci" who helps his FBI agent brother with cases by using math to assist in the foiling of bad guys. The show is really cool with lots of cutting edge tech and math. Any techie/geek worth their salt is sure to find this series quite enjoyable. But it's not only for the numerically inclined. "Normal" people like it, too. The stories are interesting and the characters very engaging. The family dynamic with the two brothers and their widowed father (played by Judd Hirsch of 'Taxi' fame) is complex yet an easy fit for the characters and stories. The FBI team has their own dynamic as well as the intellectuals at the university. There are many good things to say about this show but the one I want to touch on here is the romantic aspects.

Now, normally I am very much against romantic match ups between characters in a series because it always seems to be either forced or it overshadows the actual stories. This show is different. There are quite a number of romantic subplots happening that actually add to the whole thing. There's the math whiz brother and his former student-turned-prof on-again/off-again girlfriend/assistant. There's the FBI brother and his many conquests (without being smarmy or unreasonable). The father has had a few dates with "the caterer" and the new department head at the university. And then there's Dr. Larry Fleinhardt and FBI agent Megan Reeves.

Dr. Fleinhardt is played brilliantly by Peter MacNicol. He's an eccentric (some might say weird) cosmologist who will only eat white food and has trouble dealing with things on a scale smaller than galactic proportions. Agent Reeves, played by Diane Farr, is a profiler/field agent who grew up a tomboy and has multiple black belts in various martial arts. Wonderfully enough, Diane is half a head taller than Peter. They are the quintessential "opposites that attract." The way the writers have evolved their romance and the way the actors have played the roles has been a real pleasure to watch. Everyone involved is playing it straight and not as some kind of Beauty and the Geek parody.

While I love the math and tech (and the FBI) stuff, this relationship has been something I've really connected with. Mainly because it gives anyone who is not "normal" the hope that they, too, can find someone who will see past their idiosyncrasies and eccentricities to the real person inside. It gives me hope that there's still a chance for me to find someone. It's a fantasy, of course. After all, NUMB3RS is a TV show and the characters involved are actors. But even the fantasy can be something to hold onto.

Maybe, just maybe, one day, I will meet a girl who will look past the belly and the wheelchair and the poverty to see there's someone worth knowing in there. Maybe.

Or maybe I just need better writers.


  1. A few things, based solely on my personal observations of those around me:

    1) Women in general like to laugh and be around fun people (guys want that too, if you think about it). Those fun people could be tall, cut/fit, rich, etc., or they could be poor, deformed, short, etc. It's amazing how much more important it is to be a fun person than it is to look or act "normal." Sure, there are those who look at bank accounts and fitness when choosing who to hang out with, but y'know, life's too short for people like that.

    2) Certain cultures place more stringent guidelines and criteria on companionship than others. Asian cultures seem to stand out here. You have a penchant for Asian women. Can you see where this is leading? Not all Asians have these cultural mail-role-issues, and I'm not even saying they're wrong to have them. I'm just saying there are very traditional roles that males tend to play in some cultures, and folks who don't look like they'll be mind-blowing providers could lose out even if they'd be incredible companions/lovers/whatever. So if you're going to limit your scope to women with these cultural backgrounds, you may have a more uphill battle to fight if you're looking for serious relationships. By all means, date who you wanna, marry who you wanna, etc. I endorse cross-cultural everything, be it music, religion, companionship, marriage, children, everything.

    Just a few things to think about...

  2. 1) I can charm with the best of them, when I'm on that is. It's getting past the initial first impression. Now I not only have the dumpy looking hairy guy thing, I have the dumpy looking hairy guy in a wheelchair thing. Still, the #1 thing I need is probably getting out of the house and meeting people. Can't expect potential companions to come to the door looking for me.

    2) I'm not locked into Asian women, just enamored of them. But I do know wherefore you are coming from on this one. Lack of "bringing in the bacon" potential was one of the main reasons the Chinese lady didn't give me a chance. I must admit I was hanging on to that one way past the expiration date, though.