Ironically, the people most likely to enjoy Beauty and the Geek are those least likely to watch it. It is, after all, a reality show, and that’s not normally the preserve of anyone with more than a room-temperature IQ. But just as I’d stumbled upon and eventually loved Big Bang Theory, I had the same slow thaw towards B&TG for precisely the same reasons.
There’s that mild discomfort that stems from identifying just a little too closely with one side or the other. It’s not the behaviour of the “geeks” that makes me realise I’m one of them, but my absolute contempt for the “beauties”. Beauty, it seems, means nothing more than to be slim and polished. You don’t have to be particularly good-looking – few of these women are blessed with pretty faces – but you do have to be skinny, orange-baked and big-haired. The former is something I’ll never master, and dieting knocks a good 20 IQ points off your glucose-deprived brain. The latter is easy enough to achieve, but every minute you spend exfoliating, waxing, plucking, scrubbing and moisturising is a minute you don’t spend (say) reading up on current affairs. If I look at the “beauties” and automatically assume them to be vacuous, shallow and a little bit thick, I’m probably not far off the mark. Since this is a TV game show, they’ve chosen the most extreme bimbettes – just as the geeks are fashion-clueless and socially awkward, with no room in their brains for anything beyond physics and Star Trek.