Friday, 26 March 2010


The dark secret of many a geek. In terms of nerd ettiquette, it's up there with bestiality and liking Grey's Anatomy. And what is this shameful secret? Coming late to a TV show. On the face of it it sounds innoculous - okay, so you want to wait for the reviews to come out before you invest in watching a series, or maybe it just passes you by and you don't even notice it until it starts to gain a following. But no, it isn't innoculous. It is bandwagon geekery. And, I am ashamed to admit, I have been guilty of it on a number of occassions.

There's nothing like the smugness of being ahead of the curve. To this day I am proud that I am one of the very few people who actually saw the brilliant Carnivale and Arrested Development, who was there right from the start when Heroes was genius, who knew X-Men inside out before the films were released. Sometimes, a lack of Sky TV gets in my way - it's not my fault I had to wait for the terrestrial showing of Dollhouse, and as someone who works in the TV industry I can't bring myself to illegally download anything. All this is acceptable in geek culture.

What is far less acceptable is the following: I missed the first three and a half series of Battlestar Galactica, didn't join the Buffy wagon until series two, dismissed Supernatural for a full three years before realising it was actually damn enjoyable, have never seen an old episode of Doctor Who (pre-Christopher Ecclestone), missed The Wire altogether and - most shameful of all - I saw the first episode of Firefly and then decided not to watch it.

I have since caught up with all of these shows and list them all as some of my favourites of all time. Maybe four or five years ago I just wasn't the dedicated geek I have blossomed into now. I was at uni at the time - who wants to sit in front of the goggle box when there's drinking to be done? But now I am kicking myself, particularly on the BSG and Firefly front. Maybe if I moved in more geeky circles someone would have told me what I was missing. Thank God for DVD boxsets. But my nerdy-come-lately status (I refuse to see myself as a mere bandwagon geek) has seriously dented my credibility. Perhaps you look at me differently now. Can I claim to be a true Firefly fan when I didn't watch it until after Serenity? (And, dammit, how much better is that film when you already know and love those characters?) I can't share the pain of BSG fans who had to wait a whole summer to find out if Adama survived being shot - I just gasped and changed the DVD over as quickly as I could.

I'm making up for it now, giving every show a fair chance. I was there with the rest of the True Blood crowd waiting to see if Lafeyette survived into series two, which meant I could hold my head high when buying a bottle of Tru Blood in Forbidden Planet for my Dad's birthday. I saw the pilot of Being Human when it was on BBC3, not You Tube, and was there from the first minute of Misfits. But I have a lot of bad geek practice to make up for.

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