Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Baddest Girls in School, Eureka Style

One of my guilty pleasure TV shows is Eureka on SciFi. The premise is that there is a secret town in the Pacific Northwest where pretty much everyone is a genius and works as a scientist for Global Dynamics. The sheriff is a "normal" non-genius who arrived in town with his teen-aged daughter by accident. It's played for humor, and several of the main characters - the sheriff's deputy, the head of Global Dynamics, and the scheming town psychiatrist - are played by attractive, intelligent women. Disappointingly, almost all of the actual scientists are played by men. Even if that's true in "real life," there's no reason that a humorous fantasy-sci fi TV show can't make their head particle physicist a woman.

Anyway, there was an episode a couple of weeks ago that did change it up a bit. One of the plots featured the Tesla High School science fair, where the students create Nobel-prize caliber projects. Zoe, the sheriff's daughter, comes into conflict with the school's "Heathers." In Eureka the trend-setting bullying popular clique are three girls whose inventions win MacArthur "genius" awards. It's a high school where smart = cool.

The feud spills over into the science fair with experimental sabotage. Ultimately Zoe and head "Heather" Megan have to work together to save the town. Yes, it's corny, but I found it refreshing to see high school girls who are brilliant at science and engineering depicted as the rule, rather than the exception.

Other clips with Zoe and Megan:
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Richard Crawford said...

I wonder what you think of the portrayal of Alison Blake in that show? She's not a scientist, true, but she's the head of a major research institution and has demonstrated that she knows at least a couple of things.

Peggy K said...

I get the feeling that Eureka's writers don't really know what to do with Blake. She is the head of GD, and clearly competent and smart, but she seems to spend a lot of time seemingly just hanging around and being the romantic interest of Carter. I'd like to see an episode that focuses on her and her son.

Virginia Lee said...

Allison is a plot device. Her purposes are 1. love interest and object of jealousy for various alpha-seeming males. 2. Administrator of GD who supposedly has authority but in the end doesn't really know all of what's going on around her - not quite a figurehead, but dang close. 3. She's the mama of that magical kid who's going to figure out that alien doohickey one day and be able to use it effectively for something or other.

Yay! Nerd TV! :)