Warning: I’m about to get a lil bit serious up in herr.
I was just reading this article about a 7-year old girl from Evanston, IL – just a couple towns over from my own hometown – who was being picked on for liking Star Wars, then her mother blogged about it and nerds everywhere responded in force, sending her nerdy gifts and letters encouraging her to be proud of who she is. The whole thing made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and so, from the very depths of this nerdy girl’s heart, I want to give an official Things that are Totally Awesome shout-out to all those who responded and to all the nerdy girls out there who endure all sorts of social pressure and emotional and physical harassment on a regular basis and still find the strength to be their TOTALLY AWESOME nerdy girl selves.
In honor of all the nerdy girls out there, I’ve compiled this list of some of the greatest nerdy girls I know. And by know I mean watched on television back in my own nerdy girlhood. So without further ado I present:
Things that are Totally Awesome’s Top 5 TV Girl Nerds!
5. Cindy “Mac” Makenzie – Veronica Mars (played by Tina Majorino)
“Look, I’m happy to be the “Q” to your Bond, but crime pays. Technologically assisted mystery solving costs. If you wanna play “Find the Crappy Radio Broadcast,” Mama’s gonna need a few things from Radio Shack.”
Nerd cred: If this were a list of the greatest big screen nerdettes, Tina Majorino would be number one with an astrisk for her genius portrayal of Deb in Napolean Dynamite. Here she doesn’t quite make it that high, but still no question top 5. Those who have seen V Mars know that Veronica herself is a pretty big nerd, so when they brought in Mac in the middle of the first season to be her even nerdier sidekick it seemed almost too good to be true. But it wasn’t; Mac was everything we wanted her to be and more. In a show where every character was a suspect at some point or another, Mac’s sarcastic, self deprecating computer wiz was not merely a source of information and tech support; she was a welcome breath of fresh air.
4. Chloe Sullivan – Smallville (played by Allison Mack)
“It was just internet interception… that ended up having a vicious ninja lady attached to it who chased me on to the roof and then almost beheaded me and went rappelling over the side of the building. Which I’ve got to admit, was really smoking cool. “
Nerd cred: Chloe is the only one on this list whose story is still going, and in fact, hers is the longest running nerdy girl story I know of. When we first met Chloe, she was Clark Kent’s best friend, the editor of the school paper who constantly makes obscure references to smart things no one else understands and gets a lot of crap from the rest of the kids at school for her geeky obsession with “the strange and unexplained.” Today, nearly 10 years later, she is Watchtower; queen of the superheroes. The evolution of her character from adolescence to full-fledged adulthood has sometimes been empowering and sometimes heartbreaking but always really compelling. Here’s hoping the writers don’t do something stupid like kill her off before we get to the end!
3. Daria Morgendorffer – Daria (voiced by Tracy Grandstaff)
“So Cinderella skipped the ball and asked her fairy Godmother to make her the first woman president. Realizing that the monarchy was becoming obsolete, the prince opened a video store.”
Nerd cred: Oh, Daria. The really great thing about Daria is that it actually shows the world through the eyes of the nerdy girl. Who among us has not known, to some extent, what it feels like to be Daria? To everyone around her – her parents, her sister, her sister’s friends, the kids at school, the teachers at school – she is this total weirdo, yet we know better. We can see that it really is everyone else in the world who are idiots and Daria is the sane one. When no one else got her wonderfully witty humor, not even Jane, we did. And it was totally awesome.
2. Millie Kentner – Freaks and Geeks (played by Sarah Hagan)
“I know what high people look like. I went to a Seals and Crofts concert last summer.”
Nerd cred: Lindsay Weir may not have given a damn about her bad reputation, but her former bestie Millie certainly cared enough for the both of them. Millie was the greatest, because even when her best friend dropped her to go hang out with the cool kids and then joined in with the rest of the kids in giving her a hard time for being a straight-edge mathlete who eats Lik-M-Aid at 7:30 in the morning to make her spit taste like fruit juice, she didn’t let it get her down. Not only did she refuse to stop being her dorky self, she refused to give up on Lindsay, continuing to be a good friend to her throughout the series no matter what crazy shenanigans she got into.
1. Willow Rosenberg – Buffy (played by Alyson Hannigan)
“We can come by between classes. Usually I use that time to copy over my class notes with a system of different colored pens. But it’s been pointed out to me that that’s, you know, insane.”
Nerd cred: 1997 was a banner year for the nerdy girl. Within a matter of months we got two of the greatest nerdy girl sidekicks of all time; Hermione Granger and Willow Rosenberg. Willow was perhaps the first truly multidimensional nerd girl to be introduced to the television canon, not to mention the most lovable. When she’s happy you can’t help being happy with her, when she’s sad it’s like the saddest thing ever, and when she’s in danger… oh lord is it terrifying. But most importantly, she gave hope to nerdy girls everywhere that we too could be the best friends of bad-ass vampire slayers, date genius werewolf rock stars, and eventually grow into lesbian witches with the power to destroy the world.
Bottom line: nerdy girls are the best. And here’s a little secret for all you nerdy girls out there: All the most amazing women in the world were once nerdy girls like you. So keep truckin’ and keep being nerdy because
NERDY = TOTALLY AWESOME!