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NPR Arts & Life

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Nerd Culture And The Return Of Regrettable TV

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We were all struck last week by Noel Murray's A.V. Club piece "The changing face of 'nerds' (and autism) in popular culture," so we spent this week's first segment talking about the separate but related matters it raises of how popular culture deals with nerds and how it deals with autism, not to mention how it deals with the messy and imprecise crossover between the two. It makes for a conversation that wanders in interesting ways, we think, because of what Noel is getting at, which is that somepeople stereotyped as nerds have somethings in common with somepeople with autism. We talk about Communityand The Big Bang Theory and Sheldon and Evil Wil Wheaton, as well as the concepts of nerd bullies and the "fake geek girl." It's a little bit all over the place, but a conversation I'm really glad we had. (And a piece, obviously, I'm glad Noel originally wrote.)

Our middle segment this week is the return of the Regrettable Television Pop Quiz, featuring the Hall of Fame (and not), derby hats, garbage can lids, and lots more.

And finally, we'll talk about what's making us happy this week. Stephen is happy about the sequence of events, however complex, that led to things like this wonderful post. Trey is happy about a charming set of letters we received this week and about some theater that those letters inspired him to recommend. Glen is happy about a film on a widely covered and not at all dead topic. And I am made happy this week by our crowdsourcing experiment and certain pieces of my recent inaugural experience.

Please keep in touch with us — you can find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter: me, Trey, Glen, Stephen, Jess, and our producer emeritus and music director Mike.

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