February 22, 2006

Token Television Tid Bits

Have you ever wondered ...

When the contestants from The Biggest Loser eventually see themselves on the program, do they all gasp in horror: “oh my god, television really does add 10 pounds!"


During a momentary channel surf last week, I stumbled across yet another cop show “with a difference” (officially known as cop show concept three million five hundred and sixty eight).

Rob Morrow, seen in a previous incarnation as a young, hot doctor on Northern Exposure, has morphed into a chubby middle-aged man, bearing no resemblance to his former cute self, but he has acquired a young cute brother, who also, conveniently is some sort of math’s whiz – because that’s the kind of subject matter expert police normally turn to first when trying to solve a crime: mathematicians.

So, there I was, lingering for an entire five seconds on this fab concept of a show – called Numb3rs (isn’t the title sooooo clever?) – just in time to hear this line (disclaimer: did not quite catch the girls name, so that bit is made up, but it did start with the letter “n”; the rest is verbatim).

Scene: Rob Morrow, playing big brother cop; little brother mathematician; and a few random people in what looked like a class room; with a few computers scattered about. Little brother mathematician turns to a woman sitting at a computer and says, with much urgency:

“Natasha, are you ready to show us a 3-D scatter plot of the relevant locations?”

Now, you go stand in front of a mirror and try to deliver that line with meaning.

Imagine being the script writer.

Imagine being the actor trying to deliver that line as if one is entirely comfortable using graphical language in every day life.

Imagine being the actress trying to respond to that line with any level of conviction.

Imagine being the audience trying to find this compelling viewing.

Laugh? Oh, I very nearly did, until I didn’t.


  1. Anonymous1:06 PM

    Police are pretty skilled at maths eg how much of the evidence can I smoke before someone notices? or how many $50 bills can be stuffed into an A4 envelope? or my personal favourite, if I want to retire at the age of 45 with a million dollar payout, how long on average will I have to wait for an event that I can claim traumatised me?


  2. You mean you don't use 3-D scatter plots of the relevant locations in a sentence at least once a day?