Oh, trust me. I’ve got a TV Tuesday for every week this year. The fun is just starting! This week features the smartest characters in recent TV. Once again, this is extremely hard to put in order, but I’ll do my best.

10. Penelope Garcia/Abby Scuito – Let’s face it, these chicks are basically the same person. Garcia (Criminal Minds) works for the FBI, Abby (NCIS) works for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, but they basically do the same thing – be brilliant. Garcia is a goddess on the computer, Abby rules the lab. Perhaps these characters are somewhat unrealistic, but they’re still some of my favorites.

9. Chuck Bartowski – My favorite thing about Chuck is Chuck’s goofy, charming nature, but I can’t deny that our main hero is incredibly intelligent. He went to Stanford and was almost recruited by national baddies and goodies. He’s the Intersect, for crying out loud. Clearly, he’s got brains.

8. Dexter Morgan – I love Dexter, but compared to the rest of the people on my list, he’s all the way down at number 8. He is quite wily and intelligent, though. He manages to evade police and FBI throughout many seasons of Dexter. I’m very curious to see how things have changed for him in season five.

7. Gil Grissom – No one can deny that Grissom is supremely intelligent. He’s one of the reasons I watched CSI in the first place, and I quit watching the show after William Petersen left. It didn’t seem worthwhile without Grissom’s quips about life. You could always count on him to learn something new.

6. Gregory House – Does House screw up a lot? Yes. Does he massively fail at relationships? Yes. Does he almost kill his patients on a routine basis? Yes. Is he brilliant? Yes. He almost always saves his patients at the last minute through some random happenstance that triggers buried knowledge in him. He’s antagonistic and seemingly uncaring, but he is most definitely one of the smartest characters on TV.

5. Willow Rosenberg – We all know Willow is smart. Buffy the Vampire Slayer wouldn’t have really gone anywhere without her. She went beyond Giles in research and in magic study, becoming one of the most powerful witches in the world. She was also one of the few who had to strength and willpower to let it go. Willow’s one of my favorite characters on TV, and that’s largely because she’s incredibly smart.

4. Constance Bones – I haven’t gotten much of an introduction to Bones, so I haven’t warmed up to this character yet, but I know she calms down a bit. Regardless, she’s incredibly intelligent. In fact, her whole team is. She has a kid on there working on multiple Ph.D.s – of course, it’s not clear if he can ever just finish one. She’s definitely the brightest bulb in the bunch, though – when it comes to forensic anthropology. Not quite so much on the social side.

3. Simon Campos – You may not have seen Flash Forward – it only aired for one season – but Doug and I decided to try it out one night and it was pretty decent. There are a lot of smart characters on there (it centers around the FBI investigation of a worldwide, man-made blackout, after all), but I think Simon is the smartest. He’s sly and you aren’t sure if you can trust him, but he’s undeniably extremely intelligent and probably has the best character development in the show.

2. River Tam – Anyone who has seen Firefly knows how smart River is. She picks up on new things immediately and far outstrips the teacher in seconds. She was recruited by the Alliance so they could basically get inside her brain and perform all sorts of tests. They also made her into a fighting machine, which is pretty badass to watch. She’s an amazing character – just another reason I’m shocked this show didn’t get renewed.

1. Nate Ford – I’ll be honest – Nate is probably not the smartest guy on here. But he’s the trickiest and he’s one of my favorite characters on TV, so he gets the number one slot today. He comes up with the most brilliant, perfectly timed, crazy scams that somehow work. Leverage never gets boring, thanks to his schemes. Enjoy the clip!

A few notes on the clip: The man with the gun is Nate’s former boss, who let Nate’s only son die. Maggie is Nate’s ex-wife. It’s not the best clip, but I didn’t want to give too much away in case you haven’t seen the show.

Who do you think is the smartest character on TV? Anyone I missed?

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