Fun fact – Dr. Seuss may have created the word “nerd.” How fitting! This week, I’m highlighting the top 10 nerds on TV. Readysetgo!

I love this picture.

10. Dr. Walter Bishop – I’ve only seen a few episodes of Fringe, but it’s obviously that Walter is smart. He’s also a bit off his rocker, but that just makes him an intriguing character to watch. Also, I just read the character biography of him, and…wow. I’m not sure I can say much about his nerdiness. But he sure is an interesting character.

9. The Doctor – To be fair to The Doctor from Dr. Who and Dr. Bishop, science fiction geniuses are hard to classify – are they actually nerds or is that transference from a “nerdy” show? This Doctor has a very interesting background as well, however, that merits discussing. He’s a Time Lord, meaning that he can “regenerate” his body when near death – this allowed him to be played by 11 different actors. There’s also an intense following of this show. Now to delve into the truly nerdy characters…

8. Ross Geller – This is the exact quote from Wikipedia’s entry on Ross: “The character is noted for his geeky, lovable demeanor.” Although nerds and geeky are different, I think Ross could be classified as both a nerd and a geek, especially in terms of Friends. He’s a paleontologist, he co-created an “I Hate Rachel Green” club in high school, and he had a band with Chandler in the 80s called “Way, No Way.” He’s also the whiniest character in the group, which has nothing to do with nerdiness, but should be noted as it makes him the most annoying character in the group.

7. Brian Griffin – First of all, I love that Brian shares the family name. Second, he is the smartest character on the show – perhaps Family Guy‘s greatest rip on society. He is multilingual, he went to Brown University (although didn’t graduate), and he’s a member of Mensa. He’s cultural as well – he loves opera, jazz, art, and foreign literature. Oh, and he’s a dog.

Surrounded by books. As he should be.

6. Rupert Giles – I love that name. Giles’ name is so admittedly nerdy. In fact, Giles’ nerdiness is thrown in our faces in the early seasons of Buffy. He’s British, he wears tweed, he LOVES books. But his intelligence and care for Buffy and the other Scoobies is incredibly endearing and you can’t help but love him. He’s lower on this list only because he’s actually a total badass – for example, he comes and saves Willow from Dark Willow in the sixth season with magic. There are also many references to Giles’ dark past through the series. Gotta love Giles.

5. Wesley Wyndham-Price – Wesley is the Giles of Angel, and to be fair, the only reason Wesley is higher on the list than Giles is because he goes dark during the show. He steals a baby (he thought it would save it), breaks from the close-knit crew, reforms his own crew, and does what it takes to get answers – even if that means, oh, say, stabbing a junkie in the hand for information. That being said, the guy is definitely a nerd. He reads most archaic languages and definitely supports the team in terms of research. Fred describes him as the brains of the operation.

This is a gorgeous picture of Fred.

4. Winifred Burkle – Speaking of Fred and Angel, she deserves a spot on this list as well. In fact, I’m putting her over Wesley because she seems to be smarter than him purely in terms of science, which makes sense since Wesley was trained in all things supernatural as a former watcher). Fred was stuck in a different (evil) dimension for five years, where she nearly lost her mind. She came back (physically and mentally), however, and has been assisting Angel Investigations ever since. Due to her experience, she was able to publish breaking research on physics and portal energy, which won her high acclaim in the physics field. She’s a nerd and totally adorable.

3. Dr. Gil Grissom – I love Grissom. In fact, I love Grissom so much that I stopped watching CSI after he left the show (actually I only sort of watched after Sara left the show, but that’s irrelevant). Grissom is a fantastic character. He always has a cultural reference or remark, he’s an entomologist, and he’s very learned. Interestingly, I found out while reviewing his character that they hinted at him having Asperger’s – I wouldn’t have guessed that. Also, didn’t know this – he worked briefly in Minneapolis! Well then.

2. Charlie Eppes – I  haven’t seen Numb3rs yet, although it’s in my queue. From the sporatic pieces I’ve seen on TV, however, it’s clear that Eppes is most definitely a nerd. He is an associate professor at CalSci (which is fictional, but based on real-life genius schools such as CalTech and CalPoly) and consults for a cryptanalyst from the NSA. He could multiply four-digit numbers at age three. He’s smart. David Krumholtz always plays a wonderfully nerdy character (think 10 Things I Hate About You). As a sidenote: I was in a math classroom for a speech round at a competition and the teacher had Numb3rs DVDs. Awesome.

1. Dr. Spencer Reid – It should be said that I adore Spencer Reid. Matthew Gray Gubler’s portrayal of Reid on Criminal Minds has been his best role to date. I was pissed when they made him a drug addict. That being said – such a nerd! He has a eidetic (photographic) memory, he’s an “autodidact” (self-teacher), he holds 3 Ph.D.s, he graduated from high school at age 12, and oh, he’s like around my age. He’s absolutely brilliant. What makes him a nerd is not necessarily his intelligence level, but his social interactions – he’s socially awkward and has shades of autism or Asperger’s as well. He’s a terrific character – like I said, I adore Spencer.

Long live the nerds!

Who’s your favorite nerd on TV?