The Five: All-time greatest geek crushes
Geeks require a very specific kind of TV woman to crush on. She needs to be hot, yes (I mean, after all, we are guys), but she can't be so hot as to be unattainable. Pamela Anderson could be admired, but like the captain of the cheerleaders, she was way out of our league. We needed girls that radiated geek waves back at us. There needed to be something in her demeanor that screamed, "Yes, I know you're different and terribly uncoordinated and made a fool out of yourself on President's Council on Physical Fitness day in gym class, but, dammit, I'm willing to take a chance on you." Also, it helped if she wore a super-hero costume.
1. Morgan Webb (X-Play) She has her own column (accompanied by tasteful bikini pictures) in FHM magazine and she makes references to existentialism while reviewing video games (which she claims to actually play). If she had been on TV when I was 16, my brain might have exploded. It's getting harder and harder to justify to my wife why I'm watching this show. I think she's beginning to suspect that it's not really Adam Sessler and the latest Japanese RPGs that are capturing my daily interest.
2. Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: TNG) I always wondered if Deanna Troi ever got tired of having her empathic abilities detect all the creepy thoughts of millions of Star Trek fans each week. (To give you an idea what having a crush was like pre-internet, my friends and I spent something like 12 hours and a bunch of money on long distance charges trying to confirm the verity of the rumors that there were some naked pictures of her floating around the BBSes, but my little 2400 baud modem didn't have enough horsepower to actually complete a 100k download. What the first daughter of Betazoid had underneath her non-regulation gray jumpsuit was left to my very fertile imagination.) On top of being super-hot, she was also willing to hook up with both Will Riker and crab-headed Lt. Commander Worf. After a night with a Klingon, my braces wouldn't seem so bad, right? Right!?
3. Julia Sawalha (Absolutely Fabulous) This is something of a dark horse pick, but hear me out. My freshmen year of college, I had Comedy Central in my dorm. My home cable system did not have the channel and me, being a comedy fan, watched it for something like nine or ten hours a day (remember, there was a time when an all-comedy channel was a novelty). This coincided with Absolutely Fabulous showing on the channel approximately six hundred times a week, so I quickly became an expert on the show (as well as The Young Ones and Mystery Science Theater 3000). Even though Saffron was dour and frumpy, you got the feeling that she was one Blackberry Schnaaps away from really letting loose. I mean, she had to have a little Edina in her, right?
4. Princess Aura (The New Adventures of Flash Gordon) Okay, she was animated, but I still remember waking up early on Saturday mornings, turning on the TV and being fascinated by her bare midriff. Yes, I am seeking professional help.
5. Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman) Some of our older readers will probably argue for Emma Peel for this slot, but she was a bit before my time. This was the woman that made me realized that I actually liked women. On top of that, she was patriotic. Just look at that costume. Makes you wonder why criminals actually tried to fight her instead of trying to buy her things or maybe serenading her with beautiful music. When Dr. Philip Barbay, in the movie Back to School, answers the question "What do all men want?" with the answer, "...you to dress up like Wonder Woman, tie him up with a golden lariat, and force him to tell the truth?" all the men of a certain age nodded knowingly.
Honorable mention: Jennifer Aniston (Friends) The character Rachel usually falls into the cheerleader category (out of our league -- really, did anybody buy that she was interested in Ross? I didn't think so), but on one magical night the geek stars aligned and gave us the It Girl of the 90s in the It Outfit of the 80s. The beneficial geek fallout of all of this is that the show opened the door for geeky guys to talk our non-geeky wives and girlfriends into getting into a gold bikini and bunning up their hair. "It's fine, baby, look, Rachel is doing it!"
Give me your picks in the comments!