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October 10, 2015

The Five: All-time greatest geek crushes

by Jay Black, posted Dec 8th 2006 6:05PM
jennifer aniston in a gold bikini making the world a better placeLooking at a picture of me, it's nearly impossible to tell that in my early days I was a geek (ahem). But it's true, I was the kid sitting behind you in chemistry class who, when the teacher was too hungover to make it to the end of the period and so gave the class some time to talk amongst themselves, took out a science fiction book and read quietly. You maybe wanted to beat me up, but if you had any kind of heart you would have realized that I was already bullied by fate (fate in this case being a shy disposition and a love of Star Trek novels).

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.

morgan webb goes glam1. 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.

i'm sensing a lot of hotness, captain (deanna troi)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!?

i'm just wild about saffron3. 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?

princess aura looking good4. 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.

wonder woman lynda carter

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!

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You want to have a crush on Julia Swalha find some episodes of the Press Gang. I grew up with this show and had the biggest crush on her. I never watched Ab Fab, I wanna remember her as a strong young girl, not some weak daughter.

January 09 2007 at 9:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked Julia Sawalha on AbFab too, Comedy station in Canada showed the last episode from 2004 on the weekend so was ironic for me to see her on the list. :)

In Canada I saw her on another Britcom where she played the hippie chick and she had dreadlocks believe it or not. LOL.

December 11 2006 at 7:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If the film version of Princess Aura is ineligible, and it's a crying shame, then I'll nominate Elizabeth Montgomery (Bewitched) Who would have thought twitching your nose could be sexy?

December 11 2006 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sg fan

hello? how dare you forget Major Samantha Carter. any woman who can decode alien technology, and also handle various weaponry has my vote any day!

oh. and Boomer is especially hot as well. but she's always got her hair tied up in that damn ponytail...

December 11 2006 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mings daughter from the Flash Gordon film was beyond hot and had a sexy eastern european accent to boot!

December 11 2006 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What about Charlie's Angles? Or the Petticoat Junction sistes?

December 09 2006 at 11:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Back To School is sorely underappreciated as one of the most eminently quotable films of all time. And with past and future Trek actors Sally Kellerman, Terry Farrell, Severn Darden, and Robert Picardo in the cast, surely it deserves to be more of a geek landmark?

This whole topic of "geek crushes" might be blurring together what may be two separate categories. One category is characters geeks liked because they appeared in science fiction or genre-themed programming, the other is characters or performers who conveyed the image of being friendly and approachable and, you know, not laughing in my face and calling me a pathetic loser just because I liked comic books...ahem. Anyway, I'm seeing a lot of people picking exclusively from the first category and not really appreciating the second.

Out of your choices, Jay, I'd say Lynda Carter definitely fits both categories. A while back I watched some of those Wonder Woman episodes on DVD, and while the stories and acting and directing were overall far more awful than I remembered...her performance as the lead was surprisingly good. Carter seemed unembarassed by the camp elements and the costume and really conveyed the idea of the hero as someone who came here to teach Man's World a lesson about how to be nicer and more compassionate to one another. Definitely a woman who wouldn't laugh at a poor defenseless geek.

And another vote for Aeryn Sun from Farscape -- again, not just because it was SF and not just because of the stunning beauty of the actress, but because of her relationship with John Crichton who was the ultimate viewer identification figure in being an SF and comics geek transported into an SF situation. If "making the unapproachable gorgeous woman open up with my goofy sense of humor and geek references" isn't an ultimate geek fantasy, I'll eat my DRD!

December 09 2006 at 6:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Donna on "That '70s Show."

December 09 2006 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"5. This one is a toss between Ally Walker - Dr. Sam Waters (Profiler) and Andrea Parker - Ms. Parker (Pretender) - because they were both awesome and I had a HUGE crush on both when I was growing up"

To push Ally Walker above Andrea Parker, remember Parker's role on that show "Less than Perfect"? Parker's role on that show killed the attraction to Parker's role on "The Pretender", at least for me. The cold-hearted bitch that needed a good serviing was far hotter than the self-absorbed character played on "Perfect".

At least I haven't seen Ally Walker do any roles like that.

December 09 2006 at 6:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

did none of you self-professed geeks have a problem w/ rachel wearing the buns w/ the metal bikini? she's supposed to have the far-less-stupid-looking braids. i'm a girl and even i know that!

December 09 2006 at 11:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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