To continue our Back to School analysis of education on television, thedailyjim.com now turns its eye to TV’s beloved characters who were actually hurt by their own booksmarts.
Let’s deal with Urkel right off the bat. I know that I just used the word “beloved,” but even if you hate the creepy little dork he’s still managed to be a figure of note in our everyday pop-culture world. That being said, taking AP classes in 2nd grade and stalking the girl next door throughout high school did not help his social agenda. If Family Matters was indeed about family, young Urkel exemplified how not to raise your kid. Yes, yes, we all think a precocious child is somewhat amusing, but he was twenty-two when they squeezed the last laugh out of that show. It’s easy to malign Urkel. And it should be.
The guy can make a electrical generator from a skinny kid and a bicycle, but he can’t figure out that there’s enough wood and sap to repair the Minnow and get off Gilligan’s Island. Seriously, Jin, Sawyer, and Michael would have had that thing off the island in like a week. The Professor was no dope though, that’s for sure, he picked Maryann over Ginger every time (well… almost every time). They say many geniuses can’t make their way through life’s simple challenges, which is why they prefer the laboratory environment. Fine. But what the hell was he doing on a day charter in Hawaii?!?! Knowing his name was actually Roy Hinkley does not help me at all.
Finally, we come to the winner of My Intelligence Screwed Me: Sam Beckett. Sure the guy found out a way to Quantum Leap, but what did that get him? Four years of having his only friend be a futuristic hologram while leaping into other people’s bodies and eventually winding up dead in a bar. Way to go Doc.
Sure, we all want to send our kids to college, but don’t forget to run ‘em out side once in a while.
(careful readers will note that Carol Seaver from Growing Pains was omitted from this list, because the boys in the office all had crushes on her as kids.