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Monday, November 22, 2010

Nerd Girl Hall Of Fame: Temperance Brennan

Dr. Temperance Brennan ("Bones")

Shows like CSI and other procedurals can't hold a candle to the hit crime drama, Bones -- and it's not because of David Borneaz's hunky shoulders. It's because of the ultra-nerdy Dr. Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist (see? I'm aroused already) who works at the Jeffersonian Institute, amongst an army of fellow nerds who figure out the identity of unknown human remains.

Dr. Brennan ("Bones" -- she specializes in them) is not overtly sexy -- indeed, it's her understated sexuality that makes her so appealing. On the show she rarely goes for the revealing, sticking instead to the tasteful -- but somehow that just makes her more attractive, not less. Bones has a smokin' body and a striking face (thanks in large part to Emily Deschanel's gorgeous bod), but it's her mind that's the sexy thing here.

Oh, she's no blushing virgin on the show -- in fact, her detached demeanor and empirical world-view make her almost refreshingly blunt about sex -- and she has her share of geeky partners over the show's many seasons. Dr. Brennan's distinct lack of social issues surrounding sex, and her logical, rational approach to . . . well, everything, including sex, gives  her an allure that you just can't buy with a garter belt and stockings. Indeed, it's her disdain for poorly-conceived cultural ideas about mating that makes her a hottie. You just can't have a brain that stuffed full

of amazing facts and laser-beam logic and take a divine prohibition against masturbation seriously, for instance.

It doesn't hurt that she surrounds herself with a lab full of doting geeks -- the female of the species in this case unusually attractive for a non-profit scientist, on the whole -- who see her genius surpassing their own, and don't resent it. Her best friend Angela is an image specialist with a far more common take on sexual matters -- and it is she, therefore, who advises Brennan on the lustier parts of the books she writes in her spare time. Angela's a perfect counterpoint to the stoic, Vulcan-like elegance of Brennan, a grown-up hippy chick who was just too darn brainy to spend her life backpacking through India. But her earthiness isn't the attraction in the show, it's clearly designed to act as a contrast to the distant, detached sexuality of the show's primary.

Therefore it is my pleasure to announce Dr. Temperance Brennan as this week's fictional Nerd Girl Hall of Fame inductee. Skeletal microfissures indicating a time of death have never been so sexy.


  1. Brava, Dr. Brennan, and Bravo, Mr. Nerd, for recognizing the allure of a brain.
    May I nominate Astrid Farnsworth for induction as well?