I have a series of issues with TV.

Some of them are minor (mostly having to do with Jamie Oliver being allowed anywhere the front of a camera), some more serious (with the majority involving any programme/show/video clip containing cockney chefs using the word ‘Pukka’, and a few astoundingly major hangups with Jamie Oliver being allowed in the same country as me.

But they pale to the hue of a bleached lily when placed alongside the one, true, aggravation:


See!! I knew you’d go there!! As soon as I mentioned glasses you went straight to the geek didn’t you!? Doesn’t matter what show you thought of, you went immediately to the nerd of that particular programme!! Because, as every TV producer knows, geeks, nerds, dweebs, all those clever fuckers wear glasses, don’t they!?

Watch any show, ANY show, and if it has an intellectual person on it, or someone with less than stellar interpersonal skills but who happens to be a whizz with a computer, you can bet a pound to a pinch of shit that that particular character will wear glasses. If there’s more than one of these characters, at least half of them will be in glasses. It’s like an unwritten law of TV (or it could be a written law of TV, how the fuck should I know!).

And, ANND, if one of the dashing, debonair, sexy main characters has to dress up like a computer geek, or comicbook nerd, guess what they’ll wear so as you’ll be able to distinguish that particular disguise from all the others?

Sorry? what was that? A tank top? No not a fucking tank top you imbecile, glasses!! Haven’t you being paying any attention!?

And, the thing that really clamps itself down on my scrotum, the one point that takes this already outrageously contentious subject and pours flaming petrol on it? It’s universal.

No matter what show you watch, for whatever age group or demographic, to highlight the fact that a particular character is of above average intelligence or happens to have Superman issue 1 stashed away in his mums wardrobe, glasses will be added to the costume.

But that’s not the end of it. That’s not even the middle of it. It gets indescribably worse

See, I’ve worn glasses my entire life (actually that’s a big fib. There were four and a half years at the beginning when my eyes appeared to be fine, but I didn’t really appreciate them at the time, what with being a toddler) and, should I ever take them off, I’m neither use nor fucking ornament. Without my glasses on I can not see a goddamn, mother fucking thing. Oh, sure, I can make out colours and vague shapes, but that’s not a whole lotta help for most situations. I wouldn’t, for example, be able to drive a colleague, who happens to be squirting blood from a newly ventilated artery, to a hospital so that the blood vessel in question could be unperforated if I wasn’t wearing my glasses. Why? Because I wouldn’t be able to see anything numbnuts! We wouldn’t get a 100yds down the road before I added major brain injury and a shattered spine to the already majorly injured patient due to having driven into the first brick wall I didn’t see.

But on TV? No, no, no. Glasses? Why they’re just for decoration aren’t they? Are they not merely used by a certain outcast section of society to identify each other? The perspex in the front is simply to protect their eyes so as they don’t blind themselves with their utter incompetence.

Want your characters to suddenly realise that the geek they have been ripping the shit out of for most of the series is actually attractive? Simply remove his glasses. Et voila!! Instant stud.

Prom date a bit of a thudmonkey? Whip off her specs, that’ll tart her up a bit.


But the situation continues it’s spiraling descent into utter, irredeemable craptasticity.

When someone drops their spectacles on the floor, probably due to a volcano having inexplicably forced its way out of the ground in the middle of St Sexy’s Sexual Emergency Room, trapping all of our stupidly beautiful doctors and possibly a couple of redshirts, inside an operating theatre that is rapidly filling with boiling marmite, in the first part of the star-studded, gripping season finale, what happens to them? (the spectacles I mentioned at the beginning of that sentence, not the doctors. It’s obvious that the redshirts will perish in some pointless way and all but one of the doctors will escape at the last second. Dr Raoul, however, will remain trapped in order to hold open the sliding doors so that everyone else can make good their escape.)

Well, obviously, the lenses shatter don’t they.

Everyone knows that if you drop glasses on the floor, the lenses will shatter, with an easily identifiable ‘clinking’ sound, right? Because they always do on TV, and TV never lies.

But it does, gentle moron, it does.

See, the majority of spectacle lenses are made of perspex, that are actually quite resilient. They might chip or snap if treated in a less than favourable manner, but will survive standard drop from a few feet with little more than a few scratches at most. Sure, there are glass lenses out there, but not as many as TV will have you believe. And even they would probably survive the fall because, well, lenses are often thicker than the average tumbler or plate glass picture frame!!


This topic came up because my wife and I have started watching Leverage with Timothy Hutton (he’s in it. I don’t mean he pops round our house on a Monday night for a swift beer and a couple of episodes of his show, because that would be insane. Besides, Monday night is when Alyson H comes round). It’s actually a fun little show, a sort of bastard love child of The A-Team and Ocean’s Eleven. Yes it falls prey to all of the usual technological trappings that any tech heavy show does (computers being able to do pretty much anything, to the accompaniment of irritating whizzy tappity sounds, in the hands of a ‘computer whizz’), but in this show, the computer nerd is a fairly street savvy guy, who also happens to be a master criminal, with nary a lens or spectacle in sight. The glasses are worn by the ex-military type (shady background, able to take out 15 guys armed with uzis, singlehandedly without spilling his coffee.

Which should have been cool except, EXCEPT, in the one episode when they needed someone to pose as a staff member from IT support. Obviously they send in the guy already wearing the glasses because that just makes good sense, and obviously they give him a centre parting and dress him up in badly fitting chinos and a checked, short-sleeved shirt, I mean, that’s a given when posing as a computer geek.

And, I mentioned that he’s already wearing glasses, yeah?

But they changed them!!!!!!!!! Couldn’t possibly have him pretend to be a person that understands how a computer works and allow him to continue to wear his fashionable, frameless glasses. That’s insane. We’re contractually bound to swap them for nerdy, thickly rimmed spectacles…it’s the law!!


Sorry, I need to go lie down.


Oh, and I know I promised astounding, groundbreaking awesomeness that I utterly failed to deliver last week…but I chickened out. The topic was…is incredibly touchy

Yeah, I’m a pussy. Maybe next week.
Now, go away I’m brooding.