Monday, March 16, 2009

Two Brilliant TV Women

So I was thinking about Denise Richards the other day. No, you're right, shouldn't have wasted the time, but I guess she's on Dancing with the Has Beens or something so she's getting some media. Anyway, what I was thinking about was that she was in a Bond movie in which she played a scientist of some sort, I think. I'm not sure, I never saw the movie, but it struck me as one of those Bad Casting Decisions. Like Tara Reid put on some glasses and a lab coat for some movie or another. Didn't see that one either. So those who don't actually watch can't throw stones, or however the saying goes. But really. Could those ever be Good Casting Decisions? So then I arrived at the question, who really can pull off the smart scientist roles?
For your consideration:
Ravi Nawat as Amita Ramanujan. I heard an interview in which she admits that she doesn't fully understand all the mathematics behind what's going on in Numb3rs, but she looks up all the relevant concepts, just to get a basic idea. Love that! A wise person knows that what they don't know is more than what they know. (Somebody said that better, somewhere). She can deliver her lines credibly, and has enough presence to hang with David Krumholtz, Rob Morrow, and Judd Hirsch, the ostensible powerhouses of the cast. I also love how she is written. At one point the chair of the department, Millie, warns her to have her own career, not Charlie's, and I think she does. She has her own committee responsibilities, but most importantly, she is deferred to. When genius boy says, "I better call Amita, this is really her area of expertise," it is so satisfying.

Next up, Abby Sciuto as played by Pauley Perrette. This may be a cheater, because Pauley actually studied forensic science before becoming an actor. So when she says that her mass spectrometer is acting up, she can do it unironically. She rules the roost in her lab, and does so in her own way. Of course she's goth girl, but what does it mean for the writing? It means that Abby can be exactly who she is because she is so incredibly talented. No need to make nice here, although she's a sweet thing. She's too valuable to mess with. Not only can she handle trace evidence, she's a techie, too, so she handles all kinds of science. Much love for the interdisciplines.

So that's my shout out to the tv scientrixes, may they live forever in reruns.

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