Smartest Man in the Room Competition
Dear Television Gods:
I would like to respectfully submit my request for the Best Thing On Television Ever. You could make it my combo Birthday/Christmas gift, maybe? That means you’ve got plenty of time to make this happen, and it’s my understanding that if I believe in you (and also perform some heinous arcane acts*), you guys can do it!
What I want is this: a TV’s Smartest Man in the Room Competition. It would feature the (often self-proclaimed) most-genius-ever headliners of currently-airing primetime dramas, in a room with each other, trying to show how much smarter they are than their competitors. A non-reality reality contest show, if you will.
I do not know how they would prove this, but I’ve got some ideas. But first, the competitors:
It would star Dr. Gregory House (from House), Dr. Calvin Lightman (from Lie to Me), Patrick Jane (from The Mentalist), Nathan Ford (from Leverage), Ben Linus (from Lost) and Michael Weston (from Burn Notice).
There would also be two wildcards:
John Winchester (Dean and Sam’s dead dad from Supernatural – who cares if he’s dead and he only had like two
hours of screen-time total, that dude Knew Things), and Shaun White (he would be knocked out of contention fairly early, but he can do something none of the odds-on favorites can: he can snowboard like a motherfucker – and since this would be a largely nonphysical contest, what with all the disabilities, substance abuse problems, and suit-wearing, some kick-ass double-cork air-spins would be a welcome action sequence…why yes, I am watching the Olympics, why do you ask?).
Now, because this may quickly become an insufferable-smarty-pants-off, each TV genius would be allowed to bring their most personable sidekick to help them mingle. So House gets Wilson, Jane gets Rigsby, Nate gets Elliot (yes, the most personable character on the show is also its most violent – one more reason to like Leverage), Weston gets Sam (I believe that would warrant an “…and special guest star Bruce Campbell”), Ben gets to bring a bunny, and Calvin Lightman gets…err…I’m sorry, but outside of Tim Roth’s scowling, there are no other interesting characters on that show.
(Shaun White gets to bring his manager: Bill S. Preston, Esq.)
In a classic locked-room mystery scenario, each character would be seated at a table together at a prestigious conference for guys who wear suits but don’t want to shave. And after dinner (presuming they could get through the meal without trying to murder each other with snarky wordplay), would have to be the first to solve “The Case of the Bribe-Taking Gunrunner Who Died of a Nosebleed With No Obvious Cause and May Have Been Possessed…at The Olympics.” Within one hour.
And just to move things along, they are all informed from the start that the mistress had nothing to do with it. (Except she totally did, because that’s how these things always go down.)
I know this seems like it would be a logistical nightmare, TV Gods, but it would still be more worthwhile than Jerry Seinfeld and Alec Baldwin Have the Gall to Judge Someone’s Marriage, or whatever the hell ends up on NBC these days.
(And by the way, you notice how there are no NBC characters in this contest? DOESN’T THAT DEPRESS YOU, NBC?! LIZ LEMON IS YOUR SMARTEST CHARACTER. Though, in the interests of fairness, if Brandon Routh’s character on “Chuck” gets to stick around, he may get invited back next year.)
Scoring would be based not only on quickness of deduction, but also on:
- Pinache (how many behavioral quirks can you display during your investigation?)
- Volume (how many people did you have to yell at before reaching your conclusion?)
- Personality (have you utilized a ridiculous accent to help solve this case?)
- Atheism (can you somehow bring the Absence of God into your deductions, and/or mock people who have religious faith?),
- Knowledge of the Law (did you know there were laws? How do you expect to get around them? Do you expect some kind of civil suit as a byproduct of the case? How many do you expect?), and
- Substance Abuse (exactly how stoned were you when you figured this out?)
I do not know if these would positively or negatively affect the scoring.
The judges would include retired know-it-alls Frank Pembleton from Homicide, Adrian Monk from Monk, and John Doe from the short-lived John Doe.
In conclusion JESUS CHRIS SHAUN WHITE JUST BEAT HIS QUALIFYING SCORE anyway, if you do this for me, TV Gods, I promise to give you what your dark hearts crave: The blood of one of those sad puppies that make Sarah MacLachlin cry.
*…I probably won’t actually do that, though, because Sarah MacLachlin makes me tear up every time. That’s potent magic, man. Don’t wanna mess with that. Baaaad juju.
And now I put it to you, dear readers: Who would win this battle of wits? Who was wrongly excluded (and if you say Gil Grissom I will slap something – possibly a Sarah-MacLachlin-puppy)? Which retired know-it-alls deserve a judge’s seat?
And, perhaps most importantly: who cheated? (Cheating gets extra points, actually. Had I not mentioned that? Oh. Sorry. Well, it does.)