Geeks Who Drink (TV show review)

TV STILL -- DO NOT PURGE -- GEEKS WHO DRINK -- Episode 105 -- Pictured: Zachary Levi -- (Photo by: Carol Kaelson/Syfy)
Photo: Carol Kaelson/Syfy

I am always a bit apprehensive whenever I hear about a new so called “geek” themed show or movie. After living most of my life thinking that my love of sci-fi and fantasy was something to be ridiculed, it is always odd to see “geek culture” now pushed into the forefront of pop culture. And for those who still think that playing with dinosaurs and spaceships is uncool, well, I’ve got a few billion reasons why that’s no longer the case. But with all those big dollars, there is always the risk of executives chasing after these “geek” dollars with little regard for the culture itself. Thankfully, the new SyFy game show, Geeks who Drink, feels much more like a genuine labor of love from Executive Producer Zachary Levi. The show is a celebration of geek culture that glorifies the obsessive nature of geekdom, and blends it with the fun of a night out, drinking with friends.

Levi, whose geek credentials are above reproach (see Chuck, Video Game High School, and The Guild to name but a few), hosts this fun and lighthearted 30-minute game show that pits two teams of three against each other to answer various trivia questions centered around geek culture. Each team is led by a celebrity team captain (in one episode, these captains were Eric Christian Olsen and Scott Porter) who banters with Levi and handles buzzer duties.

The game is a mishmash of simple “X or Y” and “How are these things related?” questions, interspersed with “physical” challenges such as a contest where each captain has to throw jello cubes into a clear bucket. The trivia questions themselves are nothing that would stump any sort of die-hard trivia geek, but that’s really not the point of the show. I watch Jeopardy to see how I stack up against people who can name the longest reigning monarch of the Ottoman Empire (it’s Suleiman the First, by the way). Levy is a charismatic host, tossing out quips and jokes in between trivia questions, and the celebrity team captains help to build a rapport both within their teams and with Levy.

Set in a soundstage that looks like it was repurposed into a proper bar, the show includes a live studio audience that is seated around small square tables, very much like what you would see at a bar or comedy club. The shots into the crowd show audience members being served drinks while laughing along with the contestants. This only adds to the casual and collegial vibe that the show wants to convey.

Watching this show reminds me of one of my favorite video games of all time, You Don’t Know Jack!  In much the same way, Geeks who Drink is less about the trivia, and more about the game. And even if you don’t know how many Laws of Robotics there are, you can still have fun watching all the same.

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Brian Chu
Brian Chu 221 posts

Brian Chu is a Staff Writer for Nerd Reactor and aspiring Jeopardy contestant. He thinks Picard is the best captain, Cumberbatch is the best Holmes, Bale is the best Batman, and Tennant is the best Doctor. Follow him @chumeister