Bernard Curry is on the hard sell for his new Seven show, Beauty and the Geek Australia.
It’s about transformation, it’s about inner beauty, it’s about empowering. He even admits to having a little bit of geek himself. As both soapie star and Geek, he chatted to TV Tonight.
“This show is about breaking stereotypes and I’m happy to as well. I’ve got a bit of Geek in me, and maybe a bit of Beauty. I’ve got a passing interest in quantum mechanics and quantum physics. I’m fascinated by quarks and string theory,” he says.
“I was chatting to some of the Geeks about gyroscopes and stuff. They were very excited about it all.”
Geeks are seemingly all the rage right now. On Channel TEN’s Glee they are even known as ‘Gleeks.’ On ABC2’s Good Game they are proud gamers.
In this local adaptation of the US dating series, socially awkward intellectual young men share a house with physically attractive young females. Through a series of challenges, each will enlighten the other as to their attributes. If producers are really lucky they might even hook up. Some reality TV romances, such as Big Brother’s Marty & Jess, once kept the nation hooked. Could it happen here?
“I don’t think that’s the real essence of what the show is about,” says Curry. “But if it happens, it’s not discouraged. If you see romance blossom within a show I think that would be a really great thing. Most of the Geeks in the show have never been on a date with a girl.”
Amongst the 8 couples on the show are online gamers, synthetic organics experts, chess champions, barbershop tenors, hairdressers, models, shopaholics and self-confessed Barbies.
But what would make a Geek, or for that matter a Nerd, Bogan or Dag, put their hand up to be on national television?
“I think it’s easy to see with the ‘blonde bimbos.’ They like the attention so they don’t mind putting their hand up. It provides the opportunity for some exposure,” says Curry.
“It’s been a little harder to find the Geeks because they’re not going to come out of the woodwork. They’re not going to put up their hands and say ‘I want to be on national television.’ A lot of the time they were put forward by friends of theirs. So they were encouraged to do it by them.”
And then of course, there is the $100,000 prize. Couples will have to tackle various challenges that test their skills. For the guys it’s social tests such as Speed Dating or performing on stage. For the girls it’s academic challenges, including building and launching a rocket. All are denied access to their creature comforts, be they computer games or mobile phones.
Curry says watching the transformation is where the drama will unfold. Publicity shots that depict the guys in attire straight out of Revenge of the Nerds indicate it is ready to mirror the sense of humour of the US series.
“The essence of this show is not just about taking the piss out of someone because they’re socially awkward or because they’re dumb,” says Curry. “It’s really about forging relationships and connecting with one another even though they are really very different in terms of their sensibilities.
“It’s not about being condescending or patronising. It’s about placing them in a situation where they’re out of their comfort zone and having their partner along for the ride to help through those trying times and seeing what happens in the end.”
And hopefully hooking up.
Beauty and the Geek premieres 8:30pm Thursday on Seven.