In this week’s Time Joel Stein profiles Adam Brody, the actor who made nerds hip on a TV show — The O.C. — that no actual nerd ever actually watched. We learn, among other things, that Brody isn’t really all that nerdy in real life:
“I’m a fake intellectual,” he says while wearing giant sunglasses and eating his first meal of the day–a cheeseburger–at 1 p.m. “I’m not that well read. Which I’m insecure about since I’ve gotten the [intellectual] niche.” He’s not even sure how he pulled off the fake-nerd scam. “Maybe the sarcasm reads a little bit as intellect, even if it’s not,” he says. “My best jokes are so cheap. All I do is say things sarcastically. I just say, ‘Yeah. Cool.’” As he says this, I feel the confusing disappointment that I imagine young women painters feel when they find out Joan Miró is a man.
What do we call this ever-more-frequent faux-nerd posturing? Dorkface? What’s next? Ally Sheedy isn’t really into skinny hacker dudes? (Off topic, but War Games is so begging for a sequel. Here’s my pitch: Matthew Broderick is a Paul Allen-style dot-com billionaire who hires a once-fit, now-gone-to-seed Ally Sheedy as his flinty head of PR. When the WOPR is sold as military surplus and re-purposed as the backend to Match.com, its long-dormant sentience re-awakens with disastrous — and sexy! — consequences…)