“Mary Kate is an aerospace engineering student who is interested in rocketry, costuming and medieval armored combat.” That is how Mary Kate Smith’s “King of the Nerds” bio starts on the TBS website, and that is the reputation that she had to live up in finding out whether or not she is a true contender for the throne. She does have that axe in the photo attached, so that’s a start.
But is a fake cosplay weapon (at least we’re assuming it’s a fake; otherwise, we’re terrified) really enough? This is where we transmit our power, kind the reverse of what the aliens did in “Space Jam,” to our wannabe-patented Nerd Scale. It is the book of truth (or at least our truth) on what constitutes a worthy foe, and it includes such criteria as passion for nerdy things, random stories, and a complete inability to help yourself when given an opportunity to gush about your pursuits. (You can read more about it in our introduction to the spotlight series / Brian Davidson’s profile.)
Read on to find out our full take on whether or not cosplay, science, and a strategy to manipulate can conquer a legion of other proud nerds with sometimes similar (and ridiculous) skills.
Nerd Pros – See the ax above? What about the qualifications? All are factored in here. Mary Kate has a lot going for her when it comes to ruling Nerdvana with an iron first (which is probably that way because she will be wearing an iron gauntlet at the time). She may actually be the most cosplay-oriented person in the entire cast, and that is saying something when you look at some of the people on this season.
Nerd Cons – Here is the interesting thing about the resume that Mary Kate has etched in internet stone: She has nary a single hobby or pursuit listed that we would describe as being definitely non-nerdy, though we could let our gamer heart cave in with despair at “Pokemon Snap” being one of her favorite games (though we did rent it at Blockbuster back when Blockbuster was a thing).
The things that we feel like Mary Kate is missing here are all the intangibles. In addition to not really going in-depth about any particular subject in her bio (outside of what she is taking at school), her statement of being into everything that she “thinks a nerd should be into” is a little shaky almost like she’s running through a checklist in her mind.
Also, let’s take a look at her mustache-twirling plan to manipulate the other contestants by convincing them that she is sweet, when in fact she is going to use / manipulate them. Oh noes! A good strategy maybe for a game like “Survivor,” but not necessarily something that we think most nerds are confident enough to do. Typically, we tend to just be happy when someone in a conversation addresses us like a normal human being.
Nerd Scale – 7 out of 10. A great comparison for us here is the “Killzone” franchise. Very, very solid games, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them. There’s just that something missing that keeps them from being higher up the leaderboard for the best games. If there was just a little bit more from Mary Kate that we could discuss here, she may have made it up at least a spot or two. While there aren’t necessarily too many glaring weaknesses, we feel like some of the strengths are much stronger with her other contestants, and this whole manipulation thing probably isn’t going to work out quite like she thinks. With all this being said, we do predict in our crystal ball that she will incredibly be fun to watch!