King of the Nerds 2 Blog Recap Episode 3 “To LARP or Not to LARP”

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This week in Nerdvana…

Everyone is sad that Josh is gone, but the Titans of Rigel know that their cold-blooded, psychological offensive is their best defense to keep their team together. Remember that episode of Eureka where everything Zoe’s bracelet touched turned to gold then deteriorated? Yeah, that’s what happening to Midas Touch Attack right now, but it’s not because of a centuries-old alchemist’s formula… It’s Zack. Zack… Zack… Zack… Dude… You are making this blog a lot more difficult to write. I’m trying to go easy on you because I have a soft spot in my heart for my nerdy brethren, but the intensity level of your outbursts, and the conflict surrounding them, are increasing exponentially with each episode. At this rate, if you win the crown, Nerdvana will plunge into tyranny the moment you take the throne! There will not be much rejoicing in the kingdom. Peasants will revolt! Not that you wouldn’t deserve the win because despite your fumbling on the social side of things, you’ve had that game face on since day one. I’m still super impressed with the Paper, Rock, Scissors Jedi Mind Trick you pulled in the first episode. 

 

When Curtis calls all nerds to the courtyard, our teams learn that the next Nerd War will be a Live Action Role Playing (LARPing) challenge. Since ToR still has five players they have will to sit out one member. Each team will be using four given characters to base their presentations upon; a bard, a monk, a spell singer and a warrior. And here is my first problem with this Nerd War challenge. On one hand, restricting what types of characters the nerds can use gives this year’s LARPing challenge a twist and raises the level of difficultly. This approach also provides the judges with a better comparison system on which to base their final decisions. On the other hand, why limit the imaginations and creativity of the contestants by assigning specific character roles? If they would have done this last year, would we have seen Ivan’s most excellent, fire sword-wielding half-man half-beast? Probably not! What would Xander have done if he could have had total control of his character creation? Have we been denied an even more wonderful example of Cosplay greatness because of this restriction?! Bah! Anyway…
The nerds retire to their War Rooms to create nerdy LARPing awesomeness. On the ToR side of Nerdvana, Kayla is happy
to sit out this Nerd War because she is not an Improv chicky, and LARPing is all about Improv. Chris would love to sit out as well because he just doesn’t understand why people are into this aspect of nerd culture, but in the end, it is decided that it would be best for Kayla to be benched. In the land of MTA, role assignment is coming along nicely. Mary Kate says she can sorta sing and resident band geek, Nicole, will provide her with musical accompaniment. Jack is okay with being the monk, but only if he can have swords and Zack wants his warrior to be sword-wielding as well; they are going to stage a fight! Things seem pretty calm and collected…On the surface. I attribute this to the dulcet tones of Nicole’s recorder.
 
 
Bouncing over to the ToR Room, Xander is calling the shots in this Nerd War for the purple team. And I have to put a couple of pennies in the jar at this point in the post because the purple team is proving to be a powerfully proportionate posse. They know how to work together and how to utilize their individual strengths to win these wars. The Titans of Rigel are converting all of the negative energy from chaos they created within the Gold team into a positive charge against them. Speaking of negative energy
Let’s go back and visit MTA! Everyone wants Zack to be in charge of story since he’s a fantasy writer, but in the War Room Zack is focused on props and Mary Kate is not subtle about wanting him to skedaddle away to do his job. This causes an explosion of epic proportions from Zack, (too bad he couldn’t channel that energy to his team’s volcano last week), but Zack has a point. If his team continues to push him away, they will lose Nerd War after Nerd War until Zack is the only finger left on Midas’ hand. (It’s a middle finger, by the way).After a product placement sequence for Little Caesar’s Pizza, and a very awkward lunch for MTA, Nicole decides it’s time to have a little chat with Zack, who apparently has stopped working on the writing and doesn’t want to be taken advantage of by the rest of his team if he starts back up again. Nicole fluffs his ego a bit, gives him something yellow that I assume is candy, offers Zack a hug and the surface is calm once again. Forced tranquility carries over into the next day, but Jack laments that his team is like the Wizard of Oz – Mary Kate has no tolerance, Zack has no humility and Nicole has no confidence, which I guess makes Jack the Scarecrow because Mary Kate just has to be my Dorothy, because I live in Kansas, and because and I love her and because we should be best friends. Many drinks would be clinked and we would cause so many nerd boners at BronyCon…

When it’s time for the Nerd War, the contestants meet the judges: Hercules himself, Kevin Sorbo, Cosplay Queen, Yaya Han (in her second King of the Nerds appearance) and THE super nerd, Napoleon Dynamite, Jon Heder. Midas Touch Attack will go first and Jack reveals that he is as dedicated to the craft of acting as Natalie Portman is; he has shaved his head for his role as the Monk. Nicole introduces their presentation and announces that in the true spirit of LARPing, their team will be improvising their performance and after Jack works through his issues with Zack via improvised swordplay, ToR takes the stage.

Clearly, having Xander on the team has proved to be more advantageous than I predicted because the whole team is wearing FANTASTIC make-up, (see photo below & “fantastic make-up” should be read in the voice of Eddie Izzard), the whole thing is choreographed, Katie made a marionette and a costume change?! ToR definitely deserved to win this war; MTA did a fine job, but that make-up! It was amazing, Xander! Great job! But here’s my second problem with this Nerd War Challenge: I want to see the unedited, extended versions of these performances! That’s it. I just want to see more of the glorious, nerdy LARPing
action.*

So ToR is victorious again and their reward in addition to keeping their team intact is a trip to Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, which is like Medieval Times, but with pirates, where they will dine, enjoy the show and swashbuckle with the scoundrels. Back at Nerdvana, MTA is chillaxing until Zack opens the group up to conversation about the upcoming Nerd Off and whom the team will be voting into the challenge. Mary Kate is confused because Zack told them all he would continue to vote himself into the Nerd Offs so that he could pick them offone-by-one. His tune has changed now, though, and he’ll only vote himself in if it’s unavoidable.

What happens next isn’t an all out explosion, but the malfunctioning synapses in Zack’s brain, the ones that are used to judge social situations and control what words come out of his mouth, cause his psyche to rev into defense mode to save his ego. Everyone else wants to have a mature, rational conversation, but the gravity of the situation is just too much for Zack to handle. There’s just too much pressure and it causes him to crumble. Instead of trying to talk it out with his team, he says anything and everything he can to build himself a pedestal on which to stand. He’s in the fourth dimension, all of space and time is unfolding in his mind,
everyone else is the problem, and his team mates are idiots. Mary Kate doesn’t even know what gravity is! He will decimate them all! Mwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! His is an evil laugh!

 
The next day, Mary Kate is “regaling” the tale of the previous encounter to some of the ToR team members; everyone at the table agrees that gravity is not so easily definable, then Zack appears down the hall, walking towards the dining area. Mary Kate notices him and quickly changes the topic of the debate to what kind of potatoes they have been served. Later, ToR discusses who they should put in the Nerd Off against Zack to ensure that he stays in the game. Kayla would rather win “nerd-on-nerd” instead of using Zack as a weapon, which is admirable, but… I don’t know if you’re a Survivor or Big Brother fan, Kayla, but very rarely in these reality competition shows do admirable choices lead to great rewards and you have to play the hand your dealt. Keeping Zack around is a good strategy for the Titans, for now, but they will want to get rid of him soon or they are going to have to deal with his antics more directly.

Of course, Zack is voted in by his team to participate in the Nerd Off, and he did vote for himself. Mary Kate is chosen by the Titans to go to battle and this Nerd Off will be a game of Battle Hammer, a more complicated and intense version of Battleship. Each participant is able to choose an adviser to help them. Mary Kate chooses Jack because he’s good with probability. No one wants to play with Zack, though, not even ToR and after awhile, the synapses in Zack’s brain finally begin to function and he humbly approaches the inhabitants of Nerdvana to apologize and plead his case. This genuine flow of emotions from Zack invites the rest of the competitors to question how they’ve been treating Zack and the establishment of the Anti-Hero of King of the Nerds season two is complete, for me anyway. After he asks, Chris agrees to be Zack’s advisor.

In the Nerd Off; however, Zack does not utilize the help of Chris and Mary Kate and Jack are working together very well, but Mary Kate has a curse… <sigh>… She has the worst luck with rolling dice… I didn’t believe her at first, but in that last few moves of the game, the curse kicked in and Zack prevailed in the Nerd Off once again. Oh, Mary Kate, were you not allowed to let Jack roll for you? Why couldn’t you let Jack roll for you?! Nerdvana won’t be the same without my second favorite female Time Lord. Doctor Donna is my first favorite. 😉
King of the Nerds airs on TBS at 10pm/9pm on Thursdays. You can check out the cast bios and loads of extras at the Official King of the Nerds Webpage.
And don’t forget to follow our nerds on Twitter! All of their Twitter
handles are on their corresponding biography pages on the TBS website. Stay nerdy, my friends! 
*UPDATE: Brian from ToR provided me with a great write-up about the Titan’s Nerd War performance. Check it out! Brian’s ToR LARP Details. Zack from MTA has also provided a great write-up about the Midas Touch Attack Nerd War performance. Check it out too! Zack’s MTA LARP Details.
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