Reality Check

CMU grad student fits in with TBS's 'Nerds'

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Nerds and hard-core scientists alike will dig season two of "King of the Nerds," which kicked off in geeky fashion Thursday on TBS.

"You can't make a light saber without an engineer," said Chris Jackson, who is, of course, an engineer. He raps, using elements of the periodic table.

Pittsburgh is represented by Katie Correll, a mechanical engineer whose skill set includes puppetry and robotics. Ms. Correll is getting her master's in entertainment technology through Carnegie Mellon University.

Much of the amusing first hour was spent getting the nerds to know each other and then choosing sides. THAT turned out to be a twisty process, but finally everyone earned their gold or purple cloaks and got ready for the first trivia challenge.

Although Ms. Correll's team lost, she wasn't put up for elimination. Instead, a "Japanophile" named Kelsey -- whom one teammate accurately referred to as "Luna Lovegood" -- lost a Quidditch challenge and flew off home.

• Crop circles and alien messages were part of the theme on "Face Off" (Syfy, Tuesdays), as, apparently, are the words "bold" and "extreme."

We know this because that's how Syfy described season six in the premiere. Contestants used them at least twice during the hourlong episode; there must have been a memo.

So, do the creations live up to the hype? It was mostly a good effort for everyone this time around with no obvious stinkers. Tom Savini program grads Daran Holt and Tanner White teamed up to create an icy-looking creature that was almost, but not quite, the top look of the day.

The other grads, Tess Laeh and Tyler Green, also impressed.

Next week: There will be dragons.

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