The ten most awkward teens in pop culture
Nerd. Geek. Dork. By whatever name, these poor, unfortunate souls with bad haircuts, unflattering clothes and few social graces are everywhere. Especially pop culture. Few films have captured the ideal of the awkward, disastrously uncool teen like Todd Solondz's Welcome to the Dollhouse, in the character of Dawn Wiener. The film -- showing tonight and tomorrow at 10 p.m. as part of the Watching Hour at the Sie FilmCenter -- offers one of the most simultaneously off-putting and endearing views of what it's like to fail to fit into the teen landscape of cool in the most disastrous way possible. In honor of the screening, we've collected some of pop culture's other most memorable misfits. Unfashionable, uncool and sometimes even unlikable, here are ten more teens who embrace the awkward like they have no other choice. Because they don't.
Brian Krakow from My So-Called Life
Poor Brian Krakow. His excellent academic achievement and high IQ was matched only by his terribly unfortunate hairdo and complete lack of social skills. Plus, like nearly every nerd everywhere since the beginning of time, he is hopelessly crushing on his female best friend, who just doesn't see him that way. Possibly because of how much time he spends telling her why what she is doing is wrong and/or stupid, and definitely because of that hair. Come on, dude, it was the '90s. You totally could have just shaved that mop and gotten away with the buzz cut.
Napoleon Dynamite from Napoleon Dynamite
Speaking of unfortunate hair... that's just the beginning of Napoleon's issues, though. As he himself notes, he doesn't have any "sweet skills" and girls only go for guys with skills. Of course, he thinks that means things like bow-hunting and computer hacking. In reality, they're looking for someone who has the skill to carry on a conversation without saying something completely off the wall and off-putting. Oh, and also the skill to realize it's time for a new haircut, and maybe some glasses that wouldn't look quite so at home on someone's grandma. In the '70s.
George McFly from Back to the Future
Even in the '50s, reading pulp science fiction and mumbling awkwardly through every conversation you tried to have was no way to impress girls. Or anyone else, for that matter. If it hadn't been for a misplaced Florence Nightingale effect, Marty McFly would never have been born. That, or him time-traveling and inventing rock and roll and ... anyway, the point is, George McFly? Big fucking nerd in a time when the word probably hadn't even been coined yet.