It's not unusual for a therapist to quiz their patients in order to find out more about them. But this isn't your average therapy session.
The therapist is a geek therapist, and she wants to measure her patient's GQ, or Geek Quotient. Once the patient answers a question about the "Transformers" character Unicron by saying, "There were no unicorns in 'Transformers," things start to look bleak for her GQ score.
Actress/comedian America Young, of Comediva.com, has played the Geek Therapist in three episodes of "Geek Therapy," posted to YouTube. She has taken a wannabe geek as a patient and discussed the difference between geeks and nerds with a married couple.
CNN Geek Out spoke with Young about the new Web series.
CNN Geek Out: Where did the idea for "Geek Therapy" come from?
Young: One week a month, Comediva.com has a theme week (unicorn week, zombie week and so on). I pitched to them that we do a "Geek Week" for the week of Comic-Con. They got super excited about it. They're such a cool group of girls, each geeky about their own thing. Erika Cervantes, the founder of Comediva, is amazing about encouraging people to create things that they are excited about. Emily McGregor, the director of "Geek Therapy," and I had a brainstorming session for videos that we could make for it. We started talking about how geek is "in" now. Everyone, all of a sudden, was proudly waving their geek flag. How cool is it that traditional high school status had been turned on its head? I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if non-geeks were feeling left out and went to find a place to learn how to be a geek and deal with their feelings of uncoolness?" Emily and I took that idea and ran with it: The jock that always got laid but doesn't know how to talk to girls anymore, the hot girl who was being overlooked for geek girls and so on. From there, Emily and I came up with our anti-bullying PSA called "Words Hurt," pleading with the geeks to take it easy on the poor obsolete "cool" kids and not make fun of them.
CNN Geek Out: Are any of these based on encounters you have had in real life?
Young: Yes. I've been on both sides. There are geek topics that I know very well. And there are ones that I know every little about. I've schooled and been schooled. It's all part of the process. I've had friends who were not geeks but recently have discovered things in the geek world that they are excited about, and I've encouraged it. Why not? It can literally be a whole new world to explore for some people. How exciting and awesome is that?
CNN Geek Out: What is your personal definition of a geek? (And a nerd?) Do you count yourself as one or the other?
Young: I think, in a general sense, being a geek is liking something so much, being so excited about it, that you don't care what others think about you liking that thing. In the past, it meant liking something to that extent but something that the general public didn't understand or consider cool. The general public didn't get comic books or "Star Wars" or "Doctor Who." Now they do, more than ever. But also, people seem to actually respect people are get excited about something, more and more. Being a geek now doesn't just mean liking comic books, it means being passionate about something, and now everyone seems to think that is cool. "I'm geeking out" is something I hear a lot now. I'm a mixture of both nerd and geek: a Type A personality with a penchant for comics and sci-fi. I'm not a expert on as many things as my character is in the show, but I will say that one of my dear friends, Eric Campbell, writes a lot of the stuff that I like and know into the script. The majority of what I have made has been geek-related.
CNN Geek Out: What kind of response have you received to the videos?
Young: Mostly, people have loved them and been super supportive about the show. There are people who call me out if I mispronounce something, which I get. They were geeks before it was "cool." They suffered the bullying from those who didn't get it. And now they have all these people in their world who get to be part of it when it's fun and not a stigma. To me, that means they have a badge of honor for liking something before it was cool. So they get to call me out on my mispronunciations and mistakes. I am not an all-knowing geek. I'm working on it but not there yet. There was one comment of "why would you want to be a geek?" I feel sorry for that poor soul. There is another sect of people who scolded us for leaving certain types of geeks out. We agree! We do not want to generalize all groups in one "geek" character. But we only had time to shoot four episodes.
CNN Geek Out: Can you tell us anything about the upcoming videos?
Young: Yes! Well, sort of. I can tell you that we explore other types of geeks and geek situations. We try to keep them short, funny, but also have some heart. We also have some amazing guest stars on the show!