Numb3rs Review

Review of the Television series Numb3rs. Numb3rs is actually a pretty good show that grows on you the more you watch it. Here is a balanced review of the series focusing on the positives and negatives.

Numb3rs Maths

Positives

The clarity and accuracy with which concepts are presented in the show is absolutely amazing. There has been a trend of increasing the details in crime shows, but Numb3rs really goes above and beyond. There is something in the style of the show that is reminiscent of House MD in that it really does discuss the details of its intellectual subject matter. You really can learn from the detailed summary of mathematical concepts.

Another major positive is that the show has a very strong cast that manages to sell a concept that would otherwise be difficult. David Krumholtz as Charlie does such a good job that he comes across as a young academic perfectly. Rob Morrow plays the more athletic but also fair older brother well. Peter MacNicol and Diane Farr play characters that have a strange relationship that is one of the few TV relationships lacking in drama and which actually seems fun to be in. Ah, the power of acting!

To all this it adds quite interesting human stories, never focusing on crime, maths or personal lives too long but long enough to give a break.

Negatives

They really, really stretch just how far mathematics can be applied in solving problems. Granted, CSI and NCIS both do the same thing but the difference is that those shows have far less clarity in their concepts. By clearly spelling out techniques, Numb3rs opens itself up to criticism because there simply is not enough data available to use the types of calculations that are being used. Either that, or it would just take a large team to really collect the data. Charlie, the Mathematician, just manages to acquire all the raw data seemingly on his own which is just absurd.

The concept of the show is also a bit unwieldy, given that the stories all basically show how someone uses the power of maths to solve crime. The actors really manage to sell a concept that could have turned out really poorly. However, the awkward nerdy-ness of its concept manages to shine through on occasion making the show seem a little weird.

Conclusion

Provided you are willing to accept the somewhat unwieldy approach to crime solving and access your inner mathematician, Numb3rs is a greatly enjoyable show.

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