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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Numb3rs

Author: IggyMcSnurd
7 November 2005

I love this show...

(And, as a quick side note to: Author: budikavlan from Irving, TX... The show is pronounced "Numbers" the 3 is inspired by the "leetspeek" substitution of numbers for letters... They do that in the actor and character names in the title sequence as well. And it puts a number in the title as well. Very appropriate, really, and I like the idea.) Anyhow, on to the show itself.

I find it to be an incredibly creative premise, and they manage to keep the ideas interesting each episode. The fact that they show how Charly gets some of his inspirations from everyday things, or puts complex concepts into terms that almost anyone can understand says a lot for the potential of this show, which it has fulfilled thus far.

I also enjoy that, unlike a good number of crime dramas, you learn a lot more about the central characters, their backgrounds, and their lives away from work as more than just asides. it makes the characters a lot more three dimensional. Even the supporting characters in the show (outside of the Epps family themselves) have personalities and depth to them. This is wonderfully exhibited in the character of Dr. Larry Fleinhardt (Peter MacNicol), who sometimes helps Charly with his cases, and sometimes just stops by to bounce some of his philosophical musings off his friend. (Also showing that if you scratch the surface of any scientist, you will find a philosopher.)

One of the things Ialso credit the show with is being able to give a sense of the crimes and show what happens, without having to get graphic about it. When they do show blood, it's not overdone, and it's kept to a reasonable level, but you can still feel that something seriously wrong has happened. You won't get decomposing bodies dumped out of barrels, cooked bodies found in car trunks, dismembered body parts graphically shown, and such. In other words, unlike CSI, they won't need to continually top themselves on the "gross out" factor.

To sum it up in four words: I love this show.

IMS

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Math is cool!

Author: bassgirl06 from United States
24 February 2006

As a senior in high school, I've taken every math offered at my school. I've taken Algebra I and II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Precalculus, and I am currently taking calculus. Honestly, I have hated math ever since first grade. Since I started calculus in January, I have dreaded sixth period and the horrors and pain it seems to bring.

I started watching "Numb3rs" a couple of weeks ago. I had heard from some of my teenage friends that it was a good show, and I wanted to check it out. I was so surprised to see a hot guy who was good at math and was helping catch criminals! I had never thought that the math I hated could be used like that.

Teachers have always told me that math has an application in the real world, but honestly, I didn't believe them- until now. I don't dread calculus anymore. In fact, I go into sixth period every day wanting to learn more about what is now a fascinating subject.

Thank you, Numb3rs, for getting me interested in math. And thank you for a great, even educational, show that every kid should watch. Math is so cool now!!!!

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11 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Patronising and ultimately annoying

3/10
Author: petra-59 from Australia
10 July 2006

I suppose the idea of using a mathematician to help solve crimes using his expertise does sound interesting. And for one series – not too bad. But frankly I have had enough of the patronising that goes on. Rubbish masquerading as science eventually gets boring and stupid. Blackboards get filled with meaningless twaddle. It's all designed to make us, the viewers, feel stupid. You can make a series where we don't really understand what is going on. "House" is a good example. I don't comprehend the medical jargon, but the characters are good and the main actors fine, so it works. "Numb3rs" (isn't that a cute name?) is just irritating. All the crimes could be solved by normal police work. In fact the mathematics gets in the way of an occasionally good story. So here's a simple mathematical problem in probability. How much can the average viewer stand before the off switch is found on the TV set?

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Yes, Numb3rs is definitely a very Jewish show.

Author: el_huapango from United States
19 June 2006

And what is wrong with there being a show that features a Jewish family? I would rather see a show that has an ethnic identity, whether it be African- American, Italian-American, Mexican-American, or Irish-American., etc., rather than a show that portrays some innocuous "white" family. Like it or not, we live in a multi-ethnic culture. Diversity should be embraced not condemned. The point in fact is that the show is ethnically balanced. I recently saw two shows, one show featured Native-Americans (and threw in a Mexican-American/Native American mix for good measure) as well as a show that featured African- Americans. Further, Amita is an Indian-American grad-student and Navi Rawat is of Indian and German ancestry. You don't get more diverse than this.

What is more significant is the sensitive nature in which "minorities" are portrayed on the show. On the other hand, while I love the USA show Monk, they consistently portray minorities in stereotypic roles. Also on Monk, while the writers write characters with Spanish surnames , the actors that portray the characters are non-Latinos. (I find this troubling as I am Latino) While on Numb3rs, Charlie consistently takes the humanist approach to people and problems and considers the effects of crime and institutions on the individual, Thus, the show transcends the abstract mathematical construct which is the show's premise.

Which brings me to my last point, the Jewish family family represented in this Numb3rs is American first and foremost. The interaction between the family members is not so different from interaction in my own family. Numb3rs is a good show because it is scaffolded by interpersonal relationships that make it very real, very accessible, to the viewer.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Quantum Collapse

Author: tedg (tedg@filmsfolded.com) from Virginia Beach
19 February 2008

Film is a strange beast. You have to show things, and by showing them you advance the narrative.

With books, you can couple the words with interior feelings, thoughts, ideas, emotions and insights. With film you can only show, or in the worst case explain. So film is relatively limited in showing love for example. Its hampered when showing creative action and work. It presents major challenges if there is internal mindwork going on, unless you are trying to make sense of what you see.

So there are essentially no good films about mathematics or any similar internal imaginative processes. That's why, I believe, we have created the fiction that sports somehow matter as much as they do: we can easily make stories about them. We can easily see what is going on.

Now enter Tony Scott. He is our most creative mainstream filmmaker in terms of imagining a certain type of drawn effects. His treatment of the subtitles in "Man on Fire" will be studied in schools for eons. Independently, he is relatively accomplished with spatial definition, when the space is large and cranes and helos are enlisted.

So he came up with this idea to illustrate internal thought processes and apply them to what passes for mystery thriller on TeeVee. Its not a bad idea. Unfortunately, there is the collapse of creative insight to mathematics. This is allowable and in fact would be supported by most mathematicians. But them most mathematicians are poor mathematicians.

But the collapse continues: mathematics is collapsed into notation, and notation into numerically oriented equations. This in fact is a tiny, tiny part of the galaxy of math. Its as if somehow you defined life in terms of crinkled bedsheets.

Anyway, how well does he do? My judgement is based on only the first three episodes, and I have to report that you couldn't force me to watch the rest.

I know someone who advised on the math, and he's quite happy that at least the discussion of the math and the equations shown are genuine, even if the application to crime is almost always bogus. Well, I suppose that's something.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Math geek writes script, gets show, makes himself hero!

Author: cbiggin from Canada
31 March 2006

Yikes! At the risk of being very unpopular I am going to go against the grain and say that this show is almost completely unbelievable and I cringe through much of it. Also, bear in mind that I usually watch this show while programming *AND* I have a math degree... so theoretically, I'm their target audience!

Almost every show I've watched seems to start the same way: very complicated crime/crisis with "Math" guy coming up with some impossibly complicated explanation on how impossibly complex and advanced mathematics solution can catch/predict bad guys by doing some analysis on some "data". OK, immediate suspension of dis-belief because of course this "data" can only exist with an incredible effort of man-power, money, and the violation of EVERY right to privacy that exists be it governments/businesses/individuals. And I won't even get it into the cameras with impossibly high resolutions or "Math" guy being the antithesis of every math genius I've ever met!

Is it a bad show... no! Am I glad kids are watching it and thinking "it's cool to be good at math"? Sure, I guess. However it's kind of like kids reading Harry Potter; at least they are reading but you just wish it was something better! Admittedly, I still watch the show. But at every commercial break, I do spin the channels.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Fascinating show that uses math to solve crimes!

Author: gazebo from New York City
25 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Okay. I lied. I don't watch the show because I was fascinated by how math is used to solve crimes, I watch because I found out Rob Morrow was on the show. I still remember Rob Morrow fondly as Dr. Joel Fleishmann from "Northern Exposure". I haven't seen any other work with Morrow so I wanted to see how he was in "Numb3rs".

Well, I was surprised at how much I like the show! I was a little scared of the math thing, thinking it's too difficult to understand. I was right, sometimes the math is too complicated to understand, but it's not extremely central to the show. The show is basically about an FBI agent, Don Eppes, who has a brother, Charlie Eppes, who is a brilliant mathematician, a child genius now all grown up. Don and Charlie solves crimes together, but it's not just that, the show talks about how the brothers and their father relate to each other.

This show would not work if the main characters were not so appealing. Plus, Rob Morrow and David Krumholtz are such gorgeous men! If only all FBI agents and mathematic geniuses looks like that! The acting is very, very good. The plots are interesting even if they get a bit convoluted. There is a nice balance of action and intellect as we watch how the FBI solves crimes.

My only complaint is that I want the show to get more into the history and characters of the Eppes family. Hopefully we'll be seeing more of that soon.

I recommend the show highly. Don't let math scare you off from watching this show. I'm so glad I'm into "Numb3rs" now!

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Flashy but (mostly) empty

3/10
Author: pninson from Seattle, Washington
17 December 2006

My girlfriend really likes this show, and I've watched several episodes with her. I've tried to like it, but I just can't get behind it.

I like the basic concept. David Krumholz is absolutely charming, and I like Peter MacNicol a lot. The same goes for Judd Hirsch. The scenes with these characters are generally interesting and off-beat.

But the cops... talk about four cookie-cutter characters straight from central casting. These are four stiffs without a whiff of believability. To be fair to the actors, the scripts are pretty stale stuff. The last episode I watched, 12/15/06, had an ending I've seen at least a dozen times on various TV shows. Every piece of dialogue oozed with clichés.

To be a little unfair ... Dylan Bruno looks so dull-witted it's all I can do to keep from bursting out laughing whenever he's on screen. My girlfriend threatened to slap me the other night when I kept snickering. (Sorry, Dylan.) I can't help it: he looks like an ox. As for Diane Farr, she talks through her nose, and seems only marginally more intelligent than Dylan Bruno. As a psychologist, she's utterly unconvincing. The actress who played the psychologist in the first season was somewhat more believable, but apparently the producers wanted someone who was more of a "hottie." Rob Morrow and Alimi Ballard are just boring. Morrow is made up to vaguely resemble David Duchovny but has none of his charm.

Perhaps part of the problem is that there are six characters to use in every episode. It's a bit of an overload, and the most interesting scenes, focusing on Krumholz and MacNicol, take a back seat to the Four Stooges.

There are stylistic problems as well. The show is worried about losing its audience by seeming too "smart", so there's a great deal of stylistic flash whenever Krumholz is explaining everything. I have a college degree and I'm not exactly slow, but I get distracted by all this flash and sometimes forget what he's talking about. Of course, I'm usually so disinterested that I'm not paying close attention anyway.

I wish I could like this show; it's nice looking and has fun visuals, especially in Hi-Def. But it's lacking in character development, the stories are trite and lip-smackingly, gratuitously violent --- most cop shows fall into that trap at times, but it's still annoying.

Nice idea, but it doesn't come close to "The Wire" or "The Shield".

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10 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

worthless

1/10
Author: schnoidl from United States
7 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

here, let me wave my hands over the keyboard, i'll tell you what salad she's going to order. over and over, works like a charm: he's such a genius, omg how does he do it? my bullshit detector freaks if i even pass this show when i'm scanning channels, I have to be very careful (these days it's useful far too often, so I don't need it getting broken on idiotic crap like this...careful with that remote!). is this supposed to be some fascist propaganda to make people believe in some invisible realm of uberman control and mastery? or what? why does it exist??

this is THE most inane show, completely unbelievable and contrived, and I cannot understand why it's still on the air. so may geeks give SO much better shows such a hard time (Sarah Connor Chronicles, True Blood), but give this nonsensical drivel a pass. shows like Firefly (if there were any like that) fall away after a season, but mindless stuff like this that makes zero logical sense just keeps marching on. yeccch.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Use for class projects

Author: chobbs-57304 from USA
13 January 2016

I teach mathematics at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida. I use this show to help my students understand that math has many uses and ramifications outside of the classroom and textbooks. I have several students' projects that did exemplary work on their project using Numb3rs and several have become fans of numbers. I would like to know where I can send my students work to showcase their creativity. Although this is college, the research required could also be used in high school, and this would help students understanding the importance of learning mathematics as well as see how it can be used. Each student had to review a show and research the processes or equations Charley used to help Don track the criminals.

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