Geekdom Come, Troping the Riff

Troping the Riff- Tech Support

A pitched battle to save the day and stop evil in its tracks. It’s a race against time, the hero has beaten their foe into submission and now all they have to do is solve some sort of hi-tech problem having with computers. A situation that can’t be solved by punching, uh-oh looks like our hero is in trouble. It’s time to call Tech Support.
Some tropes are as old as storytelling itself and some are rather modern inventions. In terms of human history, computers are still a relatively new concept. Which might be why Hollywood still treats anyone who knows their way around technology like a wizard. It’s a catch-22, computers allow for all kinds of deus-ex-machina plot devices and are seen to be modern and cool. But they are still kind of nerdy, and you can’t have action stars who are also nerdy because you know Hollywood. This is why most action shows now have what has become a staple trope of the genre, a character whose sole purpose is to do all that nerdy tech stuff.
One of the earliest appearances of this trope is Q from the Bond films. He outfits Bond with an assortment of clever, innocuous-looking gadgets that will inevitably come in handy down the line (Chekov’s Q as it were). But in the internet age, the modern Q has to be more than just a gadget man they must also be a master hacker. Q’s direct descendants can be found in Luther Stickell (Mission: Impossible), Lucius Fox (Nolan’s Batman trilogy), and even Black Panther’s Shuri (so badass).
The trope has also made its way to tv where the trope seems to be a requirement on the CW network. Felicity Smoak, Cisco Ramon, Winn Schott, and Gambi of the Arrowverse all fit this trope perfectly. Of course, they all owe their existence to the original DC tv show tech support girl Chloe Sullivan of Smallville. (Hopefully, none of them accepted her e-vite to that Nxivm mixer)
These characters all manage to get in on the action without ever leaving the comfort of their keyboards. You know the Tech Support motto. When they type fast, we type faster with a furrowed brow to let the audience know that we are exerting a ton of mental energy and what we are doing is super hard and important. Welcome to the new sidekick of the digital age.

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