Numb3rs is basically a crime drama with a mathematics twist. One brother’s an FBI agent, the other an applied mathematics professor (and genius) who helps solve cases by number crunching. Add a sweet father, and you’ve got a nice family feel to your basic crime drama as well.
What I’ve always found a bit interesting about the show is Alan’s (the father) tendency to pry and poke and needle his two sons (Don and Charlie, for the record) about settling down, getting married, etc. These are things, I think, that are usually designated toward female roles, so it’s nice to see men receiving this kind of pressure as well. However, that has a downside. Many of the female characters (there are only two main) automatically become love interests.
Charlie, for example, works with Amita, who is brilliant in her own right. She does have good, strong qualities of her own…but ultimately she’s there for the “will they ever get together?” factor.
Don has had multiple trysts throughout the series, his current “maybe” being another FBI agent (someone whom I think trained under him once, ew); now, she’s probably got qualities of her own, but essentially she’s there for sexual tension with Don. Yays.
Alan gets in on the action, too. He’s a widower, and by the end of the first season he was starting to date again. Since then, he’s taken a liking to Charlie’s boss, and we knew when she was introduced that there’d be a romantic interlude between them.
It’s just frustrating that nearly all female characters (who aren’t victims in the end) are written around their potential as partner for one of the guys. Megan, the lone female agent on Don’s team, has escaped this fate somewhat – though she did become involved with Charlie’s colleague Larry, until he left for a six month trip into space. Still, Numb3rs could use more female representation…women who stand on their own merits and have a bigger identity than Love Interest.