From genius engineers to chess prodigies, brainiacs never fail to enthrall us with their brilliance and quirks. Oftentimes, the most entertaining intellectuals are ones who move our hearts or make us laugh, all the while impressing us with their ingenuity. Check out standout smarties from various popular series here.
Han Tae-sul — Sisyphus
Sisyphus’s Han Tae-sul (Cho Seung-woo) is the latest clever protagonist to captivate us with his quick thinking and problem solving skills. The gifted engineer is a modern-day MacGyver as he expertly fixes an airplane control panel in the nick of time and avoids a fatal crash.
When he tries to escape the Control Bureau, he pieces together a makeshift trap that sets off an explosion. In addition to being quick-witted, Tae-sul has a knack for being cheeky and has a touching desire to see his once believed to be dead older brother.
Sherlock Holmes — Sherlock
Sherlock Holmes is arguably the most famous and beloved detective character of all time, and Sherlock doesn’t disappoint with its representation of the genius sleuth in modern-day London.
The private detective is always one step ahead of everyone else having incredibly fast deductive reasoning and keen observation skills. Even though Sherlock is a bit cold and arrogant, his eccentric personality and genuine love for his friends makes him winsome. It’s truly a delight to see his brain unravel unusual mysteries.
Beth Harmon — The Queen’s Gambit
Beth Harmon is an orphan who learns how to play chess from the orphanage custodian in The Queen’s Gambit. She quickly becomes obsessed and masters the game. After beating the local high school chess club and getting adopted, the chess prodigy begins her quest to become the greatest chess player of all time.
However, she struggles with an addiction to drugs and alcohol while also dealing with the trauma surrounding the car accident that killed her mother. You can’t help but cheer her on as she outsmarts her opponents on her path to becoming a world champion chess player.
Sheldon Cooper — The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory is home to many accomplished scientists, but theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper definitely believes himself to be the most intelligent of the group. In spite of having an eidetic memory and an IQ of 187, he’s not immune to being childish and stubborn.
Lacking social skills and having difficulty recognizing sarcasm in other people, Sheldon blesses fans with numerous humorous moments. Despite having practically zero humility about his superior intellect and displaying annoying tendencies, Sheldon is surprisingly quite lovable.
Assane Diop — Lupin
You have to be a mastermind in order to successfully pull off a heist, and Lupin’s Assane Diop is a gentleman thief you can get behind. Inspired by a book about Arsène Lupin his father had given him on his birthday, Assane sets out to get revenge for his father getting framed for the theft of an expensive diamond necklace. Utilizing his skills in disguise, Assane steals the necklace and gets closer to finding out the truth behind his father’s wrongful conviction. Can’t wait for the second season!
Park Shi-on — Good Doctor
Good Doctor tells the story of autistic savant Park Shi-on who has genius-level memory and enters the field of pediatric surgery. Overcoming an abusive childhood and bullying, Shi-on is inspired to become a doctor after the deaths of his brother and his pet bunny. He faces skepticism from some of his colleagues and patients, but he proves his naysayers wrong as he rises up to various challenges and saves lives. He truly is a good doctor!
Do Min-joon — My Love From The Star
To be fair, Do Min-joon isn’t actually human since he’s an alien who has been stranded on Earth for 400 years in My Love From the Star. In addition to his superhuman smarts, he has enhanced physical abilities and doesn’t age.
Putting up with the much lower intelligence of humans can be a drag, but Do Min-joon enjoys a variety of careers as he takes on a new identity every 10 years. He’s worked as a doctor, lawyer, banker, and is a university professor now. Cynical at first, the alien proves to be a swoon-worthy character as he continues to save his annoying neighbor’s life.
So which of these geniuses are your favorites? Be sure to check them all out on Netflix!