A while ago, I was introduced to a TV show that I hadn’t heard of before. This show is called “The Big Bang Theory”. I can’t put my finger on one thing I don’t like about this show. That’s because there are a lot of things about this show that irk me. Here are just a few:
1) BBT makes a sad attempt to sound smart.
Just to make sure the point gets across that the main characters of BBT are smart people, one of them will occasionally say something that sounds scientific. Whether they get it right or wrong is not the point. The needless inclusion of any subject material (such as science) into a television show can have the effect of making the viewer feel involved, regardless of the technical level of the material shared. The result is the viewers of BBT feeling smarter, even though what they’ve just watched is about as intellectually stimulating as “The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog”. What’s worse, BBT actually seems to try to feed a pretentious feeling of intellectual elation. I have little other explanation for why it’s viewers keep coming back.
Intellectually speaking, BBT is like junk food. Delicious? Taste is subjective, but it remains that it adds nothing of value. If you want to actually be smarter, watch some real scientific shows, like Nova.
2) This show gives people the wrong idea of what nerds are really about.
I could probably be considered a nerd. I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that I know some nerds, and BBT gets almost nothing right.
First, let’s get some terms out there:
Nerd: Someone who loses himself in a hobby or craft, often to the neglect of grooming, family, or career.
Scientist: An educated individual who discerns natural laws as a profession. Using knowledge of natural laws to design things is a separate discipline called “engineering”.
What BBT gets wrong is that it portrays it’s nerds as being scientists. As BBT would explain it, almost anyone who is smart is really into science, comic books, television, the internet, and makes nifty holographic projections in their basement. While nerds can be considered really smart, most of them treat their minds as databases for piles of useless information. Most of them specialize in video games, old reruns, board games, and things that the rest of us generally won’t find a use for. A nerd is often inconsequential because he subdues himself with things intended for recreation. While he could help you set up a wireless network, nerds aren’t the ones making world-changing discoveries.
On the other hand, many scientists are well-off enough to be unaware that BBT exists, though I can imagine that many of them secretly dread that something like it does. That’s because scientists are heavily involved with their trades. Scientists are the ones that went to school for the better part of a decade, and are working on uncovering the mysteries of the universe while remaining within a budget and dealing with pressure from deadlines. Scientists work hard, because someone else could end up beating them to making their big discovery, and claim credit for the whole thing. Any time a scientist can spend outside the office or laboratory would probably be spent sleeping or hiking. They likely won’t be the ones with encyclopedic knowledge of anime.
3) The laugh track.
This is probably the single most often-repeated complaint I hear about this show. Because of this, I may not be saying anything new, but I’m still going to express myself on this matter.
I remember Doug Funnie saying something like, “If your jokes are so funny, you wouldn’t have to laugh at them.” The recipient of this statement was Roger Klotz, but it could just as well be repeated to Chuck Lorre. Most people can think for themselves. We each have a differing sense of humor. If we think something is funny, we’ll laugh. We don’t need the show we are watching telling us what is funny, and what is not. We each have our own favorite comedies because each comedy is different. Our favorite comedies are decided by our sense of humor. Our sense of humor is not dictated to us by our comedies.
BBT’s laugh track serves the purpose of telling it’s poor audience when to laugh, because without it, they would be lost. Suppose one of it’s characters makes a nerd reference that is kind of nostalgic. Are we supposed to laugh? Apparently so, because there goes the laugh track.
I’m impressed that it’s the year 2012, and sitcom writers are still using the laugh track. I think it’s a cop-out. If there’s 10 seconds of the laugh track going while the characters are pausing and waiting for it to let up, that’s 10 seconds that the writers didn’t have to write for.
Take it easy, Sheldon.
5) The opening theme.
Actually, this is my favorite part because it has nothing to do with the show.
And that’s how I feel about The Big Bang Theory. I’m not trying to change how anyone feels about this show, I thought I’d get my own opinion out there. How do you feel about BBT? Let me know.