So I get the popularity of The Big Bang Theory. It’s nerds doing nerdy stuff which can be rather funny (take for example The IT Crowd from the UK), but there is something about Big Bang which just precludes me from enjoying it.
You see I am a geek myself – always have been. When I was still in single-digits of life, I became frustrated that I couldn’t beat some of the computer games we had, so I read a book about programming and re-coded them so it was easier to win. I could quote from memory just about the entire original Star Wars (and a good deal of the prequels), I was a too-much-TV kid and watched just about every damn science fiction show and cartoon which was on, so my knowledge of geeky pop-culture runs pretty deep.
I’ve had a fair few geeky hobbies in my life including (but not limited to): roleplaying games, Warhammer 40K (and variants), collecting action figures, LEGO, collecting comics – the whole geek bit.
I’ve enjoyed science and though I never pursued it, I still love listening to scientists and reading (some of the more dumbed-down, to be sure) articles and breakthroughs. Finally I am, of course, an epic word nerd and have been through the whole online forum fight-the-grammar-and-punctuation-fails and probably still would be if I had time to actually log onto online fora anymore. Yes, I used the correct Latin plural of “forum”.
All of this doesn’t clearly explain what is so wrong about The Big Bang Theory, but perhaps if you have a good read of the above you will see that my life has essentially BEEN what Big Bang Theory purports to be. And this is what’s wrong with it. A show (like The IT Crowd) can construct a world and characters who represent a minority or subculture, yet who transcend the stereotype like a real person would (OK so Moz perhaps pushes the stereotype line). It is in this that Big Bang’s characters fail. From the episodes I’ve managed to sit through (all from different seasons as I understand it), most of the Big Bang characters exist purely within an overt stereotype and rarely, if ever, escape to become more of a realistic person. Certainly if they’ve ever demonstrated the capacity to be more real, they return quick enough to their stereotype for the next episode.
Just about everyone I know who enjoys Big Bang are either former jocks or (as I like to call them) normals. Yes – even you in the “BAZINGA!” shirt. You are a normal. Perhaps I am insulted, perhaps I’m embittered that a show which so clumsily lampoons people like me could be so popular or perhaps The Big Bang Theory is actually just jocks in nerdface.
PS: Kunal Nayyar IS hilarious.