The Trouble with TBBTles

The Problem With The Big Bang Theory…

When Big Bang came along it claimed to be heralding a new age of “geek chic”, nerd culture was cool and mainstream television wanted a piece of the pie (or should that be pi?). Here was a programme whose main ensemble was made up of four highly intelligent scientists who love science fiction, fantasy and gaming. Here was a show with nerd protagonists aimed at the mainstream. We were finally getting some representation.

Except that we’re not. At least not any more.

And here’s my issue, here’s why The Big Bang Theory makes me feel uncomfortable. We aren’t laughing with Leonard, Sheldon, Raj and Howard. We’re laughing at them. Chuck Lorre has given us four exceptionally intelligent, nerdy main characters and he’s positioned us as an audience against them. When I watch Big Bang it becomes more and more obvious that I’m not supposed to relate to the guys (or more recently Amy Farrah-Fowler). I’m expected to relate to Penny. You only need to pay attention to the audience laughter to realise that TBBT relies on positioning us as an outsider to the nerds, as someone like Penny who doesn’t understand their references, their science, their vocabulary even, and who doesn’t care to learn.

I’ve only seen parts of of few episode, so my own analysis could not go this far; to me the show is unwatchable.

One thought on “The Trouble with TBBTles

  1. The problem is called “jumping the shark.” Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Cheers, Friends, House, Big Bang Theory. A program runs out of things to say long before it runs out of audience appeal (profitability). Evolution carries risk – 100% unacceptable to management. Seinfeld kept cooking because nobody in it ever learned anything, then it quit before it crashed. The rest eventually augered in a flat death spiral of decreasing radius. Folks tuned in to watch the train wreck, then finally turned away in disgust.

    The Severely and Profoundly Gifted do not need repair, for they are not damaged. They need resources to screw around, doing silly things and creating the future. The Big Bang Theory lost its way to focus groups and DCF/ROI stipulation of a predictable future. Imagination is intelligence having fun. No desirable future wears beige. No responsible management paints in any other color. Bill Hewlett was excoriated for the HP-35. Bill Hewlett changed the world – then morons got arithmetic rather than reverse Lukasiewicz notation. The Big Bang Theory has gone beige.

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