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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Television Thursday

I just finished season 1 of "The Big Bang Theory". I am still not sure if I enjoy it or not. The show will be entering its 5th season next year and has won a few different awards and has been nominated for several as well. I have always been of the opinion that winning awards does not always mean quality and I think that I feel the same way about the show. To be sure there are some very funny bits here and there and I really enjoy the nod to popular nerd culture. But I am not sure if on a consistent basis this actually holds up.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the show the basic premise is this taken from their IMDB page

"Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper are both brilliant physicists working at Cal Tech in Pasadena, California. They are colleagues, best friends and roommates, although in all capacities their relationship is always tested primarily by Sheldon's regimented and non-conventional ways. They are also friends with their Cal Tech colleagues, mechanical engineer Howard Wolowitz and astrophysicist Rajesh Koothrappali. The foursome spend their time working on their individual work projects, playing video games, watching science fiction movies or reading comic books. As they are self-professed nerds, all have little or no luck with "popular" women. When Penny, a pretty woman and an aspiring actress originally from Omaha, moves into the apartment next to Leonard and Sheldon's, Leonard has another aspiration in life, namely to get Penny to be his girlfriend."

The creator of the show is a man named Chuck Lorre who has been mostly responsible for the majority of bad sitcoms on CBS right now. Though he did have a hand in "Roseanne" but that was never a show that I liked all that much. I found her loudness tiresome and not amusing in the least. But his biggest crime is that he created "Two and a Half Men" and in doing gave Charlie Sheen a career resurgence that has since allowed for the epic meltdown we all got the pleasure of experiencing earlier this year. I feel that for this crime alone Chuck Lorre should be flogged and hung from the town clock tower but I digress.

The concepts behind "The Big Bang Theory" (TBBT) are pretty basic and the show is filmed the same way that all sitcoms are filmed. As far as technique goes it could be "Laverne & Shirley" or "My Two Dads" there is nothing groundbreaking about what is going on behind the camera in each episode. The has some slight foreshadowing but the only kind of continuing story arc was the will they or won't they of Penny and Leonard. Believe me they are not Sam and Diane as much as Chuck Lorre would like us to believe they are. The interplay and the pining of Leonard towards Penny is interesting and believable. Who hasn't pined after someone who is out of their league. I realize that we are supposed to accept some fantastic things when watching a television show. But there is no way on Gods green earth that this woman

Is going to date this man

I really think that over the course of the first season Leonard has been releasing some form of gas into Pennys apartment and this is making her more malleable to his advances. There is no other reasonable explanation for them even getting involved. I have an incredible personality and I am good, good friends with many woman who are far out of my league and there is no way that it will be any different. This show does a disservice to poor lonely nerds everywhere (Who, lets be honest, have no where near the amazing personality that I do) in making them think that they could ever date a smoking hot babe like Penny. It is never going to happen. LET THE DREAM DIE NERDS!!!! LET IT DIE!!!

The show is also filmed in front of a live studio audience and I am just not a big fan of that. I do not like being told when to laugh based on the reactions of the audience of the laugh track that is being played. It isn't a horrible show but it isn't an amazing show either. I think that is why it is a success. It thrives in it mediocrity. The audience doesn't have to think. They do not have to feel. They can sit in their stupefied state. They are allowed to just float along without any effort on their part.

So that being said. I do find it something that I can just stare at and listen to while I do other things and let it just wash over me. So if that is what you are looking for then "The Big Bang Theory" is the show for you.
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