I Don’t Get It: The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory is now on its 80th season and I don’t get it. Recently I started catching snippets from the show while I waited for Seinfeld to come on. And I don’t fucking get it. I’ve always been okay with the knowledge that the show existed and that an insane amount of people like the show, but now that I’ve seen it I want some answers. Whether you   hate it or love it, please, I beg you, read on and sound off on what you think is appealing about this 30 minute saccharin stream of “nerdy” references and painfully placed Battlestar jokes.

Yes, I’ve never seen an entire episode of the show. You may think that this makes me disgustingly unqualified to argue whether it’s great or not, but what’s universal (well, supposed to be universal) about sitcoms is that you can jump in at any time and get a solid grasp of character dynamics and the humor in a short amount of time. So shutup.

I caught a solid 15 minutes of an episode last week and a good chunk of that time was spent on Sheldon being a mean bastard to that kid from Roseanne. I’ve met people like Sheldon in real life and they’re awful misanthropes and terrible representatives of the “nerd culture.” To put it simply: they’re dickheads. To them the culture isn’t about sharing experiences and interests or turning people onto new things (which have always been the pillars for me) – instead it’s about knowing more than anyone else and rubbing your shit on their face. No one wants to hang out with them, let alone share an apartment with them. They can barely function (see the below video). So while people like Sheldon do exist, I don’t even want to hang out with the fictionalized version. Yet, this is the most popular character on the show.

I can’t say much on the other characters, but I can tell you I’ve met a lot of doctoral candidates in the world of physics. My fiance just received her PhD in the field – her studies have included “Radiation Effects on Wide-Band Gap Semiconductors” as well as “Cathodoluminescence Studies of Electron Injection Effects in Wide-Band-Gap Semiconductors” – so during our relationship I’ve met plenty of her colleagues. Many of them are the age of the characters on the show and none of them are like the characters on the show. They’re fully functioning members of society – often married with kids. Many of them have a fantastic, dry sense of humor that stems from their field being such a foreign language to us laymen. They’re not a gang of doofy neurotics with equations written all over their living room walls. Side note: my fiance pointed out a mistake on an equation written on their wall – way to go show consultants!

Seeing Mayim Bialik on TV again, I have to admit, is a small joy for me. She was my first celebrity crush back in her Blossom days. I think this was because she looked like Joe Camel, which meant I’d have a chance if we ever met in person. She’s aged nicely.

Those are some of my personal reasons for disliking TBBT. Now, how about those stereotypes – because that’s what they are: blatant stereotypes about physicists and smart people in general. And the average TV audience is simple. They enjoy consuming simple things without being challenged. That’s why shows like Girls piss people off while they’ll rub Two and Half Men all over their naked bodies. Of course the jocks who spread STDs in high school would now love watching a show about how socially-retarded the nerds are and how they still can’t pull any tail. Using the stereotypes as a crutch, TBBT writes itself. It’s a stupid show about smart people.

And if you don’t catch a reference during TBBT, don’t worry. The laugh track will tell when to laugh at the smart people.