Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The Big Bang Theory

If you’ve been keeping up with this blog in the last couple of days, you no doubt know about my desperate lack of internet and credit and ensuing cabin fever. As well as listening to Chris and Ciara of 2 FM on my Blockia’s Radio, I watched some TV.

I know that seems like an anti-climax, but I haven’t really watched TV in years, apart from the odd Simpsons or Big Bang Theory episode, so when one day I watched four episodes of Big Bang Theory in a row, that was strange.

That means it’s time to talk about my opinions on The Big Bang Theory.

I’ve always had some problems with the show, so let’s start with those.
First of all, I feel that it appeals unsettlingly much to the people who’d buy NERD t-shirts (y’know, people who aren’t actually nerds and are hopping on a fashion trend). 

The show makes a lot of cheap science gags, like having the scientists speak “gibberish”, or speak fairly simple things in a way that paints them as neeeerrrrrrrdsss. You know? The point isn’t for the audience to understand, it’s for them to laugh at how dorky the character is.

Linked to that, it’s misrepresentative of scientists (and engineers), and PhD holders in general. I’ve hung out with doctoral students, and they’re not half that pathetic. You don’t have to be socially inadequate to be smart – though I will admit that nerds generally have less social experience, but that’s more to do with isolation and how we spend our time, and once we find the right friends we’re pretty fine.

Then there’s Sheldon. My whole family loves watching Sheldon, because he is indeed a great plot device. But I can’t watch him and not think that they’re making fun of people with Asperger’s/OCD, because these behaviours are constantly made light of. I saw one episode the other day where Sheldon’s doing his customary three knocks and his neuroscientist girlfriend Amy says something along the lines of:

“You know your compulsive knocking is a symptom of OCD?”

(Very paraphrased.)

I was glad to see that part, but then Sheldon was basically like “Nah” and the show moved on. ????

Look, I don’t know the history of the show. I haven’t seen that many episodes, so maybe it has been covered somewhere else. But given the incident I just described, it obviously hasn’t been settled.

These are just things that grate at me, but I do still really enjoy TBBT. I resent that a bit sometimes, because of my whole “I don’t watch TV” thing. Rest assured, when I get internet I’ll probably go back to avoiding TV. The entertainment just isn’t as fast or responsive as the internet.

I’ve been pretty amazed so far by the inventiveness of the storylines. Pretty much all the ones I’ve watched so far have been romance plots (Penny sleeps with Raj, Howard and the Catholic girl get engaged, Amy and Leonard go to a wedding, Leonard is dating an Indian girl, Raj is loaded and ends up being sugar daddy to a deaf girl before his parents threaten to cut him off), but they’re all actually funny. Penny finally caught a break as an actress (for a haemorrhoid commercial), which  - since this is TV – happened literally seconds after she decided she had no hope and was going to move back to Nebraska.

One small thing I particularly liked was that high-pitched-blonde-Catholic-girl whose name I can’t remember mentioned she was getting her PhD and had been headhunted for a job in industry for a pharma company (she’s a microbiologist). That one seemed pretty authentic, though it was just the setup for a bit about Howard’s inadequacy over not being a doctor.

Also, Howard’s mother really really annoys me and yes, I get it, she’s obese and annoying, but she’s so obese and annoying that the irritation has broken through the fourth wall and is actually annoying me, so she’s got to go. Also, good on TBBT for knowing that obesity is a cheap-‘n’-easy way to make viewers hate a character without much development.

I really like the girls being in the show, because their presence helps dilute the sausagefest effect the show used to – and still does, sometimes – have. Still, though, I’m getting a little sick of Amy’s monotone and dropping medical terms in everywhere. We get it, you’re trained as a neuroscientist. Life-work separation, please. Also, there was a scene is one episode where she and Sheldon dissected a brain over dinner. NO. 

 Howard’s fiancée’s voice needs to stay in small doses to avoid giving me a headache. I do love Penny though, and I think that’s the point. The show has Penny as (a) eye candy (b) someone to enjoy when the boys are just being too annoying. I’m glad Raj is finally over being afraid to talk to girls, and I like Leonard. Sheldon and Howard are annoying the shit out of me, to be honest.

So yeah. Those are my opinions after seeing a few episodes of TBBT. Agree? Disagree? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or Tweet me @frizzyroselle.

(Also, I’m still doing this font experiment. Bear with me.)


  1. So, first things first, TBBT is one of my favorite shows. Well, favorite comedies would be a bit more accurate. Next up, Mrs. Wolowitz, Howard's mother, is actually gone; the woman who does her voice died of cancer. I also find TBBT to be a semi-complex show in the sense that there are some inside jokes you can't get without watching previous season. One such instance happened in the most recent episode. Everybody had gathered at Howard's mom's house to have a farewell party of sorts, and Lenard and Sheldon were fighting over a paper they wrote. Bernadette, Howard's wife, took Lenard and Sheldon into the living room and proceeded to scold them with loud tones. When Howard and Bernadette were dating, everybody but Howard realized that Bernadette sounded like Howard's mother when she yelled. The episode where Bernadette was yelling at Lenard and Sheldon is the first time that Howard noticed. It was sort of like an inside joke; it was funny if you didn't know the backstory, but really funny if you did. Also, it's worth noting that the characters in the show have evolved in recent seasons.

  2. Oh, wow. My siblings told me Ms. Wolowitz is actually voiced by the girl who plays Bernadette (I know her name now!), which was quite convincing.

    Hm, I think I lot of the ones I watched were reruns. But yeah, it does have some clever bits.


  3. I absolutely love tbbt !!! I watch it a few times a day. I wanted to know about the way Amy talks. I looked up why does Amy speak monotone ...I found your blog. When Amy started the show speaks monotone. Now she doesn't. I'm not sure if they weaned it out or was it all of a sudden ?