Saturday, June 01, 2013

Debunking the Big Bang Theory

Something has been weighing on my mind for some time, yet I have refrained from writing about it until now because, well quite frankly, I was afraid I would be persecuted for my beliefs.

And that thing is, the Big Bang Theory.

I know for a fact that some of you subscribe to the BBT, and are likely already planning your rebuttals for the comments section.  I have only one question for you people:  What have you been smoking?  And would you be able to ship some of that legally to me here in Alabama?  OK, so two questions.

My feelings on the Big Bang Theory can be summed up in two sentences: I don't believe it... is funny.  And I'm not buying it... as the #1 sitcom on television.

I've tried.  I've watched (parts of) four, maybe three episodes.  Didn't laugh.  Didn't chuckle.  Nothing.

To be fair, I don't laugh at many showsCheers and Seinfeld, obviously.  The Office, years 1 through 6 AC (Anno Carelli, loosely translated "in the year of our Michael Scott").  As far as current shows, New Girl makes me laugh.  There are a couple others.  But even if I don't laugh at a sitcom, I can usually find it mildly amusing, or at least see why some people would.

But when I watch the Big Bang Theory, I just sit there, mouth agape, eyes slightly squinted.  It's exactly the same look I had on the first day of Calculus.  I'm waiting, hoping for something, anything, to click.  But nothing ever does. 

It seems like such a one-trick pony to me.  Sheldon is a nerd.  He's socially stunted.  I get it.  Only I find him entirely unfunny and, to be honest, quite annoying.  Oh, and Penny is the (air quotes alert) "normal" girl.  What an ingenious and original concept. Hey, 1965 called.  Marilyn Munster wants her gig back.

Now granted, the little Roseanne reunion they've got going on is nice, with Darlene and David, and Aunt Jackie.  Get back to me when they bring the original Becky on and we'll talk. 

OK, so I don't like the show.  So what?  Not every show is for everybody.  There are two hundred plus channels on this newfangled cable, so I'll just watch something else and let it go.

Except I can't.


I'll tell you why.  Because I'm me.  Because I can't let anything go.  Because if dead-horse-beating were an Olympic sport, I would be the Michael Phelps of it (without the proud mom or the marijuana scandal).  And because it bugs me to no end that I -- who has and still occasionally do consider comedian to be one of 30 to 40 possible career options when I grow up -- find virtually no humor in a show everyone else seems to love.  (Emphasis on "no end," as well as the implications that I've yet to grow up or choose a career.)

Imagine if you thought you might want to be.... I don't know... a singer when you grew up.  But you couldn't stand One Direction's music.  OK, bad example, everybody likes One Direction.  What about this?  You wanted to be a TMZ reporter, but you don't find anything interesting or unusual about Miley Cyrus, Amanda Bynes, or bikini pictures of anyone named Kardashian.  Can you imagine how horrible that would be???  Well, welcome to the comedic impasse known as my life.  At this rate, I may never find a career.

You know, I wouldn't even say anything if it were like the number fourteen show on television.  But CBS has to shove down my throat at every opportunity that it's number ONE!  Which in itself is annoying.

When you're number one, you don't flaunt it.  Fans of the #1 team in sports don't wear foam fingers proclaiming they're #1.  They're too busy out celebrating another championship, setting cars on fire and getting pepper-sprayed.  It's those delusional fans of the teams that are nowhere near the top that usually wear the foam fingers.

Besides, you can twist numbers to say anything you want.  For example, let's say on average 15 million people watch BBT each week.  Sounds like a lot, doesn't it?   Until you consider there are more than 300 trillion people in the United States... what?  Oh, million, 300 million.  Which means two hundred and... uh ..... a WHOLE LOT of us don't find your little nerd show funny.  So who's twisting numbers now?  Huh? Huh?  Huh?  Mmhmm, mmhmm, mmhmm.

Please understand, it's not that I have anything against nerds.  OK, maybe their perceived lack of hygiene.  But otherwise, I'm pro-nerd.  To wit, Kip was one of my four favorite characters on Napoleon Dynamite.  Nerds is one of my top twenty favorite candies.  And The It Crowd -- also about nerds -- is my favorite Netflix discovery in the history of Netflix discoveries.

In fact, I was so devastated when I had watched all the episodes of The IT Crowd that I didn't watch Netflix for days.  My Netflix obsession was dead.  Buried.  Fortunately, on the third day, it was resurrected when I bore witness to an Audrey Hepburn movie I had not seen before.

Feeling disillusioned by the Big Bang Theory, and feeling there had to be something more, I began to search for answers.  So I spent two hours googling the BBT one night.  Again, I spent two hours googling a show I DON'T EVEN LIKE!

I came across one article titled "Eleven Reasons Geeks Hate The Big Bang Theory," which I did not find really applied to me.

Then I discovered someone who was using the power of the YouTube pulpit to spread their message.  They had posted a video of a scene from the Big Bang Theory with the laugh track removed.  I think the point was to prove how unfunny the scene was without the subliminal "you're supposed to laugh at this" message.  To which I gave a hearty "Amen!"

(At that point, I got sidetracked looking up stuff on how people react to a show when there is canned laughter versus when there is none, and lost about 30 minutes.)

Finally, I found an article written by a guy who sounded similar to me.  It bugged him because he didn't find the BBT funny but some of his friends did.  As I continued reading the TV-gospel-according-to-this-guy, he also spoke of a sitcom not of this present country -- the IT Crowd! Like me, he subscribes to the Intelligent Design of The IT Crowd over the Big Bang Theory.  Finally, I had found my TV-viewing messiah! 

And lastly, there were also some Big Bang porn links, as you might expect.  Entertaining in their own way, I'm sure, but not really relevant for this post.

I suppose this debate will rage on (in my mind), possibly forever, or at least until the show is canceled and America writes me a big note of a apology -- preferably framed and in calligraphy -- saying, "What were we thinking!?" 

So, probably forever.

Meanwhile, I will continue to search for validation for my beliefs.  Don't think me poor, or deserted, or lonely.  For I am just a pilgrim, in search of a sitcom, a network free of reality shows, where there is no more canned laughter.  And there shall be no night there... with bad TV.  And they shall need no Hulu, neither subscription to Netflix.  For the utter hilarity of the shows giveth them entertainment.  And they shall dwell on the couches in their houses forever.

Join me next week when I may or may not reveal my Theory of the Evolution of How I Met Your Mother, but most likely won't.

"We settled in for the night /  My baby and me / We switched around and 'round / Until half-past dawn / But there were fifty-seven channels and nothing on..."


  1. I mean. I watch it. On reruns. Because it's always on. But give me HIMYM or Workaholics any day. And obvs New Girl. Obvi.

  2. I like it. Not for the laugh part or anything. Becos I am a Particle Physics Person. Go, figure it....

  3. I've never seen it.
    I thought you were talking about the real big bang theory, explaining the formation of everything. No other theory has ever explained everthing so well, from what i understand.

  4. I love BBT...what can I say? I laugh out loud every week - the Jewish guy is my favorite! But then again, I was never a big fan of Seinfeld. (I hope you'll still be my blog friend, Bone.) :)

    P.S. I loved your introvert link! That made me laugh out loud, too.

  5. Cami ~ I'll bet that happens quite often. People start watching a show just because it's always on in reruns. I kinda did that with King Of Queens. It wasn't great, but it was decent, and it was often better than anything else that was on.

    Also, Workaholics? I may have to check that out.

    Gautami ~ Maybe I should have paid more attention in Physics class :)

    MarkD ~ I confess, I was intentionally deceptive in the first couple of paragraphs.

    Sherri B ~ Never a big... fan... of... (gulp)... Seinfeld?

    I.... my throat is parched. I'm having trouble breathing. I'm gonna need some time to process this.

  6. You know I not only love it but find new things to love in every repeat.

    We're all different Bone--like Sherri I'm not crazed about Seinfeld though I appreciate the characters and humor

    I know people with Asperger's who only get Sheldon's humor. First character on TV they can relate to. That's huge. I find Leonard funnier and think the love story between Howard and Rajish is subtle and wonderful--though I adore Bernadette.

    I'm glad you found something to occupy your time. I'm cracking up thinking of you "researching" BBT

  7. Though today I'm saying the two best comedies ever were All in the Family (ah Edith) and Mary Tyler Moore--as it taught me to be a grownup divorced woman! (Mary was supposed to be but they thought too rad)

  8. I love Seinfeld AND Big Bang Theory. What's wrong with you!?

    Maybe because I loved physics in college and actually took more than I needed too is why I love the BBT.

  9. BBT makes me laugh.
    Modern Family makes me laugh sometimes.

    And that's about it.

    I hate New Girl.
    I hate The Office, having tried it many times throughout the years.
    I hate How I Met Your Mother.

    Humor is subjective.:)

  10. I quite like it as don't-want-to-watch-anything-I-have-to-think-about viewing, but rarely do I laugh out loud (although, like you, it takes quite a lot for me to do that anyway), and I find it gets tiresome after a while. Also, I have a bit of a problem with the gender politics (particularly re. Amy). But maybe I think about these things too much...

  11. "Humor is subjective" as stated above, and like others here in your blog comments I feel I must confess, I didn't find Seinfeld that amusing and sometimes New Girl grates on my nerves - and other times it's charming.

    Stop watching TBBT just because you think you should. You're interesting enough to find other things to talk to others about, it's just a show.


  12. I never really watched it, but I heard the laugh-track-removed version played on the radio. I tried to watch it after that and couldn't believe how awful it is.

    Maybe you'd also like Freaks and Geeks on Netflix. I've never seen it but my 14 year old just finished watching it and loved it.

  13. You nailed it when you said we all have different tastes. That's it, really. BBT is one of my favorite shows - of my whole 38 years on this earth. Yes. I don't consider myself a bandwagon-er, either. It wasn't shoved down my throat by friends or family; my partner and I caught a rerun about four years ago and, well, we love it (luckily we have very similar senses of humor, so it works out). But you're also talking to a guy who thinks "The Golden Girls" is pure hilarity. TOP 5 fave shows of all time. "Will & Grace" (minus season one, YUCK). We thought "Two and a Half" men was AWFUL when it came out, then we caught reruns and liked it for a few years, then disliked it again (crass only goes so far). I think "Seinfeld" is rote. It bores me to tears. "Cheers"? Good show. "New Girl"? Nah. It's all a matter of taste, my friend. :)

  14. I didn't like BBT theory at first, maybe like Cami S. said, after awhile they wear you down through constant watching. And as I wrote the last statement, it hit me, when the apocalypse comes, and the enemy (whomever they may be)is 'culling the herd', I'm cannon fodder!

    Actually, after you said 'Fortunately, on the third day, it was resurrected when I bore witness to an Audrey Hepburn movie I had not seen before', from that point on then all I could think about was which one? And thrill to the fact that there is someone actually still watching classics!

    Sorry 'Bama, not everybody likes "One Direction".
    And let's face it, there will never be another show as stellar as Seinfeld, well...except maybe MASH! ;-)

  15. Count me in as one of those who loves BBT. The characters are quirky enough to be endearing to me. It's one of the few sitcoms I do enjoy - along with Modern Family, The Middle and Parks and Rec.

  16. Your obsession with One Direction may need you to get some help ...

    I've laughed a couple times at the BBT, but by and large, I'm not a fan. Of course, I'm also not a big fan of ... you know, I'll stop there. O:-)

  17. BBT reminds me of the cartoon Peanuts. A whole pile of neurosis that keeps being repeated over and over. Oh the humanity of it all!
    and all that science stuff- sounds like wahhawahhawahhha of the adult characters on Peanuts. It makes Doogie Howser soo believable- great minds never grow up- brilliance in boyhood. I'd like to watch shows that stop making men - boys, or cheaters or killers... that leaves little O'l me looking for Rhett Butler or a cowboy like Eastwood.
    Have fun in prime time- Until Football......

  18. Pia ~ So all these years, you've just been pretending to like Seinfeld for my sake?? Well, in that case, continue pretending :)

    Yes on All In The Family! If it were on NetFlix I would have watched it all weekend.

    Ed ~ I'm beginning to think enjoying physics would help.

    Madeleine ~ I only watched part of Modern Family once. I wasn't that impressed with it, either. However, I refuse to do a post about it :)

    J Adamthwaite ~ There's no such think as thinking about things too much! :)

    Cindy ~ Stop watching TBBT just because you think you should.

    You're exactly right........ well, maybe I can give it just one more try.

    Susan ~ Yes! Thank you. Freeks & Geeks, I will definitely give it a shot.

    Sean P. ~ I like The Golden Girls. Two & A Half Men was funny for awhile. After a few seasons it got kind of old to me.

    Jill ~ not everybody likes "One Direction".

    You know, in some 6th grade classrooms that would be considered sacrilege.

    The Audrey movie was Breakfast At Tiffany's. I resisted watching it for a long while because I loved the book so, and knew the movie would never measure up, and well, it didn't.

    Enjoy going along with the crowd there, Margaret :)

    Hilary ~ Clearly, I'm in the minority around here. I do like The Middle, though. I've not really watched Parks & Rec.

    TC ~ Oh, I was teasing about One Direction. But, uh, why? Did you hear something?

    Daily Panic ~ Can I still love A Charlie Brown Christmas?

    Only 87 days until the first Bama game. Not that I have an automated countdown app set up or anything...

  19. I didn't comment cuz I don't watch BBT or pretty much anything on prime time anymore. Once they took away Melrose Place and Seinfeld I gave up on TV.