After several months of being told by people that I trust that it's a really funny show, and also several months of me explaining just why the jokes aren't funny (my rebuttals sounded hilarious even to me), I decided that perhaps as a geek myself, I may just be too close to the subject matter to see it objectively. After all, I DO carry a man-purse, I DO have conversations about fiction as if they were real, I DO have difficulty with OCD things like always sitting in the same spot, and I do exhibit most of the social awkwardness that the characters on the show do. I began to wonder if it would be possible to:
a) objectively view the show with all those things in mind
b) find it funny?
It was with this in mind that D and I sat down to once-and-for-all determine whether the show does, in fact, suck ass as much as it seemed to upon viewing the pilot. We've now watched every episode, and I'm here to report to you that... I was wrong. I actually like that show quite a bit. (I stand by my review of the pilot, though, it's still terrible.)
I'm not sure you realize how much it pains me to not only think this way, but to also publish the thoughts on the internet, but it's completely true. Viewed outside the context of a show that I thought should be trying to APPEAL to geeks, it does an excellent job of making FUN OF geeks in a way that geeks like me can totally appreciate. It's funny because it's TRUE. You just have to get past being insulted by it. One of my biggest complaints was that it doesn't accurately reflect geek culture, but now I see that it actually does. Sure, some things are exaggerated, but it's very funny, appealing to the primarily non-geek viewers are much as it can to the geek ones.
I hereby have to revoke my completely negative criticism of this show and apologize to the people involved with it. <i>The Big Bang Theory</i> does have quite a bit of exceptionally funny stuff in it, and would be what I would call a "perfect show" if they'd just get rid of that damned laugh track. Despite the laugh track, I have to say I like it quite a lot, putting it just a bit under <i>The IT Crowd</i> on my "shows that I actually like" graph.
I hate to keep harping on about TV stuff, but I've been spending a lot of time with it lately. Everything else I have to talk about makes me uncomfortable, sad and irritated, so that means I probably won't talk about it much. So TV it is.
Last night was the premiere of CBS's new geek comedy Big Bang Theory, a show that I thought looked like it'd probably be pretty bad, but might potentially be similar to the truly fantastic Brit comedy The IT Crowd. It was even worse than I had imagined it might possibly be, and nothing at all like The IT Crowd. (I have no idea whether this is good news or bad news for the Amer-remakeTM of The IT Crowd that NBC is planning for an upcoming mid-season replacement. Not that I think that's even a remotely good idea in the first place. But I thought that about the Amer-remakeTM of The Office as well, and after finally caving to the universally positive reviews I've heard from people I trust I've discovered that it's actually as good/better than the original that I loved. Which means that I'm not going to condemn this new one outright. Yet.)
I don't have words to describe how truly awful this show was, so I'll talk about something else instead. The producers of this show seem to be relying upon the standard age-old technique of causing unfunny things to be funny by simply putting a laugh track overtop them, but these guys've kicked it up a notch; they're also now working under the assumption that the LOUDER the laugh track the funnier the thing will be. I have never heard laughter that loud before, which says a lot considering my penchant for Golf-Ball-in-the-Nuts conventions. (Bob Saget himself is headlining GBitN '08!! Can't wait.)
My favorite part of the episode was when D said "Man... that laugh track laughs at EVERYTHING..."
If you don't get jokes on TV but like to laugh when you hear other people laughing, then this is the show for you. However, if you DO like the jokes you laugh at to actually be JOKES, AND funny, then this is most assuredly not the show for you. Sample "joke": "Well, we sometimes play Klingon BoggleTM. That's BoggleTM -- but in Klingon."