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've been experimenting a bit with pancakes lately and have some findings to report.
I've been substituting some of the water in my pancakes for applesauce, both for flavor reasons and texture reasons. See, applesauce functions rather well as an emulsifier, kind of holding everything together. It will perform much the same function as eggs or oil in pretty much any recipe, while reducing the calories/fat/cholesterol/whatever added by those things, and adding a subtle sweetness component to your food at the same time. [For a healthy treat, try replacing all the oil from brownie mixes with applesauce; far less bad-for-you-stuff, same (or even "improved") brownie texture. Or, try adding applesauce to your French toast batter for the moistest French toast ever.]
The first time I substituted half a cup of the required 1.5 cups water for applesauce and found the cakes an improvement. They don't really taste "appley," per se, but the texture is a little bit more "chewey" despite the pancakes being extremely thick and airy. It came out so well that today I decided to kick it up a notch and substitute a whole cup of the required cup and a half water. The result was pancakes that were even better than the prior batch. The only thing you need to watch out for is that the applesauce adds quite a lot of sugar to the cakes (but it's "natural-found-in-fruit"-type sugar), which causes extra browning. You can compensate for this by turning the heat down a little; they'll cook a tad more slowly, but they'll come out wonderfully. I've got quite a sweet tooth, usually preferring to drown my pancakes in syrup, but I found these to be darn tasty all by themselves. They're still not really "appley" in flavor, but they're excellent, and not really dry like thick fluffy cakes usually are.
This applies primarily to "instant" or "just add water" style commercial pancake mixes, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work equally well if you are making your pancakes from scratch. The batter may seem alarmingly thick, and you will have to kind of "coax" it into pancake shapes on your griddle, but resist the temptation to add more liquid. Your faith will both be rewarded.
Be sure to let me know your results if you try it -- especially if I ruin your breakfast.