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May 18

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Nobody Knows A Big Bang Theory Fan They Actually Like

The Big Bang TheoryThey say “fricking” instead of actually swearing. They probably have ketchup with every meal. Two Big Bang Theory fans I know genuinely own shoes which fasten with velcro. The word “basic” is a bit of a cruel insult to throw around willy-nilly — we can’t all listen to Mac DeMarco while munching gourmet scotch eggs — but they do tend to be united by a complete lack of imagination and cultural adventurousness.

It’s not just the fact that liking Big Bang Theory indicates a total lack of taste, it’s the vague sense that they feel that liking it is a big shiny gold badge of honor which indicates that they’re intellectually superior to fans of other sitcoms. As we’ve already established, The Big Bang Theory is not a clever program. It’s that middle of the road that if you swapped their references to Star Wars and astrophysics for references to forests and body hair you could be watching Harry & the Hendersons.

If you want intellectual jokes, go and watch Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead or something. You’ll not find them on Big Bang Theory, so drop the cleverer-than-thou attitude guys.

–Tom Nicholson
11 Reasons The Big Bang Theory Is the Worst Thing on TV

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8 comments

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  1. Lori

    It seems to be as ubiquitous in syndication as that other pseudofest, Frasier.

  2. James Fillmore

    My wife likes the show, puts on episodes of new seasons on DVD from the library while she’s doing other house puttering stuff. I get it. The performers are mostly charming, and the jokes so broad you don’t have to watch it to get them; it might as well be radio in most instances.

    I do loathe Nerd Chic culture — not every 80’s nerd is happily successful now, and few obsess on comics/films/games the way Nerd Chic does — but it’s a current cultural trope. It’ll go away when some other formerly fringe subculture becomes Chic, and people who embrace the new thing will reduce its outsider signifiers to insider marks of Edgy Coolness.

    Interesting that chess isn’t considered part of modern Nerd Chic. Even though every nerd I knew and was beat up alongside was a chess freak. But then again, nobody outside Russia makes money writing about chess. You can make a bundle writing about 80’s geek nostalgia.

  3. RJ

    Maybe BBT fanbois are a little over-the-top in praising its cleverness. Still, I like being able to hear science jokes (I dropped comic books and D&D when I started undergrad). What I find striking is that this is the first television show in which research labs look like real research labs.

    It’s not like I watch religiously or anything. I prefer football and hockey. The Canadian Football League is just over one month away, and Canada has made the semis in the World Championship of hockey. Yay!

    1. James Fillmore

      Yeah — the show isn’t anything special, and watching it on purpose becomes deadly dull, but it has a likeable sameness quality to the episodes. It’s what I’d call a hotel show; if you’re stuck in a boring room with nothing to engage you but flipping channels and drinking bad beer, you can pass the time with it.

      Good for Canada making the semis! I don’t understand hockey, yet I find it fascinating. The things those players can do while skating backwards are amazing. It’s always seemed strange to me that Canadians, a largely peaceful people, worship such a violent sport. Minnesotans are generally polite/peaceful as well, and, good Lord, they go nuts over hockey!

  4. Dave L

    > know genuinely own shoes which fasten with velcro.

    My shoes fasten w/ velcro. My manual dexterity is such that I have difficulty tying laces.

    1. James Fillmore

      Here’s a trick I’ve used for years. I get new shoes and lace them up tightly, but I don’t thread the laces through the top holes. This makes the shoes fit snugly enough to stay on, but also easy to slip into and out of. I never have to tie them again, unless the laces break before the soles wear out. It’s a good trick if you regularly put off going to work until the last possible second, which is another art form I’ve perfected.

  5. Kaleberg

    I’ve never watched Big Bang Theory. I lived with three MIT physics PhD candidates for three or four years, so I’m not sure I’m missing anything. The small talk was always fun, and they knew how to make things. When we needed a washer hook up, we had an X ray astronomer and an infrared spectroscopy expert arguing the relative merits of metal bonding techniques based on their experience designing their respective satellites. It was fun, but I doubt it would have made great television.

    1. Frank Moraes

      The problem is that the show isn’t like that at all. You would get the impression from it that these guys got their PhDs in pop culture. As I’ve written elsewhere on this site, the show doesn’t laugh with nerds but at them. It’s even worse though, because the show doesn’t understand nerds. I have a PhD in physics, and I can assure you that people didn’t stand around talking about Star Wars. And they weren’t necessarily socially awkward either. The old rule is: write what you know. The Creators of The Big Bang Theory didn’t know anything about this subculture.

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