Two Guys, a Girl, and Pi To The 305th Place

Chuck Lorre brought us the spritely and often quite human Dharma & Greg. And then he brought us the nasty and often quite funny Two-and-a-Half Men. And now he brings us The Big Bang Theory. He’s batting .667, and that’s pretty darn good!
The show focuses on two intellectual nerds who have a pretty airhead move in next door. Now let me confess — I attended a college that specializes in younger-than-typical students, the accelerated folks. I spent years hanging with the CalTech crowd. Married a gal with a CalTech doctorate. I’ve been to science fiction cons, to Star Trek cons, to comic cons. I’ve partied with MITers, spent some time with Richard Feynman’s daughter, and have friends who work on the Mars rovers. I have run with the nerds, and not utterly as an outside observer. This show does not reflect them… nor does it even reflect the way they actually look to outsiders. This is a show made of Hollywood nerd presumptions. And the humor, or at least the intention thereof, comes from watching them be nerdy, spew forth discussions about quantum theory and other such common-enough-that-the-writers-know-them-to-think-them-esoteric topics. Haha, nerd blather, followed by haha, socially awkward. Repeat endlessly.
The characters don’t feel nearly real enough to care about, and aren’t amusing enough to amuse. The interest in the pretty girl is hard to take as something to support long-range story interest, as there’s no sign that any attempt at a relationship would end in anything but instant intellectual disinterest.
With so few new sitcoms launching, I’m surprised this one made it on the schedule. I may check back in a few weeks to see how it shakes out, but I don’t have my hopes up.

Published in: on September 25, 2007 at 1:48 am  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. To be fair, was Dharma an accurate representation of what a free-spirited hippie chick is really like? Were Greg’s parents a fair representation of stuffy WASPs? That the nerds aren’t really representative of real nerds is hardly surprising – is it?

  2. ‘fair nuff, but…

    At heart, D&G was depicting humanity not by giving genuine individuals so much as by giving aspects of us all. D&G were yin and yang (or close enough approximations), and they could exist on that level long enough for them to begin to work as characters in their own right.

    The Big Bang Theory guys have no such base symbolism. They’re… nerd and more nerd. (The girl, let us face it, is not a character but merely a Maguffin.) There’s nothing larger going on here than “laugh at the nerd”, at least not that I can see.

    (Thinking about it, D&G and the two men of 2.5 Men have an interesting relationship. They’re both about a control-oriented person and a free spirit, yoking themselves to one another. Not that that’s anything particularly new, as anyone who has seen The New Odd Couple would know. The difference being that those aspects of D&G are viewed with respect, and thus the characters are yoked out of love, while the situation for the Men is opposite.)

  3. It made me laugh. Out loud.

    And Kelly Cuoco in a towel!

    Good enough for me. I say don’t change the formula. 🙂

    I’ll definitely be checking it out some more.

  4. Hey – if it’s entertaining you, then good for you and for them!

    (Of course, we both know that means it will be canceled soon…)

  5. I just read earlier tonight that CBS has picked up the show for a full season. On the other hand the same article mentions that it’s getting just slightly larger numbers than The Class got in the same time slot last year and that was a show I liked which was cancelled without getting the full season pickup. Go figure.

    I also found out that the girl’s name is KALEY Cuoco, not Kelly. Guess I was distracted by the towel.

  6. Yeah, but…
    The Class wasn’t from the producer/creator of their biggest current sitcom.
    And there wasn’t about to be a writer’s strike, making them want a stockpile of scripts (although only so many can be produced in the next two weeks.)

    Besides… with the strike, the “full season” may be shorter than the shortened season The Class got.

  7. Well, apparently it turned out to be VERY much a success! 😉

  8. Indeed – and they managed to make the series gel in ways that weren’t apparent from the first few episodes. And while it’s hinted elsewhere on the blog, it got good enough at being whatever it is that I took to liking it and watching it regularly… liking it enough that I’m able now to be disappointed in it relative to previous episodes.

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