Monday, January 7, 2013

Laugh Tracks Galore

            I hate the Big Bang Theory. Not the physics model, describing the rapidly expanding Universe, which was interestingly named by an opponent of the theory. I mean the TV sitcom, airing on CBS, or ABC, or whatever. The bigger one. You can probably tell from my ignorance of what channel it’s on, that I’ve never seen a full episode. I don’t want to. I've seen enough just over holiday break when I wasn't the one in control of the TV, and WAY more than enough promos while I'm trying to watch football (Sidenote: Screw ND. Roahl Tahde). There’s one joke to the entire show, and the joke isn’t funny. This is the joke- “Look at these nerds.”
            You might say “Mick, that’s not even a joke! The entire premise of humor is designed on subverting the expected to produce a reaction of minor shock- the punchline!” and I’d say “Why yes, that’s exactly what humor is and that’s why the Big Bang Theory is a terrible show.” Say, in the joke, “What’s brown and rhymes with Snoop?” you’re most likely expecting me to say “Poop!” But instead if I say “What’s brown and rhymes with Snoop? Dr. Dre!” I’ve challenged your expectations and given you something you weren’t expecting. Obviously, this joke is hilarious because of it.
            Even understated “anti-jokes” play along this same formula. “What’s brown and sticky? A stick!” Now, I promise that not all of my jokes have to do with things being brown, but the point to this joke is that a stick is SO obvious that you aren’t even considering it, and are surprised that that’s the answer.
            All the Big Bang Theory does is perpetuate your exact expectations for what nerds are. Most “jokes” on the program aren’t even jokes, and instead exist only as mentions of things that people know are associated with nerds. Other people turn in to see the “smart jokes” that they think would go over those other mouth-breathing network TV viewers. What they fail to realize is that a joke referencing a smart thing is not a smart joke. “I wish I could be as skinny as her, she has less mass than the Higgs-Boson!” HAHAHAHA THAT’S NOT FUNNY. That’s just a vocab word you put in the script so that people could clap their hands and feel like they were smart. Hell, it doesn’t even make sense.
            I don’t have time to deconstruct why the concept of a “nerd” is quickly disappearing in today’s society. Actually, I have waaaay more time than is needed to settle that, but absolutely none of the inclination. Just earlier today, I figured out I could write an entire episode of the Big Bang Theory, and that’s what I’ve set out to do.  I don’t know any of the character’s names besides Sheldon, and I only know his because he was the knight in Garden State.
Cold Open: Int.- The Gang’s Apartment
The Indian One: You guys, I have run out of groceries. I must now do the worst thing imaginable: (Pause) Travel to the store to buy more!
Sheldon: Again? You ate just yesterday!
Bowl Cut: I will go with you! We will be like Frodo and Sam!
Indian One: Yes! The Fellowship of the Groceries! (Uncoordinated high five)

Title Credits