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

Int. Grocery Store- The two MEGA NERDS are in the checkout line, scared of everyone around them, for fear they may need to talk to someone. They reach the front.
Cashier: (Announcing items as she scans them as if that’s what people do) Loaf of bread, loaf of bread, loaf of bread… Wow, you guys really like bread!
Bowl Cut: Well there was a person in front of the Spongebob Macaroni I wanted so I panicked and kept putting bread in the cart until he left!
Cashier: Okay, well your total is going to be $63.54.
The Indian One: Do you accept Bitcoin?
Cashier: Oh, I wish, I have so much in my Paypal account!
Both NERDS: (Synchronizing) I love you!


Int. Gang’s Apartment: Bowl Cut and The Indian One enter, each carrying two bags and arguing.
Indian One: She loved me more!
Bowl Cut: Nuh uh, I had her right in my tractor beam!
Normalish One: Did you guys forget the rest of the groceries?
Bowl Cut: (The argument temporarily forgotten) No, we just can only carry one bag at a time.
Indian One: I have GOT to get to that place with all of the heavy things and mean people!
Normalish One: Do you mean… the gym?!
Indian One: Yes! That is it!
Sheldon: He’ll never get there. He thinks ‘gym’ is short for gym-ometry!
-Undeservedly Hot Girl enters carrying the rest of the groceries-
UHD: Hey guys, what’s up?
Normalish One: (suddenly putting on his coat) Oh, I’m just headed out to the COMIC BOOK SHOP!
UHD: Oh, let me go with you! I have a girlfriend that would love to come!
Sheldon: Does she like comic books?
UHD: No, she works for National Geographic!


Int. Comic Book Shop: Male regulars browse shelves, not talking to each other. Everyone is looking in his own little world. One guy is inexplicably wearing both suspenders and a belt and no coat, despite the fact that it’s winter outside.
-Sheldon, UHD, Normalish One, and UHD’s also hot Friend enter shop to a tinkling bell-
Comic book nerd #1: -Seeing UHD and Friend- I’d like to take HER to my Fortress of Solitude!
Comic book nerd #2: Yeah, she really Parkers my Peter!
-UHD and Friend try to spark up conversations-
UHD: Hey, do you play VIDEO GAMES?
Comic book nerd #2: Do I?!
Comic book nerd #1: He plays more video games than Kevin Flynn in South Korea!
-Laughter because otherwise people wouldn’t know this was a joke-
Comic book nerd #2: What video games do you play?
UHD: Oh, you know, the uh… hardcore stuff.
Comic book nerd #2: I have the real Super Mario 2 at home, in the original Japanese, if you’re interested…
-Laughter at this NERD sharing his interests-
UHD: -Looking up from phone- Oh, I’m sorry, what? I was watching those birds! They’re just so angry!
Hot, Also Blonde Friend: So tell me what you like to do. –Pulls out notepad to laughter-
Comic book nerd #1: I love playing DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS.
Friend: Oh really? I have a… Level… Forty-two… Elf… guy.
Normalish One: -To Sheldon- I wouldn’t mind being her dungeon master!
Sheldon: Bazinga!
-So much laughter that actors have to stand around awkwardly waiting to talk again-


Int: Gang’s Apartment
Friend: -Sitting next to Sheldon on couch- So, I don’t know if I ever told you that I find smart men very attractive.
-Other NERDS in background at table or whatever it doesn’t matter perk up like meerkats-
Sheldon: -Absorbed in his laptop- No, you’ve never told me that.
Friend: -Scooches closer, other NERDS lean in expectantly- Because I do. I like men with big… brains. And you have a big brain, right, Sheldon?
Sheldon: The size of a person’s brain has little to do with how smart they are. Duh.
-Friend gets up in a huff and leaves, and NERDS in background all slam their heads on the table in disappointment-
Random academia guest star who is dead behind the eyes for having prostituted himself like this: Hello. All of you are indeed smart. Good thing I’m saying it out loud, or the writing would suggest you’re just autistic!
-Laughter because autistic people are different-
Sheldon: Bazinga!


So in this episode that I wrote in the exact amount of time it takes to play Adele’s 21, I figured out what I hate the ABSOLUTE most about the Big Bang Theory. Everyone talks in exclamation points. “Hey! I need to get a promotion!” “You can’t get a promotion! You’re too lazy to be pro-motion!” HAHAHA. People don’t talk in exclamations. Shut up.

Shut up.

Stop laughing at jokes about people playing video games. The overwhelming majority of Americans play video games in some form. Video games are kick ass, and have a pretty tight relationship with hand-eye coordination. They also promote cooperation and teamwork. Unlike sitting on your ass laughing at science words.

Shut up.

Stop watching this show. I don’t care what else you watch. Why not a documentary with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, an extremely charismatic real-life scientist, to find out that being smart is fucking awesome and learning things is amazing and that the people you called nerds in high school are making our society better for assholes like you that laugh at them for doing hard math? I’m sure you can bring your own laugh track.

No comments:

Post a Comment