A Long Overdue Rant about The Big Bang Theory

I consider myself to be tolerant other peoples’ likes and dislikes when it comes to television. If you’re still obsessed with Supernatural or are convinced that the Teen Wolf writers will pull a 180 and make Stiles/Derek happen, more power to you.  I will accept your opinions without major argument. However, there is one statement that gets a rant bubbling in my brain, and that is: The Big Bang Theory is the best comedy on television.

Let me say first of all that I do enjoy TBBT. I don’t think it’s a complete waste of airtime and I acknowledge that it has a very funny and talented cast. And I think Jim Parsons is just presh incarnate. But claiming that the show is somehow radical or has shed positive light on nerd culture is going a bit far.

Firstly, the argument that it glorifies nerds and “makes being a geek cool.” I’m sorry, are we watching the same show? When have Leonard, Sheldon, and Co. ever been represented as the “cool ones?” When are they ever not defined by their above-average IQs and love for physics? Their geekdom is not celebrated. It’s exploited and used as comic relief to portray them as the perpetual lowly underdogs.  The geeks are stereotypically socially challenged and unable to navigate everyday situations.

Penny is the laughing stock as a community college drop-out and her street-smarts are used to belittle her too, because god-forbid a girl show no qualms about gutting a fish or not showering every single day.  Also, let’s the play “how-many-clichés-can-we-fit-into-one-character game. Ditzy blonde? Check. Constant fan service? Check. Heavy drinker? Check. Small town girl with big dreams? Check. Also, as a native Iowan, would it be that hard to portray the Midwest as anything other than Hick Country and a meth capital? Because, clearly, we all walk around wielding shotguns, barely escape teen pregnancy, and spend all day shoveling cow shit.

It’s also obvious that after the writers discovered they had a comic gem in Jim Parsons / Sheldon, the character was amended.  Remember in the pilot when he and Leonard were at a sperm bank preparing to create their own genetically engineered offspring? Clearly he had no misgivings about getting jiggy with Mr. Righty. Compare that to now when the mere mention of “coitus” is taboo and completely off the table. Cool.

If I was a “nerd” watching this show, would I want to be one of the guys? No. As a girl, do I want to be Penny or one of the girlfriends who exist only to bolster their respective significant others? No.  Really, if you strip TBBT down, it’s 16 million viewers tuning in to watch 20-and-some-odd-minutes of a man with Asperger’s and his “friends” using his lack of social cues as their form of entertainment.  Really progressive, huh? Although, I approve of the Texas jabs. Keep ‘em coming.

Again, I still get laughs out of the TBBT and I think it’s quality compared to a lot of the other sitcoms currently on air.  But in my opinion, it’s not Emmy quality. It’s not buzz worthy. And I don’t know how it’s managed to trick people into believing that this is somehow a confidence booster for those who identify with the geeks.

Sorry to the several family members of mine who worship this show. I’d stick to Bill Nye.

REVIEW: 2010-2011 Television Season

I have always watched a crap-ton of tv, but this year seemed particularly heavy. I had at least two shows per day Monday thru Thursday and I discovered the brilliance of British television. It’s been a busy television season and on the whole, I’m satisfied with the finales we got.

Shows That Premiered This  Season…

After watching the pilot episode, I stuck with only four shows this year: Being Human, Shameless, Happy Endings and The Walking Dead. I always bitch about how much I hate American remakes of British tv shows…and yet two of them made the list. However, unlike Skins, these remakes are actually good. People have been listing Happy Endings on their comedy Emmy wishlists, and while I think that is a wee bit of a stretch, this show surprised me. Any sitcom revolving around a group of friends is immediately likened to, well, Friends. I found the overall premise of Happy Endings to be relatively weak, but the show definitely improved over the course of its short season.

FAVORITE NEW SHOW: Being Human, hands down. The show just gives such a fresh spin on the whole vamp-werewolf dynamic and it totally holds its own against the U.K. counterpart. Although, it’s official, I can’t stand the Josh/George character aka the werewolf in either version.

Discovered shows already on air…

This year, I discovered so many wonderful programs that are already on air. I love this, because then I have oodles of episodes to watch without an annoying hiatus. Thanks to blogs and mostly Tumblr, I had heard only high praises for the British shows, Misfits and Skins. Misfits is by far one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen and I kind of have a crush on Robert Sheehan. I also randomly stumbled upon The Big Bang Theory bloopers on YouTube and even those made me crack up, which gave me the incentive to blindly purchase the dvds. And it’s amazing. I am making it my mission to attend a taping before I leave LA.

While I am still making my way through Parks and Recreation & 30 Rock, I have to say, I love NBC’s Thursday night comedy line-up. I know I am so late to The Office party, it’s not even funny. Within a course of 4 days, I watched every single episode on Hulu. What can I say? It was a boring finals week. And unlike other fans, I don’t think the show has necessarily lost its mojo, I for one, loved season 6. I caught the last few episodes of season 7 on air and while I do agree that it will be a different program, I think the show has potential to be great without Michael Scott / Steve Carell. One of my roomies always sang the praises of Chuck, so I gave that a try, too. It’s a great dramedy and I kind of have a crush on Zachary Levi, too.

FAVORITE NEW SHOW ALREADY ON AIR: This is such a tough decision because I love each and every one of the programs shown above. But it has to be Community. If Glee gets an Emmy nod and Community doesn’t, there’s officially no justice in the world. Even Community‘s “weaker” episodes are better than most shows’ best. And it’s two-parter paintball season finale was damn near flawless. Community‘s comedic style is exactly my cup of tea and I am officially the biggest Jeff & Annie fan ever. I would normally find a relationship between a 20-year-old girl and a guy who is nearly 40 to be disgusting, but they are absolutely adorbs. And to think I only discovered this gem because it was on sale at Target…I have so much love for Target.

Returning shows…

FAVORITE RETURNING SHOW / BEST OVERALL SEASON: This was really not a tough call, as a lot of these shows had lackluster seasons, The Vampire Diaries. Now, I am not one of those crazy TVD fans who stakes out polls on Entertainment Weekly until TVD reigns supreme, but this season was very strong overall. I am such a fan of Tyler & Caroline and I cannot wait to see where the writers take this storyline. We finally saw some progression in the Stefan / Elena / Damon triangle and Jeremy finally got some lovin’ and a relationship I approve of. No sophomore slump here.

ONE TREE HILL: Much like Glee becoming the Kurt Show at times, One Tree Hill morphed into the Brooke & Julian Show. And I love Brooke and Julian, but it was overkill with the babies. If the network would have let Mark Schwahn & crew do the abortion storyline intended for Brooke in season 4, it would have added another dimension to the fact that she is unable to have children. It just seemed too easy to have Brooke get magically pregnant, with twins no less. I love me some Stephen Colletti, but I think the fact that he is now a series regular says enough. We all know that One Tree Hill should have ended after season 6, if not season 4. Although OTH never racked up high numbers, as a long-time fan, it’s horrible to see how its fallen not only in ratings but in quality.

LIGHTS OUT: I won’t divulge too much because it hasn’t aired on NBC yet, but I thoroughly enjoyed the finale. It was the perfect end to a nearly-perfect show. Can we get some Emmy love, pwease?

I generally enjoyed 90210‘s season 3. I think the first half of the season why stronger, but it overall was exponentially better than Gossip Girl. The only thing I really liked about Glee season 2 was the return of Fuinn and we all know how that ended. As for Grey’s, hopefully this season will be its last and it can go out on a high note. It’s already losing its magic, I don’t buy any article that claims Grey’s is having a comeback. Just limit the Calzona, give Alex a substantial love interest, bring back Addison and reunite Mark & Lexie and you’ll be back on track.

So what’s going to be my summer obsession? Well, So You Think You Can Dance, obvi, but I also started watching Six Feet Under today and I’m loving it so far. I am also planning to spend this summer checking out Fringe, Parenthood, Modern Family and The Good Wife.  All I can say is, thank God for Netflix.