Im not really the biggest TBBT fan anymore, but this is cool.
The Big Bang Theory rarely constructs jokes. Often it relies on pop culture references as humour. I recently listened to a podcast from The Film Talk where – when reviewing the film Ted – they spoke about the psychology behind reference as joke. We laugh when we hear a pop culture reference out of nostalgia, we remember enjoying it so we laugh at the referenced rather than the reference. Laughing at a pop culture reference also shows that we understand it. It creates a sense of inclusion, we don’t want other people to think we didn’t get the reference so we laugh to show that we too understand, we too know our culture. And don’t get me wrong, I love a good pop culture reference, my all-time favourite show is Buffy The Vampire Slayer and that’s full of them. However, a reference for a reference’s sake does not count as a joke. It’s lazy humour and it’s surprising to see just how often Big Bang utilises this.
But this specifically is not my main problem, lazy humour is one thing but cruel humour is quite another. If you watch, really watch an episode of The Big Bang Theory and pay attention to when the audience laughs it soon becomes clear that what they’re laughing at. What Chuck Lorre wants us to find funny is not the jokes which the characters are making, it’s the characters themselves. At one point Howard mentions playing Dungeons and Dragons. There is no joke attached to this, it’s not the punchline to any set up, however it is treated as one. Howard says the words “Dungeons and Dragons” and the audience laughs. They’re not laughing at a joke, they’re laughing at the fact that Howard plays D&D. And this kind of thing happens all the time throughout the show. How many times has a joke been made out of Leonard owning action figures or Sheldon collecting comics? When, in season one, Penny invites the guys to her Halloween party and they are excited about making costumes, we’re supposed to laugh at them, to think they are silly for dressing as a Hobbit or Thor when everyone else is trying to look sexy. The reason I feel uncomfortable watching The Big Bang Theory is because it’s laughing at me, at people like me.
This is precisely why I refuse to watch the show anymore. I tried it and it left me dirty.
Amy Lee Radigan - Nerdy Girls Need Love Too
A Star Trek/Big Bang Theory manip by www.rabittooth.com
I’d like to see an actual photo project of them with this theme in mind. I think it could be cool. And before you all start writing Howard off as a simple Red Shirt, he is Scotty, who also wore a red shirt.