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Why do people DESPISE The Big Bang Theory


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Big Bang Theory isn't funny right? But is it any less funny or repetitive than How I Met Your Mother or the million other bland popular identikit Americans sitcoms in syndication at the moment... yet BBT provokes an amount or ire not comparable the anything else. People who hate it hate it. It's *the* thing to dislike. It's the go-to show for rubbish comedy. But there is loads of rubbish comedy! I've noticed this phenomenon is particlarly strong with Americans and I have a THEORY as to why.

 

I think in the US, geekery is more of a defined subculture - more of an identity. I saw that shit for the first time at the dawn of Gamergate. A huge bunch of American men who define themselves first and formost as gamers - their very being defined by it. As soon as it was supposedly encroached upon in any way they all lost their shit. Retreating into nerdy subculture's seems like more of thing over there. I think being a (loosley termed) nerd is far more of a sort of separatist thing in the US for various reasons. So when they see a show taking the piss out of them, not very well, as well as being fairly simple and crudely written (the characters are intelligent, the show is not), then it must be even more annoying than just a sitcom that just isn't funny. In fact, I remember some offended geek on this very forum unironically comparing it to black face.

 

Am I off the mark...?

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How I Met Your Mother is properly great.  It is really not a great example of use as an identikit sitcom since it is much more inventive than standard and plays around with time much more than most conventional flashbacks would.  

 

But yes, you're right that BBT garners an awful lot of hate for seemingly very little reason (well, when you actually switch your brain on it can be a fairly sexist show a lot of the time). The video in this article is a good example of why BBT humour is not as playful as it might appear.  https://www.themarysue.com/adorkable-misogyny-big-bang-theory/ But it's not worse than a lot of the sitcoms out there. 

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My girlfriend and I both quite like it. I'd never class it as anything special, but it's a fun enough way to spend twenty minutes.

 

I was initially turned off when the first episode aired as I thought it would just be a one-note "lol nerds" thing, but it quickly changed into a show about a bunch of geeks having fun rather than a piss take.

 

I'm still watching anyway. I wouldn't care if the show suddenly ceased to exist, but I quite enjoy it when its on.

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It is pretty sexist. It shows the female characters as resourceful, empowered and in control whereas the male characters are pathetic gorps who are led by their dicks or their egos and can barely function in most situations.

 

To be fair it used to be pretty funny but since it's evolved into some dismal relationship drama it's completely lost focus of itself.

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On 15/04/2012 at 21:04, Halo said:

But the most fundamental problem with the show is that it's "nerd blackface". The characters act as utterly stereotypical nerds so you can laugh at them, not laugh with them.

Imagine if someone wrote a comedy where a bunch of stereotypical black people hung out with each other, and the white guy across the hall comes over to make fun of them. That would be offensive, right? But you're not allowed to make fun of minorities (or women, or the disabled) anymore, but "nerds" remain fair game, hence TBBT.

 

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It's a sitcom.

 

It started off poking fun at nerds/geeks - but quickly changed to laughing with rather than at.


It's also 10+ years old and the characters are massively flanderised.

 

Other than possibly Amy I also don't think any of the characters are particularly likeable/nice. 

 

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36 minutes ago, Jimmy Shedders said:

I assume we'll all be watching the new prequel series?

 

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I would make a thread on it - but im just gonna reply here.

 

Watched ep1 of Young Sheldon yesterday and i was massively surprised with how good it was. Definitely will keep watching. Very , very different show to Big Bang Theory.

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18 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

3. The representation of geek culture. The show does a number of things badly. The way the nerd cast look like ridiculous caricatures, the way the laughs are often aimed at them and their interests. There's that lazy but apt label, that the show is "geek blackface". The show is like a bully pretending to be friends with people who like videogames, movies, comic book fans etc. whilst depersonalising and mocking them.

 

Ahaha someone said it again!

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"Nerd blackface" is a terrible and ridiculous phrase but there's a germ of truth in it. Watching the show I never get the feeling the makers have any affinity or affection for "geek culture" (if that's not an oxymoron), it's just used as a thing for the audience to laugh at - these people are not like us, look at how wacky they are. This is in no way on the same level as actual blackface but it gives the show an unpleasant 

mocking quality all the same.

 

And that video about misogyny is pretty accurate.

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Most of the cast of TBBT have incredibly punchable faces. Sheldon and the main guy in particular. And the canned/studio? laughter is very noticeable and irritating. 

 

HIMYM for the most part was great, apart from the bullshit end which ruined everything, so wouldn't class that in the same category as TBBT. 

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1 hour ago, Azrael said:

HIMYM for the most part was great, apart from the bullshit end which ruined everything, so wouldn't class that in the same category as TBBT. 

 

I watched the first ten episodes of this and it seemed a bit gentle, especially after Community. Is it worth sticking with it for the next few seasons, then?

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I'm a big fan.  It is certainly worth sticking with until the end of season 5.  The first season can be a slog at times but the second half is much better than the first half.  Although season 2 is when it really picks up.  You could even safely skip ahead to Season 2 without too many problems and then just revert back to missing Season 1 episodes if you want to. 

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The sad thing is with HIMYM, the last two seasons are SO SO SO bad that all the build up of the previous seasons just feels like a big joke, the producers and writers laughing at us as they pin us into a car that's about to crash, and we just don't know it.

 

Not sure I would recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it.  I'd rather spare them that pain.

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Watch it minus the laughter track.

 

I guess it's a bit like music hall or panto. Not demanding, broad, tailored to it's audience and very very popular. Also not liked by critics and very limited cultural impact. 

 

As a Physics teacher I fucking hate it and show the above clip to anyone who brings it up when they ask if I like it. I explain being intelligent and enjoying Science doesn't make you socially awkward or sociopathic. I think it's doing big disservice to science, especially in regards to women in the Sciences. So yeah actually as I type this I realise I really fucking hate it!

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 "Nerd blackface"... Really?! Some people find it offensive because it pokes fun at Geek Culture and plays on the geek stereotypes...

 

What a delicate little snowflake world we live in.

 

I can get on board with it being a bit shit, it really is.

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It really annoys me when people continue to use the phrase "canned laughter" - it no longer exists.

 

BBT is filmed before a live studio audience. The laughter you hear is real.

 

Yes, it has changed - because the characters have changed and developed.

 

And it's easier to watch any random episode of BBT than HIMYM, which got carried away with trying to be stylish/do too many callbacks to previous episodes.

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I think this was very well explained in the recent "Ronnie Barker Comedy Lecture" by Ben Elton.

 

It's probably still on the iPlayer, and well worth a watch.  Ben basically sticks up for the "shit" studio sitcom by using proper facts and evidence and it stays in your mind when you next watch a sitcom.

 

Think of a sitcom you hate.  Got one in your mind?  Is it Miranda or Mrs. Brown's Boys?  You did pick one of those two, right, because that's what everyone does.

 

But to take Mrs. Brown's Boys as an example, yes, it's shit, I think it's shit, you think it's shit and everyone you know thinks it's shit.  #thisisshit trended on Twitter, and the Japanese goverment had to manufacture more "shit" emojis because Mrs. Brown caused a shortage of them at the time.  Even Patrick Swayze said it was shit in an interview, and he'd died by then, so I think it's pretty conclusive.

 

Yet - Mrs. Brown's Boys gets 11 million viewers a week.  This is an audience share not seen since the days of Morecambe and Wise, when there were only three channels and nothing else to do. These days we have millions of channels, tablet devices, Netflix, wanking, chess and Pocketeers and a programme is said to be doing well when you get 3m watching.  

 

So Ben's point was, why is Mrs. Brown and Miranda, and Big Bang and everything else so popular when you don't know anyone who likes them?  It;s like U2, biggest stadium band in the world, but if you go to someone's house and they put music on, it's never U2, right?

 

The lecture is worth a watch, but he basically concludes that it's the laugh track that's the problem.  People hate the "canned" laughter (even though it's not canned and comes from a live studio audience).  They flick channels more than ever, stumble across that sound, and go "eeerugh!". Then they take to twitter and slag it off.  It's true.  I hate Mrs. Brown's Boysm but then again, I've only seen clips.  So this rang true with me.

 

He says that if they made Blackadder today it would trend on Twitter within 10 minutes with people slating it, and yet these shows need time to grow, time to breathe, and yes, Blackadder would be cancelled today.  But back then they learned what worked and what failed, reigned in the comedy and created Blackadder 2 which was so good it lead to series 3 and four, culminating in the finest piece of TV comedy ever made, Blackadder Back and Forth. 

 

So yeah, I forget what this has to do with it, but I think the point I wanted to make was that Big Bang Theory isn't rubbish - it's only rubbish in the sense that you and everyone in your circle of friends and family doesn't like it.  There are millions of people out there who do like it, and it's aimed at them.

 

Check out that lecture though, it was very interesting.

 

 

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I don't think saying the show is awkward or unfunny without the laughter track is really a valid complaint, even if I don't like the show itself. The performances, the script and the editing will all take into account the fact that the audience will be laughing at certain parts, and the fact that the audience themselves are almost another character in the overall show. Of course the show will come off strange when laughter is removed because it fucks up the whole flow of the comedy, just as it would if you removed all the laughter from Friends or Frasier or pretty much any comedy with audience laughter you can think of.

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Quickie on the canned laughter, based on a documentary on one of the Friends DVDs.

 

The reason that canned laughter sounds canned is because of the editing process and the multiple retakes of the same scene.  When the actor delivers the joke for the first time it gets a good reaction, but then they might fluff the next line, or some other problem might happen so they end up not using that take.  In the studio, they might think that the best take was take 8, for example, which has the best performance from the actors, and the best delivery of the lines.  However this will be the eighth time the audience has laughed at that joke and it's going to to sound forced and not spontatious like laughter should be.  Also, they will be using a string of takes from different performances to put together the show, so you might see one character delivering their line from take 4, then someone replying from take 7 then the punchline from take 1.  It all gets put together in the edit suite, so they will end up using the laugh from the audience recorded in take one, while you're watching footage from a different take. Also, to get the timing right for comedic effect they might string two takes together and use a longer laugh pasted in to cover the timing change.

 

So the laughter is real, and was recorded on the night, but it's still not necessarily the same laughter as the scene you are watching and that's why it sounds fake - it's been chopped and shaped to fit in the episode. It came from the same episode recording but each laugh isn't necessarily from the exact joke you hear. 

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