I would not have believed this would be possible in 2007, and yet, here it is.
CBS is bringing to your television, this fall, a series so full of stereotypes, so dazzingly stupid, so ridiculously puerile, that it must surely offend the sensibilities of everyone in science.
I am talking about “The Big Bang Theory“.
Dubious thanks to alert reader Maggie W. for letting me know about this. My life would have been happier had I been in blissful ignorance, but alas, it is my mournful duty to skewer the moronocity of things of this ilk.
Here is a quote from the show’s web site:
“The Big Bang Theory” is a comedy from the Emmy Award nominated Co-Creator and Executive Producer of “Two and a Half Men” Chuck Lorre, about brainy best friends Leonard…and Sheldon…, who can tell you anything you want to know about quantum physics, but when it comes to dealing with everyday life here on earth they’re lost in the cosmos. Neither fully understands that scientific principles don’t always apply in matters of the heart – until they meet their sexy new neighbor Penny…on “The Big Bang Theory.” Penny is a friendly screenwriter/waitress from the midwest who also happens to be newly single. She quickly makes an impression on the other members of Leonard and Sheldon’s geek squad on “The Big Bang Theory:” Howard Wolowitz…, who portrays himself as the Casanova of Cal Tech, and fellow whiz kid Rajesh Koothrappali…, who is rendered speechless around anyone unprepared to converse about the Theory of Relativity or other scientific jargon.
The chemistry between this gaggle of geniuses and a delightful damsel is about to undergo a stimulating series of inter-personal experiments on “The Big Bang Theory.”
Pardon me for just a moment while I hork up my lunch.
Just how many stereotypes did we pack into that description there? Brainy geeks – of course, they must be physicists – who cannot function well in real life. Sexy blond – of course, she has to be a blond – who knows nothing about science. Uber-bright dude from India who can only speak in scientific jargon. The title alone is such lame-ass fifth grade humor I could weep. Hah hah hah, “big bang”, get it? Big bang, like the theory, and like, you know, “bang” a chick? Get it? Nudge, nudge, wink wink, say no more! Know what I mean?
Oh, just imagine the comic situations this gaggle of geniuses will get into as they encounter a FEMALE! A good-looking female! A BLOND good-looking female! Because we all know that scientific geek geniuses, who are men, just do not know how to talk to purty gurls.
And that floozy Penny is “newly single”. You know what that means, don’t you? Rebound sex! Woo-hoo! “The Big Bang Theory” fits into the typical sitcom format, which is that a totally hot woman must be paired with a singularly unattractive man. Usually, the man is overweight – Drew Carey, Jim Belushi, or the guy who plays that faux UPS-man on the show whose name I can’t think of. This is just a new form of unattractiveness: scientific expertise as an impediment to sexiness. Over on Grey’s Anatomy, the surgeons can be as competent as they wanna be and still get it on in the on call room. But a top-notch physicist; nosiree, he doesn’t know how to tie his own shoes. Especially if he’s from India. No sex at the linear accelerator! And please, don’t even get me started on the theorists; definitely no sex for the paper-and-pencil guys.
You know, some kind soul ought to tell those screenwriters that the theory of relativity is soooo twentieth century. Surely they could at least have our bumbling sexless geeks babbling about string theory, for pete’s sake. Well, we should count our blessings, I suppose. At least they don’t have a young earth creationist in there as a poseur. The Discovery Institute’s reach has gotten quite that long yet, Mel Gibson be damned. And I say, yes, Mel Gibson be damned. (But I digress.)
This is CBS’s one lone new comedy for the fall lineup. About the lineup, they had this to say:
“We approached our development this year with a specific goal in mind – to be daring and different,” said Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment. “The Fall and mid-season series we have selected offer creativity and variety with great potential to excite and surprise television audiences everywhere.”
Daring and different. Yes, I am so sure I will be excited and surprised by “The Big Bang Theory”. Not. I pray for a swift and sudden death, maybe after two episodes.
You may not be surprised to learn that “The Big Bang Theory” is being brought to you by Chuck Lorre, one of the bright minds who gave us “Two and a Half Men”, which is itself a giant evolutionary step backwards for women on t.v., with its relentless parade of Charlie’s bimbos and the training of Jake to grow up to be a nice little misogynist just like Uncle Charlie. Hey! Maybe Jake can go to Cal Tech someday and hang out with the guys on The Big Bang Theory!
For years I have wished that scientists would get their day in the sun on prime time, along with the lawyers and the doctors and even the sexy forensic pathologists. And now we’re there, but just as a laughingstock, not sexy at all, not anybody’s role model. What boy wants to grow up to be the nerdy man who doesn’t know how to talk to the sexy girl, the nerdy man who hangs out with the inarticulate geek from India? Aren’t we patriotic/xenophobic Americans supposed to be against immigration anyway?
And if you are a girl…well, forget it. You don’t get to grow up to be anything at all on this show, except sexy bimbo. And you’ve already seen that role on a thousand other t.v. shows; nothing new here for you. Why bother watching? Oh, I guess maybe there’s a marginal improvement. Instead of being sexy and in a relationship with a fat idiot like in “According to Jim”, you can be sexy and in a relationship with a genius nerd.
Now that’s progress! Wow! Who knew the 21st century would hold so many opportunities for women in science??????
If you, like me, think “The Big Bang Theory” is a travesty for all scientists everywhere, go to the show’s forum and leave a snide comment.