Showing posts tagged Big Bang Theory

I don’t think that there is a show I like less (That I have actually given a concerted effort to watch) than Big Bang Theory

notschrutefacts:

I don’t know what it is that throws me off. It might be the laugh track, but more than just the laugh track I think it is the fact that I hear the laugh track SO loudly because I am doing anything besides laughing. 

It’s not the laugh track (although laugh tracks can kill a show, like it did with the last season of the IT Crowd), it’s the fact that it’s not funny. I have tracked the very moment of the shark jump to when they adopted Amy Farrah-Fowler as a main character, for reasons which will be obvious to anyone who understands narrative structure.

What’s criminal is that Community, which broadcast in the same time slot with about one quarter the audience, is effectively being cancelled (although their openly sarcastic attacks on NBC strongly imply that they’ve been having offers from cable networks). Community, unlike Big Bang Theory, is often funny.

The central difference: Big Bang Theory is a sitcom about clever people making stupid jokes; Community is a sitcom about stupid people making clever jokes.

(Reblogged from not-schrutefacts-deactivated201)

Community’s Getting Cancelled

NBC are calling it "benched", but it’s very possible they’re just not going to renew it. For some reason, fans are comparing the fate of Community to that of Whitney, which is a terrible show for terrible people. The reality is that they should be comparing it to The Big Bang Theory, which is in the time slot and therefore is literally chasing down the same audience.

Networks don’t care about your fan mobilization or letters of protest. Everything will be ignored. All they care about is the numbers: the last episode of Community (“Studies in Modern Movement”) polled 3.5 million viewers and the last episode of The Big Bang Theory (“The Ornithophobia Diffusion”) polled 15.9 million viewers. Community is under-performing by a factor of 4, and this is representative of their performance ever since season 2. In fact, the first season of Community (which was the third season of The Big Bang Theory) saw a significant bump in The Big Bang Theory's numbers.

I’ve discussed Community's shitty numbers before, where I came to the conclusion that, at least that week, they were long on clever, dangerously self-aware and short on laughs. Dan Harmon reacted very badly to my suggestion, but it looks like I was right. There’s nothing wrong with glancing at the camera every so often in a fourth-wall-breaking manoeuvrings for the purposes of humour, but having six people constantly staring into the camera in every episode is draining. And, as Nietzsche would never, ever have said, “Battle not with numbers, lest ye become a number, and if you gaze into the camera, the camera gazes also into you.”

Community is a show about stupid people making clever jokes. The Big Bang Theory is a show about clever people making stupid jokes. Apparently, Americans can tell the difference.

Dan Harmon 
Twitter is where famous people come to have their asses handed to them. This weekend, Manchester United footballer Darron Gibson shut down his Twitter after two hours of setting it up due to waves of abuse from “fans”. In August of last year, I ran into trouble with the comedy genius Graham Linehan for suggesting that he might want to tone down the laugh track on his show The I.T. Crowd, and now this.
Dan Harmon is another comedy genius. He put together one of the brightest sitcoms on mainstream television: Community. However, like Graham Linehan, he doesn’t take criticism well, as you can see. This week’s episode of Community was a recap show (or a clip show), which is what they call it when a show lazily nails together a stupid plot from recycled clips of shows from the previous season, sometimes with nothing more than a “Remember when…” required to launch into a five-six minute clip we’ve all seen before. But! BUT! In last week’s Community, all the recap clips were things we haven’t seen before.
This is undoubtedly a very clever subversion of an established television show device, if not particularly original. For instance, Scrubs had a clip show in which all the recap clips were re-filmed, Babylon 5 made an entire episode revolving around clips from an episode that didn’t air until three years later, and I’m pretty sure (although I have no evidence; I’m just very observant) that some of BSG's “Previously on…” segments were stuff we hadn't seen before.
In any case, a clever clip show is still a clip show, and the central joke, which is that the clip refers to something we haven’t seen, is good maybe once or twice. After that, the joke having been established, it’s just a clip show. If anything, the gambit could backfire given that your identification with the characters is contingent on sharing their experiences.
So, with my 140 characters, I expressed this to the creator of the show, expecting to be ignored. I wasn’t. He called me a “rude dick”, which is probably fair. Then I explained further about my concerns regarding comparisons with The Big Bang Theory (something they’re clearly concerned about themselves), which in my view jumped the shark as soon as they introduced Amy Farrah-Fowler: full marks on figuring out that Sheldon is the key to the success of the series, zero marks for allowing a female version into more than one episode.
Community is at the end of an extraordinary two-season run. It must have been very difficult to maintain the momentum after the first season - but they did it. And they should be congratulated for that. They set the bar very high, and mostly they have managed to meet the challenge they set themselves. This was the first time I felt disappointed - in any way - by an episode of Community, so maybe it’s just an anomaly, or maybe I’m completely wrong.
In any case, a less-than-sparkling episode of Community is still better than a “good” episode of anything else, so whatever.

Dan Harmon

Twitter is where famous people come to have their asses handed to them. This weekend, Manchester United footballer Darron Gibson shut down his Twitter after two hours of setting it up due to waves of abuse from “fans”. In August of last year, I ran into trouble with the comedy genius Graham Linehan for suggesting that he might want to tone down the laugh track on his show The I.T. Crowd, and now this.

Dan Harmon is another comedy genius. He put together one of the brightest sitcoms on mainstream television: Community. However, like Graham Linehan, he doesn’t take criticism well, as you can see. This week’s episode of Community was a recap show (or a clip show), which is what they call it when a show lazily nails together a stupid plot from recycled clips of shows from the previous season, sometimes with nothing more than a “Remember when…” required to launch into a five-six minute clip we’ve all seen before. But! BUT! In last week’s Community, all the recap clips were things we haven’t seen before.

This is undoubtedly a very clever subversion of an established television show device, if not particularly original. For instance, Scrubs had a clip show in which all the recap clips were re-filmed, Babylon 5 made an entire episode revolving around clips from an episode that didn’t air until three years later, and I’m pretty sure (although I have no evidence; I’m just very observant) that some of BSG's “Previously on…” segments were stuff we hadn't seen before.

In any case, a clever clip show is still a clip show, and the central joke, which is that the clip refers to something we haven’t seen, is good maybe once or twice. After that, the joke having been established, it’s just a clip show. If anything, the gambit could backfire given that your identification with the characters is contingent on sharing their experiences.

So, with my 140 characters, I expressed this to the creator of the show, expecting to be ignored. I wasn’t. He called me a “rude dick”, which is probably fair. Then I explained further about my concerns regarding comparisons with The Big Bang Theory (something they’re clearly concerned about themselves), which in my view jumped the shark as soon as they introduced Amy Farrah-Fowler: full marks on figuring out that Sheldon is the key to the success of the series, zero marks for allowing a female version into more than one episode.

Community is at the end of an extraordinary two-season run. It must have been very difficult to maintain the momentum after the first season - but they did it. And they should be congratulated for that. They set the bar very high, and mostly they have managed to meet the challenge they set themselves. This was the first time I felt disappointed - in any way - by an episode of Community, so maybe it’s just an anomaly, or maybe I’m completely wrong.

In any case, a less-than-sparkling episode of Community is still better than a “good” episode of anything else, so whatever.

A Facebook conversation with cinedit about comedy.

A Facebook conversation with cinedit about comedy.

You remind me of someone. Do people say that to you often?

Yes, although more often than not it’s some fiction character. I have been compared with:

Sherlock Holmes, from the new BBC series, Sherlock.
Dr. Gregory House, from Fox series House.
Dr. Sheldon Cooper, from CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory (the words, “My god, it’s you!” were used during the first episode).
Shawn Spencer, from USA Network sitcom Psych.
Dr. Gaius Baltar, from SciFi series Battlestar Galactica (although I suspect this might be due to the hair).

I’m sure you can spot the common denominator there, so I’m not going to do your work for you. Suffice it to say that I’m not sure it’s something to be proud of.

Ask me something else.