Apr. 5th, 2009

joreth: (Silent Bob Headbang)
This is the theme song to one of my new favorite TV shows, sung by Barenaked Ladies.  It's catchy, it's fun, it's science-based, and it's sung by a popular band.  I love living in the Age of the Geek!

I haven't had TV signal for about 8 years, other than a pair of rabbit ears on a 20 year old 13-inch television, so, needless to say, I'm pretty out of the loop on the latest TV shows.  Well, for a variety of reasons, I found myself with a whole lot of free time lately and television stations have managed to see what the movie and music industry adamantly refuse to accept - providing free content on the internet does not have to hurt sales.  Which means that I can see a lot of the new TV shows online, although not really in very high quality.  But that's OK, I don't mind paying for the DVDs after I've seen the show and decided it's worth the cost of the DVD ... much like I did with regular TV and VHS.

Anyway, that's a side rant.  The point is that one of the shows I've gotten into is a sitcom called The Big Bang Theory.  During an IM conversation on OKCupid, someone told me that I remind him of "the sciency girl" on the show.  Since I had no idea who he was talking about, I had to look up the show to see if I was being insulted or if I could take it as a compliment.  Being called "the sciency girl" would *seem* like a compliment to me, but I had to make sure.

So I searched and searched and finally found some youtube-spinoffs that offer the first season online.  (For the record, being compared to her could be either a compliment or an insult, but I like her character so I'm taking it as a compliment regardless of intent).  The Big Bang Theory, as I said, is a sitcom, which means that the characters are really caricatures, so you have to be able to laugh at yourself to find them funny.

It's a show about 2 physicist roommates who live across the hall from a "normal" girl (with 2 supporting characters who are their geeky friends).  In most sitcoms, the geeks are the characters to get picked on.  Their intelligence and lack of social skills is something to be ashamed of, something that the "mundanes" can laugh at.  But this show is written from their point of view, by geeks.  So, although the main characters are still absurdly geeky, the tone is more of laughing at oneself rather than picking on the nerd in high school.  The jokes are witty and I actually get most of them, and they're actual science-based jokes, as opposed to the nerd getting picked on whose jokes are rarely *really* based on science because the writers wouldn't know a scientific theorem if it bit them on the ass.  For example, in one episode, one of the characters dresses as the Doppler Effect for Halloween.  And his costume is, I think, a reasonably accurate visual interpretation of the Doppler Effect.  Which only makes it even funnier.

After making it about halfway through Season 1 and deciding that, yes, I did like it, I heard that Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, is also a fan of the show.  He says it gets better as time goes on, the "normal girl" becomes less of an airhead stereotype and more realistic, for instance.  So, I recommend the show to anyone who finds the humor in science and being a "social outcast" who really isn't missing all that much for being "cast out".

Early episodes can be found at http://www.megavideo.com/?c=search&s=big+bang+theory if you don't mind Spanish subtitles.


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