The Big Bang Theory on TV: A Step Forward or Backward?

July 1st, 2009

The issue of the TV comedy, The Big Bang Theory, came up in comments earlier this week.

Pros: the show is funny and gets its science and geek culture very correct. Here’s a scene about the problem with teleportation:

Cons:   for the most part, the characters are stereotypical nerds who lack social skills, dress oddly, and have trouble getting dates, let alone getting laid. Here’s a scene with the one guy who is portrayed as having a small clue and does get laid sometimes:

I have degrees in engineering, physics, and astronomy, and have hung out in the nerdiest of places doing the nerdiest of things (at the level of the show, if not nerdier). I’ve also gone to trendy clubs in big cities, played drinking games with students (but no keg stands for at least four years), and ran marathons. I know some really attractive social geeks of both sexes who can blend in with lawyers, baseball fans, or the roadies at a Marilyn Manson concert.

There’s truth in stereotypes, however. My roommate in grad school once got set up to meet a girl for a workout date. An athletic date, how could that go wrong? Well, when he got to the gym, she took one look at him and asked, “Math or physics?” He had been a physics major, but had switched to math…

So, what do you think about the show?

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