Trisha’s Take: The “Big Bang” problem

The beginning of this blog post and this review has been very difficult for me to write, so I’m just going to come out and say it:

I think that Wil Wheaton is wrong about “The Big Bang Theory,” aka TBBT.

As people who admire Wil Wheaton’s work know, he’s had several very fun guest appearances on the show as “Evil Wil Wheaton,” the alternate universe version of himself who for several years was main character Sheldon’s nemesis, helped further along the initial break-up between Penny and Leonard, used his fame to line-jump during a midnight screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark that had 21 extra seconds of footage, and then finally get off the “shit-list” by giving to Sheldon a mint-in-box Wesley Crusher action figure, and that’s just the first iteration of the guest character’s story arc.

When he threw open the comments on a blog entry about the show to people who had questions about his first guest appearance, the following exchange took place:

Q: I think TBBT has really made geek chic in some respects, which I’m all for! Do you think the show’s had an impact making geeks more mainstream and funny?

Wheaton: I think it’s part of the general uncloseting of geeks, if that makes sense.

It’s no secret that I originally thought BBT was making fun of us, and I couldn’t get into it. It wasn’t until late in the first season that I gave it a real chance and ended up seeing that it was laughing *with* us and not *at* us. I love that the show embraces its geekiness, refuses to dumb down its humor, and manages to find a balance between mainstream and nerd humor. That’s a lot harder than it seems, and is sort of like playing Comedy Operation. If you touch the sides, the audience’s red nose lights up and instead of laughing, there’s a loud buzzing noise. It isn’t pretty.

Based on those words alone, I put “The Big Bang Theory” on my list of shows that were kind to geeks and science; however, some opinion pieces I saw earlier this year had me questioning his words. Continue reading “Trisha’s Take: The “Big Bang” problem”