If I could come back to live the life of any person in history, Chuck Lorre, the creator of Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, would have to crack the top ten. For going on twenty years, fans by the tens of millions a week have been overjoyed to allow Lorre to spew hot liquid garbage into their homes to the extent that he has a net worth of $600 million. It’s the television equivalent of opening your front door to discover a flaming bag of shit on your doorstep and bringing it into your home to eat it instead of putting out the fire, then leaving money on the stoop for whoever bestowed the tasty treat upon you.
In case you haven’t heard, The Big Bang Theory is the highest rated show on television outside of NFL games. If anyone could explain to me why this is, I would be eternally grateful. This is a show with an entire YouTube channel dedicated to removing the laugh track from the episodes, daring the audience to figure out when they are supposed to laugh and which lines are meant to be jokes (Spoiler alert: never and none).
However, not being funny isn’t necessarily a death knell, even for a show that’s supposed to be a comedy. I can see the appeal of a show like How I Met Your Mother, which, while only mildly funny, is a heartwarming show about people that love each other no matter what. The Big Bang Theory doesn’t even have that. Despite spending nearly every second of their lives together, the characters can barely tolerate each other. The show’s core cast consists of five characters who, because of social incompetence, are unable to branch out and meet people they like and are thus forced to spend their lives with people just as socially crippled as themselves.
The Big Bang Theory then, is an unfunny comedy showcasing a makeshift surrogate family where each character would as soon kill each other as help each other. Thus, it fails at the two central tenets that are supposed to make the show work. However, the fact that it isn’t any good could be overlooked if it wasn’t for how insulting to the viewer everything else about this monstrosity of a show this is. The first is the premise of the show itself, which pits the four male characters looking up to Penny as if she is the second coming of Helen of Troy. That is, the four genius level scientists are presented as not being good enough for Penny, the ditsy and mostly incompetent waitress. What is it about her that makes her so great? Is she is fantastic to be around, or especially talented? No, it’s that she is mildly attractive, while they are lowly nerds, and therefore unfit to be graced by her presence as if this is a show about high school in the ‘90s. The unoriginality, lazy writing, and complete lack of substance displayed by Lorre here is what has all but killed network television, one of America’s once great institutions.
"I know this "joke" is awful but you want to be rich right? Then shut the fuck up and read the line" -Chuck Lorre
The second, and probably most insulting aspect of the show, is the fallacy that because the characters are smart, the show itself must be smart. This could not be further from the truth. Most of the so-called jokes consist of Sheldon misinterpreting even the simplest social norms or saying a complex, technical term for something science-related followed by excessive and irresponsible use of the laugh track. But, the audience does not need to know what the long word he said means in order to understand the joke. In fact, that would ruin it. The “joke” is that he said a big word that no one could ever understand, especially Penny, who stares blankly as the laugh track roars at the character with Asperger’s who said a big word. That is what is truly horrible about this show. Those who enjoy it defend it to the death and say that anyone who doesn’t also enjoy it must not understand it because they aren’t smart enough to get the humor, when in fact the opposite is true. The jokes do not stem from an understanding of the jokes, but rather from not understanding what the characters are saying. It is a show exclusively for people who think they are smart for deciphering such a complex show, when really, they are too stupid to realize it isn’t an intelligent show.
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The condescending attitude of the show’s fans makes its way onscreen as well, with the gang ostracizing anyone who doesn’t meet their lofty standards of intelligence. As much as they lament the fact that they’ve been bullied their whole lives for being nerds, they have no problem bullying Penny’s average intelligence male-acquaintances. This is actually the most redeeming quality of the show; that the nerds aren’t shown as morally superior because they are jerks just like everyone else. Unfortunately, their intense and patronizing attitudes don’t make the show any more enjoyable. It only serves to exacerbate the torture of making it through an episode of this show without making an attempt on your life or feeling the need to call your best friend and tell them you appreciate them.
Seeing as how I’ve spent nearly one thousand words documenting my hatred for this show, it makes sense for me to now say that I hope it will be cancelled.
However, that isn’t the case. I hope it lasts forever. I hope it continues to have massive ratings and continues receiving awards so that it can continue indefinitely until everyone associated with it grows old and begins to lose their faculties. I hope the characters become senile and forget each other. Then they will have no one left to be condescending towards besides themselves. I hope the show gains so much popularity that it transcends television and, when he dies, they erect a monument to Chuck Lorre taking a dump on Abraham Lincoln’s monument. That way, the generations of the future can look back at the superpower that used to be America and say, “that was America, the greatest empire ever built. And that’s Chuck Lorre, the man whose television show preceded its inevitable and Idiocracy-esque demise.” But of course, they will be saying that in Chinese. When they unfreeze our bodies in a thousand years to work as slaves for Chairman Mao’s distant relative and supreme emperor, we will know that it was because of our absurd obsession with the work of Chuck Lorre that we were ultimately destroyed. But that won’t stop fans of The Big Bang Theory from worshipping at the altar of Lorre. They will still look up at his monument with glee as he takes a metaphorical dump on every ideal they once held dear and a literal dump on the face of Abraham Lincoln.
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