The premise for Big Bang Theory is pretty simple. Leonard and Sheldon are huge geeks that share an apartment. They have a couple other geeky friends, but for the most part they’re rather anti-social (whether by choice or not). The dynamic they’ve established for themselves is shaken up when an attractive woman (Kaley Cuoco) moves in next door.
For fans of: incredibly generic sitcoms
Um, well I laughed at a couple of the math jokes. And two of the characters (Leonard and Penny) were at least kind of likable.
What didn’t work:
Pretty much everything else. The biggest problem is that Big Bang Theory just isn’t funny. The writers seems to think that geeky characters have some kind of intrinsic humour value. It’s not enough to simply repeatedly point out that your characters are huge geeks; you still need actual jokes.
The characters certainly didn’t help the matter. Of the five major characters we were introduced to, three were just irritating. Howard is obviously supposed to be annoying, but I think we’re supposed to find Sheldon and Rajesh to be endearing. And when 60% of the cast annoys the hell out of the audience, that’s generally not a good sign.
The only somewhat likable characters are Leonard and Penny. And even then they only come off as likable when held up against everyone else. Penny’s still rather generic (her only really defined character traits so far are friendly, attractive and not so bright) and Leonard’s big thing is that he’s substantially less annoying than Sheldon. When a show has a simple premise (like this one does), it is forced to rely on the characters to carry the show. Unfortunately, the characters in The Big Bang Theory are ill-equipped for such a load.
Well, it was only the pilot. Maybe the producers/director/writers/etc will learn from it and we’ll see a funnier and more likable show in future weeks. I wouldn’t really count on that though. And with The Big Bang Theory airing opposite of Chuck (a show that makes good use of geek jokes, has likable characters and a far more interesting premise), there’s really no reason to stick with The Big Bang Theory.
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Tags: The Big Bang Theory