It's generated by a live studio audience, trained like Pavlovian dogs to guffaw on cue. But obnoxious, overwhelming fake laughter is a Lorre trademark.
10) Losing _____
Chuck Lorre is notorious for how badly his shows treat women. The show took a step in the right direction with this female optical physicist. She brought a refreshing take on the female geek, but after four episodes, the writers claimed they 'didn't know how to write for her,' so she was dropped.
9) Endless _____
It's easier to skip the jokes and just make your 'punchlines' references to things that your audience remember from their childhood. The worst offender is Family Guy, but The Big Bang Theory rolls around in it like a dog in its own vomit. Nary a scene goes by without a shout-out to some nerd culture tidbit, but none of it actually means anything. It's just cheap.
8) Messed-Up ______
The writers don't seem to really understand what they're writing about. It seems like just about every episode they'll make a joke that falls flat to the geek audience because the writers simply didn't bother to do their homework. Sheldon referring to the principle of reductio ad absurdum as a 'logical fallacy'? Claiming you can loot your allies' corpses in World of Warcraft? Unforgivable. If you're going to satirize geek culture, do it right.
7) Other Geek Shows are _____
The British sitcom The IT Crowd, which follows a pair of tech support blokes and is available streaming on Netflix; Community, which treats its cultural references with respect while still making them funny; and, of course, the ultimate nerdy comedy Futurama, as it deftly incorporates tons of real science into its storylines.
6) Evil Wil _____
There's really no need for him to be on the show as much as he has been. His first appearance was pretty amusing, but every time they've brought him back, it's been to diminishing returns. Guest stars are the sign of a sitcom running out of ideas, and also a Chuck Lorre trademark.
There's a common tendency in many sitcoms to abandon their original premise when one character becomes more popular than the others. The best example is Family Matters, which became a showcase for Steve Urkel. In the case of The Big Bang Theory, that character is the Aspergers-esque theoretical physicist.
Catchphrases are not comedy. This is the lesson we all learned from Saturday Night Live's darkest days. And yet, for some reason, Chuck Lorre and his cronies see fit to have Sheldon follow up jokes with '_____!' like it's a thing. Even worse, Warner Brothers has actually trademarked the nonsense word.
3) _____ are Weird
Whether it's the cringe-inducingly painful courtings of Alan on Two And A Half Men, or the several women that have cycled through The Big Bang Theory, they're never treated with anything near the level of attention their male counterparts get. The show's female lead, the lovely Penny, doesn't even have a last name!
2) The _____ _____
There are plenty of truly geeky bands that would have been awesome. But they went with the most bland and boring musical group imaginable: the Barenaked Ladies. The Canadian alternative-rock mainstays have been a joke since the 1990s, and commissioning them to do a new piece of music in the 21st century is just a cruel trick. Even Malcolm In The Middle had a better geek rock theme from They Might Be Giants.
1) It's Not _____
The biggest geek gripe against The Big Bang Theory is that we know plenty of geeks who would be better protagonists for a TV show. Most scientists are the absolute opposite of the stereotype on the show -- when you're super-smart, you spend your time working on world-changing projects, not visiting the comic book store every Wednesday. The real geek is too busy subtitling anime or modding Skyrim to keep a job like that. If they wanted to show the actual world of geekdom, they need to lose the high-paying science jobs and focus on dudes writing articles for Internet magazines.
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