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Some of the best articles on the blog. Typically, these have a picture. It's a low entrance requirement, I know.


October 10, 2007

Third-episode verdict: The Big Bang Theory

Posted on October 10, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Big Bang Theory4-Major-Caruso

Ah, what a week. It's the busiest time of the year for The Carusometer. So many verdicts to pass, so little time. But it's going to do its best, because slacking off is what Losers do and The Carusometer has no time for Losers.

Let's start with The Big Bang Theory. Episode one was about as bad as being stomped on by a stampeding herd of bison wearing clogs. And while it has improved slightly since then, the emphasis in that sentence would have to be on the 'slightly', rather than on the 'improved'.

Ultimately, this is a comedy of stereotypes. Nerds/geeks have no social skills; attractive women will be lusted after/stalked by nerds/geeks and fail to be wooed by them; attractive women have the IQs of tropical fish. Continue ad infinitum à la Two and a Half Men.

While the second and third episodes didn't quite have the mean-spirited sneering of the first episode, they did demonstrate, yet again, the problems with the show's format. With such poor opinions of both groups of people, it fails to explain

  1. why the attractive lady wouldn't have the geeks arrested for their scary behaviour
  2. why the geeks are interested in the attractive lady who has the personality of a rubber plant, apart from the fact she's an attractive lady

There's no internal logic to it beyond the next one-liner. There's no real understanding of either groups of people. The geek humour is almost funny, but is sufficiently off base that it just irritates, while the laughs originating from the female side of the equation seem only to be about her cluelessness about life, men, and anything that requires more than a third-grade education.

Seriously, if some geeks were going to have a great big argument about whether Superman can fly because he's really strong or because of some other reason, they wouldn't look through all the back issues - they'd use a far more efficient algorithm such as Google or Wikipedia first. And everyone knows it's because he has a forcefield, anyway. Duh!

If you're drunk or use your finger when you're reading, The Big Bang Theory is probably pretty entertaining. In all other eventualities, stay away.

The Medium is Not Enough hereby declares The Big Bang Theory is a 4 or “Major Caruso” on The Carusometer quality scale. A Major Caruso corresponds to “a show that David Caruso might exec produce or star in. Despite the show supposedly being about some loveable nerds, he'll change the scripts so that each episode involves a panel of people all laughing at someone in glasses, reading a book or watching a channel other than CBS, while a group of models all praise Caruso for his manly prowess, enormous muscles, great height and street smarts that you can't get from no book.”

October 8, 2007

Questions and realisations from television last week: Everything

Posted on October 8, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Street Hawk

Question: Why were most episodes of all the new and returning US shows better in their second week this year?

It's quite a list of shows this season that had better episodes than their premieres: House, Heroes, The Unit, Big Bang Theory, Bionic Woman, and Moonlight. A few were about as good (Numb3rs, Journeyman) and there was one that was worse (Chuck).

But on the whole, the second episodes were better than the first. Which is odd, because as Ken Levine points out (thanks Toby!), normally the second episode of a series is rubbish or at least pretty bad compared with the first. So why is it that the second episodes have been so good this time round?

Realisation: Second episodes are the new first episodes, thanks to the demise of the “feature-length opening episode”. No spoilers for any current shows, I promise.

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October 7, 2007

Review: 30 Rock 2.1

Posted on October 7, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

30 Rock

In the US: Thursdays, 8.30/7.30c, NBC
In the UK: Five, at some point, now they've finally bought the rights

Characters re-cast: 0
Major characters gotten rid of: 0
Major new characters: 0
Format change percentage: 0%
Number of Seinfelds: 20

There's something about Jerry Seinfeld. Funny though his own series was, in other shows, he tends to destroy anything that's good about the show. He's just not a very good actor.

30 Rock, easily the funniest comedy of last year, even if it wasn't a ratings smash, doesn't need Jerry Seinfeld to be funny. In fact, bringing in Jerry Seinfeld makes it less funny. But it does need ratings, which is what Seinfeld can bring to a show, even with a guest appearance.

Trouble is, will he make people want to stay to watch the rest of the series, or does the reduction in quality he brings means his guest appearance will turn off the new viewers to what's normally good show?

Continue reading "Review: 30 Rock 2.1"

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