February 05, 2011

Analysis of the "Big Bang Theory"

When I was in grad school, I used to ask my lawyer and doctor friends and relatives what it was like for them to watch shows like "The Practice" and "ER" because I was fairly sure that no one would ever produce a TV show about physicists.

Boy, was I wrong.

What kills me is not so much that the "Big Bang Theory" exists. I've long gotten over that. It's the in-depth analysis that physicists and physics educators go through to defend or detract from the show.

Personally, I just enjoy being wrong about my idea of what could make it on TV. As a physicist, I long ago learned to get used to being wrong.

Gedanken experiment: Levitate a physics sitcom?
By Steve CorneliussenCould scientists help the cause of science by helping CBS raise its physics situation comedy The Big Bang Theory from the level of Gomer Pyle, USMC to the level of MASH?
Might CBS let physicists help elevate BBT from the level of Seinfeld, a hilarious show about nothing, to the level of All in the Family, a hilarious show about society's profoundest issues?
During the early Vietnam years, CBS's Gomer Pyle portrayed a cheerful country-boy Marine and his irascible sergeant at a peaceful stateside base. The sitcom ignored Vietnam. Slightly later, CBS's MASH engaged war's horrors, but still provoked laughter, by imagining Marx-brothers-like situations at a ragtag mobile US Army surgical hospital near the Korean War battle front.

via Points of View by Physics Today on 1/18/11

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