I don’t watch TV. I don’t refuse to watch TV; in fact, some things, such as the National Spelling Bee finals, are television-only experiences unless you’re lucky enough to go to Washington, DC for the competition, a feat I never did achieve. I just don’t feel the need to let TV and my lack of recording devices control my schedule. The lack of television in my life is a well-known fact among my friends and acquaintances, for when they tell me about TV shows that they watch, I’m usually clueless except for what little I manage to glean from various fan communities.
Despite my lack of commitment to television, people still recommend programs for me to watch. First it was Numb3rs, an understandable choice because of my mathematical background. This recommendation came in droves. After watching half an episode online over a shaky connection, I gave up, resolving to try again when the opportunity presented itself.
Then my brother, who can’t do anything without the TV as background noise, recommended The Big Bang Theory, a show about two genius physicists, their nerdy friends, and their non-geek neighbor. “You’d like it,” he told me. “It’s about a bunch of nerds, and they’re all socially awkward, and there are a bunch of nerd jokes.” At first I wanted to say “So that’s how you see me?” I kept my mouth shut. He persisted. I reminded him of my lack of TV.
The recommendations continued to come, and they gave the same reasons as my brother (though concentrating more on the nerdy side than on the socially awkward side). This week I no longer had an excuse: I let slip to members of my alma mater’s physics club heard that I had never seen the show, and the club was hosting a marathon. Would I like to come? The game was up now.
Everyone was right, even Little Brother. I laughed straight through the twelve episodes we watched. The jokes were perfectly timed; the characters were well-developed, real, and quirky; and best of all, no one was kidding about the jokes being geeky. I wanted to strangle Sheldon from across the screen at least once an episode, but it was in a loving way. The only negative I found about the show was the laugh track. I found myself laughing in all the right spots and even in spots where the laugh track didn’t laugh. If a viewer doesn’t get the joke, they’ll likely wonder why it was so funny to start with or just write off the joke as dumb.
The verdict: I may be biased because I am a self-proclaimed geek. If you are too, give this show a try. You won’t be disappointed. The continuity-obsessed freak in me just needs to finish all the other episodes first.