Saturday, July 16, 2011

"Do You Watch "The Big Bang Theory"?"

I get that question a lot from people who I've just met. When they find out that I'm a physicist, other than asking what's going on at the LHC, they tend to ask if I watch the popular TV series "The Big Bang Theory". Unfortunately, my answer to that question is "No, I don't".

I know that it is a wonderful comedy depicting scientists/physicists (nerds?), and that other famous physicists have made cameo appearances on the show, but I've never had the inclination to watch it. It's not that I have anything against it. However, my TV channels (and I have 4 TVs in the house) are stuck on HGTV, Food Network, Bravo, TLC, Travel Channel, PBS, BBC America, Animal Planet, Tennis Channel, and Discovery. I normally don't watch any network TV shows (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX), so that means I don't watch the Big Bang Theory.

Now and then, some of my friends would ask me certain episodes of the show, because they said that these episodes would probably had been a lot funnier if they understood some physics and the inside joke that went along with them. That's probably true from what I've read on the research done for that TV series. I gathered that there's a big college following for that show, which isn't surprising.

Still, I have never watched, and don't plan on watching, "The Big Bang Theory".



coraifeartaigh said...

Not sure why you are assuming it's a 'wonderful comedy'if you don't watch it. Some peole like it, some don't. I find it vaguely funny, but ultimately annoying. I suspect its only lasting impression is the reinforcement of the common perception of physicists as nerdish types unable to communicate with 'normal' people.

Horological Rex said...


The show does work in and around caricatures, as most sitcoms do, but it isn't mean spirited and is an enjoyable 20 minutes. The in-house physicist, David Saltzberg, (professor at UCLA) has his own blog, "The Big Blog Theory," which discusses some of the science of each episode.

Thanks for your blog... I'm not a scientist (I'm a watchmaker) but find it very interesting - even the bits which are beyond my understanding. ;-)



informatica said...

Some days ago, making some research for my Master Thesis, I read an acknowledgments section from a PhD in Astrophysics in which the author gave thanks to the characters of The Big Bang Theory :-)

ZapperZ said...

That is just sad!