In the beginning was a show, the show was in us and the show was us…..


    Okay, maybe not that dramatic but it might as well have been. When this show was introduced it was a game changer. If I told you fifteen years ago that there would be a prime-time television show on CBS entirely based on the many adventures in nerd-hood, you would be leery of this concept at best. I am still leery of it mentioning it now. I am writing an article about how a show was changed by popularity, and I can’t believe it even became popular in the first place because the concept sounds like it would never work. But will I take it? Absolutely, let the rejoicing begin!

             Finally a show all to our own! No more waiting for Comic Book Guy to be on The Simpsons or for Comedy Central to re-run Futurama’s “Where No Fan has Gone Before” at 3:00 A.M. on a weekday. The Big Bang Theory was all our own.

                    But wait there’s more; this show was not only a show for nerds but a show for nerds to share. Nothing is more difficult then getting a less-interested person to even watch your “nerdy show” let alone like it. But this show broke the barrier, it has enough standard (maybe not quality, but standard) sitcom jokes for the mass population to laugh at and enough strictly fandom references to fill in the gaps.


The celebration goes strong for the first few seasons until we see the “Bazinga” T-shirt is no longer only available to be ordered online by the hardcore fans, but is now in a mall store window. Suddenly everyone is talking about Sheldon, Leonard and Penny. A dark thought entered my mind as less and less nerd references filled the show and were replaced by more and more nerd clichés...

                        While popularity is not necessarily a concern to me it can turn out horribly, we can all name that band/show/actor/ or just franchise that we knew before it was famous and how we can’t stand the new stuff they’ve done. But this is different then any franchise, this was a stance against being complacent with whatever we are fed but boldly going where no man has gone before. In short, we set a goal that was far too high, made it, and then gave it up.

             For the most part this went rather un-noticed by me, I have to admit, but when it came to my mind it hit hard and refused to be suppressed. “Where are the pop-culture references that brought me to this show?,” I thought. I didn’t watch this for the quirky characters in the beginning, I watched it for the comic references and Star Trek jokes. Granted the characters were the reason I stayed, but not why I came. I want to see Sheldon and the comic store owner debating who would be the best Batman replacement. I want to hear real comic book discussions, not “Okay, whoever gets the short straw has to be Aquaman at the costume party.”


So, after only 2 ½ seasons the once glimmer of hope for nerd references actually being done on a major network television show has been snuffed out and transformed into an almost non-existent gimmick. They saw an audience and took full advantage of us, and now they don’t even need us.

Oh well, guess I will go back to watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Netflix....