Thursday, May 17, 2007

CBS on the big bang

As someone that has a certain affinity for Dawson's Creek, Family Feud, and America's Next Top Model you might not want to take entertainment advice from me, but I have to at least bring up this new show slated to premiere next fall on CBS.

The Big Bang Theory
From writers/producers Chuck Lorre ("Two And A Half Men") and Bill Prady ("Gilmore Girls") comes a new comedy that shows what happens when two hyperintelligent scientists meet a beautiful woman--and realize they know next to nothing about life outside of the lab.




Phrases I found describing the scientists:
...geek squad
...Casanova of Cal Tech
...whiz kid
...gaggle of geniuses
...brainy
...hyperintelligent

*Sigh*

-Thanks to Physics Babe for the tip!

8 comments:

  1. Will the writers of the show be bright enough make the two scientists credible as scientists or will they be spouting some kind of pseudo science nonsense that sounds cool?

    There was a show on TV that centered around a brilliant mathematician who used his skills to solve crimes and prevent terrorist acts. The show was a failure for me because the mathematician spouted nonsense and used mathematics in inappropriate ways to get to the solution It was clear the writers did not know any math beyond arithmetic and maybe a little algebra.

    I always liked Star Trek because they would work real science into the shows. It was clear that the writers did their homework. There was an episode called Parallels that turned out to be a joke based on Herbert Feynman's sum over paths quantum theory. It is worth watching.

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  2. Yeah, I don't know. I've done some surface work trying to determine if and who they have as a physicist consultant, but haven't found out anything yet. I'll keep you posted.

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  3. well, judging by the picture you're showing, these guys did some homework. The equations seem to show perturbation theory expansions and the corresponding Feynmann diagrams(as in Richard not Herbert Feynmann). Can't really see if they're correct though ...

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  4. I am hearing some great things about the Fall show called The Big Bang Theory on Mondays on CBS. The critics love it and think it is very,very funny. Everyone who has seen the pilot loves it. It comes from Two and Half Men's Chuck Lorre. This could be the next hit show. See clips from the show
    here :

    http://www.cbs.com/primetime/big_bang_theory/

    or see clips here :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpdDG6BTQdw

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  5. Their physics consultant is a professor of physics at a major research university in the LA area.

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  6. oh yeah? know how I could get in touch with him or her?

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  7. I saw the pilot for this show when I was on vacation in Las Vegas with my family.

    I'm a senior Astrophysics major at an elite LAC. I felt the show was less about Physics and more about making fun of awkward Physicists.

    The more socially inept Physicists you know, the funnier the concept gets, but it's really easy to do wrong.

    However, the more you know about Physics, Mathematics, Astronomy and Nerd Culture, the more jokes you will get. It will also strike a chord if you know nerds who are socially inept, awkward, and extremely picky. There were some "oh my God that's my friend" and even some "oh geez, I do that" moments. Whether it strikes a chord with Scientists, Engineers and the people who know them or makes them hate the show like only fanboys do remains to be seen.

    The audience I was with laughed quite a bit, and there were humorous moments that appealed to the usual crude humor set that you see on Primetime TV.

    Parts were pretty hokey and I thought there were some jokes that were over the top, but others were pretty good. The beginning is the least funny. The show picks up from there.

    The pilot didn't make it clear what the two roommates did for a living. One implied that he was part of a spacecraft mission to Jupiter currently at Jupiter, though there was a comic moment where he impressed the hot neighbor Penny by showing her a board full of "quantum mechanics" with a "bit of string theory thrown in".
    That felt hokey because it didn't mesh with the way I've seen most people describe their research. A real nerd would probably launch into the specifics of what he was doing, losing everyone, including the roommate within the first five seconds. Instead it felt like an excuse to use the words "string theory" and "quantum mechanics" in the same five second period to scare people.

    I know someone on the Cassini mission, and if they go with that angle for the Jupiter thing, it would work well. The person I know makes frequent trips to JPL as well as other places to meet with collaborators. Scheduling which of Cassini's many instruments will be operating during moon flybys is less than democratic, and the scientists do not always act like adults who know how to share the spaceship. Then there are the times when you are scheduled and your team has 24 hours to create a new trajectory for the probe based on the actual position or you don't get data. Stressful, but an interesting reality that they could play on.

    Other jokes were more subtle. There was a character who wore a 42 hat. Granted the set/costume designer discovered ThinkGeek.com and went a little wild (hence the periodic table shower curtain).

    But the show funny enough. In fact I found this page googling for more info on it, as I'm looking forward to watching at least the second episode.

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  8. perpetuates the idea that women are somehow ``external`` to scientific intelligence

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