Controversies in Geek Culture: The Big Bang Theory


“The Big Bang Theory” is nothing but a joke to geek culture. The main characters are just stereotypes of what society believes geeks are like. The women in the show are pushed to the side and are only really there to be used as romantic plot points. Everyone in the show who isn’t necessarily labeled a “geek” is automatically presented as judgmental and vain. This show is nothing but a nuisance to geek culture, and yet every year it gets nominated for several awards while shows that display geek culture in a positive way, like “Community”, are left in the dust.

The most recent episode I’ve been able to sit through from start to finish without leaving in a fit of anger is the episode where the female characters want to start reading comics. The main characters are out of town, so they take this opportunity to go to the comic book store. From the second they walk into the room, all of the other customers in the store, who all just so happen to be men, are shell-shocked. The mere idea of any woman walking into a comic book store is appalling to them. They don’t just look at the girls with looks of confusion. They leer at these woman as if they’re prey. The worst of it all is when one of the women starts to enjoy the attention. The writers of the show are implying that these women enjoy being looked at as if they’re sexual objects rather than people. The men only stop staring once the owner, who is friends with the women, tells them to stop. When the girls mention they’re interested in reading comics, that only gains the men’s attention once again. One of the women, Penny, decides that she wants to read about Thor because “he’s hot”. Because the only reason any woman would read about a certain character is because she’s shallow and only cares about looks rather than the character’s personality or story lines. All of this takes place in a time span of one minute and 50 seconds. It’s honestly amazing how the writers managed to offend me so many times in under two minutes. If you don’t believe me, you can watch the scene here.

The funny thing is that no one in the show’s target audience actually watches the show. About 90% of the people I talk to are considered part of that target audience and not a single one of them actually watch the show. In fact, the only people who watch “The Big Bang Theory” are the mothers of the people in the target audience.

This show constantly portrays those who are considered “geeks” to be stereotypical and elitist. They’re all in high profile professions, such as a physicist or an engineer. They all know about everything and anything even remotely associated with geek culture and look down upon those who don’t. Not only is this an inaccurate representation of people interested in things like comics or video games, but it’s also offending to those of us who are misrepresented in the show. There was one character in particular who was dating Penny and liked her friends, the main characters. He was a nice enough guy who was not the brightest, but nonetheless an all-around good person. He was interested in talking about “geeky” things with the main characters and was completely shot down and ridiculed for not knowing something. The main characters mocked his intelligence until he grew fed up with their insults.

These characters couldn’t have fit the stereotype of what a geek looks like any better than they already do. It’s as if the show creators plucked out some scrawny looking “nerds” from a high school in a 1980’s movie, aged them about 15 years and then stood back and said, “This is our main cast of characters.” Then they threw in a pretty girl or two so at least some of them had love interests.

“The Big Bang Theory” is holding us back as a society in terms of accepting people for their interests. Even the main characters are written to be mocked for all of the things they like. I can’t tell you many times they’ve suggested doing something “geeky” together and then that God-forsaken fake studio audience will laugh their asses off because who thinks playing “Halo” is a good way to spend your Saturday night? This whole show is just one giant insult. Whether it is to geeks or non-geeks, I can guarantee anyone who watches this show will be insulted at some point.