Words by Alice White
Early today, my brothers and sisters, I was watching The Big Bang Theory. Yes, I admit it. I was like a horrorshow co-operative malchick, sitting in the chair of torture, while they flashed nasty bits of ultra-violence on the screen. It’s fucking shit, isn’t it? This is my Ludovico technique, but, unlike in A Clockwork Orange where Alex is wearing a straight-jacket with his eyes jimmied open, getting administered the worst possible punishment for a snobby rapist to the tune of Beethoven's 9th, in my instance, the remote control had somehow managed to wedge itself down the side of the sofa and my nails hadn’t fully dried yet and I didn’t want to have to redo them as this particular metallic happened to be discontinued. My life is a partially numbed painful series of failures.
I was trapped helplessly, watching a scene where Penny, who is a low budget Jennifer Aniston only in the way that she’s very attractive but not good looking if that makes any sense, had to apologize to that revolting goober, Wolowitz, because he was constantly shouting out lewd sexual comments at her and she finally snapped at him, causing him to go and sulk. Yeah, that’s about right, you can bombard a woman who lives across to the hall from your mate with revolting sexual comments about chewing on the gusset of her thong for weeks on end, ignoring the fact that she tells you she hates it every time. When she finally snaps, you storm off and she has to be the one to apologize due to the pressure from three other men for you to “keep the peace”.
It’s nearly as bad as the show How I Met Your Mother. In my opinion, Lily, played by that American Pie actress, is the worst female character ever written, unless she is actually trying to be a megalomaniac assault enabler with potent internalized misogyny, cheering on Barney to get girls so drunk they don’t remember bonking him. I highly doubt this is an intentionally interesting female character either, because if they had genuinely put that much energy into her personality depth, the jokes would’ve been a lot better. I remember watching one particular episode when I happened to be blitzed, Lily threw a hundred dollar bill at a stripper while shouting “crawl for it” which made me wince. I remember it despite how fucked up I was. The show also has a tendency to always using sex workers as a prop to give it an ‘edgier than Friends’ vibe, referring to them throughout as subhuman. Lily might as well shout “I’m one of the guys and I’m saying that so you know I think that women are shit!” as she holds one of these nameless girls down on a bed made of suits.
So back to TBBT, these four pricks think they’re better than Penny because they’re smart and she’s dumb. She’s hot, but she’s got a terrible job, and they all have good jobs but are ugly. They have ZERO skills in picking up women and she’s dumb and the Indian guy can’t even speak to her but will whisper jokes about how slutty she is, because she’s dumb and hot and they’re smart and terrible and that’s the entire show. If that didn’t make any sense then good, because to be a writer for this show all you need to do be able to do is throw the words “dumb”, “smart”, “terrible”, “hot” and “possible Aspergers” onto a blank Final Draft file.
While I was watching this horrible TV show, a girl I happened to know was buzzing around. I don’t know how she got in or who invited her but here she was. She’s a bit of a dummy, in a way phony way, like everything she ever learned was from watching TV shows like this, but oddly I like her to an extent and anything was a welcome distraction from feeling like I was watching the collapse of civilization. She sat next to me and started to talk in this weird sad tone about how her boyfriend had been cheating on her, or at least that’s what I thought he’d been doing, the way she was sniffling and saying things like “I don’t know how he could do this” and, “it’s just hard to forgive him”. I tipped my head to the side and remembered to move my eyes subtly to indicate that I was listening.
It turned out her boyfriend hadn’t been cheating on her, but rather had been watching porn. I asked her if they’d ever talked about what their stance on this sort of thing was before getting into a relationship and if he’d then gone behind her back to watch it, but she said they hadn’t discussed it at all. So I asked if it was cutting into their life together to which she responded by admitting she didn’t know he was watching it until she checked his computer’s history. I joked that maybe the problem was that she didn’t want him watching it without her, at which point she immediately snaps at me while turning to face the TV. “No, I just think it’s gross...”
“Oh my god! The Big Bang Theory!...” she blurts out, instantly distracted and getting comfy,
“...I LOVE this!”
Alice White is a badly behaved writer and ex-sex and dating columnist from Scotland. She has the accent and everything. And also really terrific hair. Follow her on Twitter at @alicewhitey for dick jokes and public eye rolling.