Many of my friends and family LOVE The Big Bang Theory. I’ll admit, I’ll watch it if there’s nothing else on. but, something about the show has never sat right with me and, I think I’ve just figured out what. I’ve recently been suffering from a bout of chronic insomnia. So, one sleepless night I reached for the ever faithful, ever comforting, continually funny, Spaced.
Now, Spaced is without doubt the best geek TV show ever made. It’s made by geeks, for geeks.
For the unfamiliar, it’s a British sitcom about two strangers — Daisy and Tim (played by co-writers Jessica Hynes and Simon Pegg) —who have to pretend to be a couple to get a flat.
Like the Big Bang theory, Spaced featured in-jokes and movie references. With the Big Bang theory they’re screaming “There’s a reference coming, We’re about to make a reference, here’s the reference, Did you get the reference? No, ok. Well here’s what the reference was about”.
Spaced was smarter, it worked on multiple levels. If you watch it as a straight sitcom, with no idea of the references, it will still make you laugh, but if you watch it and you pick up the references it makes you laugh in a different way.
It rewards multiple viewings. 14-years later and I’m still picking up things I’d missed before. The references aren’t gratuitous, they move the story a long. There isn’t a random reference, for the sake of a random reference.
I can’t help but feel that the Big Bang Theory is just making fun of “geek culture”. Pointing the huge finger and shouting “THIS IS WHAT NERDS DO!”. Most of the humour comes from the audience laughing AT the characters and not with the characters. You’re not meant to be laughing at the jokes they make, you’re meant to be laughing at the guys themselves and that’s what doesn’t sit right with me, I’m meant to be laughing at myself, at my friends.
The characters aren’t likeable at all, now. Not every character has to be likeable. Every character in Seinfeld, Curb your enthusiasm and Arrested development was a detestable human being. But it takes skill to do this. The writing team on TBBT are too busy high-fiving themselves for squeezing in another reference, or lazy pop shot at geeks to give us believable characters. Instead, we get another over used stereotype, not seen since saved by the bell.
Leonard is whinny, weak and a mummy’s boy, Raj is shy around women and just irritating, Howard is sleazy and belongs on some sort of register and the shows star, Sheldon is just a complete and utter dick.
Would anyone really be friends with him? At first, I thought it may just be a cultural difference between a US show and a UK show. But, step forward Community. A show made by NBC which like Spaced, deals with geek culture in a respectful and realistic way. With community and Spaced, you never laugh at the characters, you laugh with them.
Working Title Films and Big Talk Productions have commenced filming on The World’s End, the third instalment of Edgar Wright’s trilogy of comedies, following the successes Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007). The new movie is filming in the U.K. As with the first two movies in the trilogy, Universal Pictures International (UPI)will distribute The World’s End internationally and Focus Features will distribute it in North America.
As with the two earlier pictures, Mr. Wright co-wrote the script with Simon Pegg, who will once again star alongside Nick Frost. Joining the team are actors Martin Freeman (Shaun of the Dead, The Hobbit), Paddy Considine (Hot Fuzz, The Bourne Ultimatum), Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes), and Rosamund Pike (Jack Reacher).
The World’s End also marks Mr. Wright’s third movie with Working Title and Big Talk, following Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz; The World’s End is produced by Nira Park of Big Talk and Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. The film will be executive-produced by James Biddle, Mr. Wright, Mr. Pegg, Mr. Frost, and Liza Chasin.
Mr. Wright is also reteaming with such creative collaborators as director of photography Bill Pope, production designer Marcus Rowland, hair and make-up designer Jane Walker, editor Paul Machliss, stunt coordinator Bradley Allen, and VFX Double Negative. Guy Speranza is the film’s costume designer.
In The World’s End, 20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hellbent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King (Simon Pegg), a 40-year-old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their hometown and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub – The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realise the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries.