It’s theoretically improbable that The Big Bang Theory should be a good TV show at all. The premise of two nerdy physicists living across the hall from a cute blonde sounds as if it could barely sustain a comical Saturday Night Live sketch, let alone an entire series. The fact that it’s not only good, but actually great says more about TV writers than it does about the classic multi-camera, laugh track-laden sitcom, which is often thought of as a near-dead format. The laugh track itself is these days generally regarded as a sign of laziness. After all, if a series needs to tell its audience where to laugh, surely it can’t be terribly amusing?
As long as something is well written, it can take place almost entirely in a living room, for 22 episodes a season. As long as something is funny, a laugh track can blare all over the place, and it doesn’t seem remotely out of place, since you’re laughing right along with it. The show is both well written and funny, which is no doubt due in no small part to the combined talents of Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre, who probably each bring a different perspective to the table. The Big Bang Theory is smart without being smug or cynical, and sweet without being sappy. In an age where most comedies feel the need to be edgy, this one never really is and it’s all the better for it. How these guys have pulled this off is anyone’s guess, but the entire thing just simply works. I could happily watch it for another five seasons if they just keep doing what they’re doing.
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