Despite the promise of incessant heckling—or perhaps because of it—I have started adding polls to this blog. The most recent, as some of you know, asked a simple question.
What’s the funnier CBS sitcom: How I Met Your Mother or The Big Bang Theory?
As it turns out, Big Bang administered an old-fashioned beat down, if such a term can be attached to a survey in which a whopping four people voted. But the fact that Sheldon and company pitched a shutout got me wondering: Why did Sheldon and company pitch a shutout?
I’m a very literal person.
Please don’t misunderstand; I agree with the results. Indeed, if the assiduously developed bylaws of the dining room office didn’t expressly prohibit it, I would have cast a vote for Big Bang, as well. Furthermore, I am 100 percent aware that a sample of this size is about as meaningful as a Survivor alliance (don’t worry, I’m going to grade myself on those predictions soon).
It’s just Monday, and I need something to write about, and the results of a poll on my own blog seems as good of a topic as any.
If you described The Big Bang Theory to me in 10 seconds, I would guess that I’d have no interest in it. That summary would go something like “It’s about these four scientists and this girl who lives across the hall from two of them. And spoiler alert: the scientists are nerdy.”
To me, it would sound gimmicky and put-on, like Star Trek meets Friends. How I Met Your Mother, on the other hand, has at least four things on paper that should make me think it’s the funniest show since Seinfeld:
1) The main character’s name is Ted.
2) Bob Saget is Ted’s voice in 2030. (How did I not know this until this week?)
3) The storytelling is inventive, and they’re not afraid of the pop culture references/observations.
4) Three words: Neil Patrick Harris
NPH as Barney makes a case to sway the vote on his own. Consider this line he dropped last week to explain how pharmaceutical sales reps—exclusively hot girls to this point, he claims—are destined for the same fate as flight attendants, the previous hot-girl profession:
“And before you know it, pharma girls look like the crew on a Southwest flight from Albuquerque to Little Rock.” Pause, and then, slamming his fist on the table, “It’s over!”
It’s maybe the best sitcom one-liner I’ve heard in the last year.
But the fact that I remember it so readily is just as damning as it is great. For I feel more and more, he’s carrying the show, such that his performance stands out while the others kind of fade into the background, along with the flashbacks and catchphrases that once made the show seem ahead of its time.
Meanwhile, Big Bang is just so consistently funny and even that in watching an episode once, I don’t necessarily remember what I laughed about, just that I did it. A lot.
This scenario sets the stage for an interesting follow-up debate, which I have made the subject of a new poll question: If we confine the world of comedy to just these two shows, who’s the league MVP: NPH or Jim Parsons (a.k.a. Sheldon from Big Bang)?
Do you go with the guy who is most valuable to his team or the best player on the best squad? In other words, LeBron or Kobe?
Lines will be open for at least two hours after the show ends.