Thursday, July 19, 2012

And It All Started With A Big Bang

TigerBlog was relatively late getting on the bandwagon for "The Big Bang Theory."

In fact, he hadn't watched the show at all until maybe two or three months ago, and yet he figures he's seen most of the episodes by now.

Obviously, he likes the show, or he would have given up on it long ago. The characters are pretty solid, and they find themselves in some funny situations.

What separates the show is that it is extraordinary in two areas that are often neglected these days: writing and acting.

In a world where reality TV and shows with the hottest actors and actresses who continually read trite, contrived and ridiculous lines, a show like "The Big Bang Theory" stands out largely because it is the antithesis of that. The writing is outstanding, and the way it is delivered by the cast makes it shine even more so.

TB's favorite character on the show is Amy Farrah Fowler, played by Mayim Bialik, who obviously was Blossom on NBC long ago. Her delivery alone makes her character a classic; the words she says just enhances that status.

In truth, they're all great characters. And the concept is a great one - hot normal woman who lives across the hall from scientific super-geniuses, especially Sheldon, who is completely lacking in normal social interaction, which, as an aside, could be one of the reasons TB likes him so much.

Yes, the characters are sometimes over-the-top caricatures, and the nerdy aspect can be overdone a little.

And if anything, TB has a harder time believing that Leonard would be friends with Sheldon, Raj and Howard more than he does that Penny would go out with him. Leonard is too socially well-adjusted to be content with the video games and comic books that the other three favor, and at the very least, he'd never subject himself to the roommate agreement.

Aside from that, the show is great.

TB started DVRing all of the episodes that were on on any given night, which meant he could catch up pretty quickly. Because of how Leonard and Penny's relationship is on-again, off-again, it makes it a little tough to figure out where in the timeline the show is, but other than that, it's been a fast way to get through all of the back episodes.

His favorite episode is probably the one where Penny falls in the shower and Sheldon has to take her to the hospital, with the subplot of the accidentally stoned Leonard, Raj and Howard - "cause of accident: lack of adhesive ducks."

Leonard is considered to be a Princeton graduate, though TB isn't sure which class.

Leonard doesn't pretend to know much about sports, even once suggesting that he wasn't sure if the Dodgers played baseball. What are the odds that Leonard went to at least one game during his four years at Princeton?

It's a question that actually got TB to wondering about the undergraduates at Princeton.

During his time at Penn, TB went to see football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball,  men's lacrosse (once, the first game he ever saw), lightweight football (his friend Larry Harding was on the team) and men's volleyball (ditto Stephen Ehrlich). He can't remember ever going to see any other sport.

And TB is obviously a huge sports fan.

Maybe he would have gone to see some others had he not been covering high school games for the newspaper at the time, but it's more likely he would have gone to more of the sports he'd already seen.

And what does that say about attracting Princeton students to events?

Question No. 1 - What percentage of Princeton undergrads never go to a varsity athletic event in their four years? Thoughts? TB has no idea of how to figure that out.

Question No. 2 - How many students go to an event simply because a friend is playing, rather than out of genuine interest in the game?

Question No. 3 - How many students go to football, basketball, hockey or lacrosse (the ticketed events, though they're all free for students) but never go to any other events in their four years?

Question No. 4 - How many students have come to a big game in any sport because of the significance 

Student attendance has always been a big issue around here, and yet it's hard to really move the needle because of how small the undergraduate population is.

If you get 10% of the students to come to a football game, that's still fewer than 500 students. How much would you even notice an increase of 10% over that?

As with much of Princeton's athletic marketing, it's hard to say what works and what doesn't work when it comes to student attendance.

If he had to guess, TB would say that what attracts students most are: 1) free food, 2) a huge event (NCAA tournament, Ivy playoff, national championship) and 3) seeing their friends.

Maybe that's unchangeable.

In the meantime, TB is stuck on his first question.

Do students really go four years and never attend a varsity athletic event?

knock, knock, knock Leonard?

knock, knock, knock Leonard?

knock, knock, knock Leonard?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why not survey Princeton undergraduates on these matters?