Friday, July 23, 2010

xkcd and The Big Bang Theory.

I used to like xkcd and The Big Bang Theory. Really. I thought that the nerdy humor was kind of cute, endearing, and kind-of-sort-of relatable. However, over the p
ast year, I've started to dislike this style of humor more and more. It just seems so formulaic: each strip in xkcd seems to be about some nerdy reference, smug observation, or sex, and each gag in TBBT seems to be about....well, nerdy references, smug observations, or sex. (Take out the nerdy references and what do you have? Two and a Half Men.)

(Archetype 1: nerdy reference.)

It's as if both have found a fairly successful formula, and are just making endless permutations of the same thing. Maybe this inevitably happens as a show or comic ages and writers start to run low on ideas. But it just seems so...exploitative.

(Archetype 2: smug observation.)

Is there a way out of this hole? I'm not sure, but one similar webcomic to xkcd that I enjoy far more is Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (SMBC). Although it's also a fairly nerdy webcomic, in my opinion, the author tries to be original and goes beyond sticking to a simple formula. So, whenever I go to the website to read the latest strip, I'm always in for a surprise. Of course, I'm not saying for them to copy SMBC's style, but it really makes me wonder if xkcd and TBBT can really start being more original and, well, funny. Though, since both have been so commercially successful, why would they?

(Archetype 3: sex.)

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