Monday, March 17, 2008
Physicists Gone Wild!
As I mentioned back here, I was lucky enough (thanks, Ed and Debbie!) to be in the audience for the February 26 “taping” (filming, actually) of the great first season TV comedy The Big Bang Theory. It was a wonderful experience seeing this terrific show unfold before my eyes. (“Mild” spoiler alert.) Entitled “The Cooper- Hofstadter Polarization,” the story concerns a disagreement between best friends and roommates Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons), a sticky sitcom situation, especially considering Sheldon is actually so dependent on Leonard. The cast was terrific and even funnier in person. One of the most fascinating aspects was seeing how the show’s signature talking-while-walking-up-the-four-flights-of-stairs was filmed: the crew actually re-dresses the hallway/staircase set for each floor, right down to changing the numbers on the apartment doors (which are almost always not even seen in the shot). The filming had an added emotional kick, as it was the first episode out of the gate after the strike. Co-creator/co-executive producer Chuck Lorre spoke to the audience before the show and thanked the fans for making it a hit that is coming back for nine new episodes to complete this season and also has been renewed for next. (I’m not really sure exactly how many real die-hard fans were in attendance—new shows often rely on groups that may not even know the show—but there were two real fans in front of me who were watching a previously aired episode on their iPod as they were waiting for the filming to begin.) The show truly had a family feel among the cast and crew and they all seemed to be elated to be back on track, and also to be performing and filming an excellent episode. At one point Johnny Galecki clambered up onto the "fence" in front of the audience to introduce his great aunt from Chicago who was in the audience. Also, we were served pizza, something that not every show provides for its studio audience. Pictured here is the cool program everyone received, and you’ll note the back cover reads, “The Big Bang Theory family thanks you for joining us.” Be sure and tune in tonight at 8:00 pm (the show’s new time) and enjoy this great episode (take it from me, it’s terrific)—you don’t want to miss the YouTube spectacular that ends the episode. And if you happen to be drinking green beer, chug it when you come across the killer reference to the bottled city of Kandor (“It’s a lot cooler when there’s not a girl looking at it.”).
P.S. Check out Ed Squair's own post about this episode (I attended the filming with Ed) over at his blog.
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I somehow felt I couldn't let a post about "Big Bang Theory" go by without comment. I wanted to note that it was fun to see Jim Parsons (Sheldon) and Kaley Cuoco (Penny_ chatting in between takes in the "walking upstairs with mail" sequence. Sheldon so rarely genuinely smiles on the show that it was a real kick to see them goofing around informally, just like real people (imagine that!)
You might enjoy this entertaining audio interview with Bill Prady, co-creator of "The Big Bang Theory." Prady's other writing and producing credits include "Gilmore Girls," "Muppets in Space," "Dream On," and even an episode of "Star Trek Voyager."
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