Tag Archives: The Big Bang Theory

Choob Chart – The Top 10 Geekiest Pop Songs


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It’s the time of year for resolutions and one of mine is to update the ol’ blog more regularly than I managed in the second half of last year. So, without any further ado, here is a brand new feature – The Choob Chart.

Thanks to TV shows such as The Big Bang Theory and stars such as 30 Rock‘s Tina Fey, Geeks have never been so cool. So my first choob chart is my list of the 10 geekiest rock and pop songs ever recorded.

Now, there are a few ways of defining geeky music. For the purposes of this chart, the songs must be inspired by, be celebrations of or, at the very least, substantially reference, geek-friendly subject matter. They must NOT have been specially composed as part of a larger geeky project. So, for example, Still Alive, the song from the closing credits of the video game Portal was written for the video game and therefore exists solely as an integral part of something uber-geeky to begin with.

Also, the songs must be the work of established and (to some extent) commercial acts. This means no songs by self-publishing internet amateurs or YouTube stars, no matter how good they are.

10. Mutants In Mega-City One – The Fink Brothers

I Am The Law by Anthrax is the best known song about 2000AD‘s legendary future lawman Judge Dredd. But I’m opting for the more obscure Mutants In Mega-City One by The Fink Brothers (which was a one-off side project of Madness members Suggs and Chas Smash) for two reasons. First, I’m not really a fan of Anthrax. Secondly, and more importantly, I bought the 12-inch single back in 1985. It came with cover art and a free Dredd poster by Brian Bolland.

It’s far from zarjaz, musically, but the guys do know their Dredd lore and the lyrics are full of references to Mega-City life and characters. After the music video below there is a brief appearance by Suggs and Chas in costume as Fink Angel and his brother Mean Machine.

Which brings me to two geeky gripes. First, they should really be called the Angel Brothers since Fink was the christian name of one of the Angel gang, not their surname. And second, the song repeatedly has Dredd referring to citizens as “Earthlets” which, of course, is a word 2000AD’s alien editor Tharg The Mighty uses, not Dredd. Tut!

9. Doctorin’  The Tardis – The Timelords

Again, musically, this mish-mash-up of the Doctor Who theme tune, Gary Glitter’s Rock And Roll (Part Two) and Blockbuster by Sweet is far from brilliant (though this didn’t stop it reaching the top of the charts in the UK in 1988). But its geek credentials are impeccable.

Quite apart from Whovian-cred, The Timelords was an alter ego of The KLF, the anarchic acid house legends whose origins and philosophy were heavily inspired by one of the all-time great works of geek literature, The Illuminatus! Trilogy, by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. So the Timelords and their 23-year-old song have more than earned their place in this chart. Or, to put it another way, they’re justified and they’re ancient…

8. Sgt Rock (Is Going To Help Me) – XTC

A Sgt. Rock movie has been in the works for years now. Years ago, Arnie was lined up to play the non-superpowered DC Comics WWII hero of Easy Company. More recently, Bruce Willis has been linked to the role, with Guy Ritchie directing. The latest rumour has the action being rather ridiculously moved from WWII to a future war. Don’t hold your breath. If non-comics geeks are aware of the character at all, it’s probably thanks to this fine track from new wavers XTC, released in 1980.

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7. In The Garage – Weezer

Although this song – from Weezer‘s self-titled 1994 debut album – is more about a young geek’s appreciation of his safe haven, where he can geek out away from prying eyes, without being judged or ridiculed, there are some great references at the start to the X-Men’s Kitty Pryde and Nightcrawler, along with Dungeons and Dragons and 12-sided die. Pretty good song, too.

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6. The Prisoner – Iron Maiden

Several years before I ever saw an episode of The Prisoner on TV (it was rarely repeated on TV when I was growing up, in the days before video and DVD box sets), I knew the show’s opening dialogue off by heart thanks to this classic Maiden track from their legendary 1982 album The Number Of The Beast. You’re spoiled for choice, really, when looking for geeky references on Maiden songs through the years (for example: The Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner, The Wicker Man, Lord Of The Flies, A Brave New World, Murders In The Rue Morgue) but this is one of the earliest and, given the cultish nature of the TV show that inspired it, this is arguably the geekiest. They revisited The Prisoner two years later with Back In The Village, on the album Powerslave.

5. Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, Pt. I – The Flaming Lips

Now, you can read this song (and, in parts, the 2002 album of the same name it comes from) in a number of ways, from an anime-inspired futuristic tale of a young woman fighting to save the world from robots in revolt, to a more thoughtful, allegorical meditation on the importance of individuality and creativity in the face of pressure to conform and be subservient in the corporate rat-race.

For the purposes of this chart, I’m going for the former!

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4. The Eighth Day – Hazel O’Connor

Talking of revolting robots, here we have the plot of The Terminator neatly summed up in a song – four years before James Cameron’s movie was released! Okay, so the idea of a war with sentient machines was a sci-fi staple long before 1980, but still. The song qualifies for my chart because although it was written for a film – 1980’s Breaking Glass – it’s not a sci-fi film and so the song is not self-referencing (Hazel O’Connor plays a pop star struggling to cope with sudden fame and The Eighth Day is simply one of her character’s songs).

Adding to the geekiness of the song, note the costume that O’Connor wears while performing the song in the film. Tron wasn’t released for another two years.

3. History Of Everything – Barenaked Ladies

Yes, I’m bending my own rules ever so slightly here, since this song was written to be the theme song for every geek’s favourite sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. However, it does not reference the show or characters and is a great standalone song that crams the creation and 14billion-year history of the universe so far into one minute 45 seconds PLUS its future and ultimate destruction. It also has a great video, about which I have written before.

2. Hanging Out With Halo Jones – Transvision Vamp

Transvision Vamp singer Wendy James had a great voice and there were some great songs on the band’s first two albums. Most interesting from a geek perspective was the song Hanging Out With Halo Jones, from their 1988 debut album Pop Art.

The Ballad of Halo Jones was a much-loved story that appeared fairly early on in the life of 2000AD and is still regarded as one of the comic’s finest strips. Unusually for the macho, testosterone-fuelled 2000AD, in an attempt to make the comic more female-friendly, the main character was an ordinary teenage girl (albeit from the 50th-century Earth) and the storyline was a lot more thoughtful and philosophical than most of the other strips of the day.

It was written by Alan Moore before he hit the big time working for the big American comics publishers and I think it surpasses much of his later, better-known work, including Watchmen. The strip was beautifully illustrated by Ian Gibson, one of my all-time favourite 2000AD artists.

Sadly plans for a nine-volume storyline, following Halo Jones all through her life from youth until old age, fell apart when Moore fell out with the then publishers of 2000AD over creators’ rights and the series stalled after three volumes were published. It’s well worth getting hold of the reprinted collected editions if you’ve never read the story.

Transvision Vamp were clearly fans and this song was great homage to the character:

Since there is no video or live performance for the song I can find, here are a couple of bonuses. They all come from the late, lamented (by me, if nobody else!) Night Network, circa 1988. ITV’s first attempt at through-the-night programming, it aired on Friday and Saturday nights and was aimed squarely at a young audience staggering home from the pub.

The first two videos feature the cast of a Halo Jones stage play performing a couple of scenes plus an interview with 2000AD founding father Pat Mills and acclaimed artist Kevin O’Neill (Nemesis The Warlock, Marshall Law, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen).

And here are writer Peter Milligan and artist Brett Ewins talking primarily about their 2000AD strip Bad Company.

1. DC Comics and Chocolate Milk Shake – Art Brut

I’ve featured this song on the blog before. Art Brut‘s frontman is the very geeky Eddie Argos, comics reviewer and the world’s biggest Booster Gold fan. The song is about embracing your inner geek and refusing (or being unable) to grow up and leave childish, geeky things behind just ‘cos that’s what’s expected of you. Amen, brother!

And as a special post-festive bonus, here are three more geeky songs that don’t really fit the rock/pop requirement but deserve to be included as companion pieces to the main list.

i. The Galaxy Song – Monty Python

Some excellent astronomy-based geekiness courtesy of Eric Idle. this is probably my favourite song from Monty Python’s 1984 film The Meaning Of Life, although Every Sperm Is Sacred certainly does have its charms…

ii. Elements – Tom Lehrer

The periodic table, in song, from the great Tom Lehrer. Quite the feat of memory, never mind extreme geekiness.

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iii. Star Trekkin’ – The Firm

The Choob has already spotlighted this one. Possibly the most annoying geeky song. Yet we all love it. Um, don’t we…?

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TV Newsround: Good News For Chuck And Visitors – Bad News For Heroes and Flashers


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As the flurry of renewals and cancellations stepped up a gear yesterday, there was good news for fans of V, the decent remake of the 1980s classic about alien invaders, and sci-fi spy comedy-drama Chuck.

V, starring Elizabeth Mitchell – previously best-known for playing Juliet in Lost – and Firefly‘s Morena Baccarin, has been renewed for a second season by US network ABC.

Meanwhile NBC has committed to a fourth season of the acclaimed, but ratings-starved, Chuck.

Bad news, however, for fans of FlashForward, which has reportedly been canceled and will not be back after season one ends – guess we should have seen that one coming…

However, we were always promised that season one would be self-contained and that any future seasons would deal with new flash forwards, so at least we should get a resolution of sorts to the story.

I’m very sad, but not surprised, also to report the demise of Heroes, a show whose five-seasons will, in the future, surely serve as a case study of how NOT to run a TV show.

During its first season, it was the hottest new property on network TV but it was systematically destroyed through a lack of any apparent show-running ability, poor creative decisions, dire plotting and convoluted story arcs that often went nowhere or made no sense. In the end, it seems, they couldn’t save the cheerleader.

It’s been a busy time over the past days and weeks for those who get to decide the future of your favourite TV shows, so here’s a quick rundown of what’s happening with the rest of your favourites on the five big networks: ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS and The CW.

Renewed: Castle, Cougar Town, Modern Family, The Middle, The Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife, How I Met Your Mother, Two And A Half Men, Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, Bones, Fringe, Glee, Human Target, Lie To Me, The Simpsons, 30 Rock, Community, Friday Night Lights, Law & Order: SVU, The Office, Parenthood, Parks & Recreation, 90210, Gossip Girl, Smallville, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, NCIS: Los Angeles.

Canceled: Better Off Ted, Hank, Romantically Challenged, Scrubs, Ugly Betty, 24, Dollhouse, Past Life, ‘Til Death, Law & Order, Mercy, Trauma.

The following are those shows that have yet to have their futures decided. Those in green are generally considered dead certs or good bets for renewal, those in red long shots and those in black are thought to be 50/50:

The Bachelor, Brothers & Sisters, The Deep End, Desperate Housewives, The Forgotten, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Accidentally on Purpose, Cold Case, Criminal Minds, CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Gary Unmarried, Ghost Whisperer, Medium, The Mentalist, NCIS, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Numb3rs, Rules of Engagement, Brothers, House, Life Unexpected, Melrose Place, One Tree Hill.

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And Then There Were Fifty Thousand!


As you may have noticed, from the little hit counter over there on the right, The Cathode Ray Choob celebrated its 50,000th hit the other day.

Many thanks for all who have chooned in over the past 13 months, especially those of you who like it here enough to keep coming back regularly.

Having kept up a daily posting schedule for most of last year, you’ll maybe have noticed that some of the weekly features are currently taking a rest and that we’re down to about three or four posts a week at the moment.

Don’t worry, The Choob’s not going anywhere. I’m just rethinking the content of the blog and, and as a result, some of last year’s regular features will be on indefinite hiatus and some will become semi-regular.

This should free up a little time to do some more original stuff than has so far been realistic given time constraints.

Anyway, I hope you’ll keep watching this space and, as a thank you for your continued visits, here’s a cool little flip-book animation of, well… pretty much everything! It’s by Jamie Bell.

Excellent, eh? Although, I think I still prefer this different take on the same idea, which I first mentioned in this post last April:

And now, some facts and figures:

I’ve posted 423 articles since starting the blog on December 22, 2008.

Currently, the site is getting an average of around 270 hits per day. The busiest day so far was January 2, 2009, with 759 hits.

And finally, here are the all-time top 10 Choob posts so far:

  1. Gabrielle Anwar’s Freaky Naked Torso
  2. Doctor Who: A New Tardis And Latest Pics From The Set
  3. Doctor Who – First Photos From The Season Five Set And The New TARDIS
  4. Top Of The Pops Thursday: Nena – 99 Red Balloons / 99 Luftballons
  5. Blake’s 7 Teleports Back Onto BBC1
  6. It’s Classic Clip Friday: WKRP In Cincinnati – Turkey Drop
  7. Top Of The Pops Thursday: Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time
  8. Tuesday Is Theme Tunes Day – Buck Rogers In The 25th Century
  9. TV Newsround – Penny Spent? Kate Going? The Next Gen Boldly Returning? And More…
  10. BBC Winter Olympics Trailer Deserves A Medal

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TV Newsround: The Show Will Go On… The Fate Of 58 Shows!


It’s that time of year when the US TV networks decide (or rather, share with the world) which shows live and which shows die.

The upfronts take place next week in New York, when the fate of your favourite show will be officially revealed.

However news about the future (or lack thereof) of many of the bigger shows has already leaked, plus a few already had previous multi-season agreements in place.

So here is a round-up of which shows will definitely be back (some of these, in particular the shows that air during the summer, were already known and mentioned in previous Choob posts), plus the ones that are still sweating it out.

ABC

The sixth and final season of Lost will begin early in 2010.

Brothers And Sisters will be back in September for its fourth season.

New comedy-drama Castle, starring former Firefly star Nathan Fillion as a mystery writer who teams up with an NYPD cop to help him research his new novel, has been renewed for a second season. The first season ended in the US last week.

Grey’s Anatomy gets a sixth season, while its spin-off Private Practice is renewed for a third.

Desperate Housewives has been given a sixth season.

Season four of Ugly Betty begins on September 24.

ABC Family comedy-drama Greek has an order for a 20-episode third season.

CBS

CBS has yet to make a decision on a fifth season of sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine, starring former Seinfeld star Julia Louis-Dreyfus (right), but ABC has agreed a back-up deal which will see the network pick up the show if CBS decides to pass on it. It’s the second time in two years that ABC has tried to take over the show.

This is less certain than most of the other shows listed here but rumours are circulating that, somewhat surprisingly, David Mamet‘s special forces military drama The Unit is being given a fifth season.

Again, not a dead cert, but police drama Cold Case is said to have a good chance of a seventh season.

It was revealed back in March that sitcoms Two And A Half Men and The Big Bang Theory have been guaranteed three and two more seasons respectively.

Fox

Day eight of 24 will begin early next year. Is said to be set in New York and feature the return of CTU.

Sci-fi detective drama Fringe has been renewed for a full second season.

Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, starring Eliza Dushku, will be back for a second season of 12 episodes.

The Simpsons has been renewed for two more seasons. The 44-episode order will take the show through to the end of its 22nd season (and 493 episodes), making it the longest-running series in primetime US TV history.

The first season of Family Guy spin-off Cleveland is yet to air (it was pushed back from Spring to the Autumn), but it has already been given a 13-episode second-season order.

FX

Dennis Leary firefighter drama Rescue Me has been renewed for an 18-episode sixth season.

Biker gang drama Sons Of Anarchy, starring Hellboy’s Ron Perlman, has been given a second-season order.

HBO

A fourth season of bigamy drama Big Love (below) has been ordered.

Vampire drama True Blood will be back for a second season.

Entourage gets a sixth season.

NBC

Despite diminishing ratings, Heroes will be back for season four.

The American version of The Office gets a sixth season.

Tina Fey’s (right) comedy 30 Rock saw ratings grow slightly this year and, though still on the low side, it has been rewarded with a fourth season.

Season eleven of Law and Order: SVU has been ordered.

Friday Night Lights has been given two more 13-episode seasons (its fourth and fifth).

Parks and Recreation, the new sitcom from the makers of the US version of The Office, which stars Saturday Night Live‘s Amy Poehler, gets a second season.

Supernatural drama Medium has been given a sixth season.

New LA-set cop drama Southland began its seven-episode first season last month and has already been renewed for a 13-episode second.

Showtime

Historical drama The Tudors will return for a 10-part fourth (and final) season, which will complete the saga of King Henry VIII.

Season 5 of Weeds, starring Mary-Louise Parker, right, begins on Monday, June 8.

Dexter, starring Six Feet Under’s Michael C Hall as a serial killer who works for the Miami police department. Season three recently ended its run and the network has been renewed for at least two further seasons, of 12 episodes each.

Black comedy-drama The United States Of Tara, has been given a second, 12-episode season. The show, created by Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody, stars Toni Collette as a wife and mother-of-two who suffers from dissociative identity disorder.

Californication, starring David Duchovny as a charming but troubled writer, has been renewed for a third season.

TNT

A second season (15 episodes) of crime drama Leverage has been given the go-ahead.

Superboy drama Smallville will be back in the Autumn for its ninth season.

Supernatural returns for season five.

One Tree Hill gets a seventh season.

Newcomer 90210 gets a second season (plus a pilot order for an updated version of original Beverley Hills 90210 spin-off, Melrose Place – more details here).

A third season of Gossip Girl has been ordered.

Comedy Central

The Sarah Silverman Program will be returning for a third season. With Sarah Silverman, right, obviously.

AMC

The superb Mad Men has been renewed for at least two more seasons.

SyFy

Sci-fi/fantasy drama Sanctuary, starring Stargate SG1 ’s Amanda Tapping, will be back for a second season.

USA

Miami-set tongue-in-cheek drama Burn Notice, below, about a spy inexplicably cast adrift by his bosses and left to fend for himself, has earned a 16-episode third-season order. It begins on June 4.

Comedy-drama Psych, about a fake psychic who helps the police, has been given a fourth season.

Monk, the comedy-drama about an obsessive-compulsive private detective, gets an eighth and final season.

Lifetime

With the third season of Army Wives not due to begin until June, the Lifetime channel has ordered a fourth season.

Starz

Ensemble drama Crash, based on the 2005 Best Picture Oscar-winning film of the same name, has been renewed for a 13-episode second season

TBS

A nine-episode third season of My Boys, a comedy about a female sports writer in Chicago and the men in her life, has been ordered.

Syndication

Syndicated sword-and-sorcery fantasy drama Legend Of The Seeker, currently airing its first season, has been renewed for a second run. The show is based on the Sword Of Truth series of books by Terry Goodkind.

Prospects for the following shows could still go either way but they haven’t been officially cancelled yet:

Fox

A third season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, starring Summer Glau, right, looks highly unlikely but if you believe in miracles, now’s the time to start praying for one.

ABC

Talks are reportedly underway for a ninth season of medical comedy Scrubs, though possibly without regular appearances from several of the original cast.

NBC

Negotiations for a possible fifth season of My Name Is Earl continue.

A fan campaign to win a third season for Chuck continues, amid rumours that a decision will be delayed until after the upfronts.

No word either yet on season 20 of the original Law and Order.

(This post seemed like a good, simple, quick idea when I started it – several hours ago! Hope someone finds it useful.)

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Tuesday Is Theme Tunes Day – The Big Bang Theory


The Big Bang Theory is, for me, the best traditional sitcom (ie, filmed in a studio, in front of an audience) to come out of America in recent years.

For those who haven’t seen it yet (the second season is drawing to a close at the moment and the show has been renewed for at least another two seasons), the show revolves around two nerdy twenty-something science prodigies (played by former Roseanne star Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons) who share a flat across the landing from a beautiful blonde waitress (Kaley Cucuo), who dreams of being an actress.

The quality of the laugh-out-loud funny writing is second to none in TV comedy at the moment and the brilliant cast are all perfect in their roles.

But what we are here to celebrate today is the show’s theme tune, called History of Everything, which was specially written for the show and performed by Barenaked Ladies. The lyrics describe the creation of the universe.

Like most network TV shows nowadays, the opening theme is very short, clocking in at just 20 seconds, but is more memorable than most. Here it is:

However, the Barenaked Ladies’ song is longer and the show’s opening titles only feature the first verse. Here, then, is the full song, accompanied by a very cool video of a cartoonist illustrating the the lyrics (which I assume was produced as a promo for the show):

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TV Newsround: They’ll Be Back – Simpsons, Big Bang, Not-So-Humans, Rab C And More


ANIMATED  sitcom The Simpsons has earned itself a place in the record books, after the Fox network renewed the show for two more seasons.

The 44-episode order will take the show through to the end of its 22nd season (and 493 episodes) which will make it the longest-running series in primetime TV history.

The previous record-holder, Gunsmoke, ran for 20 years.

THIS one goes down as a rumour, as it is yet to be confirmed, but Zap2It’s Korbi Ghosh is claiming that the excellent The Big Bang Theory and the very popular Two And A Half Men have been renewed by CBS.

Both shows are created and produced by Chuck Lorre. Ghosh says The Big Bang Theory (above) has been given a two-season order (which would take it through to the end of season four) and Two And A Half Men, currently airing its sixth season, gets another three.

The BBC has ordered an eight-part second season of supernatural horror comedy-drama Being Human.

The six-part first season of the well-received show – about a ghost, werewolf and vampire who share a flat and their struggle to fit into the normal world – ended at the weekend.

You can find some (very vague) hints about what is to come in the second season at creator Toby Whithouse’s blog at the official BBC site for the show.

TALKING of the Beeb, it has also ordered second seasons of the crime dramas Five Days and Criminal Justice.

Both shows will retain their original writers and production teams but will feature new casts, characters and settings unrelated to their first season stories.

The first, five-part season of Five Days, produced in association with HBO, aired in 2007. It told the story of the search for a missing mother and her two young children, focusing on the events of five key days during the investigation (days 1, 3, 28, 33 and 79).

Two of the characters from the first season of Five Days, a pair of dysfunctional detectives played by Hugh Bonneville and Janet McTeer, appeared in a spin-off called Hunter, which aired in January this year on BBC1.

Criminal Justice aired on five consecutive nights during Summer 2008. It took a critical look at the British justice system by following the story of a man accused of murder after a drunken and drug-filled night out, who has memory of the crime.

BBC series controller Kate Harwood said: “The first Five Days took a murder that blew apart a community and came down at five different points in time to look at the different pressures on characters. The new series will do the same but it’s set in the north of England.”

Regarding Criminal Justice, she added: “A murder takes place in the first episode, raising a whole different set of questions to the first series.”

Criminal Justive will air later this year, with Five Days expected in early 2010.

MEANWHILE, BBC Scotland has ordered a new, six-part season of Rab C Nesbitt, almost a decade after the show’s last season aired.

The sitcom stars Gregor Fisher as a philosophical unemployed Glaswegian drunk. The character originally appeared in a series of sketches in the show Naked Video before getting his own show, which ran for eight seasons (and 53 episodes) over the course of 11 years between 1988 and 1999.

The show returned to BBC2 for a one-off special aired at Christmas 2008 on BBC2 and attracted high ratings, leading the Beeb to commission a full new six-part series.

CABLE channel Lifetime has ordered a 20-episode second season of comedy Rita Rocks. The show stars Nicole Sullivan as a wife andmother who also fronts a rock band.

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Another Reason Why The Big Bang Theory Is The Best Comedy Of Recent Years


At the risk of further exposing my underlying geekiness (I know what you’re thinking – I keep it so well hidden…), you might remember in this post I mentioned that The Big Bang Theory had given us the funniest TV moment of the year so far.

Well it looks like the writers are about to surpass themselves. As I previously reported, in the episode that airs on March 9, The Big Bang Theory’s uber-geeks Leonard and Sheldon will spot actress Summer Glau, who plays herself, sitting alone on a train during an extended cross-country rail trip.

Thanks to her TV roles in  Firefly and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (in which she plays a terminator sent back in time to protect the young John Connor), she’s the ultimate female sci-fi fantasy figure for our nerdy heroes. Awed by her genre credentials, they try to pluck up the courage to talk to her – and I’m betting the resulting encounter will make the episode one the show’s best.

And here’s an indication that my optimism is not misplaced, as told by executive producer Bill Prady to Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello.

He says: “They have 11 hours to get up the courage to talk to her. Of course, Sheldon does offer a word of caution: ‘If Terminators actually did exist, a perfect way they could lull victims into a false sense of security would be to pose as actors who have played Terminators.’ “

As I believe the kids say: ROFLMAO!

For the uninitiated, The Big Bang Theory stars former Roseanne star Jonny Galecki and Jim Parsons as two physics prodigies in their 20s who share a flat and hang out with two equally geeky pals, Howard (Simon Helberg) and Rajesh (Kunal Nayyar), who are also academics, and their new neighbour Penny (Kaley Cuoco), an attractive blonde waitress who wants to be an actress.

In many ways the show is a very traditional, almost old-fashioned sitcom, with a somewhat cliched premise. What elevates it beyond this is some top-drawer performances and the razor-sharp, inspired writing that really makes the most of the culture-clash between the four geeks and, well, everyone the meet.

The second season of the show is currently airing on CBS in the US and on Channel 4 and E4 in the UK and if you’re not watching it, you really ought to be.

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