Listen to the Nerds!

Header Photo by Ilse Orsel on Unsplash

The TV show which I was most reluctant to watch had always been ‘Friends’. I was unnecessarily living under a rock for many years and thought that since everyone is watching it, I must rather stay away. Unnecessary egoistic struggle. I eventually caved in and watched it a few years ago because the pop-culture references to it never stopped going away. I have started rewatching it now with my wife as the need for humor has never been higher in recent times and I believe that ‘Friends’ is something you can always trust to bring a chuckle to you.

I remember reading a different but hilarious perspective about the show a few years ago but I got reminded of it while watching it again. The post was titled: “How a TV Sitcom Triggered the Downfall of Western Civilization”.

It says that ‘Friends’ has largely been detrimental to the IQ of the American Society and (since almost everyone has watched Friends worldwide too so by the transitive property) all the people around the world as well since it ended in 2004.

It’s the story of a family man, a man of science, a genius who fell in with the wrong crowd. He slowly descends into madness and desperation, led by his own egotism. With one mishap after another, he becomes a monster. I’m talking, of course, about Friends and its tragic hero, Ross Geller.

Summarizing it to its simplicity, it meant that Ross Geller was a scientist with a Ph.D. But whenever he discussed anything science-y with his friends, they all gave a collective sigh of boredom and changed the topic. From being a nerd with great knowledge, he became a mere romantic loser who kept having bad luck with ladies.

In fact, any time Ross would say anything — about his interests, his studies, his ideas — whenever he was mid-sentence, one of his “friends” was sure to groan and say how boring Ross was, how stupid it is to be smart, and that nobody cares. Cue the laughter of the live studio audience.

Not just him, but all the people who are actually great in academics are usually shown as losers on TV. ‘The Big Bang Theory‘ and ‘The IT Crowd’ could have been the only shows dedicated to Nerds. Even there, most of the laughs are generated out of how nerdy the nerds are who are mostly men. Even when the females are shown as nerds, they are shown as having absolutely no knowledge of social mannerisms. In short, female nerds act like they are men. Heh.

You can read this brilliant original article here.

Art mimics society and vice verse. We do tend to ignore things told by the nerds of the real-world i.e. the scientists and just carry on. But, the only people we should be listening to should be people who know what they are speaking, isn’t it? Scientists and Doctors have been shouting with all their might to wear masks, follow Social Distancing, and staying safe. And we just laugh it off like another joke has been delivered.

Here are my hap-hazardly made minimal poster for the TV Series FRIENDS.

P.S.: Unrelated to the above but related in some sense, today, legendary singer SP Balasubramaniam passed away after battling COVID for a long time. His voice was ubiquitous to the early 90s hit Hindi music and almost the whole of South India movie music I know of. Yesterday, Australian Cricketer and Commentator Dean Jones had died of a heart attack. 2020 is not getting over, isn’t it!

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