As more students get help earning a masters degree, the effects are seen throughout society. Kids are getting smarter, dogs are getting smarter and television shows are showing more academic clout than one would expect. Is this because the abundance of graduated citizens is exploding or are the writers just looking to exert their academic superiority?
Here are the list of some of the most popular TV shows that will have you scrambling for college textbooks and cheat sheets, just to figure out what the heck is happening on screen.
Big Bang Theory
Probably the show best known for being too complicated, the Big Bang Theory follows Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter, two physicists at CalTech, as they stumble through life, trying to understand how to be normal, or at least function in a way that halfway approximates it.
Particularly in the most recent season, audiences have complained that Doctor Who is just too complicated. With the Tenth Doctor, complicated space-time continuums were simplified to “timey wimey detectors that go ding when there’s stuff.” Now, there are overlapping timelines – previously, something that Doctor Who was not allowed to cross – alien babies raised on alien planets with Time Lord DNA, the Eleventh Doctor saving himself 200 years in the future, 50 years ago…and if none of this makes any sense to you, then don’t worry, you’re not alone. Audiences tuning in every week have no clue where the show is going.
A town inhabited by super-geniuses? The only saving grace for the viewer is that Sheriff Jack Carter is just as stupid as we are, and that all of the scientists turn Carter into an audience surrogate. By explaining everything to him, they explain everything to us – a blessing for everyone who wasn’t born to go to Harvard University. And without those explanations, Eureka would be full of big tornadoes of death and an entire audience with absolutely no idea of how the disasters were stopped or started.
A masters degree probably wouldn’t even cut it with this show. To understand the underlying medical background of this Scrubs, you’d need to get an MD, just like Turk, JD, and Elliot. Thank god for the guy love subplot and Carla’s feistiness, or civilian audiences wouldn’t be able to make heads nor tails of Cox’s rants.
Of course, it’s easy to watch Mythbusters and get entertainment out of heavy things falling on other heavy, light, fragile, or explosive things; mannequins launched in the air; and cars falling off cliffs. But if you want to get as much as possible out of the show, you’ve got to understand the physics, chemistry, and biology (at the minimum) behind every experiment. And the dumbed-down-for-TV-audiences diagrams Adam and Jamie draw on blackboards just barely scratch the surface.
Ironically a TV show about junior college students, the characters of Community have such deep psychological issues that watching the show just about requires a master’s degree in psychology to parse. Between Jeff Winger’s narcissistic personality disorder, Britta’s neurotic quest for male approval, Annie’s addictive personality disorder, and Abed’s enigmatic place somewhere on the autistic spectrum, it might even take a doctorate to figure out how deep their premises/problems run.
If you’re in the mood to develop an inferiority complex, set your DVR to record, and look forward to hours and hours of rewinding these popular shows for the highly educated, just try to grasp some clue of what happened on screen and remember, there are no stupid questions, just shameless ones!