2 posts tagged Community
I’m gratified so many of you have re-blogged my take on role the zeitgeist plays in the popularity of The Big Bang Theory, while Community is pushing against the same tide. Most people (those with a dictionary?) get it: saying TBBT is in more tune with the popular Z doesn’t mean it’s better than Community, which is an entirely different discussion. Most who disagree actually make my point by writing things like, “It’s easier to understand,” etc.
So: for those who don’t understand what the zeitgeist is, I refer you to 2 posts earlier, on Adele and The Hunger Games.
One of the key attributes of creative professionals is the empathy to understand how others view the world - and a staunch resistance to the narcissism that says, “People who disagree with me are morons.” We all tend to live in enclaves of fairly-similar opinions, and eventually, we can become dismissive of ideas that differ from our own.
This is treacherous business for people who get paid for making things.
When George W. Bush was reelected in 2004, some of my liberal friends in the industry (New York, LA), were honestly shocked.
“How could this have happened? I don’t know a single person who voted for that man.”
But, of course, millions voted for “that man.” It’s just that most of my coast-based pals didn’t know any of them - or any who admitted it, at least. But here’s the fun part:
Fast forward 4 years, and Obama’s standing in a Chicago stadium packed with … fans? Yes - that’s the word. And this time, my conservative friends (Nashville) were just as surprised.
It turns out neither politics nor intelligence insulates us from thinking our view is the only view. We acknowledge some diversity of opinion in theory, and then roll right on through life acting as though it doesn’t exist.
This is tricky stuff, and pros can get it wrong. Getting the Z right doesn’t mean better. It also doesn’t mean worse, by the way. It just means “in tune” - no more, no less. And that sense of “in tune” helps creative work thrive in the marketplace. Right now, TBBT is thriving, and Community isn’t. There are a few reasons why, and the precise way TBBT portrays Geek “otherness” is a significant one.
Lots of people try to outsmart this and watch their work vanish. Remember: The Z will not be mocked. Incidentally: of the 2 shows, I prefer Community.
Next post: A Judd Apatow masterclass on getting it right.