I just caught a recentish episode of Big Bang Theory, while eating some banana bread with chocolate chunks (unimportant to the story) – it was the episode where they all play D&D and, at least to me, it really highlights the differences between Big Bang Theory and Community, which also has a D&D episode. There’s a certain amount of internet debate regarding the two shows and whether geeks should really watch Big Bang Theory… personally, I actually quite BBT (that’s why I was watching it), but I will concede that many of the jokes are laughing at geeks rather than with them. This is brought to a head in the way that the two shows deal with their D&D episodes.
Big Bang uses it’s D&D episode to show off Simon Helberg’s skill with impressions (he’s actually quite good), pretend to advance Sheldon and Amy’s relationship (hilarious scene, but completely ridiculous) and make some less-than-subtle digs about D&D being a sad way to spend an evening (mostly from Penny).
Community uses it’s D&D episode to revel in the glory of a well run D&D session; all the characters get into the game (even those who are the designated “non-nerds”) and much of the humour is based on just how much they get into it, rather than them pointedly *not* getting into it.
This difference in attitudes is the fundamental difference between the two and is the reason that, while I enjoy Big Bang Theory, Community takes the top spot for me.