Funny, but $1M funny?

Jim Parsons posts a photo to his Instagram account, celebrating the first day of filming the eighth season of
Jim Parsons posts a photo to his Instagram account, celebrating the first day of filming the eighth season of The Big Bang Theory.

I discovered The Big Bang Theory a couple of years ago when I gave up cable TV and began to reacquaint myself with network TV. I had avoided the show previously because of the title. I grew up in an region of the country where the “Evolution vs. Creation” debate is still very contentious, and I’m just done with it. I figure if someone wants to believe he is descended from apes, maybe there is a good reason for that. Also, from the episode previews I had seen, I assumed the show was just another cheap shot from Hollywood at the Midwest, and a very distorted characterization of the Southern states.

Well, once I gave the show a chance, I realized I couldn’t have been more wrong and it quickly became my favorite TV program. I’ve watched all of the episodes (mostly out of order in re-runs) numerous times. The characters remind me of people I’ve known all of my life, and the humor just hits the right tone for me – witty, but kind-hearted.

I’m happy that most of the world seems to like the show as much as I do, and that the ratings are soaring, and that the actors are winning all sorts of awards. It’s great that the network is raking in an unfathomable amount of money – so much so that the actors apparently felt that they deserved a small fraction of about a gazillion dollars, to the tune of $1m each PER EPISODE for the three main characters.

Say what?!

Yes, yes, I’m all for good old fashioned capitalism, and business is business, and why SHOULDN’T the actors become wealthy from their part in a show that would not survive without them…but $1,000,000 for what amounts to about 15-20 minutes worth of edited dialog? I love the show and watch it faithfully, but they’re not brokering world peace, or curing cancer, or even curing baldness. They’re memorizing a few lines at a time and delivering them in a timely manner. They didn’t even write the lines!

I really wish I didn’t know about the actors’ salaries. Part of what I’ve enjoyed about the show is the relatability of the characters. Yes, they’re geniuses (which I’m clearly not), but they are also geeky, awkward, and flawed. I can relate to that, and most of my friends can relate to that, and listening to their banter has become a comfortable part of my day. I hope that doesn’t change now that I’m painfully aware they are making more money per minute than I make per year.

3 thoughts

  1. the money from ad revenue must go somewhere, why should the directer or writer, or network, or whoever, have it all when the actors are clearly putting their heart and soul into making the show possible? I admit it’s a ridiculous amount of money, but it’s fun to dream about being them(character or actor), or think about how society is willing to pay millions just to observe and be a part of a circle of friendly friends. It shows a part of our world that is universal, starving, and ready for growth and reaping. (demand)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent points. My husband and I feel this way about sports stars. Why should I be excited that someone signed a few hundred million to hit a ball with a bat/put ball in hoop/get ball into end zone? All this means is that I will pay $7 per soda and $100 a head for the cheap seats. And for TV have to fast forward through a few more ads and enjoy a story that used to be 24 minutes that now has to wrapped up in 17 to accommodate salaries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I completely agree, Terri.

      The system is broken.

      I always want to be perfectly clear – I have no problem with people using their talents to become wealthy. And in spite of the way some of my snarky comments might sound, I honestly don’t begrudge anyone’s success. Even though sometimes I think I would enjoy a slightly higher level of income, I see that as being MY own responsibility – I need to either work harder or smarter or whatever. Other people’s accomplishments are just that – THEIR’s, and good for them!

      But the balance in our entertainment industry (including televised sports, as you mentioned) is way off in my opinion, and incredibly out of perspective to any sort of reality. Frankly, the industry is taking the fun out of the game…whether we’re talking about sports, music, comedy, or drama. They’re ruining it.

      Liked by 2 people

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