Summer Glau is the missing link between The Big Bang Theory and Community.
The Big Bang Theory on CBS and Community on NBC are both comedies affiliated with the geek culture, both uses pop culture references and both air on Thursday at 8pm. Yet they're very different ratings-wise : while TBBT is a hit with a 5.3 in adult 18-49 demo and 15 millions viewers (!), Community is stuggling for survival with a 1.6 in adult 18-49 demo and 3.6 millions viewers.
The first explanation for this difference that comes to my mind is that Summer guest starred in TBBT and not in Community, drawing with her milllions of geeks and nerds. Indeed, i see a lot of tweets from people discovering Summer's episode during re-runs of TBBT and they all say the same thing :
In this article, two female (important to understand the quote below) columnists discuss the plots and character development (or lack of) from the two comedies. One argument caught my attention :
More than that, I’m furious that we haven’t seen a pop culture nerd girl on the series. All of the smart girls that have been on the show have no sense of nerd culture. Where’s the girl that quotes Princess Leia or plays Portal or geeks out when she sees Summer Glau on a train? We exist and yet on a show that is supposed to be all about nerdy stuff, we are nowhere to be found!
I find that amusing and flattering for Summer Glau that seing "Summer on a train" (reference to Summer's guest spot in TBBT) is the ultimate geek reference; especially if you consider that these shows are full of pop culture references and yet the columnist choosed that one to illustrate their comment.
It's (almost) like Summer Glau, having played River Tam and Cameron, is on a par with Princess Leia in the geeks mind. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Youtube
Message edited by michelangelo - Wednesday, 23 Nov 2011, 19:18
“Serenity” A breathtaking and visually impressive film given the considerably small budget Whedon was allotted, “Serenity” is one of the most awesome Joss Whedon projects to date in terms of feature films and continues the exploits of the crew of the “Serenity” as depicted in the “Firefly” television series...The film features an impressive performance by Whedon regular Summer Glau as River Tam, as well as character actors Alan Tudyk and Adam Baldwin.
And if you're still not convinced, of Summer Glau's influence on the geek culture :
The BBC commissions an iPlayer exclusive Who series, and also franchises the property out around the world. Suddenly, 178 different versions of Doctor Who are being made worldwide.
In the UK, Edinburgh Fringe Perrier Award-winning comedian Steve Stokes is the new Doctor, with a robot companion and portaloo-shaped TARDIS. Oddly, UK viewers prefer to download the new US version, which stars Summer Glau as an ass-kicking female Doctor with a guy who spends most of the time with his shirt off as a companion. Even more oddly, Norwegians love the UK version.
Graham King comments the direction that the studio will take with the new Lara :
Listen, the box office, they weren't disasters but I find it interesting that the story that we're telling is really the story before she became Lara Croft, so it is a character piece. It does have a lot of really great characters, but it's a lot of action and a lot of fun, and for me, it's something very different. I've not really done a movie like that before, but I really gravitated to rebooting this franchise and we're going to give it a shot.
Considering that the first two movies were pretty much just action action action, it's going to be interesting to see what the man behind The Departed, The Town, and The Tourist has planned...All we can wonder is who's going to replace Angelina Jolie (please be Summer Glau, please be Summer Glau, please be Summer Glau).
Nice articles indeed! I love that so much when Summers efforts are appreciated outside the Wiki. She is more than worthy to take her place among the greatest sci-fi personalities and be mentioned along with them.
We know this of course but its relieving that others know this too and there are people still who remember what makes a character and an actress great.
I say even if Summer won't make a big breakthrough( I think she will) she can already be proud of herself, she achieved more than anybody in the past decades in my opinion as an actress, making so many enjoyable and iconic characters.
You made my day @michelangelo, thanks ! Summer Glau is so awesome, it isn't even funny! Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!
Message edited by Blazius - Wednesday, 23 Nov 2011, 21:36
Community is far better for geek and pop culture. The Big Bang Theory loves to grab the low lying fruit whereas Community references things only true geeks may know (sometimes TBBT gets higher up the tree, but Community consistently does). Not to mention Community is just the smarter show overall, I am not bashing TBBT, I find it entertaining, but to be honest TBBT is far worst than Community in many ways. Ironic how the show with a multiple geniuses is the dumbed down geek show around.
I am surprised Summer Glau has not been mentioned in Community yet (firefly has been mentioned). While I wish she would guest star on Community, TBBT is a far better show to have guest stared on. (especially since she guest starred as herself)
By the way Summer Glau's appearance is not the reason Community fares far worse than TBBT. (not that it did not help give some geek cred to TBBT) Keep Flying - Not much, but it's enough.
Message edited by FordStaff - Wednesday, 23 Nov 2011, 21:40
By the way Summer Glau's appearance is not the reason Community fares far worse than TBBT.
Of course not, i don't believe that for a minute. This argument is as stupid as haters who believes Summer is bad luck (i shall use it in the future to show them how foolish they are).
Though Summer's appearance on Chuck led to the season 2 high in terms of ratings and Summer's appearance on Alphas saw a bump in ratings too, in complete opposition with the season trend. I don't recall the numbers for TBBT but it doesn't matter anyway. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Youtube
Message edited by michelangelo - Wednesday, 23 Nov 2011, 21:56
Though Summer's appearance on Chuck led to the season 2 high in terms of ratings and Summer's appearance on Alphas saw a bump in ratings too, in complete opposition with the season trend. I don't recall the numbers for TBBT but it doesn't matter anyway.
Summer definitely gives a bump, but there is not a single guest star who could appear for a show, and make it more successful than its counter parts.
TBBT is better with ratings because it is far more appealing to the lowest common denominator, it is made by the same guys who made Two and a Half Men after all. Community may have stupid slap stick comedy too, but it also does not spell everything out for the viewer in black and white. This is not the only reason Community fares worse, oddly many of the reasons it is worse ratings wise are the very reason Community is one of the greatest sit-coms out there, at least quality wise.
As Summer fans I think we all understand ratings does not equate quality. Keep Flying - Not much, but it's enough.
Den of Deek columnists must be reading our forum because the site published today an article dedicated to Summer's fame; Caroline Preece, the author of the article, and us share a lot of views about Summer acting abilites and the way she inhabits the character she's playing.
A celebration of Summer Glau by Den of Geek
Find here excerpts from that inspired article :
Quote (Den of Geek)
The star of Serenity, Firefly and numerous other genre films and shows, Summer Glau seldom gets the attention she deserves. Here’s Caroline’s celebration of her work...
Sure, she can act most of her co-stars off the screen when required, but she does so with a grace and understatement that’s incredibly difficult to find; you only have to watch any given female-centric network show to realise that.
It’s entirely possible that, if one could bottle the ‘Glau effect’ and sell it on, show-runners and Hollywood’s most elite would be lining up around the block. One part sex kitten, two parts lost little girl, Glau straddles the line perfectly, and has displayed a versatility that most actresses would kill for...
Apart from the grace and fluidity of movement that comes with her background, it’s Glau’s infectious Texan charm that may one day turn the heads of a more mainstream audience...
In terms of Hollywood actresses, it’s easy to compare her to the likes of Zoe Saldana or Mia Wasikowska, who too possess that indescribable charisma that comes from the slightly exotic features and slender builds with which they’ve been blessed. The truth is, there isn’t really anyone like her in mainstream cinema, and there may never be...
Portraying a terminator sent back from 2027 by a future John Connor, the role gave Glau the chance to add yet another string to her bow. In Firefly, she had been required to exude emotion and tragedy to exhausting degrees, but here she had the new challenge of eradicating all human characteristics from early episode performances, and she was simply wonderful. The actress received most of the critical praise afforded the show, and her performance is one of the more memorable aspects of its short run...
Hollywood may never come knocking, but, for those fans with a tendency to fall in love with the culture they absorb, Summer Glau is one of them: a girl who embraces genre entertainment with arms wide open, and a stunning addition in whatever she takes part.
A ComicBookMovie contributor gives his vision of what the cast of a DC Original Animated Movie from The Dark Knight Returns should be.
Besides Michael Keaton as the voice of Batman/Bruce wayne, he'd like to have Summer Glau voicing Carry Kelly/Robin.
ROBIN: Carrie Kelley, 13 years old. She becomes Robin, and is accepted by the Batman after saving his life.
SUMMER GLAU: Despite not liking the animated film Batman Superman ApocalypseI love Summer’s voice in the Animated Film, for me she has the quintessential voice for a teenage girl and is the best person to voice the 13 year old girl wonder.
Summer Glau (River Tam, Firefly; Cameron Phillips, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles; Bennett Halverson, Dollhouse; Skylar Adams, Alphas)
So. These four all have the “slightly unnerving genius” thing in common. River is the overly emotive mind-reading dissociative type; Cameron is the under…ly emotive robot not-that-tactful type; Bennett is the most straightforward hyperbrilliant type; Skylar is probably the most properly sociopathic, edgy one. (And I do realize that Skylar was on one episode, an episode of a show that I don’t otherwise watch, but.) None of them would know what to do with each other. Cameron would be very confused as to why they all had the same face and she would probably try to figure out if the others were robots too. Skylar would try to figure out how Cameron’s robotics worked, and succeed, of course. River would be tripped out and panicky. Bennett would be really, really intrigued by River’s brain, but when River flipped out on her for trying to maybe investigate, and Cameron had to tell her to please stop asking about amygdalas, she’d probably be able to limit herself to asking too many questions and trying to figure it out based on that and on logical deduction. None of them would be able to give each other any useful life advice, because they all sort of suck at being socially “normal” in their own ways, but Cameron would say awkward slang phrases that she’d heard used and try to make it make sense. Skylar would be itching to get out of this weird dimensional intersection, because she’s got other things to do, okay? Eventually River would make with the awkward niceties in her way and try to be sweet to Bennett somehow, and Bennett would be really thrown off by it, but eventually she’d get over the “who is this girl with my face and what is she talking about” thing and accept the offers of something resembling friendship. Rating: 6.5
I don't like this comment for two reasons : 1) It gives the impression Summer plays the same role over and over (i see comments like this on twitter everyday btw), which completely denies the authors unique writing and Summer's acting range and nuances she brings to the characters she plays.
2) As a person with little imagination who bases his reasoning on facts or at least on hints, it's disturbing to see someone taking so much liberty with the characters and talk for themselves (all the more he says he didn't watch Alphas). It doesn't bother me to read good fanfiction though. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Youtube
It gives the impression Summer plays the same role over and over (i see comments like this on twitter everyday btw), which completely denies the authors unique writing and Summer's acting range and nuances she brings to the characters she plays.
It shows again that somebody talks too much about something without any knowledge on the subject itself. Anybody who claims this 100% sure never saw the aforementioned shows and writes based on internet articles conceived by the same ignorance. That or they are on the level of a 2 years old child and they were incapable of comprehending what they saw.
As a person with little imagination who bases his reasoning on facts or at least on hints, it's disturbing to see someone taking so much liberty with the characters and talk for themselves (all the more he says he didn't watch Alphas). It doesn't bother me to read good fanfiction though.
This guy shouldn't write fanfics through. It was simply painful to read what he envisions about the meeting of the Summer characters. Summer Glau is so awesome, it isn't even funny! Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!
This guy shouldn't write fanfics through. It was simply painful to read what he envisions about the meeting of the Summer characters.
Yeah seriously. River does not just run around screaming maniacally for no reason, there was always a reasonable explanation. Also why would Cameron be the only one confused that they all look exactly alike? All the characters would be confused by that or am I missing something.
Cameron and Skylar are not geniuses either, only Bennett and River truly fill that role. River would be well out of Bennett's league though. Keep Flying - Not much, but it's enough.