I haven’t written about The Big Bang Theory since I first talked about it and Reaper in my look at the, then, upcoming TV season. I wanted to talk about it several times, but I held off. I had a nagging doubt in the back of my mind.
“If you write about it, it’ll go away.”
I love The Big Bang Theory, but like most shows I like… it’s a bit quirky. Quirky shows have only the most tenuous of chances at staying on the air. I was afraid that if I wrote anything about it, it would be canceled the next day. If the gods of TV were feeling especially vindictive the cancellation order would travel so fast that it would achieve faster than light speed, thus travelling back in time and cancelling The Big Bang Theory before it was on the air. That would mean I had wasted my time writing about a show that never existed, creating a paradox.
So I managed to control myself, no shouting about how great the show is, and we now have a full first season to talk about.
The Big Bang Theory
A short description from the CBS site…
Leonard and Sheldon are brilliant physicists, the kind of “beautiful minds” that understand how the universe works. But none of that genius helps them interact with people, especially women. All this begins to change when a free-spirited beauty named Penny moves in next door. Sheldon, Leonard’s roommate, is quite content spending his nights playing Klingon Boggle with their socially dysfunctional friends, fellow CalTech scientists Wolowitz and Koothrappali. However, Leonard sees in Penny a whole new universe of possibilities… including love.
I love how the characters are portrayed. I’ve known some people that were pretty darn smart and a lot of them would fit in very well with the guys on this show, some might as well be the guys on this show. The same goes for Penny. I think she’s written very well and Kaley Cuoco does an excellent job in the role.
Kaley Cuoco isn’t alone in doing a great job of bringing the characters to life. The entire cast has been wonderful. From Jim Parsons as the overbearingly annoying Sheldon and Johnny Galecki as the meek and mild Leonard, to the excellent introversion of Koothrappali played by Kunal Nayyar and the libidinously creepy Wolowitz played by Simon Helberg.
I love the geeky humor in The Big Bang Theory. Everyday loot stealing in World of Warcraft to the situational spherical chickens, geek humor reigns supreme. A great job has been done to make even the geekiest humor accessible to the, unfortunately, non-geek population. Anyone can understand Koothrappali becoming tongue tied around girls. Wolowitz is a legendary lover in his own mind, but not in the bedroom. Take away the extremely high I.Q.s, Leonard and Sheldon would still have a great friends/roommates dynamic.
Intelligence on a Sliding Scale
Some of the jokes only seem to be smart. In an effort to avoid alienating the TV viewers the portrayal of intelligence has been tweaked. Penny is a fairly normal girl, but sometimes she needs to act stupid to make the guys look smart. Why? Because they can’t write the guys as smart as they’re supposed to be, because that might make the audience feel stupid. That would be bad.
While I understand why this has to be done, it still bugs me when I notice it.
While I have known people like the cast, it bothers me that they have no intelligent but normal friends. Highly intelligent people and geeks, in this case both, are often portrayed as social outsiders, only able to function with the world around them with great difficulty. That’s just not true. There are very smart people that are perfectly normal.
The Big Bang Theory is a great show. If you haven’t seen it then you really need to get over to the CBS Big Bang Theory site and catch a couple of episodes. It’s worth it.