The Big Bang Theory, a brain child of Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men) and Bill Prady (Gilmore Girls), premiered on September 24th, 2007 and is now into it’s fifth season. The show is primarily about four young physicists that work at the California Institute of Technology and the beautiful young female waitress who moves in across the hall. Hilarity ensues.
The show opened to a luke warm reception in Canada but it quickly gained an audience with the premiere of season 4 garnering 3.1 million viewers across Canada making it one of the most watched shows on TV. To give more fuel to the fire the show and it’s cast members have won a number of awards including a People’s Choice, a Golden Globe, and two Emmys.
One of the shows greatest strengths is it’s perfect mash up of different personalities. The show leaders consist of the hyper neurotic Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), the lovable homunculus Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), the often clueless and pretty Penny (Kelly Cuoco), the creepy sex-crazed Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg), and the selectively mute Rajesh Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar). In later seasons Melissa Raunch was introduced to play Howard’s love interest, Bernadette, and real life scientist and former child actress Mayim Bialik (Blossom) joined the cast as Sheldon’s ‘girlfriend’ Amy Farrah Fowler.
Without a doubt it’s Jim Parson’s portrayal of the loveable, hyper-intelligent, obsessive compulsive, man-child, Sheldon Cooper that steals the show and earned Parson’s an Emmy in 2011 and again in 2012. His character’s collection of idiosyncrasies drive many of the main story lines while being firmly supported by his fellow cast members.
The episodes are often centered around scientific themes which is something the writers wanted to maintain throughout, giving the show an educational edge (I now know what a Higgs Boson is…it makes me sound smart at dinner parties). From week to week the characters of the Big Bang Theory venture through their everyday lives which contain everything from relationship troubles to constant sci-fi references, from the value of adhesive ducks on a shower floor to an all new way to play rock, paper, scissors.
Big Bang has done something that no other show or movie had done previously, it humanized the nerd! Not only is it relatable to anyone who knows what a Ton Ton is but it also made nerds cool and sexy. Maybe it’s the commonality of technology (almost everyone has a smart phone), or finally seeing the superheroes of our childhood on the big screen, or that we all live online through social media. Whatever the common theme, it’s impossible to deny…there’s a little bit of nerd in everyone!
This acceptance of nerd culture hasn’t always been in existence. In the past it was widely recognized in popular culture that the strong survived while the weak were crammed into their own lockers. Jocks were the ‘cool kids’, and the chess club/math club/AV club kids were the ones who deserved to get wedgied into oblivion. The Big Bang Theory has helped change all that.
I’m very fortunate to have married a woman who embraces my nerdisms, encourages me to read comics, buys me Batman t-shirts, and not only lets me dress up as Superman at Halloween but also goes as far as to dress up as Supergirl to match (yup, I’m lucky and hands off, she’s mine).
If you haven’t already embraced your inner nerd and are wondering how to proceed then check out the Big Bang Theory, Thursdays on CTV at 8pm.