Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2013 9:42:08 PM
Big Bang Theory. Hilarious. Strange. Addicting.
Four nerdy scientists in their twenties at a Los Angeles University with a hot, popular waitress next door is never a good combination. Leonard, Raj, Sheldon, and Howard are socially inept Halo addicts, Star trek geeks, and physics prodigies. Penny is a failed actress, community college drop-out, and a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory. Leonard, Raj, and Howard are always trying to ingratiate themselves into Penny’s social class, while Sheldon believes himself to be mentally above everyone else. Their social and educational gaps and the stark contrast between their lifestyles create comical conflicts and situations that would never arise for normal people.
This show is distinctive because of their characters. Each of the guys possesses strange, albeit unrealistic, qualities while Penny is placed among them as a contrast and reliable viewpoint. She represents the “normal one,” the only one in their group that we can relate to. She makes us feel comfortable with the other characters, and we laugh as she frankly and bluntly shoots down their attempts to connect with her. This show’s main selling point is how they try to interact with each other, but only row the boat farther away.
Sheldon is a physics genius, and he flaunts it. He scoffs at the simplicity of his colleagues, but is childish, stubborn, and immature in some ways. For example, he has a certain spot on the couch he absolutely MUST have, and he whimpers and squirms and fidgets whenever he is forced to sit somewhere else. As if being so obsessive-compulsive isn’t enough, he is incapable of detecting irony or sarcasm: “I’m not insane, my mother had me tested.” He lacks common sense, and his vocabulary consists greatly of scientific terms. He often uses scientific references for explanations and anecdotes that leave the receiver lost and confused, and his jokes can only be identified when he uses his catchphrase “Bazinga!” He always means well, and that shows through, but the way he goes about it portrays him as a rigid, oblivious, tactless person. “Apparently, I’m in some kind of relationship, and you seem to be an expert in ending them” is how he asks for Penny’s advice.
Leonard, Howard, and Raj are no picnic as well. Leonard is the standard nice guy who likes the popular girl (Penny), but is so awkward and cringe-worthy he arouses more of her sympathy than her love. He holds his friends together, and is always the understanding, lenient one. Raj can’t talk to women, and is mute when Penny is around.Howard is one of those people who thinks they’re “all that,” but he’s actually just pathetic, arrogant, and off-turning. He tries to get a girl by comparing her to pumpernickel, which “in German, loosely translates into ‘fart goblin.’” He is a good comical distraction from intense situations.
This show enforces the idea that everyone can get along. There are people out there with different points of view and outlooks on life, and everyone will be accepted.