I was late to the party — but I have more than caught up. I am speaking now of the television sitcom — they do still call them sitcoms, don’t they? — “Big Bang Theory.”
Believe it or not, the show has been around for seven years now. Oh, yes it has! Hard to believe, isn’t it? That’s right. Georgia played Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl the year it came out. Yes, I sometimes measure time by what Georgia’s football team did in a particular year. In 1980, for instance, we elected Ronald Reagan to replace Jimmy Carter as president, Herschel Walker signed with the Bulldogs and Georgia won the national championship. I can only hope that 2016 will produce such a win-win-win.
But I digress. I was speaking about a television show. In case you are not only late to the party, but have missed it altogether, the premise of the show started out with two nerds who work at Caltech, better known as the East California Blvd. Trade School in Pasadena, Calif., who live next to an incredibly hot young waitress, who longs to be an actress.
Is it OK if a 62 year-old Methodist lay speaker and soon-to-be grandfather uses the term “hot” to refer to a Cheesecake Factory waitress? If not, I apologize — but she really is.
I don’t know why I didn’t watch the show the first few years it was on the tube. I think perhaps the name turned me off. I have never believed in the Big Bang Theory — unless God said, “bang!” when he spoke the universe into existence — but that’s another story for another day. Please, hold the email calling me a simplistic moron for believing in God. My tech guy will just delete it before I see it. Feel free to make comments online. I never read those.
At any rate, throughout the first year of the series’ run, most of the laughs were based upon the geekiness of the guys as opposed to the — how shall I put this? — “blondness” of the girl next door. As the show has evolved — see how progressive I am; I referred to evolution — other characters have been added to the original cast and romances have developed and characters have even gotten married to one another.
I stumbled across the show one night while channel surfing and paused to watch for a few minutes. I was hooked. Immediately.
Now the show comes on in syndication a dozen times a day, and I have been known to sit through every episode shown — and I have seen them all a whole bunch of times. I like all of the characters. There is Penny, the aforementioned actress wannabe, who is from Nebraska, and Leonard, the practical physicist who is the most stable of all the characters, and has an IQ of 173. He is played by Johnny Galecki, by the way, who played Russ, the son on “Christmas Vacation.” They hang out with an Indian guy — Indian Indian, not Native American — named Rajesh Koothrappali, who can’t speak to girls without bracing himself with alcohol, and Howard Wolowitz, a stereotypical Jew who started out living with his unseen mother but has since met and married Bernadette.
They are all funny. But the character that makes the show worth watching, over and over and over, is Dr. Sheldon Cooper, masterfully played by Jim Parsons. Sheldon is a theoretical physicist, (IQ,187) who spends his time working on string theory. He has more idiosyncrasies than Barney Fife, Ed Norton and Cosmo Kramer put together and if that sounds like I would put Sheldon Cooper on the Mount Rushmore of comedic television characters — well, then — I guess maybe I would.
I can’t describe why Sheldon is so funny. It is really indescribable. You have to see it to believe it. And just when I thought he couldn’t get any funnier, the writers added a girlfriend — Amy Farrah Fowler — who is the perfect complement to Dr. Cooper.
“Big Bang” is not the first show I’ve failed to appreciate at first. I never watched “Friends” or “Seinfeld” until everybody else in the world had been talking about them for years. Now I know every script by heart for both shows. I didn’t even know who Jack Bauer was until “24” had been on for four years. Now I keep hoping he will run for president.
It makes me wonder what other treasures I have been missing. When I get some free time I might scan the TV guide to see if I can find anything promising. I saw a listing for a show entitled “I Love Lucy” crawl across the screen the other night. Anybody know anything about that one?