The Big Bang Theory

Years: 2007-2019

Synopsis: The evolving lives of quirky friends and scientists are followed, often in the most awkward of situations.

Pros:
• The ensemble cast of odd couples bounced well off of each other from the first episode, thanks to the raw talent and charisma of the comedic cast. They were a true family.
• Not afraid to evolve over time, while highlighting that fact via the sometimes socially clueless Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), who tries and fails to resist changes to his reality.
• Always had a strong, positive, and self-aware comedic heart.
• Easily had the best cameos and recurring characters in TV history.
• Especially in later seasons, showed a strong level of gender equality, including feminist themes, with the later expanded female cast often depicted as smarter and more socially capable. This quality was especially highlighted in the most meta of ways via Mayin Bialik’s Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, who is also an actual neuroscientist in real life.
• Always was about being true to your most positive self, which might not be considered the norm, while showing how even the most stubborn of us, Sheldon, can learn to accept how our friends and family help to bring out those best qualities.

Cons:
• The humor tended to be rather male-centric in early seasons, while the characters were originally more caricatures of geek culture before the show shifted its narrative.
• The narrative shifts sometimes came off as being inconsistent in terms of story quality.
• The reliance on jokes relating to sci-fi, fantasy, and hard science might have made it hard for the uninitiated to fully understand the overall message of the show.
• At times seemed to try too hard to please their fans.

Discussion:
“I apologize if I haven’t been the friend that you deserve. But I want you to know, in my way, I love you all.” — Dr. Sheldon Cooper

Like with Supernatural, this was not a show I jumped into right away. That time before even a DVR certainly reduced time watching shows! More so than Supernatural, Big Bang Theory was a show that was serendipitously brought to me via geek culture. It is a more than fond memory of staying with friends post-graduation and binging on the first few seasons of the show. We all saw parts of ourselves, while we lovingly compared ourselves to characters in the show. Sure, we knew we were looking at good-natured caricatures at times, but the show allowed us to laugh at ourselves in a way that was inexplicably different and perhaps freeing. “Geek culture” was starting to feel more “mainstream” in the late 2000s, but not to the degree it is now. And even now, we can be met with blank faces when mentioning Game of Thrones or even Star Trek. But you know what? That’s OK. It’s like when Sheldon goes off about himself, but eventually by the very end realizes he would not be a complete person without his finitely patient coworkers, friends, and family.


Official Website

Rotten Tomatoes
S1 — 54%
S2 — 100%
S3 — 100%
S4 — 89%
S5 — 100%
S6 — 67%
S7 — 100%
S8 — 67%
S9 — 67%
S10 — 83%
S11 — 70%
S12 — 71%

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