Every situation comedy (sitcom) has to come up with a unique angle to view reality through, in the hopes of finding the humor in life. Even the “group of funny friends” situation is starting to be overdone. Friends did it. How I Met Your Mother is currently doing it (very well I might add), Seinfeld did it, etc. Then, there is The Big Bang Theory.
Despite the “situation comedy” moniker, it’s really a character comedy about characters who are, in different ways, blind to themselves. The show is based around 4 unsociable nerds and their relationship with their socially integrated neighbour, Penny (Kaley Cuoco). The four friends are Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Raj (Kunal Nayyar), Howard (Simon Helberg) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons). Sheldon is so socially inept it is hilarious, with his friends having to hold up signs denoting when sarcasm is being used. It’s not a typical storyline, because the geniuses cannot function in social situations, whereas Penny is their “bridge” to the “normal”, while getting her own education on how different people function.
People who think The Big Bang Theory isn’t funny, in my opinion they are either clueless or dull and boring and probably the “laughing” part of their brain has been damaged by too many poor relationships that just didn’t “work out”. You don’t have to be a genius to find this humorous. OK, so it helps if you know some brainiac things and it does help to know who Stephen Hawking is, but this show is damn funny, quick , and witty. the jokes are funny either way. Some of the humor will fly over the heads of the audience, but that is part of the allure. However, to explain to the rest of us what on Earth the 3 geeky friends were talking about, we have the layperson’s character of “Penny.” As the genius scientists have to explain to her what they are talking about, it clues the rest of us in too. (From an article in Science Magazine, I learnt that the show has UCLA physicist on staff to help with the writing and to keep the science accurate and the uses of technical jargon are, for the most part, correct.)
Each episode is an event full of high-brow, intelligent humor the likes of which I can say I haven’t seen in a very long time. The jokes are hysterical – each episode usually has that one zinger that you will quote with your friends and the trivia is enthralling. We have added several “Sheldonisms” to our regular vocabulary! Most notable is when we’re irritated with someone, we’ll shout out “WHEEEEEATOOOOONNNNN”. Sheldon is just so “out there”.
It’s the perfect combination of silliness, sincerity, and emotional satisfaction that it brings the geek inside all of us. How can anything more be said about this guilty pleasure? This show mixes sci-fi with psy-fi brilliantly! I am in love with this delightfully witty show – totally!