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article imageOp-Ed: Sitcom Big Bang Theory Still Packs a Punch

By Oliver VanDervoort     Oct 16, 2009 in Entertainment
You know those shows you see an episode of and immediately think, "yeah, that's going to be canceled"?
It's not because the show isn't good,
You don't think it's because the show isn't smart, or witty, or down right laugh aloud funny. You think it's because the show is too smart or too witty or too downright laugh aloud funny, and your lack of respect for the average American television viewer has hit rock bottom.
That's what I thought when I first watched "The Big Bang Theory". I mean honestly, who expects a show that is based on science geeks becoming the breakout hit of not only the season, but the entire network?
The show turned into such a giant hit it's now into its third season, and doesn't look to be stopping. Why is it so popular? Is it because the nerds are actually cute guys who most people would find attractive if they saw them on the street? Nope. This is not a situation where the ultra-hot Rachel Leigh Cook is playing a geek in glasses a la "She's All That." These guys, with the possible exception of Johnny Galecki, are (I'm sorry guys) homely, and odd looking.
The reason the show has been such a mammoth hit is that while the premise is one we've seen over and over, a fish out of water tale, it's done in a truly original way. The fish don't realize they're out of the water.
Big Bang circles around four genius level scientists and the extremely pretty girl who lives down the hall from two of them. The guys are extremely happy in their own little bubble, playing video games, buying comic books, and generally doing nerdy things. It's not until Penny comes into their lives that they begin to discover there's more out there than a Battle star Galactica marathon. At least three of the four guys have. Sheldon (played masterfully by Jim Parsons) is perfectly happy in the world of the geek, and is truly flabbergasted each week when Leonard, or Howard or Raj attempt to drag him out.
The first two seasons saw Leonard (Galecki) desperately pursuing the ultra sexy Penny (Caley Cuoco) and coming close to getting her a couple of times to no avail. While the "will they, won't they" approach to romantic hookups in sitcoms can be boorish and formulaic, it wasn't here. The ways Leonard managed to screw up his own shots at Penny were always well conceived, and hilariously carried out.
Season three has begun by finally getting the two together, and while ridding the show of that sexual tension can sometimes be a series killer, their romance has always played such a small part in the bigger picture, that you can simply say, "well done Leonard!" and move on to the funny interactions with the other characters.
The show has an intelligence you simply don't see in many sitcoms anymore, and sooner or later that could come back to haunt it. But until that time, if you aren't watching the show yet, it's time to begin.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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