The Big Bang Theory: 10 Reasons I’m Thankful For This Show
As a Canadian, I celebrated Thanksgiving five weeks ago, as God intended. Four weeks before Christmas is just crazy! When do you people get time to digest? But, there are never enough opportunities to feel thankful, and to express your gratitude for the things you love, so, as a Canadian living in an American world, I give you The Big Bang Theory, and why I am ever so grateful.
1) My Son is on TV
Not literally, of course, but damn, close enough. The Tobelet has a neurological disorder, and, as a result, he is socially awkward; he does not have many friends. He would rather play his video games than interact with people. He is unholy clever at maths and sciences (he was doing fractions in his head in grade 3) but anything that requires anything other than pure black and white thinking? Oh, he is lost. He is married to his routine and schedules, and God help us all if there is not pizza in the freezer on Thursday Pizza Day.
Twenty years ago, I would have called him, ‘Data.’ As soon as TBBT aired, everyone who knew us, collectively pointed to their TVs and mouthed, “Oh, my God…” as soon as Sheldon (Jim Parsons) spoke his first line. Â That, people. Oh, that is my son.
And The Tobelet recognizes it. After years of being left-of-centre and ‘that awkward geek kid,’ my son sees someone almost like him on television. And, even as much as he complains, “Don’t call me Sheldon!” he is so pleased to have someone like him who is not only the centre of a popular show, but quite often the hero of the piece. After years of feeling, and being, alone, he finally recognizes himself in a popular television character. We are so grateful that Sheldon gives him the gift of knowing, “It’s not just me!”
2) The Comic-Book Store
Not only is my family immersed in geek culture, we were formed and forged by it. I met my husband in a comic-book store (I was working there; he was a customer). I wanted to name our son, ‘Clark’ (you know why). I may have been out-voted, but his middle-name is ‘John’, after Hellblazer’s ‘John Constantine’ (Not the black mark on American Cinema that was the Keanu Reeves debacle, God no). Look to Garth Ennis’s beautiful, original, brilliant work with Vertigo, the DC Comics subsidiary. Every time anyone in TBBT hangs out in the comic store, it’s like the mothership calling me home, where we all know a ‘Captain Sweatpants.’
3) The Deceptively Attractive Cast
I’ll just leave this here…
You’d think Penny was the sole beauty on this show. Oh, poppets, be happy you are so wrong. The main cast is stealthily adorable, and no amount of unfortunate flat-ironing or ridiculous wardrobe choices can effectively hide that for long. Look at these people.
4) While we’re at it: Kaley Cuoco
Not for the reason you might think.
When Cuoco was 17 and starring opposite Katy Segal and John Ritter in 8 Simple Rules (For Dating My Teenage Daughter), Ritter fell ill on set and shortly thereafter, died. After working with Ritter for more than 30 episodes, Cuoco, and the other kids on set who played his children, Amy Davidson and Martin Spanjers, were left with not only facing the loss of their at-work dad, but with the reality of dealing with their personal grief in a very public forum, and then having to go back to work.
For this, simply, and the grace she showed in a painful, untenable situation, Kaley Cuoco has my heart for life. As far as I’m concerned, the girl can do no wrong. Add to this, the broken leg she suffered in a riding accident in 2010, when she was told she might actually lose the leg, underwent surgery and then came hobbling back to set like a champ, well, Kaley Cuoco is a study in human resilience.
5) Sheldon’s T-Shirt Collection
It is just awesome, and every Batman, Flash or Superman shirt (if I don’t already own it) he wears just gives me a case of the happies (and coveting. Lots of coveting). Shine on, Green Lantern. Shine on.
6) Amy Farrah Fowler
Mayim Bialik is completely underrated as an actor, and as a human being. Bialik earned a Ph.D in Neuroscience in 2007, making her a godblummed genius. She is also genius in this role and who expected that? Nobody.Â Amy’s frustrations with, and love for Sheldon are so very familiar. It is such a relief to see someone, anyone, even fictional, try to tread those particular mine-fields. And her one-sided love affair with Penny, as on-going jokes go, never gets old to me. I’ll take your life-size portrait of the two of us, Amy. And I’ll even hang it up.
7) Howard Wolowitz, Reluctant Astronaut
I loved this ongoing piece so much. I think everyone can relate to absolutely-totally-with your whole heart-wanting something, and then when it actually happens, being completely terrified and wondering ‘How in the Hell do I get out of this?’. I’m with you, Howard, (Simon Helberg) going to space, in theory, sounds fabulous. In practice? Terrifying.
8) Sheldon’s Mom
Mary (Emmy-Award Winner Laurie Metcalf) is a joy anytime she is on-screen. She has the unconditional, fierce, determined love of a great mom, all the while accepting the fact her baby is a completely aggravating adult who is mystifying the crap out of other people. That’s a fine line to manoeuvre and I’m thankful every time she shows up. Mary Cooper and I could share a diet Cola and talk.
9) Guest Stars
10) Just Be Nice, OK?
We have our main cast speaking, quite often, about how they were tormented, tortured and made fun of. Then we see that, when given an opportunity to turn the tables on handsome, average Zack (Brian Smith) Penny’s boyfriend, they do not hesitate to engage in group cruelty, and make fun of him because he can’t keep up. It’s a wonderful lesson on choosing to be kind, no matter your differences. And simple kindness, well, that’s something to be thankful for.
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS.
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