I need a support group for separation anxiety. After all of the births, deaths, battles, betrayals, improbable weddings — all often unfolding in made-up languages — it’s time say goodbye to one of my favorite television series.
No — not Game of Thrones. I’m talking about The Big Bang Theory. That’s right: other than its endless loop of reruns on TBS, we GoT no more TBBT.
TBBT was long-term, must-see viewing in my house, and singing along with the theme song is not only a requirement, but also a respected skill. So many memories, so many epochs.
As much as I loved it, TBBT also left me with a few questions. True, despite its colorful characters, the show’s characters of color were few and far between, unless Raj (Kunal Nayyar) was supposed to be carrying the water for all races. Yes, Regina King never disappointed as the sporadically featured Human Resources officer plagued by Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) frequent professional faux pas (and yes, faux pas is plural for faux pas). But, c’ mon. Black nerd lives matter, too.
And why did the producers decide the show’s need for LGBT representation was seemingly satisfied by the mere presence of Jim Parsons, King of the Gays? Parsons deposed Neil Patrick Harris of that title around the time he (Parsons) appeared in HBO’s stellar The Normal Heart. As for any well-developed L, B, of T leads on TBBT, forget it. Essentially here were no LGBT characters in its entire run, even though some of those leads made us believe they would have been open (ahem) to the possibility.
Except, of course, for Raj. Raj is gay.
Hear me out: Many believed that Howard (Simon Helberg) and Raj were meant for, perhaps doomed to, each other. Remember how comfortable they were in that episode where they were kissing each other’s robotic lips?
And there was that arc that hinted comic book store owner Stuart (Kevin Sussman) and Raj were hooking up before Stuart had that weird thing for Howard’s mother. This was also before Raj began his over-the-top affection for his dog, Cinnamon. That bizarre theme almost gave credence to uber-Conservative shill Rick Santorum’s ranting prediction that same-sex marriage would open the door to man/dog marriage. You can do better, Cinnamon.
Then Raj’s prearranged (almost) marriage to a real live woman failed. And don’t forget that he quoted RuPaul more often than most straight men.
Yep. Raj is gay. In the closet, self-loathingly, most reliably, undeniably gay. Sigh.
You missed an opportunity, producer Chuck Lorre. LGBTQ scientists aren’t unicorns. They really do exist. They even have their own website at 500QueerScientists.com. Look it up.
And how is it that a show that often portrayed Christianity as fairy tale was never boycotted by the evangelicals? The title itself is anathema to creationists, let alone the series’ characters reliance on and allegiance to science instead of a Supreme Being in the sky. Was it because Mary (appropriate name, no?), Sheldon’s mother, as portrayed by the Streep-like Laurie Metcalf, balanced her son’s atheism with blind faith, (real) Christian love, and more than a little wit? Well-played, show-runners. Well-played.
Like any successful TV series worth its Nielsen-busting salt, TBBT’s finale provided a number of surprises, not the least of which was Amy’s (Mayim Bialik) hot, hot, hot professional makeover. You go, Blossom.
But Penny and Leonard’s (Johnny Galecki) announcement that they were about to become parents was a little too slap-dash for my taste. Hadn’t Penny adequately expressed for years that she preferred to not have children? It seems the writers often asked her to give up pieces of herself (like her show-biz aspirations) to make Leonard happy. Hell, they didn’t even give her a last name until she became Mrs. Hofstadter.
TBBT could make up for this offense by giving Cuoco her own spin-off — Young Penny, maybe? Just a thought. It’s working for Parsons, who will likely be a television staple until Young Sheldon sprouts pubes.
Speaking of marrying up, Howard should thank his lucky astronaut to have found Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), too — a mother figure who was plainly far beyond hapless Howard’s orbit. It took an extraordinary woman to look past his goofy collections of belt buckles which, let’s face it, were little more than headlights for his penis. Good for you, Bernie.
Having Sheldon and Amy win the Nobel Prize was a fitting happy ending. An even better ending would have found recurring character Professor Proton (Bob Newhart) suddenly sitting up in bed and telling his wife (played by the ghost of Suzanne Pleshette) about the crazy dream he’d just had about a bunch of geniuses and the women who loved them.
In the end, TBBT gave hope to millions of brilliant yet socially stunted so-called nerds that if their kind can find true love and happiness at the top of the sassy eye candy chain, then by God, anyone can.
It’s no mystery that there is no bigger bang than that.