The Big Bang Theory: Nerds or the Norm? Assignment

The Big Bang Theory: Nerds or the Norm? Assignment Words: 1688

The shows fan ban is wide and various from teenage girls like me to men who are nostalgic about heir Star Trek collectible still collecting dust in the attic, mint condition. What is the appeal? How going into the sixth season, are we as viewers still enthralled by the penny and Leonard paradigm? The Big Bang Theory is a television show that premiered on September 24, 2007 on CBS. (Hugo) It was created by the producers and writers of Two and a Half Men, Chuck Lore and Bill Pray. Together with Steven Molar, the three are the chief writers.

The storyline details the lives of five characters; Leonard, Sheldon, Penny, Howard and Raja. (Rickrack) Leonard is a practical physicist who is roommates with Sheldon, a heretical physicist. Sheldon antics are a source of humor and chagrin. Together with their friends, Raja, an astrophysicist, and Howard, an aerospace engineer they try to navigate the confusing world of women, promotions, and the eternal difficulties of being “geeks” in today’s society all with the help of their street smart, fast talking neighbor, Penny, an aspiring actress turned waitress.

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So why are people obsessed with this show? Why are people so enthralled by a group of misfit scientists navigating the dangerous and confusing real world? And most importantly, why is The Big Bang Theory such a big hit? We have our heroes. We have our villains. We have our doctors. We have our flawed characters. And now finally we have our nerds. Nerds who dabble with LARK (Live Action Role Play), collect antique action figures, understand Killing but still are accomplished in society, hold respectable jobs and even have relationships with… Gasp, beautiful “normal” woman.

The Big Bang Theory falls under the sign of television and then specifically the submerge of sitcoms, or a type of show that features the actors in a common atmosphere and portrays approximately one issue per episode and includes jokes in the dialogue. Weinberg) According the Weinberg, “Sitcoms are the most popular type of programming on the most influential medium in history and have had a major impact on how we think and what we think about. ” The Big Bang Theory follows in the footsteps of great sitcoms like I Love Lucy and Malcolm in the Middle.

The earliest sitcom, I Love Lucy, aired on CBS on October 15, 1 951, yet now six decades later Lucy Ball continues to be a “friend to millions. ” (Pinker) She was flawed and likeable, relatable. Lucy Ball was a housewife among housewives, we saw our mothers, sisters, friends, and ourselves in the hearted who dropped pan as often as the rest of us. She drew in viewers with her infectious personality and invested them in her show with silly blunders that every human suffers. My point is this show paved the way for television to be applicable in your everyday life.

Gone was the perfect actor or actress to aspire to be but returned the human being that we could invest our time into because we saw ourselves in the role. I Love Lucy laid the groundwork for Malcolm in the Middle. It was introduced on January 9, 2000 and ran for seven seasons. Not only was it popular among audiences but it also won numerous accolades including even Emmy Awards, seven Golden Globe nominations and one Grammar Award. The series trailed a unique family of six. The storyline centered on Malcolm, a boy with genius level IQ and a pension for atypical “geek)/’ things like LARK and comic books.

He is barely supported by his overbearing mother Lois, and his clueless father, Hal while is driven to the point of insanity of his brothers, Reese, a poorly adjusted bully, Dewey, a quiet devious child, and Francis, the oldest who constantly pins his brothers against each other. (AAAS) This show diverts from the norm of a family where the focus was armorial on the parents and the family was a much more functional unit to a family that barely scrapes by and the joys of the family are seen in the difficulties rather than the perfection.

What am trying to say is this is the evolution from Love Lucy, and it was so popular because viewers related to the flawed Lucy Ball to Malcolm a geeky boy who nerds can somewhat relate to, this was the beginning of a new niche in the television world that culminates in The Big Bang Theory. The mainstream nerd. A new species, homo sapiens that roam the Earth masquerading as “normal” people but really going home in the evenings to thatch Dry. Who and speak in Killing to their buddies at Live Action Role Play events.

Many times they are hard to spot but they walk amongst us daily. And they LOVE The Big Bang Theory. Humphrey speaks about the actors and how the characters are not just the representation of the “mainstreaming of geek culture” and they appear stereotypical and “nerdy”, but rather they are not just creating relatable characters but centering the show around the mainstream nerd. The point is the show shifts from the characters being relatable for the mainstream nerd to the topic being the mainstream nerd.

The show has simplemindedly created a new niche in the entertainment industry and with each season, more and more of these mainstream nerds are becoming invested in, a “show that isn’t merely appealing to members of this demographic, it is about them. ” (Humphrey) Now what does this reveal? Why does it matter that Hollywood has devoted a show to a relatively underrepresented or misrepresented population? I think it is means that there is a shift in media now that with so many outlets and sources, Hollow. Todd and producers are making a change and addressing what the population needs and wants.

In Malcolm in the Middle, Malcolm was the nerd, geek whatever you want to label him. A singular character that was ostracizes for the way he acted. This is not the model that is going to attract loyal viewers by people who feel similarly in their own lives. Viewers want to see themselves but in doing so they want their characters to succeed in relationships, in the workplace, and overall be happy in their situations. The Big Bang Theory does exactly that. When think of “geeks”, there is no one definition, rather I imagine a spectrum.

From the least, who are the people you ask, “Marvel or DC? ” and et blank stares back to the most who are the Larders that still live in their parents’ basement and Dungeons and Dragons is their only form of contact with others. I believe that The Big Bang Theory reaches both these extremes, because the ensemble falls in the middle, they are the mainstream nerds. In Season 3, episode 1 7 (“The Precious Fragmentation”), the boys find a ring that they believe was used as the Ring of Sharon in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Hugo) [SPOILER] It hurts their relationships with each other as they fight over who gets to have it but in the end they decide to sell it for 1 5,000 dollars ND split the profits. This appeals to both the unenlightened viewer who laughs at the ridiculous lengths to which the boys go to get the ring from each other and to the basement dwelling Larger who imagines the possibility of finding the Ring. I think that the show is revolutionary in the sense that it is breaking down barriers. No longer are their insiders and outsiders but many possible outlets to express yourself.

Niches pop up hourly because statistically it is nearly impossible to have an interest that no one else has. With the Internet and chat rooms, people have the chance to meet their companions of arms. The Big Bang Theory is evidence that people want these types of shows that are not only funny, not only relatable, but truly the embodiment of ourselves in television. No longer are the nerds and the geeks supporting characters who are always the butt of the jokes but functioning members of society that have a specific hobby/ interest no different than a sports fanatic.

Maim Balalaika was a child star that quit acting after an acclaimed stint on Blossom to pursue a life of academia. She received her a Ph. D. In neuroscience from the University of California Los Angels in 2007 and joined he cast of The Big Bang Theory in 2010 as a neuroscience and “love” interest of Sheldon (love is in quotations because it hasn’t been established that he can actually love anything but trains). (Cheesy) This is a woman who spent eight years pursuing a degree from one of the most scientifically respected universities in the country and then joins the cast of a sitcom? Cake it, as she is an intelligent woman who sees the potential of the show to break down barriers and astigmatisms placed by society as constraints about social norms. She is portraying a woman who is highly respected in her field but still enjoys everything associated with the “nerd” lifestyle. I love The Big Bang Theory. It is the show I turn to when I need a laugh. It is the show I watch when I feel out of place. It is the show that makes me feel comfortable with wearing my Batman and Captain America tee shirts to class.

It is the show that is breaking down barriers showing that Hollywood doesn’t have to stick to a cookie cutter television show to have it be popular. It is a show that is not just a sitcom but also a testament to our changing culture and society that is slowly accepting diversity and embracing it. In the end Hough, it is really just a great show that is fun to watch for anyone, Larger or not, and no other show will ever get me through a sick day better.

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