I have a major beef with The Big Bang Theory; nobody on the entire show is cool for being smart. I get that its the ploy for the show– there are several 30 somethings living together, being nerdy; but, is that all the show is good for? The show could have done wonders for the image of nerds alike, showing exceptionally smart individuals (males) living life to the fullest, being proud of their nerdiness.
However, the show failed to exhibit any amount of “cool” or “suavity” in these four men; rather, the show makes fun of their quirks in a way that is often hurtful.
They make fun of the socially awkward Jewish guy (Wolowitz), who is sexually inhibited but curious, because obviously, all Jewish nerds behave that way. They make fun of the immigrant Indian guy (Raj) who can’t talk to girls because in his country, he wouldn’t have to. They paint OCD and social anxiety as a personality flaw in Sheldon, rather than something that is perfectly normal for anyone, nerd or not nerd, to have. And the one guy (Leonard) who is seemingly ‘above’ all of the nonsense he is surrounded by, has a short guy complex.
The women in the show are brought in to “domesticate” the men. The only point in the series when the men behave in a way we deem “socially acceptable” is when he is interacting with a female companion.
The characterization of the women is no better than how the show writers characterize the men. Amy and Bernadette are successful scientists in their own right, but are also portrayed as stereotypically nerdy-females. Amy is a socially awkward, virgin and Bernadette is the soft spoken, surprisingly beautiful nerd. Penny is an aspiring actress, blonde and hot.
Sheldon only behaves in a way that is seemingly like a “normal” man when he is interacting with Amy. He loses his virginity to her in Season 9, whereas he would have never thought to interact in such a way with a person in previous seasons.
Wolowitz becomes progressively less creepy as he is courting Bernadette. Bernadette does not put up with Wolowitz’s antics and brings him down to a person who is more “normal”.
Penny is the hot girl Sheldon never got to be with because he is short.
Raj can only talk to women if he’s drunk. [face palm].
The character development in the show is not interesting because the premise of each character is so stereotypical. The only character development they can have is to become “more normal” and therefore “less themselves”.
Image: CBS | Opening sequence Season 6 to present