I started watching The Big Bang Theory about a year ago, with S11:E24, “The Bow Tie Asymmetry”. After that, I watched all of S12, and I started watching reruns of the old episodes in order from S1:E1.
This was my second chance for TBBT. I tried watching it when it first came on in 2007, and I thought it was stupid and contrived. And I thought they reduced smart people to cultural stereotypes.
But on the second chance, I started getting an appreciation for the show. First of all, it was laugh-out-loud funny. Second, I started identifying with the characters.
Most of all, I identify with Leonard. Leonard is a people pleaser. He tries to make everyone happy, which of course is impossible, and he often makes nobody happy. Story of my life.
I identify with Penny, because in some ways, she is the outcast of the group. She’s not interested in comic books, Game of Thrones, video games, or Dungeons and Dragons. And she often ends up doing her own thing.
I identify with Raj, because in his younger days, he was unable to speak to women. But he makes up for it later. And in the end (spoiler alert!), he is the one who ends up single.
I find it hard to identify with the Jewish characters, Howard and Stuart. Maybe I’m extra sensitive to characters that are supposed to behave stereotypically both nerdy and Jewish. They still seem a bit over the top. But growing up, I had friends named Howard and Stuart, and I think of them when I see the show.
This one is hard to admit, but I do identify a bit with Sheldon. I understand his OCD. And I understand his wanting to correct bad grammar. It bugs me too (though I keep the corrections to myself).
Anyway, watching the show has become a comfort to me. I feel like I made a bunch of new friends, and I can hang out with them whenever I want. With 12 seasons of 24 episodes each, I thought it would be around for me for a while.
But after watching episodes almost every day, with some serious bingeing at times, I came to the last episode that I had not yet seen, S11:E23, “The Sibling Realignment”.
After watching this episode tonight, I am a bit sad. I feel like I’ve suddenly lost a good friend, without warning. Ironically, the main story line of this episode was about the reconciliation of Sheldon and his brother, Georgie.
They say when a door closes, another one opens. I’ll need to find something to replace TBBT as my daily dose of chill. I don’t think another show will replace it. Maybe I’ll watch less TV and read more. Coincidentally, I just bought my first Kindle a few weeks ago, on Prime Day!