One of the more popular sitcoms on TV these days is ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ In 2009, ‘Big Bang’was ranked as the highest rated show for CBS and won the best comedy series TCA award. Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper, won the award for best individual achievement in comedy. It’s no wonder. All you have to do is watch ‘The Big Bang Theory’ to see that Sheldon shines as one of the brightest stars and most original characters in this cast. So is ‘TBBT’ destined to become the ‘Sheldon Show?’ Let’s look at the 3 reasons why this could happen.
1) Sheldon is Simply a More Interesting Character
Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) is an obsessive-compulsive theoretical physicist from CalTech with a Master’s degree and two PhD’s who shares an apartment with Leonard Leakey Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), his best friend. Sheldon is really the guy who causes all the problems – and thus gets into all the interesting and funny situations in this sitcom. That’s the first sign that ‘TBBT’ is actually the ‘Sheldon Show.’
2) Sheldon Appears in More Funny Scenes
Whether it’s his comedic timing as an actor, his strange king-of-the-nerds-like presence on the screen, or just his quirky tone and handling of a shot glass, Sheldon appears in scenes that are simply hilarious. The episode that aired on CBS November 4, 2010 was a perfect example. In one scene, Sheldon meets Penny in the bar for a “drinking session’ and advice on handling his problems. This one scene with Penny outshines every other part of this episode. Because Sheldon appears in more and funnier scenes, ‘TBBT’ sometimes looks more like the ‘Sheldon Show.’
3) All Great Characters Have an Evil Nemesis: Sheldon vs. Wil Wheaton
Any good protagonist in a sitcom needs a suitable nemesis and Wil Wheaton is the perfect foil for Sheldon. OK, Wheaton does not appear to be evil to you and I, but to Sheldon he’s the equivalent of Tribbles to a crabby Klingon. Wheaton played Wesley Crusher in the popular Star Trek: Next Generation TV series from 1987 through 1994. The reason this battle between Sheldon and Wil Wheaton works so well is that it’s never resolved and Sheldon never gets to experience victory. There seems to be nothing that ultra-control freak Sheldon can do to fix the relationship. Sheldon’s ineptitude in dealing successfully with any sort of human relationship makes the situation even funnier. It will be interesting to see how many times Wheaton appears in future episodes. Wheaton also writes regularly as a voice for geeks everywhere on his blog, ‘WilWheaton.net.’
‘The Big Bang Theory’ is a hit because it has real-life characters engaging in real-life problems with flawed people. It’s the perfect set up for any funny story. All the characters work well together because they seem to be genuine friends who drive one another crazy. Can’t we all identify with that? I think Sheldon will continue to steal ‘TBBT’ scenes from week to week. Whether his character will work just as well outside of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ motif is a question for the producers.