The Big Bang Theory has been a CBS hit sitcom since the socially inept physicists and the pretty, aspiring actress first hit the small screen in 2008. While experts in a laboratory, the four original scientists struggle to maintain conversations with women and most non-Mensa members. On the other hand, Penny represents the stereotypical “dumb blonde,” boasting street smarts and a knack for communication.
Throughout the show’s run, characters have been added and narrative arcs have transformed to suit an ever-evolving audience, as Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) have since joined the show as mainstays. The new characters mainly serve two goals: to keep the show fresh and play into the leads’ developing characterizations.
Now on its twelfth and final season, The Big Bang Theory will feature a one-hour series finale May 16 to close out one of the most anticipated show endings since Friends and Cheers. However, while many fans are excited to tune in and bid farewell to the characters who have shared their living rooms, others are just happy to see the show end.
Many feel that, over time, the show lost its appeal and comedic flair, relying on cheap jokes at the expense of its characters, and forgetting to please a large segment of its original audience. So, let’s dive in and discuss why many original fans are happy to see the end of The Big Bang Theory.
Is ‘The Big Bang Theory’ more of a mockery of nerd culture, as opposed to a celebration of it?
Many viewers who tuned in to watch early seasons of The Big Bang Theory were excited to see how the show would approach such character as leads. While initially striving to be unique and avoid venturing into stereotypical territories, many fans argue that, over time, the show began to make jokes at the expense of its characters.
The show relies on all the nerd stereotypes, explains one Reddit user, the physicists are socially awkward, oblivious to contemporary pop culture, toy collectors, and unathletic know-it-alls.
Rather than taking a smart approach to this topic and devising clever jokes to satisfy those who may identify with the leads, the show strives to satisfy a wider audience and, as a result, dissuades a large group of viewers who may have initially been drawn to the show’s concept.
To put it bluntly, the same Redditer explains that the show is a “comedy about smart people for dumb people.” While the show may have started out with the best of intentions, over the years, many feel that the series resorted to simple gags and laugh tracks (to compensate for its lack of comedic ingenuity).
Fans argue that the depiction of autism spectrum disorder in ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is beyond disappointing
Many fans feel that the show, specifically Sheldon Cooper’s character and the over-emphasis on his lack of empathy, creates an awful depiction of individuals who may be on the autism spectrum.
While the show creators may argue that Sheldon was never intended to represent an individual with autism, whether this is true or a response to audience criticism is still up for debate. One Reddit user explained that “the sort of arc of him learning, rather than an actual person with AS learning things with time…they just play the lack of empathy over and over again.” This repetition is not a positive depiction, nor does it play into the desire the show should retain for innovation.
Many feel that the humor in ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is just plain mean
Fans argue that the humor strung throughout The Big Bang Theory is exploitative in nature. If you remove the laugh tracks, the jokes can be seen as critical and offensive. While audiences are expected to root for the main cast members, many feel that they are just as bad as the jocks they are designed to be the antithesis of.
The characters come off as superior and condescending, and original fans of the series argue that their negative attitudes and sarcastic quips are not deserving of celebration, as the characters, often callous in nature, should not be depicted in such a light. Moreover, the light should not be seen as acceptable and humorous.
Whether you’re planning to tune in to the series finale of The Big Bang Theory or let this one slide, it’s important to understand why many feel the show has reached the end of its successful run (possibly even a couple of seasons back).