What fans of “The Big Bang Theory” prefer not to notice?

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The review on “The Big Bang Theory” TV series from the project “What is good”.

The Big Bang Theory – an American sitcom, started in 2007, and narrating about four friends-physicians. The TV series has achieved a tremendous popularity and great variety of awards. The number of its fans is counted with tens of millions, but the majority of them discuss just the outer envelope of the sitcom, its emotional attractiveness, and don’t want to think of what this series is teaching for and which ideology it promotes to the mass audience.

First of all, let us list the things, which many viewers have loved The Big Bang Theory for:

  • Interesting, charismatic heroes, whom is easy to identify yourself with
  • Unusual general concept of the series (about friends-scientists) – lets it to stand out from many others: criminalistics, detective etc.
  • Enough non-common, good humor
  • Cozy intimacy (the series happens mostly in the rooms, including comfortable flat of the two main heroes)
  • Closeness to the comic fans, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Star Track fans etc.

As it often happens with American plots, behind the attractive cover, the rotten filling is hidden: celebration of the foolishness (in stipe of the fact that the main heroes are genius scientists), propaganda of  vulgarity and dissolute behavior, pushing forward the tolerance to  perversions, detraction of family values, celebration of egoism, distortion of social roles of men and women.

Characters

At first the main heroes are Leonard, Sheldon, Raj, Howard and Penny. In the following seasons the main heroes also become Amy and Bernadette.

Leonard – a scientist-physician, Sheldon’s flat mate, a colleague and a friend of Raj and Howard. He falls in love with his neighbor Penny, and awkwardly tries to get in good with. They get together and break up throughout 8 seasons, but finally get married in the 9th.

Sheldon – a genius scientist-physician, who, as judged by his behavior, has strongly pronounced mental problems (extreme thoroughness in non-important things, exaggerated fears etc.). From the 3rd season Amy appears in his life and tries her best to conquer his love.

Raj – an astrophysics from India, suffering from electoral muteness in women’s presence, with whom he can talk only in a drunken state (in the 6th season overcomes this disease). From time to time he gets into relationships with women.

Howard – an engineer, a Jew, who lives with his mother. Sexually addicted, always tries to pick up the girl using dirty phrases. In the end he gets married with Bernadette, Penny’s friend, and moves to her place.

Amy – a neuroscientist, appears in the series after Raj and Howard decided to make Sheldon a date with his female copy just for fun. She becomes a part of the friends’ company, makes friendship with Penny and Bernadette. Amy is in love with Sheldon and tries to take him as a girl.

Bernadette – a microbiologist, used to work at the café with Penny to pay for the doctoral studies. Later became Howard’s wife.

big bang theory 2 What fans of “The Big Bang Theory” prefer not to notice?

Celebration of dumbness and immaturity

Presumed that this TV series is named after the scientific theory (which is now questioned by the many), and its main heroes are scientists, it could be assumed that it will push the scientific interest and stimulate people to learn new things, that its characters will provide an example of educated and intellectual people. Not a bit of it.

The main heroes (Leonard, Sheldon, Raj, Howard), despite their genius, have miniscule level of culture and by their behavior look more like teenagers. Those being grown men are hardcore fans of comics, can discuss them for hours, and spend big sums of money on figures of the comic heroes and other accessories. Their favorite movies and TV series are Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Star Track, which they have seen over and over again, meaning the movie pictures, which have been created, first of all, to entertain. Even their mode of dressing is more adolescent – t-shirts with comic heroes, tennis shoes, sweat shirts.

big bang theory 3 What fans of “The Big Bang Theory” prefer not to notice?

The main heroes almost don’t read books (apart from those, which directly correspond to their profession, or the literature related to slick fiction), are not interested in any art (except perhaps Leonard playing the bass viol a couple of times), history, or politics. The intellectuality is highly superficial, utmost narrowly specialized.

Sheldon has different interests, for example, trains and flags, but these more often appear as obsession and even possession, but not healthy interest for the subject.

Spacious intellect of the heroes is shown very abstract, as in comics – they just write incomprehensible formulas on the desk and say obscure words. We don’t learn any useful about the science (there is plenty of scientific terminology in the series, but it is being used chaotically and just for the sake of humor, not to arouse interest of the audience), don’t see the flow of thought, and how they use their abilities in life situations. We see them smart, because we have been told so. Essentially, their genius could be replaced by any superpower from the comics, and it won’t have affected the plot sufficiently.

big bang theory 4 What fans of “The Big Bang Theory” prefer not to notice?

Conclusion: The audience is being convinced that a smart person is not the well-rounded person, who reads a lot and uses her knowledge on practice, but those who wears glasses, who is a comic and Star Wars fan (or any other “light” sphere), and uses incomprehensive for the wide audience terminology.

False choice —  between bruiser and nerd

In this TV series we have been put under illusion of dichotomous choice between the two lifestyles – to be oddish, reserved, nerdy, comics- and videogames-crazy smarty pants or to be goofy, but to have lots of friends, frequent sex, drink alcohol, do sports instead.

Using that conventional bruisers are shown cooler, more self-conscious, strong, able to stand up for themselves, ready-witted than nerds in simple life situations. This allows those, who achieved nothing in life, to feel cool, sure they like to drink beer, spit on the science and more interested in occasional sexual relationships, then in developing their personalities.

big bang theory 5 What fans of “The Big Bang Theory” prefer not to notice?

We are being shown that you can’t be smart and self-confident, have interest in science and do sports at the same time. For the whole TV series there have been just one episode character, which fit in this description – invited in the University famous scientist, but even he appeared to be a hypocrite, who cheated on his wife.

This artificially created dichotomy especially appears as exemplified on the episode, when Sheldon competes with 15-year-old wunderkind from the Korea. Sheldon decides to get rid of his competitor, by finding him a girlfriend. The kid finds himself one and quits the science. As if you can not have a personal life and pursue science at the same time.

Conclusion: The audience is being put in front of the false choice between the bruiser and the nerd, force handed from harmonious personal development in advance.

Downsize family values

In the TV series almost everyone had traumatic childhood and not normal relationships with parents.

Examples:

Leonard’s parents got divorced (father cheated on his wife with the waitress). They had very cold relationships within the family. His brother and sister were loved and valued more – for instance, Leonard’s grandma got him a sweater for the graduation, and his brother got a car. His mother is a brilliant psychologist, emotionally cold and doesn’t understand the meaning of the words warmness, closeness etc. She made experiments on his son for the sake of writing her psychological bestsellers. 

Raja’s patents are shown as retrogrades, who are strongly against relationships of their kids with non-Hindu. When being asked, how they are doing, they arrogantly say “We are very rich people in a very poor country, so everything is fine”. Later they got divorced.

big bang theory 1 What fans of “The Big Bang Theory” prefer not to notice?

Howard’s father left him in the childhood, and he’d never saw him again. His mother – a typical Jewish mommy, extremely ties him to herself, not letting him become independent and constantly criticizing. They always fight. Howard often wishes her die.

We know nothing about Amy’s father, but thanks to mother’s raising, Amy was lonely and unhappy in her childhood, and she was bullied at school.

Sheldon’s parents got divorced, his father drunk himself to death. There are plenty of allusions that the unbearable attitude of Sheldon can be explained by the divorce of his parents. In his childhood he suffered from his mother, who considered him strange and crazy. Sheldon’s mother calls her other two children thick as a brick. His brother and sister had beaten him up on a regular basis.

Penny’s parents are shown as constantly altercating. Her mother is a very nervous and restless woman. Her father has implicated his daughter a constant drinking beer habit. Penny’s brother had just come out of jail for the production and distribution of drugs.

Conclusion: The audience gets sort of an impression that the family can only cause pain, that the more far away you are from your family, from the older generation, the better.

Promoting tolerance to perversions

In this TV series on a regular basis the following perversions are shown:

Homosexuality

  • Constant allusions on homosexual relationships between Howard and Raj.
  • Lesbian hints from Amy’s side towards Penny (mostly) and Bernadette.

big bang theory 6 What fans of “The Big Bang Theory” prefer not to notice?

Transgender

  • Breaking feminine behavior of Raj and his passion to change to woman’s clothes.
  • Other heroes have also changed members of the opposite sex clothes.

Incest

  • Inappropriately close relationships between Howard and his mother. Howard had also lost virginity with his cousin.

Masturbation

  • Constant masturbation of Howard, which is often being discussed by the heroes, and on which the comic accent is being made.

Conclusion: Under the fun jokes sauce the audience is being promoted the idea of normality of homosexuality, incest and transgender, that these are not perversions, but just freaky specialties of humans, as, for example, intolerance to lactose and love for comics.

Propaganda of sex, lax behavior and open relationship

After the series watch you get an impression that its heroes practically get out of control, when it comes to sexual desire satisfaction.

big bang theory 7 What fans of “The Big Bang Theory” prefer not to notice?

Examples:

  • Howard — constantly tries to get somebody into bed, but he always gets dismissed because of dirty and disgusting ways of flirting.
  • Penny – has slept with huge amount of men, cynically uses her appearance to get advantage.
  • When sexual desire awakes in Amy, she tries to seduce Sheldon by means of anything, behaving more than immodest and not quite womanly.
  • Leonard had not-biding sex with Raja’s sister from time to time.
  • Howard used a hi-tech development for the space work in the form of arm to masturbate.
  • Leonard’s mother kissed Sheldon.
  • Sheldon tried to decide, who from his friends is worth to inseminate his sister.
  • Leonard used to be in an open relationship with his colleague Lesley.
  • Howard and Raj had a group sex with a woman at the Comic-con.
  • Friends hire a prostitute for Howard to raise his self-esteem, this made him glad.
  • Raj gets kick out of Bernadette and often imagines how Howard dies or leaves for a long time.
  • Leonard has just not cheated on his girlfriend, and she slept with her ex.

This list can be further prolonged.

Egoism excuse

Sheldon’s hero presents a quintessence of egoism. He never counts on other people’s feelings, always offends and humiliates not only bystanders, but his friends too. He thinks only about his interests, if he considers his interests are being prejudiced, he is ready to go until the end, even stooping to blunt blackmail. For example, when Leonard’s girlfriend, as a layer, debated his with Leonard agreement of home-share situation, he threatened to tell her parents from India, that she goes out with a white guy, knowing, that she is very afraid of it.

Sometimes Sheldon apologizes for his behavior, but not so much by regret as by the threat of changes in familiar surroundings, by which he has maximum connection.

The corresponding intrusion of egoism as an acceptable way of life in the TV series The Big Bang Theory has a systematic character, as Sheldon is the crucial hero of the series, everything is circling around him, and he has the most percentage of the screen time and the best jokes. By the willpower of script writers the rest of the heroes continue to be friends with him, in spite of the fact, that this communication is obviously contrary to common sense.

big bang theory 8 What fans of “The Big Bang Theory” prefer not to notice?

The other heroes are not far below:

  • Friends for years deceived Raj about American traditions, making him give them presents for the Thanksgiving.
  • Howard, Raj and Leonard are trying to get acquainted with a pretty girl in a train, who is a famous actress in addition. Only Raj meets the success, but Howard shoot him down by saying that his beer in non-alcohol.
  • Friends constantly are having fun on Howard, because he doesn’t have a doctoral degree.
  • Raj became famous after the article about him, and has started to behave improperly towards his friends.
  • Leonard takes Howard’s girlfriend away.

There can be more such examples introduced.

Distortion of social roles of men and women

Superiority of women over men

In the series on a regular basis is shown the superiority of women over men’s heroes. Almost all women’s characters in relations have either higher social status, or lead the relationships. Or both.

big bang theory 9 What fans of “The Big Bang Theory” prefer not to notice?

Penny and Bernadette have higher social status, since, in case of a break up, they will find new partners easier, then Leonard and Howard. The last understand how lucky they are, that such women paid attention on them. Both of them at a certain point start earning more, then their men. Bernadette even gives her husband expensive presents. Namely Bernadette and Penny are the head in the relationships. This also concerns episodic characters, for example, Raja’s sister, Prija, who commanded Leonard, or Emily, Raja’s girlfriend.

Penny is shown more masculine, then then men characters. She is stronger, can stand up for herself and for the guys (in one episode Penny made a thief give away Sheldon’s virtual values), teaches guys fishing, loves football, does not hurry in relationships, does not like to more on a new level of relationships and make love confessions (Leonard looks like a girl being emotional over the relationships on her ground).

Unfeminine man hunting

According to a traditional way of relationships a man in particular should seek a woman out; it doesn’t belong to a woman to seek a man out. In The Big Bang Theory we observe the distortion of these centuries-old social roles on an example of Sheldon and Amy. Sheldon shows absolutely no interest in Amy as a girl, but she persistently strives for his sympathy. If this won’t be written in an agreement in advance, she can not even hope that he will hold her hand during the date.

Womanish men

Nobody of the main heroes can be called masculine.

big bang theory 10 What fans of “The Big Bang Theory” prefer not to notice?

Leonard, Sheldon, Raj and Howard – insecure, unassertive, indecisive, infantile and can’t stand up for themselves. Sheldon takes his own way, but this looks more like stubborn and moody child behavior, not a grown-up determined man. All four of them are cowardly enough and are not able to take on responsibility.

Alcohol propaganda

TV series heroes drink alcohol regularly. Moreover, alcohol is being assigned different magical qualities, for example, Raj under the action of it can not just talk to women, but becomes a real Don Juan. Under the influence of alcohol Sheldon and Leonard’s mother become more humane and pleasant in communication. So drinking is shown as a good social measure.
big bang theory 11 What fans of “The Big Bang Theory” prefer not to notice?

Summarize

TV series “The Big Bang Theory” under the humor and admiration for science and intellect cover propagandize destructive for human society models of behavior: foolishness, infantilism, lax behavior, egoism, social roles of men and women distortion, downsize of family values, tolerance to perversions.

Drugs

Heroes regularly drink alcohol; it helps them become more self-confident.

Sex

This subject is the main in the series, mostly the plot flies around main heroes’ attempts to sleep with somebody.

Violence

Absent.

Moral

This series aimed to discredit traditional family values, lax behavior propaganda and indulgence of primitive desires.


Olga Melichova

Translated by Daria Egorova

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