Monday, May 26, 2008

Smart is the new sexy . . .

That’s the tagline for the TV sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. I didn’t watch the regular season but now that it’s into reruns, I’m adding it to my summer viewing schedule. Here’s the plot summary:

Leonard and Sheldon are brilliant physicists, the kind of "beautiful minds" that understand how he universe works. But none of that genius helps them interact with people, especially women. All this begins to change when a free-spirited beauty named Penny moves in next door. Sheldon, Leonard's roommate, is quite content spending his nights playing Klingon Boggle with their socially dysfunctional friends, fellow CalTech scientists Wolowitz and Koothrappali. However, Leonard sees in Penny a whole new universe of possibilities...including love.
From what I’ve seen so far, the writers have done a superb job with character development, especially Leonard and Sheldon, the two physicists. Instead of serving up the stereotypical science nerd with a pocket protector and taped-together glasses, they’ve given us two very different characters. Polar opposites, in fact.

One of the archetypes described in The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes & Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes is the “professor.” For a show about science nerds, you might expect the writers to fall back on this archetype.

I’m glad they avoided the temptation, even though the costume designers couldn’t seem to resist. LOL!

Leonard is a “best friend” archetype—stable, supportive, tolerant, complacent, myopic and unassertive. Yes, that’s Leonard. To a tee.

Sheldon, believe it or not, is a “chief” archetype. Not how you usually see a science geek? Sheldon is goal oriented, decisive, responsible, stubborn, unsympathetic and dominating. What can I say? He's a know-it-all!

I haven’t yet seen enough of the show to figure out Penny, the gorgeous young woman across the hall, but I think she’s either a “waif” or a “spunky kid,” or possibly a layering of the two. What I do know is that Leonard has a serious crush on her. Too bad she already has a boyfriend.

It turns out that the writers of The Big Bang Theory have worked on some of my other favorite shows over the years (Gilmore Girls, Murphy Brown, Dharma and Greg, Caroline in the City, Mad About You, The Wonder Years, 3rd Rock from the Sun) so it’s no surprise that their latest efforts have caught my attention.

TBBT is on tonight, and I’ll be watching!



Anonymous said...

No wonder you enjoy the writing on Big Bang - all the shows you mention from the writers' resumes are outside the box with characters and events that are never entirely predictable.

That's what keeps me interested in a show! I'll be hunkered down with my popcorn tonight too.

I've spent the last couple of evenings watching Behaving Badly, an 80s show from Britain starring Judi Dench. Every character unique and I was never quite sure what Judi would do next. With a superb cast (Judi's former mother-in-law is a riot) and tight writing, the four episodes are definitely worth seeing. I got the DVDs at the library.


Lee McKenzie said...

Popcorn? What a great idea!

And thanks, Rachel, for recommending the British show. Borrowning DVDs from the library is such a great idea. It's free, and you can often find more obscure things that the video stores don't carry.