Why 'The Big Bang Theory' Is So Hard To Watch Right Now (2023)

VonSebastian Stoddard

How does a cultural monster turn into a mass nuisance?

Why 'The Big Bang Theory' Is So Hard To Watch Right Now (1)

Just a few years ago you couldn't go anywhere without seeing or hearing something.Big Bang Theory. People wore "Bazinga" and "I'm not crazy, my mom tested me" t-shirts, the sweet cat song was familiar to almost everyone, people played rock paper scissors lizard Spock and argued over penny (Kaley Cuoco) should end with Leonard (johnny galekki) o Sheldon (Jim Parsons), and there were even board games and trivia based on the series. For a time, the show was something of a cultural giant. Most people had seen at least an episode or two, and millions tuned in every week to see the next batch of antics from their favorite pack of nerds. Then the question arises: whyBig Bang Theoryso unbearable now?


The era of pop cultureBig Bang Theoryentered was a little different from what we know now. The first great Marvel movie.Iron ManIt wouldn't show up until next year.Dungeons and Dragonsit was still something people thought would be played by losers in basements. Very few anime movies have been shown in theaters. In short, when the series premiered in 2007, it wasn't "cool" to be a nerd. So it was easy to laugh at this bunch of awkward guys who couldn't seem to get a date and generally did "weird" things like play interdimensional chess and dress up. However, over time it became less fun and more annoying.

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"The 'Look at the weird nerds' trope from The Big Bang Theory quickly got boring

Why 'The Big Bang Theory' Is So Hard To Watch Right Now (2)

A great raffle ofBig Bang TheoryHe was the excessive geek of the main characters in the first seasons. He was entertaining, Leonard, Sheldon, Raj (Kunal Nayyar) y Howard (simon helberg) are the underdogs while also representing the majority compared to the rest of the main cast, namely Penny. Over time, however, this joke became boring. There are a number of laugh-out-loud scenes that don't even contain jokes; They only include the characters who say vaguely nerdy things. A great example of this is the season 4 episode "The Compromise Reaction" where the group plays a card game called Mystic Warlords of Ka'a. They say the name of each card as they set them down as the laughter goes on and on. However, there is no joke in the scene until the very end when Sheldon places a card of his own creation. We're supposed to laugh at how "nerdy" all of this is, even though it's just a card game like literally anyone would play.

Throughout the show, the pop culture landscape was changing at an incredible rate. Comedy movies became widespread; Video game and board game streamers found a niche and grew exponentially, as did the games they covered; YouTubers like Joey Bizinger, Connor Colquhoun, and Garnt Maneetapho gained millions of followers who wanted to hear all about manga and anime... basically, nerds became popular. This change continuedBig Bang Theorymore and more later. People got tired of nerds being portrayed as people with no understanding of pop culture outside of high fantasy and science fiction, and more importantly, the intellectually superior nerd trope became unbearable. It was no longer entertaining to watch Sheldon think he was the smartest person in the room or Leonard take down Penny's partner through "dark" clues and use science as a tool for confusion and belittling. IncreasinglyPeople understood these pop culture references., and participated in the same activities as the characters on the show. This took a lot of the humor out of the show.

Misogyny, racism and homophobia in "The Big Bang Theory"

Why 'The Big Bang Theory' Is So Hard To Watch Right Now (3)

Although,Big Bang Theoryit also has a variety of other problems. One of the most notable is her misogyny, especially when it comes to the series' female leads: Penny, Bernadette (melissa rauch) y Amy (Maiim Bialik). However, it extends to most of the female characters on the show, especially in the early seasons. Howard is by far the main contributor to the show's misogynistic tone; He is often shown committing sexual harassment, e.g. B. making devices to spy on women, reinforcing gender roles by expecting his partner Bernadette to do most of the housework, becoming incredibly jealous and insecure because Bernadette earns more than he does, and the general objectification and degradation of women. However, all of the male characters had moments where they objectified women or generally had no idea that women are normal people.

Penny is at the center of most of the misogyny inBig Bang Theory. She is meant to play a "dumb blonde", and the other characters often insult her intelligence, her job, and her career aspirations. For most of the series, she is portrayed as someone who knows that guys think she's pretty and uses that to get what she wants, sometimes calling her offensive terms like "slut" and "slut". . However, there are a few occasions where she herself has contributed to the show's misogyny. This mostly happens during the time when Leonard was dating Priya (aarti man). Penny, Bernadette and Amy often engage in "bashing Priya", where they say mean things about Priya's clothes, appearance and general personality simply because she is dating Penny's ex-boyfriend. She makes Penny look mean and shallow on top of everything else.

Why 'The Big Bang Theory' Is So Hard To Watch Right Now (4)

There is also the problem of occasional racism.Big Bang Theory. Raj is usually the focus of this issue, as he is the only main character who is a person of color. There are several instances where Howard imitates Raj's accent in an exaggerated way, offensively imitating dancing in Hindi cinema. There are a handful of musical numbers inspired by Hindi cinema that seem culturally insensitive, and a number of comments about his culture and religion that are anything but politically correct. However, insensitive comments about culture and race are commonplace on the show in general, particularly from Sheldon, who he generally ignores because he's from East Texas. This is also common in the prequel series of the show,joven sheldon, although the comments are usually directed at Tam (ryan phuong).

Additionally, Howard is subject to a number of Jewish stereotypes, one of which, his authoritarian relationship with his mother, lies at the core of his character. He is portrayed as weak, timid, and a "mama's boy", and most references to his religion are intended as a prelude or punchline to a joke. Also, he is the only character to have his religion as the center of his personality; other characters mention his in passing, but his other traits focus on much more. In a way, this sets Howard apart from the rest of the characters.

Homophobia is also common inBig Bang Theory, especially towards Howard and Raj and Amy and Penny. Howard and Raj are very close friends, often doing what some might consider "romantic" and fighting as a couple. This leads several people to ask about his "latent homosexual tendencies" and, in Raj's case, many people comment on his comfort level with femininity, using this as evidence that he, in fact, he he is gay. Similarly, Amy and Penny develop a very close friendship and we often see Amy being awkwardly intimate with Penny, kissing her once without permission and following her into her bathroom. Both examples contain homophobic sentiments; It is a stereotype that all men who are effeminate in some way are secretly gay and/or that all gay men are effeminate, and it is a stereotype that women who are attracted to other women are aggressive or predatory and constantly push the envelope. .

The poor representation of the neurodivergent humans of The Big Bang Theory

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This is hotly debated as Sheldon is never explicitly identified as being on the autism spectrum. However, it shares many of the common neurodivergent characteristics that humans recognize, such as: B. the need for routine, hyperfixations and special interests, repetitive behaviors and rituals, aversion to touch, sensory difficulties (especially with smells), and difficulty relating with the rest. While this isn't necessarily an issue in and of itself, while there are many issues with the super-genius-only, predominantly white, male, neurodivergent portrayal, there is an issue with how Sheldon is treated and how he treats others.

First, the way others treat Sheldon makes his manners the butt of the joke. People keep pointing out the futility ofder Running-Gagof him hitting nine times, each time in groups of three. No explanation is given as to why Sheldon is doing this, nor should we need one; It is a harmless action that makes you feel more comfortable. He is also often teased for having a designated seat in his apartment (to beapartment, whichEspay and live in it by the way) and people take pleasure in doing things that interfere with the seat and its routines and rituals in general, upsetting it. It is common for other characters to be unsympathetic to the problems you are facing due to interruptions in your routine or difficulties with social situations, although many of these behaviors are usually harmless if somewhat uncomfortable. This type of behavior normalizes bullying towards neurodivergent people, even if the character is never labeled as neurodivergent.

Second, there's a serious problem with Sheldon being infantilized by other characters, particularly Penny and Leonard. His interest in model trains is often described as "childish" or "immature" by other characters, and his need for certain things at vulnerable times, such as when he was young, is instead portrayed simply as a comforting gesture. There's alsotoo manyMoments where Penny and Leonard act like Sheldon's parents. The best example of this is the episode after Leonard and Penny's breakup, in which Sheldon is obviously desperate for change and tries to spend more time with the two of them without upsetting the other. Leonard and Penny treat him like a child, telling him when to go to bed, reminding him of his manners, and telling him what to eat and what not to eat. This is a very pernicious stereotype that portrays neurodivergent adults as incapable of caring for themselves or having the "mind of a child."

On the other hand, Sheldon is also often portrayed as condescending, rude, cold, and lacking in empathy. His friends' anger with him is usually a reaction to his putting them down or not caring about his problems. He often doesn't care if he is told that he has hurt his feelings or that he has done something wrong and continues that behavior, and is often downright manipulative with his friends to get his way. This feeds a stereotype about neurodivergent people who are completely devoid of empathy and unable to tell right from wrong and change their behavior when faced with things they have done. While this improves in later seasons, too often we still see Sheldon as mean or condescending and get away with being "weird" or "just like that," another bad stereotype that robs neurodivergent people of their autonomy and ability to be. held accountable for their actions.

Finally,Big Bang Theoryit is hard to see today because it has aged badly. There are so many jokes about women and marginalized groups that scare and incite anger, and while no character has been confirmed to be neurodivergent, at least two of them display very common symptoms and are often infantilized and treated as a joke. It's hard to go back and watch a show you once thought was funny and realize it wasn't.

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