TV Review: 'The Big Bang Theory'
Lorre's uncertainty shows in "Big Bang Theory," a new
The show's premise is straight out of a different generation of conventional sitcom writing. Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) are brilliant physicists, titans of the academic world. Shocking irony? They don't know how to deal with women. So guess what? A hot gal named Penny (
For heaven's sake, in the pilot episode, Penny's shower is broken, so she has to use the nerds' shower! Naked! In their apartment! What's gonna happen if Mr. Furley finds out?
"Big Bang Theory" need only look to its lead-in, the frustratingly low-rated "How I Met Your Mother," for an example of a show in which the characters may not be geniuses, but the writing is smart. "HIMYM" isn't above using conventional sitcom situations, but it has enough fun with narrative and with language that everything has a fresher shine.
In the long run, there's a chance that "Big Bang Theory" may evolve into something more appealing than its pilot might suggest, though it's doubtful that Penny would understand that evolution. You see, she's not so bright. Big words confuse her. As initially written, the character is so bubbly and clueless it's a wonder she can figure out what direction to turn the doorknob to get out of her apartment in the morning. Then again, it's a wonder the show's main pack of nerds managed to reach their mid-20s without receiving some sort of terminal wedgie in middle school. They aren't just wildly stereotypically nerdy -- they drink juice boxes, stutter around girls and do
Lorre's comedy hits -- including
To go off temporarily on a tangent, it's worth noting that "Big Bang Theory" is yet another nearly-all-white addition to CBS' Monday comedy line-up. Despite featuring a group of astro-physics nerds, the only minority is Kunal Nayyar's Koothrappali, a man so inept around women he's rendered entirely speechless. Add this show to the utter white-washing on "HIMYM" and "Two and a Half Men" and