Big Bang Theory: Bucking the Trend?

February 10, 2009

I recently purchased the first season of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (as opposed to Big, Bang, Theory, or that other Big Bang Theory) after catching part of the 2nd season on the TV.

After watching though most of the first disc, I came to a conclusion: this is the only show on broadcast television right now that has become more wholesome over time. If my first experience with the show was with the pilot, I never would have watched it again: it was full of sexual innuendo, OMGs (which seem so out of place), and other obnoxious perversities a sit-com usually degrades into once the writers have run out of interesting ideas (exemplia gratia, later seasons of 2.5 Men), all in nerd speak. Early plots revolve around Leonard’s fornication desires. You know, the typical sit-com rubbish.

With the episodes playing now, all the offenses from the initial episodes have been downgraded to a negligible level. Leonard is pursuing dating relationships that are more than purely physical. The OMGs are no longer in the Cal Tech crew’s language; in fact, Sheldon made an unintentional joke at Penny’s expense on the flippant use of God’s name during “The Euclid Alternative” while asking for a ride to work:

Penny: OMG

Sheldon [paraphrasing]: Oh, I’m sorry. I did not realize I was interrupting your morning prayers. I’ll wait for you to get done and then we will go.

Is this a start of a new trend, a new promotion of wholesomeness on the television? The triumphant return of Leave it to Beaver? I kind of doubt it.

But I think the point needed to be made that something can be funny without sex/fart jokes. Maybe Chuck Lorre is just tired of writing garbage, maybe he can only produce so many and has to use them in 2.5 Men, but I am enjoying the (in all likelihood, temporary) cleanness of Big Bang Theory.


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