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Making the grade with The Big Bang Theory

Three physicists, an engineer, and a blonde….sounds like the start of a joke, but the joke is on them.   The characters of “The Big Bang Theory” are delightful in their interactions with each other. 

Raj, the Indian astrophysicist, can’t talk when he’s around women unless he’s drinking. This has lead to some funny yet cringe-worthy moments, such as the time he was taking a test drug for social anxiety and stripped naked in a coffee shop while trying to impress a young woman. Or the time he was picked by a national magazine as one of 30 young people under 30 to watch and took Penny (more later) as his “date” to the awards banquet, then tried to hit on her while he was drunk. It didn’t go well.

There’s Howard, the troll who’s a sex legend in his own mind, but also secretly sensitive. An engineer with a Master’s from MIT and the only one married on the show. He’s the brunt of many jokes and the subject of disdain by one of the group and many co-workers. Howard: “I have a Master’s degree.” Sheldon: “Who doesn’t?” To be honest, he earns a lot of the harassment he gets. Once before his marriage, he got his penis stuck in a robot hand while trying to use it to pleasure himself. The trip to the ER was a hoot.

That leads us to Leonard. Leonard who has to save his friends from themselves when they aren’t saving him from himself. He is the centerpoint of the group’s friendship. Throughout the series he has pined after his neighbor, the pretty blonde who lives across the hall. It took a couple of years, but they finally got together, broke up, and got back together. 

And there is Penny, the pretty blonde neighbor who works as a waitress and is trying to get into acting.  Leonard’s girlfriend, at least most of the time. She does a hilarious job of besting the guys at every turn, especially Sheldon, Leonard’s roommate. Penny retrieved Sheldon’s computer game after some guy hacked his computer. She did this by touching the thief in his little special place. She kicked him in his jewels. She outwitted Sheldon after he banned her from his and Leonard’s apartment for touching his food. 

Sheldon, has a big brain and bigger ego with a raging case of OCD. He’s infuriates the rest of the group, but they always cave to whatever he wants. Mostly because he’ll make everyone miserable until he gets his own way. He is completely oblivious to the things he says that turn out to be double entendres. “I need some wood. Doesn’t anyone have any wood?” The things he says that are totally offensive.”Ahh, the Germans, such a warm, comforting people,” to the Jewish Howard. The things he says that offend everyone, “Oh, what fresh hell is this?”, to guests Leonard invited over. His rigidity, naivete, and intelligence make it hard for him to live in a world of rap, baggy pants, easy sex, and barely functioning brain cells.  

The group of 30 somethings are a disparate bunch who manage to remain friends through all the ups and downs in their lives, maybe because of the ups and downs. “The Big Bang Theory” is very entertaining and frequently educational, which provides the best of both worlds.