The Big Bang Theory recently ended its run after 12 seasons and 279 episodes, making it the longest running multi-camera sitcom in history (achieved after 276 episodes). Despite this record breaking run, many people to my surprise, actually despise the show. Absolutely hate it. I on the other hand, consider it to be one of my favourite TV shows of all time. I don’t really get why this show is so divisive. I’ve heard things like how it misrepresents geeks and nerds, how the humour isn’t that funny to begin with, or that it’s simply just a bad show. I don’t agree with any of those assessments. I loved the show from the beginning all the way to the end, from when I was a 20 year old undergraduate student till now when I’m halfway through my PhD. If you loved the show as much as I did, you might be able to relate with what I’m about to write. These are some of the reasons why The Big Bang Theory is one of my favourite TV shows of all time.
No other show like it
I’m not sure if this still holds true today, but I’m fairly confident that back when it started there was no other show like it. A sitcom that focused on a group of scientists, nerds, and geeks, who loved superheros, video games, technology, and science. I’m not fussy about representation in Hollywood, but this show was truly unique from that perspective. I got pretty much all the references and jokes in the show because I myself am a superhero and video game loving scientist geek nerd. 12 years later I think it could still be the only show of its kind (correct me if I’m wrong), which is why I feel it resonated with so many people. In a world where TV shows have always focused on crime thrillers, young adult romance, and sci-fi/fantasy, a TV sitcom about a bunch of socially awkward nerds truly stands out.
An amazing cast and characters
Characters are just as important to a show’s success as the premise of it, and The Big Bang Theory had an incredible roster of characters who were all cast perfectly. Not to mention a long list of real-world celebrities who had cameos (sometimes as themselves) throughout the season. Starting off with the original four guys and Penny was a good mix to begin with, but I love how Bernadette and Amy joined the group and just fit so naturally, going from brand new characters in season three to series regulars in season four. Each character had their own quirky personalities, and they’ve all grown so much over 12 seasons. Sheldon went from avoiding all forms of human contact to getting married, Raj couldn’t even speak to women when the show started and he himself almost got married in the end. Howard went from a massive playboy to a father of two. Amy at first was so socially awkward that she made Sheldon look tolerable, but all the time she spent with Penny and the rest of the group made her much more socially aware that she ended up being Sheldon’s socio-moral compass by the end. Even the supporting cast like Stuart and Bert, the main characters’ parents, Kripke, they all contributed immensely to the show in their own ways, even from supporting roles. The cast said in interviews they will miss these characters, and everyone who loved the show will undoubtedly miss them too.
A happy ending
Though “shock and awe” endings which leave people stunned are often highly praised, sometimes we just want a happy ending. An ending where all the characters shine, where series-long plots are neatly tied in a bow, endings that make you go “that's nice”. And The Big Bang Theory delivered. Not only was the entirety of the final season very well done, the final two episodes (which served as the finale) in particular were real love letters to the fans. We finally got to see Howard and Bernadette’s two children on screen (we’ve never seen them in person), the elevator was finally repaired (possibly the longest running gag on the show), and Sheldon delivered one of the most touching moments ever in the series when he received his Nobel Prize with Amy (not shy to admit, his speech had me in tears). Penny and Leonard got pregnant, a fitting end to their roller coaster relationship that started all the way back in season one. “Our children will be smart and beautiful” will go down in TV history as one of the most iconic lines ever. It was just a very pleasing ending to the show (something which was sorely missed in another major TV franchise that recently ended) and I couldn’t be happier with it.
The reason why the ending was so satisfying is that the writers took their time. I know it’s weird to compare a sitcom to a fantasy drama, but I can’t help but draw parallels to Game of Thrones. On The Big Bang Theory, the writers didn’t rush the end, they didn’t even know how they wanted the show to end until the last minute. They took their time writing the story, letting it develop naturally rather than forcing an end that they had decided on years in advance. They decided to finish in 12 seasons rather than 10 to let the story conclude more organically, and it worked. I don’t think I’ve seen anybody criticise the end. On the contrary, many have even called the finale “perfect”. One of the great things about it is that the show left off with everything just the way it is. The characters' lives will continue like normal, no major cliffhangers, no big changes. As far as the fans know, The Big Bang Theory will continue just the way we know it.
It’s always sad when a TV show you like comes to an end. You’ve spent years following the lives of the characters, watching them grow as you yourself grow alongside them. Saying goodbye to them and to the show will always evoke strong emotions, and I will definitely miss The Big Bang Theory.