Howard, in many ways, was the sitcom success story that we don’t usually get. He turned from an overwhelmingly misogynistic character to an incredibly mature person by the end of season 12. However, he might also be the reason behind the show not returning for the 13th season.
After a long 12 years, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ came to an end. People looked forward to a possible season 13, but the cast didn’t want to continue. The character arc of Howard justifies the decision to end ‘The Big Bang Theory’. Howard was one of the 7 main characters in the show, and he might have played an essential part in creating the ending the show got.
- Howard was the main character in TBBT
- ‘The Big Bang Theory’ had a perfect ending
- The lead character’s reluctance to return for a 13th season
The Sitcom Story
There was a moment in history when ‘The Big Bang Theory’ became iconic. Somewhere in the middle of the 2010s, the show had ceased to be just a sitcom with immense popularity. It had come to define the TV ratings for an entire decade. The antics of Sheldon, Leonard, and Penny had become too iconic to ignore.
‘The Big Bang Theory’ was the only multi-cam comedy to have survived as long as it did. The award-winning show made Penny and Sheldon into iconic characters, with both Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco becoming stars of the TV circuit.
However, the sitcom came with its problems. There were constant complaints of racism and misogyny directed at the creators of the show. Penny is constantly treated as a sexual object in the TV show, and it had consistently misportrayed women in science. In 2013, Sheldon had even pretended to be Native American to get tenure.
The main problem in this regard was one Howard Wolowitz. Played by Simon Helberg, the character in ‘The Big Bang Theory’ consistently acted in a sexist manner. It was a character that fits in with the 00s sitcoms. The “clueless misogynist” trope, from Ted in HIMYM to Alan in ‘Two and a Half Men’, has become outdated over the last decade. With more shows starting to deal with important political issues, it became risky for the cast to continue down the TBBT road when the world had moved on.
Howard and the World
Despite the other characters rushing towards an ending in season 12, Howard was arguably already living his best life by the time season 12 came around. In a world that chatted about Sheldon, Leonard, and Penny, Raj, the character of Howard had gone unnoticed.
Raj got the most unsatisfactory end with a tiny whisper of his relationship with Sarah Michell Geller. While Sheldon and Amy shared a Nobel Prize and Leonard and Penny dealt with parenthood, Raj and Howard’s duo had become increasingly sidelined by the show.
There was a reason for this. Howard had done a lot of growing up through the show. The show started with nerds fighting to make sense of the natural world but eventually dealt with many personal struggles of adulthood. Howard was vital to this, dealing with his mother’s death and marriage as the show progressed.
Simon was moving too. 2019 saw him sign onto a musical and start working more earnestly in film. The show had guaranteed massive success to all the cast members, and as a result, most of the cast had become busy with other projects.
The Quick Ending
Kaley Cuoco recently said that she didn’t know the show was ending until she met the executives. Jim Parsons, who played Sheldon on the show, had had a tough year, dealing with scheduling issues and other projects that left him with little time to engage with ‘The Big Bang Theory’.
With Sheldon unable to continue, the other cast members agreed that it was better to pull the plug on the show. All the characters had grown up through the show’s course, and it wasn’t sustainable to keep the main cast together anymore.
It is telling that Parsons admitted that he didn’t see the show going forward anymore. Perhaps the character of Howard was on his mind. After all, before season 12, it was Howard who had already got an ending. TBBT ended on a quiet note after a 12-year run. The recent revelations from Jim Parsons revealed that he didn’t believe that the show could go any longer. With Howard having reached a steady life even before the end of season 12, he seems to be correct. While fans would keep looking forward to possible re-unions, it is perhaps for the best that the show ended.