The sitcom universe is more than 70 years old – from I Love Lucy and The Golden Girls to Sopranos, Seinfeld, The Wire and Friends – there are iconic sitcoms that we shall never forget. But then came Big Bang Theory, and ate all of them up.
Metaphorically speaking, a Black Hole is anything that can eat up everything in its vicinity. And that’s exactly what The Big Bang Theory did to each and every great TV sitcom out there. Who would have thought that nerds could inspire such a phenomenal following across the globe?
A story about 4 Academicians who are all outsiders in their own way and yet complement each other brilliantly. Be it Sheldon or Leonard, Raj or Howard, none of them were destined to become cult favourites. Yet, that’s exactly what they did. Indeed, The Big Bang Theory ate up all the goliaths of the sitcom universe, much like what happens inside a Black Hole.
Highlights! How The Big Bang Theory became the Black Hole of the Sitcom Universe
- It came, saw and conquered the legends
- The nuances that stand apart
- A nerdy show for everybody
- Epic references only found in The Big Bang Theory
Came, Saw and Conquered with a Bang
For starters, four of the show’s five main leads are socially-awkward bunch of boys. It’s almost incomprehensible how they were able to keep the affinity of the audience intact for 12 seasons with none of the traditional hunky celeb USP visible. Only Kaley Cuoco’s Penny could wring hearts, while the other four relied on tickling the funny bone.
The show has one too many critical acclaims to its name. Out of its 12 seasons, 7 rank in the top ten final television season ratings. Season 11 reached the numero uno spot. The Big Bang Theory has countless Emmy nominations and Awards in categories like Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
It’s Emmy exploits stand at 46 nominations and 7 wins. Furthermore, Jim Parson’s Sheldon won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Comedy Series.
What’s surreal about The Big Bang Theory is the work that went into making the idea credible behind the scenes. The nerdy show heavily revolved around science and to that end, the makers employed an actual scientist, David Saltzberg, a physics and astronomy professor at UCLA. Saltzberg thoroughly reviewed scripts, offered dialogue, real math equations, problems, diagrams and props used on the sets.
Furthermore, the shows science quotient was matched aptly by the makers with an unprecedented company of scientists making cameos, something unique only to The Big Bang Theory.
The show was graced by some of the greatest minds on the planet – astrophysicist and Nobel laureate George Smoot, theoretical physicist Brian Greene, astrophysicist and science popularizer Neil deGrasse Tyson, Science Guy Bill Nye, NASA astronaut Michael J. Massimino and finally the great late Cosmologist Stephen Hawking.
The Big Bang Theory also had multiple references to the Black Hole phenomenon, which figures significantly during the run of the sitcom.
Finally, The Epic References
The Big Bang Theory was a show of nerds made for all the nerds around the world. Another of its major selling points was the consistent use of nerd TV show and comic book references. Star Trek remained the most popular throughout its air time with Parson’s Sheldon almost seeing an alter-ego of Spock in him. The show also featured cameos from Star Trek lead characters William Shatner and George Takei.
Other geek references in The Big Bang Theory include Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Firefly, Babylon 5, The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Add to this the superhero quotient – The Flash, Aquaman, Frodo Baggins, Superman, Batman, Spock, The Doctor, Green Lantern, Thor, Catwoman, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Supergirl. Other nerdy references are from the gaming world – World of Warcraft, Halo, Mario, Donkey Kong, Mystic Warlords of Ka’a and even Rock-paper-scissors, which was improvised to add lizard and Spock.