It may surprise some to learn that Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre’s The Big Bang Theory is quickly moving into position as one of the most watched American sitcoms in television history. Indeed, The Big Bang Theory has something in common with the earlier leader Friends. Both shows feature casts of attractive and incredibly talented young people in the midst of life. While Friends had the courage to supply an anthropologist/paleontologist to the watcher's world, The Big Bang Theory has gone far beyond, treating us to a hodge-podge collection of scientists, physicists, and intellectuals unmatched in TV history.
Central to the show is Dr. Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), a theoretical physicist, acknowledged to be one of the great minds alive today. Sheldon continues his work toward a Nobel Prize, redefining the universes infinite and subatomic. Blackboards with myriad equations fill every set and cranny at the California based college where Sheldon and his three closest friends do their thinking and teaching.
Sheldon Cooper climbs the stairs to his apartment, the elevator having exploded in an early episode, and rents a room to fellow physicist Leonard (Johnny Galecki). Galecki, some remember played David, the downtrodden boyfriend of Darlene (Sara Gilbert) on TV’s Roseanne. We enjoyed the pairing of Darlene and David, not beat, not hip, just pained and thoughtful. Leonard is still downtrodden. Although a Nobel-level physicist himself, he can’t hold a candle to Cooper. Darlene we knew as the soul-tormented, mother-tormented daughter of Roseanne (Roseanne Barr). Darlene will be long remembered for her heart-wrenching poem, To Whom It May Concern; "Life is hard for a girl like me...” and she is brighter and better in her visits to Big Bang. Now as Leslie Winkle, she is Sheldon’s nemesis; the only scientist in the scholastic world that can pull his strings. She calls him “Dumb Ass,” and has been known to add insight on his equations.
Leonard is often seen in the company of neighbor Penny. Penny with Leonard and, of course, Sheldon are the heart and soul of the twenty-first Century's greatest sitcom. Penny worked with John Ritter and Katey Sagal on 8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter, a great sitcom unfortunately cut short by the sudden tragic death of John Ritter. Penny has a wondrously expressive face and she moves the plot with every line, and that’s no easy matter. She is a treat for the eyes,
and we love her wardrobe, including those silly shorts she sleeps in. Penny has come to Pasadena to be an actress, and she works at the Pasadena “Cheesecake Factory.” Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) once quipped, "She does know we're nerds, doesn't she?"