The “big bang” in the title of this article does not imply I will be writing about the origin of the universe or quantum mechanics or relativity or science in general. Instead it refers to the great situation comedy The Big Bang Theory.
The show is concluding its 12th season and will end its spectacular run in the spring of 2019. Fans are, of course, disappointed that the show is ending even though reruns will be aired on a number of channels until, perhaps, the end of time.
My wife, the Beautiful AP, and I were at first two of the disappointees.
We decided to start watching the series from beginning to end on our DVDs. This would be our third time through it. Lately, life has dished out some rough times, with a series of family stressors, job losses of relatives, injuries of friends and of AP and even me being hospitalized with pneumonia and the flu.
We could use some laughs each night so we watched a few episodes before we went to bed. And here is what we found:
The Big Bang Theory of the first half dozen seasons is far superior to The Big Bang Theory of recent vintage. The laughs came fast and furious during those episodes. The pacing of the show was perfect and the delineation of the characters was spot on. There are times when a single sentence garners three laughs—the first laugh after the first couple of words, a second laugh after the next couple of words and a third laugh right after the punctuation mark.
Neither the characters nor the situations do seem strained. Everything flows. Those shows are masterpieces; as good as any shows ever on television. These episodes were exploring the characters and their world views. The laughs were bang, bang, bang. The show was truly explosive.
But slowly, with the addition of other permanent characters, the show started to bog down and the episodes became contrived. The new characters were excellent but the stories tried to flesh them out to such an extent that the humor took second fiddle to the plot lines. It stopped being a riotous show and instead settled more into the average, only intermittently funny, sit-coms seen on other channels.
The time is actually more than ripe for this show to leave the scene and screen. My wife and I think that sit-coms and other shows should consider going the route of six seasons as a maximum and then calling it a day, even if the show is still a hit.
Yet, what producers and directors would put a cap on the number of seasons to keep a show an artistic masterpiece when there is money to be made? In the case of the Big Bang Theory, the longest running multi-camera sit-com in TV history, it was lead actor Jim Parsons who shook the world and wallets of the cast, crew and sponsors when he cried, no mas.
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