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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Big Bang Theory

I was never a sitcom/soap/serials et al enthusiast.
For me, such kind of shows and even the religion of today's youth, The Barclay English Premier League were just a waste of time. No don't get me wrong, I'm not a stereotype. Yes, I used to like wasting time on viewing football way back in the late nineties. However, as time progressed, I feel that to really enjoy football, one need to watch each and every matches of your favorite club throughout the season. That's when I left the show. Analogously, a sitcom offers the same situation and that is why I never pay attention to it either.

However, things change as the world we live in keep constantly changing. One fine day in last summer, a junior of mine persuaded me to watch the award winning sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. He insist that I will love it as I'm a bit of a nerd when it come to physics and math. The whole four seasons resided in my hard drive for a month or so without me glancing even once. Then, one particular evening, as I was running out of movies, I reluctantly view, the very first episode of Season I , The Pilot. Interestingly, I did not discard but keep on watching the entire season overnight. I really appreciate the works of Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady. Words cannot express my gratitude for them. I had a big misconception regarding the title. While I thought that, it must be a documentary of some science nerds, it turns out to be the story of two brilliant physicists with IQ which cannot be correctly determined by the available equipment, but socially awkward in their behavior. It reminds me of the days when we first attend our post matric class in Science.  Our seniors from humanities department used to ridicule us, and keep stuffing our ears that one day we will be nerd and socially awkward.

Coming back to the sitcom, I am rendered speechless by the character of Sheldon Cooper(the one who started college at 11 and got his doctorate by 20 or so) I love the part where he does not understand sarcasm and how he tried to blend with the social convention. For once, he always offered tea(hot beverage) to any of his friend when they are sad and depressed. According to him, that's the social convention. Somewhere in the beginning of the season, there is yet another great explanation given by him to Penny(their blonde neighbor who does not understand Physics at all). Just read the transcript.
 Sheldon: You've seen Superman movies?
Penny : I do like the one where Lois Lane falls from the helicopter and Superman swooshes down
             and catches her. Which one was that?

Sheldon : You realize that scene was rife with scientific inaccuracy.

Penny:    Yes, I know, men can't fly.
Sheldon:  No. Let's assume that they can. Lois Lane is falling, accelerating at an initial rate of 32 feet 
                per  second per second.  Superman swoops down to save her by reaching out two arms of   
               steel.  Miss Lane, who is now traveling at approximately 120 miles an hour, hits them and 
                is  immediately sliced into three equal pieces.Unless Superman matches her speed and 
                 decelerates. She's two    feet above the ground.Frankly, if he really loved her, he'd let her 
                hit the pavement. It'd be a more   merciful death.

My God!, thats absolutely hilarious. It makes me feel how one can be so dead unaware of the most obvious but pretty damn aware of the least obvious, if subjected to math and physics.. Of course, what Sheldon implied is scientifically accurate but can be understand only if one had a few knowledge of Newtonian mechanics. On the other hand what Penny claimed as scientifically inaccurate is true and is known by any layman.

Regarding the other character, Leonard Holfstader, the main character, an experimental physicist from Caltech, Pasadena California is also another geek. However, it seems that he is a bit more socially blended as he tried to date Penny throughout the first season. Nonetheless, the date rarely works well as his brain is already filled fulled with numbers and equations which cannot be drained off and occupied by social conventions. Love that episode when he tried to blend with the friends of Penny by watching the American Football game.

 The Indian character Rajesh Kootharpali, an astrophysicist originally from New Delhi  play really a great humor for the storyline too. The big one is his inability to talk to women unless drunk or atleast when he think he's drunk. Wow! what a mind job. He can't eat Indian food too; another satire.

Howard Wolowitz, an aerospace engineer, another character with a jew by faith and a slight French by blood. Sheldon keeps on insulting him over and over for having no Ph.D. All these times, he insist that he had a master degree from MIT and had a working knowledge of Physics. Nevertheless, Sheldon treated him like, hmmm an uneducated human being.

All the characters had more thing in common other than Science. All of them are big fans of superheroes comic book like Flash, Green Lantern, Spiderman and so on. Furthermore, they are also big fanatic about Sci-Fi movies and sitcoms especially Star Trek franchise. Online gaming is another of their pastime. The big humor again is how Sheldon tried to learn how to drive from virtual car driving through his computer.

The show had  attracted really distinguish scientists, such that even the greatest scientist of our time, Stephen Hawking himself made a cameo in the 22nd episode of Season V.  Real students of Caltech also visit the sets and used to watch the maneuver.

Stan Lee, the comic writer of Spider-Man, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man etc also had a cameo in one of the episode.
Well, I might create more spoilers and let me wind it up. For all those folks out there who had studied Physics and Maths even upto the senior secondary level, I strongly recommend that you don't miss this for anything in this universe.