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The Big Bang Theory aired from September 2007- on CBS
Leonard and Sheldon ( Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons) were brilliant physicists, the kind of "beautiful minds" that understood how the universe worked. But none of that genius helped them interact with people, especially women. All this began to change when a free-spirited beauty named Penny ( Kaley Cuoco) moved in next door. Sheldon, Leonard's roommate, was quite content spending his nights playing Klingon Boggle with their socially dysfunctional friends, fellow CalTech scientists Howard ( Simon Helberg) and Rajesh ( Kunal Nayyar). However, Leonard saw in Penny a whole new universe of possibilities... including love.
A Review from Variety
The Big Bang Theory
(Series -- CBS, Mon. Sept. 24, 8:30 p.m.)
By BRIAN LOWRY
'The Big Bang Theory'
Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki star in CBS sitcom 'The Big Bang Theory,' about a pair of brainy nerds.
Taped in Los Angeles by Chuck Lorre Prods. in association with Warner Bros. Television. Executive producers, Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady; producer, Michael Collier; director, James Burrows; writers, Lorre, Prady.
Leonard - Johnny Galecki
Sheldon - Jim Parsons
Penny - Kaley Cuoco
Howard Wolowitz - Simon Helberg
Rajesh Koothrappali - Kunal Nayyar
"The Big Bang Theory" doesn't conjure up many big laughs, but its colliding elements do generate enough little ones to become another promising addition to CBS' Monday sitcom lineup. Less "Revenge of the Nerds" than a grown-up "Malcolm in the Middle," the series boasts appealing leads in Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons and actually builds jokes around the notion of being smart, albeit socially backward. Although CBS hasn't set the world ablaze ratings-wise Mondays beyond "Two and a Half Men," this "Two Men and a Hottie" should fit right in with the more middling successes in that four-stack.
As with "Men," which also comes from producer Chuck Lorre, the premise here is hardly bone-rattling: Two big-brained science types share an apartment, only to have their pristine little world of chalkboards and quantum particles thrown into a tizzy when an attractive blond waitress named Penny ("8 Simple Rules'" Kaley Cuoco) moves in across the hall.
It's hard not to root for a sitcom that employs a "science consultant" and whose heroes are named Sheldon (Parsons) and Leonard (Galecki), who watch the "Battlestar Galactica" DVD commentary, play "Klingon Boggle" and talk bluntly about "masturbating for money," having just visited a sperm bank for high-IQ donors.
For newly single Penny, it's like taking up residence next to "those 'Beautiful Mind' genius guys." Leonard is instantly smitten, whereas Sheldon -- a glass-half-empty type if there ever was one -- can't see a potential relationship ending any way but badly, were one to happen at all.
As directed by James Burrows, there's a sweetness to Sheldon and Leonard's awkwardness, and given a sampling of their friends, they might be the cool ones in the group.
That said, there are some qualms surrounding how long the producers can mine the Leonard-Penny aspect of the show, a shallow vein if there ever was one. More promising is the interaction among the key duo and their Mensa-worthy friends.
Fortunately, Lorre has exhibited an ability to keep unearthing funny bits on "Men" with little more than his cast and a couch-- a welcome reminder that even in the troubled world of TV comedy, good writing and well-defined characters don't require gimmicks or "very special episodes."
As with "How I Met Your Mother," "Big Bang" consciously populates its cast with younger characters, presumably the better to hit the lower half of the 18-49 demo, as CBS gradually tries to "youthify" its profile.
That sounds logical in theory (especially since "Dancing With the Stars" has tango-ed off with part of the older audience), but TV development traditionally adheres to a simpler equation -- the one that states while elaborate formulas look good on paper, sitcom survival generally boils down to the basics of execution.
Camera, Steven Silver; editor, Peter Chakos; theme song, Barenaked Ladies; production designer, John Shaffner; casting, Nikki Valco, Ken Miller. Running time: 30 MIN.
A Review from The New York Times
Television Review | 'Chuck'; 'The Big Bang Theory'
Nerds After Our Hearts, and Maybe Even Our Respect
By ALESSANDRA STANLEY
Published: September 24, 2007
This is the year of breakthroughs: First the iPhone, now the tall, dark and handsome nerd.
They are not unrelated.
“Chuck,” a very funny new comedy on NBC tonight about a computer salesman inadvertently turned secret agent, could not have happened without Bill Gates and Sergey Brin. Or Steve Wozniak, Konrad Zuse, Alan Turing and any of those other smart, spindly men in glasses and short-sleeve shirts who developed the first computers and made it possible for brainy nerds to become billionaire tycoons.
Neither could “The Big Bang Theory,” for that matter. This more conventional CBS sitcom also starts tonight and has not one but two nerds as leading men, math brainiacs who live together and have no life until a sexy blonde moves in next door.
Television used to relegate the nerd to the role of sidekick or worst best friend, but now — on “Chuck” and “Big Bang” (and also on the CBS crime drama “Numb3rs”) — the nerd is the hero, and he even gets the girl.
Homo sapiens hasn’t evolved all that much since prehistoric times; the female of the species still seeks the best provider, even if he’s the one with an asthma inhaler and a pocket protector who plays Xbox Live and collects “Star Trek” memorabilia. Today’s tool-using man is a tool.
Chuck (Zachary Levi) leads “the nerd herd,” a team of computer technicians who work for a discount megastore called Buy More and make house calls in a red-and-white nerd-herd mobile. He’s not unattractive; he’s certainly less repulsive than his short, hairy and unctuous best friend, Morgan (Joshua Gomez). But Chuck hasn’t had a girlfriend since his college love dumped him for his handsome, athletic roommate. He spends his free time moping and playing computer games.
By the end of the first episode Chuck has stumbled on the most top secret of secrets in the national intelligence community, gone on a date with a gorgeous blond spy and defused a bomb by sending it a computer virus attached to the Web site of a Serbian porn star.
The series is part spy spoof, part workplace comedy, and it is a genuinely engaging homage to the nerd hero.
Nerd wasn’t even a word, arguably, until it showed up in a Dr. Seuss book in the 1950s. But it quickly entered the culture as a way to identify a new subspecies: men who were unusually intelligent, but comically inept. Before the computer, the closest equivalent in movies was the woolly-minded academic, and studios were careful to cast good-looking movie stars in the part, from Cary Grant in “Bringing Up Baby” to Gary Cooper in “Ball of Fire.” (Even Fred MacMurray had been a leading man before he became the star of “The AbsentMinded Professor” and “Son of Flubber.”)
Losers have always been lovable — from Cyrano to Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin to Jerry Lewis and Woody Allen. But Silicon Valley and Boston’s Route 128 made it possible for losers to become rich and even more lovable, especially to gorgeous young women in search of a nest egg. Power is an aphrodisiac, and nothing is quite as powerful as huge piles of money.
Hollywood made it official in the 1980s with movies like “Revenge of the Nerds,” but television has been more conservative. Judd Apatow was an executive producer of a television experiment, “Freaks and Geeks,” a 1999 show that was canceled after one season. It still has a cult following, but never became a bona fide hit.
Mr. Apatow took his vision to the big screen, where his recent successes include “Superbad” and “Knocked Up.” They prove just how far the nerdification of America has come: Mr. Apatow’s beau ideal is the chubby and socially graceless character played by Seth Rogen.
Perhaps inspired by the success of Mr. Apatow’s movies — and the longevity of the CW reality show “Beauty and the Geek” — the networks are giving nerds another shot.
“The Big Bang Theory” is centered on two mathematicians named Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki). When Leonard suggests that they invite their pretty new neighbor, Penny (Kaley Cuoco), to lunch, Sheldon replies that they already have a commitment: watching Season 2 of “Battlestar Galactica.” Leonard notes that they have both seen it before. Sheldon, who is somewhere on the spectrum between set in his ways and obsessive-compulsive, replies, “Not with commentary.”
Chuck has interests similar to those of the heroes of “Big Bang,” including a lack of interest in chasing women, but his comedy is more inventive — the better bet in a new era in which the nerd no longer loses, but the best nerd show wins.
NBC, tonight at 8, Eastern and Pacific times; 7, Central time.
Directed by McG; produced and created by Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak. Produced by College Hill Pictures, Wonderland Sound and Vision, in association with Warner Brothers Television.
WITH: Adam Baldwin (Major John Casey), Joshua Gomez (Morgan Grimes), Yvonne Strahovski (Sarah Walker), Sarah Lancaster (Ellie Bartowski), Zachary Levi (Chuck Bartowski).
THE BIG BANG THEORY
CBS, tonight at 8:30, Eastern and Pacific times; 7:30, Central time.
Directed by James Burrows; Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, co-creators and executive producers. Produced by Warner Brothers Television.
WITH: Johnny Galecki (Leonard), Jim Parsons (Sheldon), Kaley Cuoco (Penny), Simon Helberg (Howard Wolowitz) and Kunal Nayyar (Rajesh Koothrappali).
A Review from Entertainment Weekly
The Big Bang Theory (2007)
Reviewed by Henry Goldblatt | Oct 12, 2007
Battlestar Galactica, Klingon Boggle, and a 1974 Stephen Hawking lecture are all mentioned in The Big Bang Theory premiere. They have one other trait in common, too: They're all more pleasurable ways of spending your time than this lamebrained sitcom.
Leonard (Roseanne's Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) are nerdy physicists whose fingers seem to have left their noses just moments ago. Across the hall is Penny (8 Simple Rules' Kaley Cuoco), a blond bimbo who doffs her clothes in the first 15 minutes of the pilot and works at the Cheesecake Factory — the mere mention of her career choice is apparently guffaw-worthy, according to the laugh track. Throw in Leonard's Beauty and the Geek crush on Penny and you've pretty much got the premise. To call this a one-joke sitcom would be a stretch.
Even if you're not sensitive to Cheesecake Factory barbs, there's not much to like here. The dialogue — ''I can't look at you or your avatar right now'' — falls flat. A few episodes in, the writers are already performing acrobatics with the script in order to get Penny and the dorkasauruses to mouth-breathe the same air. As for the plotting (Sheldon insults his boss, Sheldon is fired, Sheldon is rehired), let's just say you don't need an advanced degree to follow it.
The cast is apt enough; Parsons, in particular, does a nice take on Frasier's Niles. But overall, Leonard and Sheldon earn a grade they've probably never seen before. C-
A Review from USA TODAY
Big Bang Theory' both smart, funny
Updated 9/24/2007 3:09 PM |
The Big Bang Theory
* * * (out of four)
CBS, tonight, 8:30 ET/PT
By Robert Bianco, USA TODAY
Every sitcom doesn't have to be a work of genius.
Obviously, we'd all like to see another Frasier, Seinfeld or Mary Tyler Moore. But until that happy day arrives, most of us would be content with a show that gives us characters and actors we like, some jokes that make us laugh and a premise that promises to keep the supply coming.
At the moment, no producer is better at filling those needs than Chuck Lorre, creator of Two and a Half Men and co-creator of Bang. He may have a habit of letting his jokes skew toward the vulgar, but he also has a habit of creating laugh-out-loud funny shows with great casts and clear premises — all on display here.
The solid if well-worn setup is that of the beauty among the beasts, or in this case, geeks. Math geniuses Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) have been content to spend their days in their apartment working on formulas and playing Klingon Boggle. Then Penny (Kaley Cuoco) moves in next door and Leonard invites her over to lunch — and the equation of their lives changes.
If Bang is going to win you over, it will happen soon after that invitation, when Penny plops onto Sheldon's favorite spot on the couch. Everything that works best in Bang is right there: Cuoco's slightly confused, sweetly bemused response; Galecki's mix of longing and exasperation; and Parsons' fresh, show-stopping take on socially out-of-whack brilliance.
As you'd hope for a show about smart people, Bang makes a host of smart decisions, including the introduction of two other characters (Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar) who make Leonard seem suave in comparison. It's also wise enough to turn much of the half-hour over to Parsons, who gets most of the best lines and makes them even better.
To make characters register quickly, pilots tend to draw them with overly broad strokes. Penny could be a tad less ditzy, and it would be nice if the boys used their intelligence to help her, rather than just confuse her. While Galecki is a fine actor, it doesn't feel like he has quite found his character yet — some of his choices are a bit too creepy to support a long run.
Still, here's another of Lorre's habits: His shows tend to get better after the pilot. This may not be the sitcom breakthrough for which we've all been hoping, but Lorre has produced a first episode that leaves you eager to try the second.
These days, maybe that does count as genius.
For a Website dedicated to Jim Parsons go to http://www.jimparsons.net/
For a Website dedicated to Jim Parsons go to http://jimparsonsfan.com/
Fora Website dedicated to Kaley Cuoco go to http://kaleycuocofan.com/
For a webpage dedicated to Kaley Cuoco go to http://www.kaleycuoco.org/
For a Website dedicated to Melissa Rauch go to http://www.melissarauch.com/
For The Official Website of Mayim Bialik go to http://www.mayimbialik.net/
To watch clips from The Big Bang Theory go to http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=big+bang+theory&aq=f
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ï¿½ Date: Tue April 22, 2008 ï¿½ Filesize: 98.8kb ï¿½ Dimensions: 600 x 417 ï¿½
Keywords: Big Bang Theory: Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki Kaley Cuoco