Fairy Dust and String Theory

Sheldon Cooper

Sheldon Cooper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a revised post from last March, before I had readers. It gives me bliss to repost it.

The Big Bang Theory is one of my  favourite television programs.  I wish I could say it brought out my inner nerd, but I am not smart enough to be a nerd. Unlike many, I find the term “nerd” complimentary, but I always think of it in a scientific, mathematical context . I looked it up in my thesaurus and its synonyms are highly questionable: drip, bore, geek.

The Encarta dictionary calls it an offensive term and defines a nerd as a “single-minded enthusiast” who is “considered to be excessively interested in a subject or activity that is regarded as too technical or scientific.” (My argument—if we did not have people interested in the too technical or scientific, where would we be? We would still think the earth was flat, and the stars made up of fairy dust.)

I think the term nerd needs a “redo”, and the guys from The Big Bang Theory are just the guys to do it. Sure, they are overtly intelligent, some (Sheldon in particular) not socially attune, but I just love these guys. Is it an accident that the program is a particular favourite in Canada? I think not—we just love underdogs, and even though most of these guys have reached doctoral status, they are entertainingly sweet (most of the the time).

I think many of us are jealous of nerds and the things that they understand easily that we don’t. I was a particularly poor student in both science and math, and regret it somewhat.  Shakespeare and I get along just fine, but Einstein and I are unfortunately not on the same page.

"I don't mean to cast aspersions, but...&...

“I don’t mean to cast aspersions, but…” (Photo credit: Ario Fredewagon)

On a shelf above my head is my bobble head of Sheldon–a gift from my youngest son, who sometimes calls himself a nerd. He is not as enamoured of the program as I, as he says that it makes fun of nerds–in effect, laughing at them, not with them. I think I have a different perspective–I admire exceedingly intelligent people even if they have some quirks. Let those among us who have no quirks cast aspersions.

Are you a fan of Big Bang, or do you think my son is right? Can you cast aspersions?

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60 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have never watched the show, not ever! I love nerds, so it’s not that, (my son’s one) if I think about it, maybe it’s cos even tho I know that one girl has her phd in neuroscience, the few advertisements I’ve watched just seem too laughtracky for me. But maybe I’ll give it a chance…

    • my son does not like the laugh track either–but I am not as discerning – another girl has her PHD in some biological

  2. I find the show quite enjoyable. My brother finds it offensive–he thinks it gives nerds a bad name!

  3. I love The Big Bang Theory!! But then again I am a little bit of a nerd. For my birthday one year, while I was in college working on my BS in microbiology, my friends were sweet enough to make me a birthday cake in the shape of a T-4 virus with frosting swirls for the double helix DNA. 🙂

    • that is hilarious – well if you are a brainer I admire you — I love smart people

  4. A friend of mine, who is a mathematician and an attorney and a woman (imagine that!) loves Big Bang Theory. She has the bobble heads and always tells me her favorite parts of an episode. I’d never seen it until it was syndicated. I think Jim Parsons is an exceptional actor who has honed his craft to perfection, he is perfect for the role of Sheldon. The cast is quirky and I like that because I am quirky. So much so that I can cast no aspersions.

    • I can cast no aspersions either – I love this show–I did not discover it until its 4th season

  5. I love this show! My daughter turned me on to it and I’ve been cracking up ever since. If you can’t see some part of yourself in one of those characters then I don’t want to know you. 🙂

  6. My husband and I enjoy the show very much. He says it reminds him of himself…maybe. My daughter, on the other hand, finds it mean-spirited and seldom stays to watch more than a few minutes. Interesting…xoxoM

    • so our kids see something we don’t – that is interesting

      • Yes. Makes me wonder what the target demographic is for this show. xoM

      • an interesting question

  7. I do really like it, and both my kids love it! My daughter has a ‘Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty’ t-shirt! I don’t think it gives nerds a bad name, I think it makes them kind of cool! Without consciously thinking about it, my feeling about the program is that it is nerds laughing at themselves, i.e. as if the program was written by them, and they are inviting us to laugh with them!

    • that is what my feeling is too–I do not see it as making fun of nerds at all

  8. Love Big Bang Theory…..my husband and I watch the re-runs while we eat supper. Thanks Lou for making us watch and turning us into nerd wanna be’s.

  9. I’ve tried . . . but I can’t get into the show. Maybe because I am a nerd?

    • the first time I tried I could not either–not sure what changed my mind

  10. a few years ago i went through a period of watching every rerun and have since exhausted my interest ~ but i’ll always love leonard!

    • there is still the new season on Thursday nights

      • yes i guess i’ve lost interest in the plot/theme in general, whether old or new {i lose interest pretty easily} ~ they’re all really good actors and comics though, and great writing

      • you have moved on–I have not yet–it has become a habit with me I think

      • i’m not a math or science person and admittedly watched it for the leonard/penny saga ~ i hope they stay together in the end ~ i’m by no means a tv snob, i just kicked ‘the bachelor’ habit which is far less interesting or entertaining or intelligent heh heh

      • Math and science better not be a prerequisite as I am a dummy in both

  11. I love The Big Bang Theory! Easily one of my favorite shows. 🙂

  12. I have only watched a few episodes, but I think it’s bloody hilarious, and I wish I had started watching it from the beginning! I’m not even close to those guys in intelligence, but I was a math and science freak in school, so I kind of have a soft spot for Sheldon and his buddies.

    • is there such a thing as a literature nerd? unfortunately I can claim no math or science skills (scary that I keep the books for my husband’s company isn’t it–though it is a different kind of math — one with an end in mind)

      • Yes, I think you can definitely be a literature nerd!! Would you like me to buy you a pocket protector?? LOL

      • but I would need a pocket

      • Yes, that’s true :). Hey, why aren’t you over at the mystery photo?? Bunny has beaten you there, but his guess is wrong!! LOL

      • just went there and sort of agreed with him–but see what I added–if he is wrong I will put my thinking cap back on (yes, I do take it off sometimes)

  13. Love this show. It’s a favorite around here!

  14. A bunch of my friends love the show and I’ve only refrained from watching to avoid getting sucked in. I did watch a couple episodes on a plane a few months back and it was hilarious. I love when comedy is intelligent, rather than crude/borderline offensive (as too many shows are). I’d like to think that those of us not blessed with scientific intellect are just nerds in a different way. We’re writing/book/creative nerds! 🙂

    • I like the way you think — we are creative nerds–not bound by science or math (at least I am not cause I do not know how to be)

  15. I love the Big Bang! I come from a family of nerds and the characters, while exaggerated for TV, have a lot of truth to them. One of my sons loves the show and we watch it together when he comes home from college, and my other son doesn’t like it. He finds it uncomfortable to watch the social foibles of the characters. However, I often see him “passing by” and laughing at a lot of it. BTW, the actress who plays Amy has a PhD in neuroscience in real life.

    • Yes she does – she plays her role informed. My son who is not so sure about the program still watches it with me to keep me company and he begrudgingly thinks it is funny–but resents the sound track

  16. I’ve never seen it! I’ll have to give it a shot. I liked science but not math. We probably all have a nerd that resides inside of us. Sometimes that nerd is obvious, other times we keep her under lock and key!

    • I think you are right–and sometimes it is painful to be a nerd. Give it a chance–hope you like it………..

  17. My husband is a nerd, in fact, we call him Dr. Sheldon Cooper. I aspire to be more like him. He loves the show, so it must be ok, right?

    • Right — I think some people take it too personally when it is meant to be fun not make fun

  18. It is the only show I watched on a regular basis on network TV.

  19. I love the Big Bang Theory too!! And yes, having been called a nerd for a long time, and having a bunch of nerd friends, I take the term “nerd” as a compliment too!!
    PS: Sheldon is just so adorable!! 😉

  20. I am a huge FAN of The Big Bang Theory! Sheldon is my favourite. My husband thinks I’m nuts (he doesn’t see the humour in the intelligent quips that Sheldon throws around) (but I think that just means he doesn’t get it) (my husband is definitely not a “nerd”) 😉

  21. i love nerds and what they accomplish but not a fan of the show.

  22. I don’t know what it is about that show, but I love it!! 😉
    Sheldon definitely makes it, too! He is absolutely hilarious!

    • I know – I find it addictive and find Sheldon surprises me everytime I watch it — he is truly “whimsical”

  23. This program has grown on me. The first time or two I saw it I didn’t think it was that funny. But I must admit, I know a few people that would fit in well with this crowd…seeing the humor in it more and more! ~ Sheila

    • I first watched it a few years ago and did not see the charm, but as I got to know the characters I grew fond of them

  24. I am a huge fan of Big Bang, but I always perceived it as laughing “with” the nerds, not at them. Penny’s lack of knowledge is sometimes scoffed at too, so I think the show treats everyone fairly.

    • I feel the same way you do — I am laughing with them,not at them at all

  25. How thoughtful of your son to get you a wobbly head of Sheldon. The Big Bang Theory is my Favorite as well. I wish they could be an hour long. I watch the re-runs on my PC.


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