Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Lots of people like CBS's The Big Bang Theory; it's become one of TV's top-rated shows. All the while, though, I've heard from many people calling themselves "true nerds" who don't like the show. I want to respond to one well-thought-out opinion in particular.

The blogger in question believes the show's humor ridicules the very people it claims to represent. That is, it isn't about nerds laughing at the world around them, but about the world still laughing at nerds. This understandably offends the blogger and makes him feel uncomfortable.

I empathize to a point with people who feel they aren't being represented. I don't find all the show's attempts at humor funny, either. But the main reason I like the show is its message that people don't have to accept the labels others give them. People of all types can coexist based not on these types, but on who they are as individuals.

It may be a bit of fantasy that Leonard and Penny became a couple, but if you've watched the show over the years, it's very clear what they see in each other. Leonard doesn't love Penny just for her beauty, and Penny doesn't love Leonard just for his mind.

I came to believe in expanding my horizons more and more as I matured. At one time, my dream was to attend the same high school as my brother, to receive the same education he did, to meet the same people he did along the way. Then I was rejected from my brother's high school... In college, I passed on joining the Asian American Organization in favor of a literary magazine staffed by people of all different backgrounds.

One key to growth is the ability to laugh at oneself, to see the humor in one's own situation. I understand that expanding in this way isn't for everyone. Some people are happy where they are in life. They like and take comfort in its consistency. But only someone who accepted being labeled, who didn't want to empathize with others, and who couldn't laugh at himself, would be hurt that he weren't represented. I'm not sure the entertainment industry represents anyone perfectly. I've never felt, Yes! That's me to a T. Have you?

As a result of the show, many people have come to acknowledge and accept "nerdy" qualities in themselves. That's progress.

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