Seven days of TV viewing
FIVE seasons in, those oddballs from The Big Bang Theory are Australia’s most likeable nerds. With new episodes of the show proving a ratings winner for WIN, you’d think the nerdiest and most analytical of the Big Bang team, Sheldon Cooper, might have some complicated scientific explanation for the show’s appeal.
But Jim Parsons, the man who plays the socially inept theoretical physicist, says while the sitcom’s success comes from a chemistry, it is good writing and rapport – not analytical theory – at its core.
‘‘ One of the things the writers have been smart with in this show is trying things and seeing what happens and taking their cues from how the actors and audience respond to it,’’ Parsons says. ‘‘ They’re prepared to let those changes sit.’’
There are two newish faces this season, Amy and Bernadette, who have joined the original cast of misfits: Sheldon, his roommate experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter ( Johnny Galecki), their waitress and actress- wannabe neighbour Penny ( Kaley Cuoco) and socially awkward co- workers and friends, aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz ( Simon Helberg) and astrophysicist Rajesh Koothrappali ( Kunal Nayyar).
‘‘ Who knew we needed a couple of new characters?’’ Parsons says. ‘‘ But Amy and Bernadette have been introduced slowly. It hasn’t been forced, and suddenly we have more colours to paint with.’’
At the forefront as far as Sheldon is concerned is Amy ( Mayim Bialik), who is currently Sheldon’s ‘‘ girl who is a friend but not a girlfriend’’.
There has been speculation this might change this season but Parsons is doubtful Sheldon will ever get some ‘‘ action’’.
‘‘ Hell, no,’’ he says. ‘‘ I think we’ve taped about eight episodes and not yet had one fully devoted to Sheldon and Amy advancing their relationship.
‘‘ But we have had several one- on- one scenes where we’re discussing a problem, whether it be mine or hers, and I’ve noticed as an actor there is something wonderful happening between the two of them.
‘‘ I don’t know what they’re planning with it, but I do like the slow, mysterious pace they are taking with it. I honestly would be surprised if there was a grand plan.’’
The show’s comic appeal comes from the intellectual geekiness and social ineptness of the four guys contrasted with Penny’s common sense and social skills and Sheldon is the geekiest of the lot. It’s a character that this year saw Parsons retain his Emmy for best comic actor and one he knew he could play as soon as he saw the original script.
‘‘ I just loved the way the writers had buried the scene in all this scientific and technical and sometimes just awkwardly put jargon,’’ Parsons says.
Learning Sheldon’s complicated scientific dialogue, thankfully, doesn’t require selfconfessed ‘‘ science nincompoop’’ Parsons to understand what he’s saying.
‘‘ I don’t go on a big investigation of what it means because frankly it would only confuse me further,’’ he says.