LOS ANGELES — I’ve been watching “The Big Bang Theory” since its debut back in 2007. After 12 seasons, the No. 1 rated comedy on broadcast TV, ended its run on Thursday night. Many of the loose ends were tied up with a few left for us to wonder.
Lead actor Jim Parsons, who starred as Sheldon Cooper, always wanted things to go his way. He had to sit in the same spot on the couch all the time. He had to use the bathroom when he wanted. Sheldon always had this OCD personality about him. He was always right about everything. No one could ever beat him at anything.
The last two episodes, which aired as a 1-hour finale, were mainly about life changes. Spoiler alert! The elevator got fixed. The cast used it to load their luggage for their big trip to Stockholm. Sheldon and Amy finally won the Nobel Prize for “superasymmetry.”
At the very end, Sheldon thanked the other cast members for dealing with him. It was a heartfelt goodbye that I’m sure left many viewers on the edge of their seats in tears.
“I apologize if I haven’t been the friend you deserve,” Sheldon said. “In my way, I want you to know I love you all.” He turned to Amy and then said “And I love you.”
But it wasn’t just the stars who changed as the show went on. The viewers at home also changed–at the same time. When “Big Bang” debuted, many people thought the show was targeted towards science nerds or geeks only. However, as the years went by, our culture began to change and embrace these characters. Now, it’s cool to wear glasses and play video games and virtually everyone has a computer.
I always liked Sheldon’s love for model trains. Just like him, I grew up with a model train set. During the show, “Big Bang” taped a scene at the Travel Town Museum at Los Angeles’ Griffith Park. So I went there to see some of the giant locomotives. It made me feel special.
What didn’t get resolved in the final episode? For one, what happens when they return from Stockholm? Secondly, what made Penny change her mind about having kids? Now that both couples have kids, what do they look like? Are they going to grow up like Sheldon or will they be more normal?
Why didn’t the show keep going? It was actor Jim Parsons who decided he didn’t want to play Sheldon anymore. He told The Hollywood Reporter his reason for that decision: “It was the first time in my life of doing this show that it occurred to me that I might want to not do another contract after [Season] 12 was up,” he explained. “I don’t know if it’s because I’m an Aries or just because maybe I’m in touch with myself. Whatever it is, once I had that thought, I was like, ‘Well, that’s your answer.'”
In 2013, the Paley Center in Beverly Hills hosted a special exhibit called “Television: Out of the Box.” It featured several Big Bang props including the Green Lantern Lantern from the Psychic Vortex episode of the third season. Also displayed were costumes from Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, Raj and for Penny. Sheldon’s Roommate Agreement and The Ring from The Precious Fragmentation episode are also on display.
“One thing that has been very, very popular has been Shelbot used on ‘Big Bang Theory,’” said Martin Gostanian, visitor services supervisor at the Paley Center. “People just love to look at Jim Parsons’ beaming face and see the extraordinary contraption that was created for him.”
Meanwhile, actress Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy Farrah Fowler, is an accomplished author. She wrote “Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way” in 2012. Bialik appeared at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena to sign copies of her books and meet her fans. Her newest books are “Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular” from 2017 and “Boying Up: How to Be Brave, Bold and Brilliant” from 2018.
“One of the best things about The Big Bang Theory is I didn’t have to make it popular,” Bialik explained. “It was when I was hired. It just takes a lot of the pressure off when a show already has its feet under it. I’m super excited to be part of it and I think also we just announced we have Stephen Hawking, who’s going to be in the April 5 episode, I got to meet him twice this week. It’s the best week of my life. I think it’s amazing that our show not only touches so many of the public, but has reached out into general culture as well.”
It is unclear what the future holds for the cast. However, Jim Parsons serves as the narrator and executive producer of “Young Sheldon” so he will keep working.
I hope there will be a reunion episode in maybe five or 10 years from now. It will be interesting to see how the characters changed even more by then.
But in the meantime, I’ll be wearing my red “Bazinga!” shirt proudly. And I’ll continue watching the spin-off series “Young Sheldon” and many of the “Big Bang” episodes in syndication.
Thanks for making us laugh and cry over the last 12 seasons….