There’s bound to be a ton of backlash just by stating that the Big Bang Theory should have been taken off the air years ago, but here goes. In the beginning the show was revolutionary and even quirky enough to work since the idea of a gaggle of geniuses that had anything to do with hot and in some cases very intelligent women was a show that kind of hearkened back to the Revenge of the Nerds era, a time that many of us that are in our late 30s to even 50s can remember fondly. But it took a different route than that fabled classic as the jocks were typically nowhere to be found and the show centered instead on the nerds with a fervor that bordered on obsession at some points. For many people it was great since the shows about the attractive, popular, and somehow insanely intelligent stars had gotten a little stale and not quite as marketable, while the plight of the underdogs that didn’t get noticed all that often for various reasons was something that was becoming worthy of notice.
Here’s the problem though: the show could have done with half as many seasons and been fondly remembered rather than dragging on well past ten seasons into something that became a neverending display of just how superior nerds can be and how their greater intellect places them above so many others. That might not have been the main point of the show, and in fact it doesn’t feel like that at all, but the push for Sheldon to become such an icon was something that seemed a bit forced at times and more like a cash grab once Young Sheldon came along. It’s true that the number of viewers, nearly 15 million per episode, is astounding, but taking into consideration that a lot of those viewers might not have a choice between watching the show and watching nothing at all. The show does have a lot of fans, a LOT of fans, but once the show is gone, just like any other TV program, the fans will gravitate towards whatever else is on, and it doesn’t seem like Young Sheldon is going to be the prime choice for a lot of people.
This is another problem. The show managed to capture lightning in a bottle when it first aired, but eventually that same magic started to get stale as the characters dug themselves into ruts that were highly predictable and didn’t offer a lot in the way of development no matter how the story changed as it went along. They were the same people throughout every episode and after a while it simply grew to the point of being less entertaining and more of an automatic habit for many people to watch the show. If a program is going to keep attracting viewers and keep the ones it has, then the characters need to undergo some changes throughout the timeline, and there wasn’t a lot going on during this program that could be easily tracked. Maybe it’s a part of not being a fan, or maybe it just comes from thinking that way too much attention was given to another show about a group of friends that in the real world could possibly exist but at the same time would be seen as social outcasts in many ways for their different and very irritating quirks. Or it could just be because the show outlived its usefulness.
Many shows are created during times when the TV audience needs something fun and engaging to watch and the networks need a new idea that acts as a shot in the arm to kick off a new wave of shows that can grab the audience and keep their attention for more than the pilot episode. The Big Bang Theory did that perfectly and managed to keep people watching with exciting and unusual characters that were designed to show a different side of life than had been seen before and a group that wasn’t exactly new to audience members but was being given their time in the spotlight in order to show a different part of American culture that is ridiculed at times but is still actually very interesting and easy to engage if you manage to slip into the right mindset. It’s not exactly a genius-level show no matter that the actors are playing geniuses that tend to speak in ways that a lot of other people can’t seem to understand, but it was taken that way by a great many individuals that happened to need something to cling to in terms of TV programming.
So with the departure of The Big Bang Theory one might surmise that another show will rise to replace it, if possible. At this point that show would be Young Sheldon, but it remains to be seen if its ratings can even come close to its parent show.