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"Why I let my young children watch The Big Bang Theory."

I can’t say I’ve ever stopped and analysed my enjoyment of The Big Bang Theory. 

For me it’s always been a reasonably funny show I can watch whenever I stumble across it. No matter how many episodes I have missed, I can still easily figure out what’s been going on.

The Big Bang Theory can always be relied upon for some easily digestible humor.

Sometimes, it has me in stitches.

Which is why I was ASTOUNDED to discover that two women I admire greatly don’t share my sentiments.

One shall remain nameless (she’s copped enough heat from The Big Bang Theory fan mob on social media) and the other is Rosie Waterland.

Rosie, say it isn’t so!

They actually go so far as to call it the worst show on TV.

Rosie Waterland and Laura Brodnik speak with Jo Abi about The Big Bang Theory during The Binge and things get a bit heated.

Rosie and Laura Brodnik invited to discuss my controversial viewership (since the very first episode) one of my favourite podcasts, The Binge, and I felt like a nervous wreck.

Why do I love this show so much? Why doesn’t Rosie? Is there something wrong with me? Do I have a crappy sense of humour?

The main criticisms of the show, shared by Big Bang haters around the world, seem to be:

It’s sexist.

So many people say they are uncomfortable with how Penny is presented on the show as the “dumb blonde” but I never see her like that.

Sure, she was naive when she moved into the building. She’s a small town girl chasing her dream of becoming an actress and she isn’t academically smart, but she is wise and through her friendship with the geeky boys she has make their lives even better.

Penny, Amy and Bernadette may be specific types of girls but they aren’t trying to represent all women. Why do people put that sort of expectation on shows like this?

It relies too heavily on stereotypes.

The shy Indian guy, the dumb blonde, the geeky scientists, the Aspie…sure there are lots of stereotypes on the show and people say they are offended by how cliche they are but what do you expect from a sitcom?

This show is designed to be easily digestible and it achieves this by being super-easy to understand and catch up on. Plus, I like the idea that the show celebrates difference. You can be a nerd, you can be shy around girls, you can be naive but you can still live an interesting and unapologetic life.

Sure The Big Bang Theory is a mass-produced, mass-marketed show designed for a mass-audience, but I am an unapologetic fan. Image: Big Bang Theory, Warner Bros. Television Distribution
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The comedy is lazy.

One of the strongest criticisms of the show is that it uses popular culture references as a way to create humour instead of setting up it's own jokes, but I think it does both. The pop culture references are the reason my son Philip, 12, loves the show too.

He seems to miss most of the sexual innuendo but cracks up with laughter at every Spiderman reference.

The characters are immature.

The main characters on the show - Howard, Sheldon, Leonard and Raj - can come across as petty and competitive as well as incredibly immature but that's the age they are reflecting on the show.

That's the schtick. Being able to laugh at the ridiculous behaviours displayed on the show makes it easier to handle them in real life. There are lots of silly people in the world behaving in petty ways, but sometimes you've just got to laugh it off.

Sheldon

Whether he is quirky or anal retentive or socially awkward or all of the above, most people have come to accept that Sheldon is portraying a character with high-functioning autism, formerly referred to as "Aspie".

Maybe he is. While an overly-simplistic portrayal of what can be a truly challenging condition, at least it doing something to educate others about some common aspects of the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

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