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BIG BANG THEORY, I just can’t quit you.

You alternately bug the hell out of me and amuse me endlessly.  I keep saying I’m going to stop watching you, but then I see a clip of Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler or a particularly brilliant Sheldon flip-out, and I’m back.

It’s not the healthiest relationship.  Though you do at times pretend to be a show about nerds, for nerds, mostly you’re a show that just makes fun of nerd stereotypes.  There’s selective mutism, pathological insecurity, unhealthy levels of obsession with video games, science fiction, and comic books, and a truly distasteful stereotype of Jewish nerds in Howard Wolowitz’s relationship with his mother.  And that’s just the men.  Amy is frumpy, oversexed, and socially inappropriate.  And Penny, though no nerd, is an irritating, shrill, whiny stereotype of the dumb blonde next door.  Bernadette is the least reprehensible of the bunch in that she seems refreshingly unstereotyped in most scenes, except for those scenes in which it’s clear that Howard has fulfilled the old theory and married a woman who’s a younger version of his mother.

That said, I still find the show funny, even as it makes me cringe.  I know people like these characters, I think the actors do a very good job with what they’ve been given, and when I see a rerun from the first season or two I can appreciate how much better the show is now than it was then.  And let’s face it, without the introduction of Amy Farrah Fowler, THE BIG BANG THEORY would have tanked a couple years ago.  I come back and watch again because even if it’s making fun of nerds, at least it’s got jokes about physics and science fiction, instead of just the tired old jokes about Mars and Venus.

BIG BANG THEORY, I just can’t quit you.