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Interview: Just Don’t Call Them Nerds, ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Posted by MissBonnified on August 25th, 2009
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big-bang-theory-0.jpg“Rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock”. Whatever the outcome, “The Big Bang Theory” wins hands down and Vulcan salute up.

That was one of my favorite episodes to date… well… besides the one where Sheldon went to the DMV and tried to learn how to drive. Of course, just because I think the show’s brilliantly funny, it doesn’t mean everyone else does. That’s why before going into my press interview with the show’s cast and crew; I decided to conduct an entirely “scientific” poll at Comic-Con where I’d approach random people asking them to tell me what they thought of the show. Sheldon would probably be extremely disappointed with me. But that’s okay because I’m not the one who’s a certifiable genius.

From all those that were asked, no one really did give me a good answer. But that’s probably because they were either all turning purple trying to explain their favorite part or episode to me or laughing too hard to even choke out a complete sentence. While I would’ve hung around to ask them more, or administer emergency CPR to those who happen to choke on their own saliva (thank God it didn’t come down to that), the junket was about to start and it was time for me to go.

The first person who sat down at my table was none other than Bill Prady. He greeted those of us he recognized at the table with a “Hey, I remember you! How’s it going” and “I read you all the time! I love the way you write”. He looked a little baffled when he saw me and asked me where I’m from. I smiled, said hello, introduced myself and proudly said “I’m from youbentmywookie.com”. He chuckled at the name (”How did you guys decide upon that?”) and proceeded to make me feel as welcome as the press people he knew.

Despite being dressed kind of business casual (in a really weird way, he reminded me of my dad), he radiated the special quality known as Kid-At-Heartedness. The last part came out in full force when he was gleefully telling us what some of his favorite shows were. He lists “Entourage”, “Rescue Me”, “The Wire” and “The Shield” as his favorites. He was describing how he went all fanboy when he met the people who were involved with “The Shield” and his reaction to the last episode :

“I was like ‘Remember? Right? At the end? Right? Did you see that coming? …I sure didn’t.’ “

I could’ve sworn by the way his eyes lit up that it was Christmas Day and he just got the toy he was waiting for his whole life under that tree.

Another reason for his eyes lighting up? Confirmation that the show has been picked up for another two seasons.

Despite a change in time for when the show comes on (at the time of the interview, we were told it’s coming on at a later time slot), Bill said that they don’t plan on making any changes to the show. He doesn’t see the show getting “rougher” and wants to keep it the same because “there’s an inherent sweetness to the show”. I can’t wait to see what comes next. When I first heard about this show, I thought this was about a couple of super geniuses and their hot chick neighbor. I couldn’t figure out how this would be funny and full of sugary goodness. Then again, we all know how wrong I could be when making snap judgments…like when I was trying to figure out “Lost” and “The Hangover.”

big-bang-theory-7.jpgWe talked a bit about the characters and all the relationships they face in the show. When asked about Leonard and Penny, he said that he had JUST read on the Internet that the Leonard and Penny situation has resolved and that they are going to be in a relationship. When pressed further, he smiled and said “I saw it on the Internet so it must be true.” Argh!! What a way to answer but not answer a question. What he will say is that we’ll keep discovering a sense of the characters. When we looked a little confused (or maybe it was just me), he said that this show isn’t like a paradigm show because the characters grow slowly.

He explains the weirdest part is in how they write in terms of character development. They realized that they can’t write a story arc spread out over six episodes. Any attempts to cram the characters into the story sounded like the way a toddler might take pieces from two completely different puzzles and try to force a perfect fit. End result? Total Epic Fail.

The way the characters grow on this show takes on more of an intuitive feel. For example, he acknowledges that “the intellectual approach was to never connect them two,” meaning Leonard and Penny, but “the emotional approach is that they hook up, break apart, hook up and so on. That’s just what they do at their age.” When they write away from how everything should feel, then they realize pretty quickly that it doesn’t work so they scrap the idea. Hey, if it ain’t broke….

As long as we were talking about character development, I was kind of curious about how they found inspiration for their characters. I asked him for some real life examples and their influences on the show. He started cracking up and told us the story of this one programmer he used to work with.

This one man could have a totally normal conversation with the fellas but “the moment someone like you,” and he’s looking at me, “were to talk into the room, he’d just stop. Completely stop talking.”

As in, the man is utterly incapable of speech when he’s in the presence of the opposite sex.

Wow. I, just by virtue of being a female, can render someone speechless. For a second there, I had a vision that I was like He-Man or something waving that crazy sword around while screaming “I HAVE THE POOOOWER!!!” I know He-Man’s a guy and it’d be more politically correct if I said I was like She-Ra but she didn’t say “I HAVE THE POOOWER!!”

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