Saturday, March 1, 2008
Come Back, Little Sheldon
As everyone knows by now, the Writers Guild of America strike is over, having ended on its 100th day. One of the best things about the strike’s end (aside from the return of so many to gainful employment) is that many favorite television series will soon return. A series I was concerned might be adversely affected (i.e., never be seen again) is the freshman comedy The Big Bang Theory, which I mentioned way back here, and which I was really rooting for. Fortunately, CBS has stuck by the show, endlessly re-running the eight episodes that had been completed pre-strike. With the strike over, the network has ordered nine more episodes. It’s encouarging to see this well-crafted, beautifully played, offbeat series succeed. Jim Parsons, certainly an amazing comic find, portrays the breakout character, the strangely unsmiling, oddly endearing genius-IQ physicist Sheldon (astute moviegoers will remember Mr. Parsons as Zach Braff’s friend-in-the-armor-suit in Garden State). Johnny Galecki, who is always terrific in everything he’s in, from TV’s Roseanne to the indie film hit The Opposite of Sex, is fellow physicist (and somewhat more self-aware) Leonard. Sheldon and Leonard (apparently named in honor of the great Sheldon Leonard, producer of such great TV comedies as the classic shows starring Danny Thomas, Dick Van Dyke and Andy Griffith) make a top–notch (to say nothing of eccentric) comedy team. The new post-strike episodes start airing March 17, and in fact, The Big Bang Theory has been picked up for a new season, the only new 2007-2008 show renewed by CBS. With this smart comedy having survived the strike, there’s hope that smart may indeed become the new sexy.