Why You Should Watch The Big Bang Theory

Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Big Bang Theory (CBS)

No, we never thought we’d write the above headline either. But in case you missed Claudia Dreyfus’s brilliant interview with the CBS award-winning sitcom’s EP and script writers Eric Kaplan in The New York Times the other day, you really need to know that he is not trying to make the show about stereotypes. “Listen, it’s a story, not a thesis about how everyone is,” said Mr. Kaplan, in just about the most perfect excuse for a show ever given.

And then there was some Chuck Lorre-loving, which makes the whole interview sound like foreshadowing for a Charlie Sheen-level implosion on the production pretty soon.

The Nobel Prize physicist Leon Lederman spent years trying to interest Hollywood in a television series featuring scientists. He got nowhere. How did Chuck Lorre, who first developed your series, get it done?

Well, Chuck Lorre is an incredibly accomplished and successful television producer. Leon Lederman shouldn’t feel bad. I bet if Chuck Lorre wanted to run an experiment on a particle collider, they wouldn’t let him.

Lederman was told that nobody would want to watch a show about a bunch of nerds. Why was this assessment wrong?

I think that Chuck and Bill Prady, the show’s creators, figured out that the experience of being an outsider had universal appeal. The emotional pain at the heart of “The Big Bang Theory” is the feeling of being an outsider. Our characters, they don’t have to be scientists. They could be anybody who’s felt like an outsider.

Hmmm. Well, on one hand Chuck Lorre makes incredible successful sitcoms for CBS, and if he can make them about outcasts, so much the better. On the other hand, it’s no Super Fun Night, which isn’t even out yet but we feel safe in presuming will be much funnier than The Big Bang Theory.

On the other other hand, nothing can really beat Mr. Kaplan’s response for how he got where he is today:

How did you come to do the show?

I applied for a job.