Alriiiight, let’s talk about sitcom wives. The general role they’ve had all the way back since The Honeymooners was to be the voice of reason to balance out the craziness their husbands bring each week. The husband does something impulsive, the wife tells him how stupid it is to have done that. The husband wants to do something fun and irresponsible, the wife is always there to stop him. This is how it is, and it made sense for a while. Long ago, women were always seen as less intelligent and less capable than men, so in order to subvert that sitcom writers decided it’d be cool to to portray women as the smart and responsible ones married to men who are less intelligent and immature. Unfortunately this stuck long after people needed to be reminded that women are just as intelligent and capable as men, and what we have now is so much worse as a result. Leading women in comedy these days are worse than idiots, worse than flighty numbskulls, and worse than any diva brat the misogynist writers of old could possibly cook up. Women in comedy today are buzz kills. They’re here to tell their family to not do this or that, and to act like some lame authority figure that must be reported to or else they’ll nag. How many times do we see Homer desperately trying to appease Marge for disobeying her wishes to not do whatever dumb and irresponsible thing he did that week? How many times did we hear sitcom dads use the phrase “If my wife finds out, she’s going to kill me”? The answer to both those questions is “far too many times”. Recently however, there has been a shift. To balance out their nagginess, writers have taken to giving sitcom wives “crazy” quirks or weaknesses where they act out of character to show that they can be funny too. Unfortunately it just comes off as a hollow attempt to invigorate the most boring character on their show. Linda Belcher of Bob’s Burgers however is different. She can be “crazy”, and fun, and be a loving mom and still stay true to her character. It’s an impressive feat, but it’s also a trick only this show can pull off.
The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper is a Joke on the Audience
Sheldon Cooper isn’t funny. The breakout usurper star of the immensely popular sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, who is quickly becoming a popcultural icon on the level of “The Fonz” of Happy Days and Steve Urkel of Family Matters (other stars who usurped the lead role from fellow cast mates due to their popularity) is mostly just a loathsome and ignorant person. It’s not that you can’t be those things and funny, but Sheldon’s particular brand of awfulness has gotten sour as of late. Before, Sheldon was merely selfish and believably unfamiliar with social cues, much like an overgrown child. Now that selfishness and obliviousness has rotted into this odd streak of maliciousness and willful ignorance of even the most basic social conventions. The way he treats his friends, his girlfriend, and his colleagues has gone past “funny” and moved firmly into insufferable territory. The worst part of his character is how the writers try to convince us that Sheldon is a decent person “deep down” and just doesn’t know how to show it. They give us stunning moments of “growth” for him, but they fall apart once you realize how unearned they are. The problem is, Sheldon isn’t just a misguided and naive child, he’s actually a full on ass hole and nothing shows that more clearly than this scene right here.
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