Saturday, 30 March 2013

The Big Bang Theory

I never watch TV. I get impatient during movies and I prefer to consume news in writing, from paper or web. But I enjoy sitcoms - and I enjoy them more if the characters somehow resemble me. My favourite show is the Big Bang Theory. Because the characters are scientists. And nerds. I like that and I like them. I like the ordinary girl of the show, too, though I don't really recognise myself in her. In fact, Penny is one of the two top stars of that show, but that is not my point.

My first point relates to the other top star of the show. The famous, brilliant and very annoying Dr. Sheldon Cooper. Here and there on the internet people have diagnosed Sheldon with Aspergers. Somebody (I forgot who) suggests that he has other diagnoses as well, or traits at least. Inter alia, his narcissism is far beyond what you'd normally see in an Aspie. More than one person with Asperger have been compared to Sheldon.

I like Sheldon a lot. He is much more quirky than I am, he has really perfected his Aspie-traits, and he lives it. Like he is proud, only that he isn't, he just lives Aspieness. So I can recognise myself, and laugh at myself simultaneously. He is both what I always wanted to be (true to myself), and what I am sad about in myself (always different no matter how hard I tried to be like everyone else). And he is very bright within his field, and clueless outside his field. This I can relate to as well. So when I laugh at Sheldon, I laugh at myself. Still, he is different from me in various ways. Gender-wise of course but also the fact that he never tries to be like everyone else, at least not sincerely.

Which leads me to my second point: Amy Farrah Fowler. She is probably Aspie, too, but as a woman it has been more important for her to fit in (whether the need to be part of a group is related to biological gender or cultural gender is not clear to me, but I observe this need in women and girls much more than in men and boys). So she tries to fit in. And fails. She tries to do the girl things. And fails. She talks wrong. She walks wrong. She dresses wrong. Her posture is wrong. She is either clingy or very distant. She doesn't see herself from the outside. Not in a realistic manner at least. I hate Amy. I hate being reminded of the pain of not fitting in, the pain of being embarrassing, the pain of being too much. While Sheldon lives quirkiness, Amy lives 'I-only-realise-I-am-too-much-afterwards'.

I really want to believe that I was the only one that discovered my being embarrassing at all those incidents throughout my life. But when I see Amy, I know that other people discovered it, too. When I talked too loud. When I over-shared. When I said the wrong thing or said it in a wrong context. When I was too blunt, too honest, too affectionate, too much...

And Amy reminds me of me. In the most brutal, non-empathic and painful way.


  1. I like The Big Bang Theory too (have seen all the episodes I could find on YouTube...). Amy is actually my favourite character. I agree that she is aspie too, but much more complex and unpredictable than Sheldon, because she is less stereotypical (or just more female-aspie like) than Sheldon. I think Amy is cute... Clever, know-it-all and socially clueless in the same time with some directly repulsive aspects of her character freely visible.

    Penny is my second favourite character - hilarious in her exaggerated 'normality', in how she makes everybody else look like weirdos.

    And of course Sheldon, who is probably the main star of the show (the one who is typically highlighted). Sheldon's arrogance remind me of my dad's arrogance... My dad basically seems to think that he is the only normal person in the world, everybody else are slightly off compared to him. So that is one of my favourite aspects of Sheldon's character because it brings up unintentionally (from my dad's side) outrageous/hilarious memories from my childhood.

    Raz is hilarious too... Actually I think all the characters are hilarious in their own way and the constellation of them all contrasts extreme personalities, which is what makes the series funny and interesting to watch.

    Ps. So you don't watch TV either? Neither do I. I didn't watch much TV earlier, but after I moved to Australia 7 years ago, that became 'never' (Almost. I watched some of the soccer world cup in 2010, and I don't have any principle about not watching TV, it just doesn't happen). Apparently some people find not watching TV strange.

    1. I don't have a not-watching-TV-principle either. Once in a while I sit down in front of the TV, expecting to be entertained. After about half an hour of zapping I switch the TV off, and pick up a book instead. Since I am not very fond of movies either I have developed a theory of absorption-speed. I think I am most comfortable when I consume fiction/entertainment in my own speed. My own speed is sometimes faster, sometimes slower than other people's speed.

      I agree that all characters on TBBT are hilarious, and I like most of the characters on the show. Howard is despicable though ;)

      I see your point but Amy still makes me sad. She is so eager for friendship and intimacy, that she never succeeds in achieving it. I do like her a little bit after watching the extra material. The actress playing Amy is very pretty and she seems very confident. I know the actress is not her character but it still gives me hope ;)

      My husband and I discuss the subject of Amys love interest. I think she teams up with Sheldon in a very practical acknowledgement of her never getting a 'real' boyfriend (which is what society expects), and she is more in love with Penny than she is with Sheldon. My husband believes that Amy is truly in love with Sheldon. What do you think?

    2. I think Amy is bisexual and attracted to Penny, and also to Sheldon. I think she admires Sheldon't prestige, and that she is somewhat 'infected' by Sheldon't great admiration for himself!

      Maybe Amy makes you sad, if aspects of her (the ones you mention) remind you of yourself. I am not at all like Amy. I don't share her strong desire to be normal and fit in with the girls or her style, and I am not a scientist like her. Her look is also far from how I look and have ever looked. All that gives me a safe distance to find her antics hilarious and be intrigued about the tendencies I do recognise in myself without feeling overwhelmed by them!

      I think I get what you say about absorption speed. I like movies, but rarely agree to see a movie because I tend to get very affected by them and have flashbacks and keep speculating about them of weeks! and also because I have things 'queuing' that I would rather do, and may get restless watching a movie, feeling that it is either too slow or too confusing.

      The exception is movies that I have already seen many times before. There are a few movies that my husband and I have watched 60+ times, I'm pretty sure (not that we have counted, just loosely counting the days we have seen them... Which in some cases, was many many days in a row over a long period of time... I know that may sound a bit odd, but it was a cosy routine. and as a fringe benefit, quotes from those movies are mixed into our everyday communication... that is useful).

      Generally, I prefer to watch short episodes and documentaries on YouTube, where I can control the speed, pause and rewind et.c... or read articles or books.

      Thanks for your reply! and sorry I first see it now. That's an typical issue I have with blogspot, as mentioned earlier... I forget to check for comment reply manually because I'm used to automatically get notifications in my dashboard.

    3. Yes I am familiar with your views on blogspot ;)

      I used to receive all my blog-news in Google reader, regardless of the CMS. Now Google reader is closing and I am not up-to-date with anything anymore (except for my own blog of course, here the lack of up-to-date-ness is a different issue ;)). I've installed another reader on my smartphone, but - as with changes generally - I don't like it, hence I don't use it.

      Your analysis of Amy and me is on the spot. The stooped scientist in the odd, androgynous clothes, that's me! Only I was never infatuated with another woman, most women scare me, but I trespassed so many other boundaries in my eagerness to fit in.

      Only now, when I am on the wise side of forty, have I embraced that I will never fit in. A part of me wish that it had happened earlier.

    4. Yay, a new reply!

      I switched feed reader to feedly when I heard Reader will close (anyway, it is not closed yet). Feedly uses Reader as its backend, but rumour has it that they are working on a solution which will be ready before Reader closes. That means that all my Reader feeds were automatically imported to feedly, and anything I ad on feedly is automatically added on Reader too (a s long as it lasts).

      Also, feedly's interface is much nicer and smoother and better organised... I would have changed earlier had I known that.

      And I use FlipBoard on my tablet. It shows Reader as one of the news streams, and the interface is delicious.

      Anyway, none of those keep track of comment feeds. Wordpress does, but only for Wordpress blogs... and I also use Disquss and Open ID et.c.

    5. ... but that was not really the interesting part of the discussion.

      I thought that might be the case, with Amy:-) and I can see what you mean with her trying so hard to fit in. Congratulation with your embracing of not fitting in! I think I have achieved a similar kind of peace of mind in that area. Except I was never really close to fitting in, in the sense Amy is trying for (fitting into a group of girly girls) and did not really try because there was no hope.

    6. PS. You current background theme looks like central Australia! or Mars, except there are no roads or windmills on Mars.

    7. Re: reader: You are right about the comments. In fact this happens to me as well, if I leave a comment I'll have to go back and check if it has been answered. And then I forget... :/
      Re: Amy: I was never close to fitting in with the girls either. I've joined new basket or handball teams several times, and stopped after six months or a year because I failed my attempts at fitting in. Mixed groups and groups dominated by men are much easier to fit into.
      Re: Background: I picked the theme because of the colours, but I see what you mean :)