I remember when I first heard the premise of "The Big Bang Theory." The lives of two geeks are turned upside down when an attractive young woman moves in next door? What kind of show is that, I remember thinking. But it was from Chuck Lorre, who created "Two and a Half Men," so I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
And right from the getgo, "Bang" sucked me in with great characters full of heart that you instantly cared about. Leonard (Johnny Galecki) was clearly meant to be the lead, but Sheldon (Jim Parsons) stole every scene he was in as Sheldon was a character unlike any we had ever seen on TV before. He was a geeky genius who believed he was above everyone else, but his naivety about life itself kept him from being obnoxious. As weird as Sheldon was, he was completely loveable.
However, Sheldon couldn't stay the naive geek forever and so little by little he grew as a person, eventually falling in love and getting married. And Sheldon wasn't the only one who matured as the show went on as Penny (Kaley Cuoco) grew from an airheaded farm girl into a strong, successful woman and Leonard became her loving, caring husband. Howard (Simon Helberg), the sleazy gigolo became a loving family man and Raj (Kunal Nayyar), though unlucky at love, finally got over not being able to talk to women. With each step in a character's growth came new stories keeping "Bang" from becoming what could have easily been a one-note show.
But what I will always love about "Bang" is that it never shied away from its sci-fi loving roots. And as a bit of a sci-fi geek myself, I appreciated having that genre hit the mainstream in such a big way. When Sheldon ruined Penny and Stuart's first date arguing with him about which of Batman's sidekicks made the best Robin, I totally followed the argument and could actually take a side. And when Sheldon and Amy's first time was juxtaposed with the premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"? Brilliant.
As I write this, I have no idea how the show will end. But I can only hope that each of the characters finds their happiness without giving up who they truly are. Because that is the real lesson "Bang" has taught all of us: True love means not having to hide your comic collection.
"The Big Bang Theory" two-episode series finale begins at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 16 on CBS. "Unraveling the Mystery," a special retrospective of the show airs at 9:30 p.m., following the season finale of "Young Sheldon."
Angela Henderson-Bentley writes about television for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.