Admittedly with some delay, I finally managed to bring myself to watch the last ever (2-part) episode of the Big Bang Theory. It was brilliant!
I cried the whole way through Sheldon’s Nobel speech and thought that the writers really couldn’t have found a more perfect ending for this tale of epic friendship, scientific genius, social awkwardness, and finest geekdom!
Once I managed to get over the devastating thought that there will never be a new episode of my favourite show to watch, I thought about all the reasons why the writing seemed so flawless and came up with the following writing lessons which I will cherish for the rest of my author career:
The Characters were consistent and true to themselves to the very last word of the show. No character trait was out-of-place. From Sheldon’s usual, self-centred behaviour to the friends’ unconditional love for the awkward sod, the last episode was in line with the structure of every other episode I can recall. It goes something like this: Sheldon encounters something that makes him angry, scared, irritated (etc) and everybody else tries to help him through it…until Sheldon’s behaviour drives everybody nuts and to the brink of desperation where – in the end – one or more of the friends (mostly Leonard and Penny) take on a parent-like role and find a way to resolve the situation/ conflict.
2 Tying up loose story ends
I have lost count of how many references to Sheldon winning the Nobel Prize were dropped throughout the show but the fact that Sheldon’s big dream came true made me a very happy Big bang Theory fan! Also I couldn’t have thought of a better way to cement the ending of the 12-season phenomenon than to fix up the elevator (or lift if you are from the UK), which had been broken ever since the first episode and has been a talking point throughout the show. I thought it was an utter stroke of genius how the writers managed to use this as a way to signal that the story had gone full circle and was coming to end. To me, it seemed that fixing the elevator also stands as a powerful metaphor for Sheldon’s learning curve throughout the show. In a way, his wonderful friendship with Leonard, Penny, Howard, Raj, Amy, and Bernadette ‘fixed’ him too by teaching him about emotions.
3 Revealing information fans never thought they were going to get
Hand on heart: did you ever wonder about the weird DNA model behind Sheldon’s spot? Did you even know it was meant to be DNA? And would you have thought that you were ever going to find out anything about it? If you’re anything like me, the answer to all three questions is probably ‘no’. I couldn’t have been more delighted about the brief scene that leads to Leonard and Sheldon fixing the model and discussing its purpose. This is not something the writers had to include. However, the fact that they did go to the trouble of putting in this level of detail made me feel that they not only cared about the show but that they also cared about me: the viewer and loyal fan for all of the 12 years that this show was running on TV. I’ll remember this when I come to the end of my next story.
What other writing lessons can we learn from the Big Bang Theory? Are there any other TV shows that have helped make you a better writer? If so, please share your thoughts/ favourite lessons in the comments below. Hope you are having a productive Sunday, filled with profound writing lessons. Also, now that the Big Bang Theory is finished, what are we going to watch next? Suggestions welcome in the comments below…