'The Big Bang Theory' Continues To Defy Critics: What’s The Secret To Its Success?

Karlene Trudell

Critics don't like The Big Bang Theory.

"I think what keeps me away are two things: one, the multi-cam laugh-track comedy feels inferior in this day and age, and two, no one I know watches it, so there's no one to talk to about it," says The Atlantic entertainment writer Joe Reid.

While Jim Parsons has won Emmy awards for his role as Sheldon Cooper, the show -- although nominated several times -- has never won one. Nor has it ever been nominated for writing or directing.

And The Inquisitr recently reported that several critics found the new season 'insufficient in the humor department."

Yet, even after seven seasons, The Big Bang Theory is one of the most-watched shows on American television and the most-watched sitcom around the world, according to TV Guide.

So how do four geeks and a ditsy blonde stay on top of the ratings?

Parsons told Vulture in May of this year that he thinks it's because the very thing Reid doesn't like -- the simple, multi-cam look of the show -- is what the fans love about it. "It's a bit of eye candy in its own way," he says. "Maybe it's just literally fun to look at."

He also credits The Big Bang Theory's easy to follow story line and the fact that the main characters haven't changed much over the years.

"There's not anything to keep up with. You don't go, 'I didn't see the first three seasons, and now they're off with prostitutes, and they no longer work in the Mafia, and I don't understand what happened.' People have so many choices on TV now, so no one's asking for you to marry us. You can enjoy our show without a weekly appointment."

Others have different ideas about The Big Bang's success.

Katherine Brodsky, a Variety writer, was quoted in The Guardian as saying, "This is the age of the geek and The Big Bang Theory's popularity is a reflection of a massive cultural shift where we're celebrating the brainy, the intellectual and the different -- instead of making them an outcast. Big Bang Theory lets audiences identify with and be part of that geek world. The jock and high school beauty queen are dead."

The Guardian also says that the concept of geniuses being no different than "regular people" is a big factor in The Big Bang's appeal. The characters are easy to identify with. Sheldon, Penny, Leonard, and their friends have insecurities and problems -- despite being smart, successful, or, in Penny's case, beautiful -- and that gives them real human qualities that fans love.

Add in the fact that geek culture is becoming mainstream and it makes the show's popularity "the natural evolution of a changing pop culture ecosystem."

"It's got universally appealing humor that reaches across demographics, which I think is a big part of its appeal." Brodsky says. "It's clever yet accessible."

So who cares what the critics think?

[Image via Bölüm Rehberi]