Last Thursday on The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon and Amy finally consummated their relationship after more than five years of dating and a brief breakup. In the episode, Sheldon is portrayed as giving his willingness to proceed with intimacy, in which something Amy has long expressed interest, as his birthday gift to her. While the episode was well-received by fans, Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy, revealed on her Grok Nation blog that two questions were often asked about the incident: whether Sheldon was “good” and if Amy was “satisfied.”
Bialik, a self-proclaimed feminist, author of books on parenting and holder of a Ph.D. in neuroscience, objected to the language used to discuss the incident. She wrote that she and co-star Jim Parsons were faced with phrasing that put the discussion in gendered terms, even though both Big Bang Theory characters had never experienced physical intimacy before Thursday’s episode.
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Bialik cited two points as her “feminist moments.”
“[O]ur culture constantly places sex – even between two virgins – as an act that is judged or classified or compartmentalized by the skill of the male.
“[T]he way our culture talks about the act of sex is by framing it as what is done to the female.”
The Emmy-nominated actor said she chose to answer the two questions by saying Sheldon’s skill was irrelevant, since that was not the point of the episode. As for Amy’s feelings, she referred to the character’s physical appearance — tousled hair — after the act itself.
Big Bang Theory executive producer Steven Molaro confirmed in an interview with Yahoo TV that a great deal of planning went into the episode, and he was happy with the results. He praised Bialik and Parsons’ performances, and added that the emotional aspects of the characters’ journeys were important to convey.
“I think we knew for a while that nervousness, especially on the part of Amy, was going to play a big part of it. That seemed very real to us. For all her talk and all her waiting, as a grown woman now facing this moment in her life, I think nerves and fear would be a very real part of that. That’s what we tried to capture.”
Molaro was contemplative when asked about the timing of the episode. Sheldon and Amy have had many landmarks in their relationship. Sheldon, as a character, has evolved beyond the socially challenged scientist in the show’s early years, whom many viewers thought might have an identifiable diagnosis (which Parsons and Big Bang Theory producers have denied, as Inquisitr has reported). Molaro says the intimacy with Amy is another detail in the characters’ stories.
“Our biggest concern with the show was doing it right and honoring the characters, more than the actual timeline.
“While it’s huge for them, obviously, it’s also, Sheldon has a plan in place, and it’s still Sheldon and Amy, when it’s all said and done. So as far as the timeline goes, I think we feel pretty comfortable with it.”
In terms of Sheldon’s “plan,” Molaro may have been referring to the episode’s other details. Sheldon assesses other “gifts” he might give to Amy, instead of intimacy, including a solo trip to a wool festival because she likes to knit sweaters.
Bialik, for her part, ended her blog post by reminding readers that television, despite its role as entertainment, can still teach.
Last Thursday was the season 9 winter finale of The Big Bang Theory. The show will return with new episodes in 2016. It has been confirmed to run through the end of season 10 on CBS.
[Feature image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment]