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Were The Female Characters In The Big Bang Theory Really That Important?
2023/07/23

Highlights

The Big Bang Theory was originally intended to have an all-female cast, but this concept was scrapped before the show was created. The introduction of female characters in later seasons shifted the focus of the show and made the female characters the heart of the series. The female characters, such as Bernadette and Amy, had a positive impact on the male characters, leading to character development and growth. The show became an inspiration for strong women everywhere.

The Big Bang Theory is one of the most popular sitcoms to date, despite having been off-air since 2019. It has created a number of much-loved characters, including Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj, with the former going on to star in the prequel to the series, Young Sheldon.

Despite the men seemingly being the main focus of the series, particularly in the first few seasons, as the series progressed, it seemed to bring in more focus on the female characters. But given that they all seemed to be brought together by the male characters, was there ever really any need for the introduction of female characters?

The Big Bang Theory Was Meant To Have An All-Female Cast

Whenever any new TV show is being created and pitched to TV channels, they tend to go through quite a lot of versions of the original concept of the show before any channel will agree to give it a chance, let alone actually get a series out of the whole show.

The same can be seen in The Big Bang Theory. Multiple versions of the show were thrown around before they even managed to get a pilot, including having a character called 'Katie' instead of Penny, with the character being changed due to the test audience hating her.

But before this, the show's creator, Chuck Lorre, wanted to take the show in an entirely different direction. This direction was to have an all-female cast.

It might be worth noting at this point that this hasn't been confirmed by Lorre or anyone who worked on the show and is simply something that was posted on IMDb Trivia.

Thus, it's a bit questionable whether this is true or not, but it would be interesting (and different) to watch.

The Women Of The Big Bang Theory Were The Heart Of The Show

Despite the show initially being strongly focused on the male characters and Penny being the only main female character, when season three introduced two new female leads in the form of Bernadette and Amy, the show seemed to change direction gradually over time.

Given that it didn't have a strong female focus before this point and was mostly focused on the male characters, many are saying that due to the change in direction that the show took, it ended up making the women the heart of the show.

This is mostly due to the fact that the female characters were able to change the male characters for the better.

For example, Howard's character tended to view women as objects prior to Bernadette entering the show, but once the pair were in a relationship, his views shifted, and he went from being one of the most hated to the most loved characters on the show.

It appears that Amy also had a similar effect on Sheldon. In the early seasons, both characters came across as quite awkward on the show and were mostly focused on science. While the science element remained, they both seemed to mellow quite a bit and brought each other out of their respective shells.

This was mostly down to Amy. Where most people might have given up and despite the fact the pair broke up on the show for a short amount of time, she was quite patient with Sheldon and didn't try to implement too much change into his life too soon.

The people working behind the scenes also did a good job of progressing Penny's character. In the very first episode, viewers see that she's trying to make her mark as an actress while also working as a waitress and is struggling to pay her own way, so often relies on the guys to help her out.

This seems to change over time. While she might remain like this throughout the first half of the series, during the latter half, she gets a job as a pharmaceutical rep and though she gets married to Leonard, there is no mention of her having to rely on anyone, and it's also briefly mentioned that she ends up making more money than Leonard.

What Did The Cast Think Of The Female Characters?

What often helps with shows like this, especially where a show is long-running, is that the actors playing the characters are happy with where their character is going. Luckily,

Kaley Cuoco, Melissa Rauch, and Mayim Bialik made their feelings very clear on how their characters progressed throughout the show.

Melissa said what she loved most about her character was how she grew in maturity over time, saying she found her "big girl voice."

While Bernadette always remained highly competitive, she also went from having work as a high priority and wanting to get one over on her co-workers, to realizing that family was more important and trying to focus on that more.

Mayim was also pretty happy that the show demonstrated two female scientists in different ways. She liked that the show decided to focus on one that wore pretty dresses and another who dressed a bit more plainly, but both were celebrated for their scientific achievements.

Then, we have Kaley. She loved the direction Penny ended up going in and was also pretty happy that her character's last name was never revealed.

So all in all, the show had a focus on strong, powerful women with different personalities, and ended up becoming a good inspiration for women (and others) everywhere.

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