Posted by Joan Kayse Feb 13 2012, 2:00 am in Big Bang Theory, characters, Joan Kayse
When contemplating my topic for today’s post, I thought I should do more to talk about the writing aspect of my existence. But I enjoy finding fun topics to chat about. While my new Irish mythology paranormal series isn’t quite ready to bring out of the fairy mound, it’s filled with lots of great characters (think hot, sexy, smouldering, magical warriors) I could still talk about something fun. Characterization in modern television sitcoms at the Phd level….
That’s what Dr. Sheldon Cooper would say when he was “joshing” you. Oh, we’ll still talk about fun, inventive and totally compelling characters. The gang from The Big, Bang Theory my favorite show!
The writers of this sitcom are brilliant! Two nerdy college physicist share an apartment where, along with their two equally geeky friends and a sexy, community college educated and aspiring actress neighbor live their day to day lives in their own little world. I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t latch onto this series till last year but have spent that year (thank you rerun land) catching up and can pass a trivia quiz with flying colors. Let’s look at the gang:
LEONARD. Leonard is the most socialized of the crew. He’s an experimental physicist and one smart lactose intolerant cookie. He really longs to be normal but his IQ gets in the way….that an a emotionally distant mother . He acts as a buffer between neighbor Penny and half the world around his roommate Sheldon who has no filters. He excels at such things as HALO, Klingon boggle and trying to fit in with “normal” people or rather “muggles”.
HOWARD. An Aerospace engineer, he is singularly noted to be the only one of the group without a Phd. He still lives with his mother with whom he has a classic love/hate relationship, considers himself a “sex god” with all the smooth moves including his dickey….CLOTHES PEOPLE! CLOTHES! His wardrobe is a mish mash of skinny, low slung god awful looking pants with HUGE beltbuckles and color coordianted turtleneck dickey under his shirts. He uses his master’s degree in engineering to hardwire things including the Mars rover which he remotely crashed in an attempt to impress a woman. One of his greatest claims to fame is that he only has 3% body fat….which prompts his buddies to call him a human chicken wing!
Raj. Poor Rajesh. An astrophysicist, he suffers from selective mutism, his deep shyness keeping him from being able to speak to women unless he’s had alcohol. Faced with having to speak to a female FBI agent, he resorts to stuffing rum cake down his throat. A rebel, he eats beef here in America, but still deals with his parents remote control video chats from India urging him to settle down with a “nice Indian girl.”
Penny. The beautiful neighbor whom Leonard falls for at first episode. A transplant from Nebraska, she works at the Cheesecake factory and aspires to be an actress. Over the course of the series, she’s had a relationship with Leonard and delights in aggravating Sheldon. Except for the time she took care of him when he was sick.
Sheldon. My favorite theoretical physicist. I swear, after watching five years worth of episodes, I believe I understand string theory. Sheldon considers himself a rare mutation, possibly a progeny of some advanced civilization left in the crib of an East Texas Evangelical mother. As a child, he tried to build a nuclear reactor. His IQ is immearsuable but he lacks social skills and emotional maturity. He’s baffled by the mundane social rituals of everyday life distilling it down to the protocol of offering a visitor “a hot beverage.” He is logical to the nth degree and has no filters. This makes it difficult for him to keep a secret. He’s passionate too, holding a grudge against Will Wheaton, the actor from Star Trek: Next Generation for years and nearly suffers a breakdown when an unknown person invades his Warcraft online world and steals Glenn, his battle ostrich.
The past few years have seen the addition of Howard’s fiance Bernadette and Sheldon’s girlfriend and Penny’s “bestie” Amy Farrah Fowler. Throw in an array of secondary characters like Stuart the comic book store owner, sweatpants guy, Leslie Winkle and Kwpkri and you can’t help but laugh.
Do you watch The Big Bang Theory? Who is your favorite character? Can you relate to any of them? Name three things that would earn you “nerd” status.
* Click on the images for snippets from the show. CBS and Big Bang…you rock!
Posted by Nancy Northcott May 26 2009, 6:07 am in Body Movers mysteries, characters, Stephanie Bond
Today we welcome award-winning author Stephanie Bond to the lair. Stephanie left a corporate computer programming job to write fiction full-time. To date, she’s sold almost 50 romance and mystery novels. Stephanie currently writes the BODY MOVERS humorous mystery series. Today she’ll share some reader reactions to her characters.
The characters in my first published romantic comedy were Ellie and Mark Sutherland. Over twelve years later, I still get emails from readers asking, “So what are Ellie and Mark up to these days? Any children?” Those emails make me smile, because it’s flattering when readers feel as if the characters I’ve created are real people, whose lives go on after the book ends.
By far, the character I receive the most email about in my BODY MOVERS sexy mystery series is Wesley Wren, the younger brother of the main character. Wesley is a 19-year-old man-child whose parents abandoned him and his older sister over ten years ago, and left them to fend for themselves. The Wren children were raised with silver spoons in their mouths–the best of everything, including private schools. At the time their parents skipped town to avoid being prosecuted for a white collar crime, Wesley was 10 years old and Carlotta was 18. Carlotta was barely equipped to take care of herself, much less her younger brother, who was traumatized by the sudden disappearance of his parents. To make things worse, Wesley was a slight, bespectacled child with a genius IQ, so he didn’t fit in at school, especially not when faced with the rude awakening of going from private school to public school. Carlotta indulged him–she was, after all, the one who’d held him every night when he cried himself to sleep after their parents disappeared. No one but Carlotta knows how much he suffered. So when Wesley’s behavior turned mischievous, she overlooked it. And later, when his behavior turned destructive, she was powerless to stop it. More than a sister, but not quite a mother, Carlotta can only advise, threaten, hope and pray.
Wesley is too smart for his own good. Instead of going to college, he opted to make his living cobbling together computers and playing Texas Hold ‘Em poker. He’s gotten himself in deep debt to two loan sharks, Father Thom and The Carver. But he’s not all bad…he loves his sister dearly, and he does all the cooking. He’s a lovable, down-on-his-luck, good-looking (think Leonardo DiCaprio) almost-man.
And apparently, from all the emails I get from maternal women who want to wring his silly neck, he’s very real to them. Most of the readers admit that they are mothers themselves, many with children older than Wesley, and they all have a remedy to cure his bad behavior, ranging from family therapy to tough love. I read all the e-mails with great fondness and big smiles because if Wesley triggers such high emotion from readers, that means he’s a real person to them.
I get a lot of email about Carlotta, too, mostly from people wanting to know which of the three men who are interested in her she will pick–the hunky cop Jack who arrested her brother and reopened her parents’ case, the sexy body-moving Coop, who is Wesley’s boss and has such a good influence on the young man, or the persistent Peter, her first love, who is now back in her life and trying to make amends for dumping her when her parents’ scandal broke all those years ago. I think it’s wonderful that readers have their own opinions as to who she should end up with. (As of this writing, reader feedback is running 49% Jack, 49% Coop, and 2% Peter.) That means readers are vested in her choice–Carlotta is real to them.
And then there are the, ahem, nasty e-mails. I’ve received a few about the sister-brother body-moving duo. There’s the reader who thinks the Wren children are “the most wretched people walking the face of the earth.” And the reader who thinks Carlotta “is a slut because she’s stringing along three men.” The same reader thinks Wesley “is a drugged-out punk who never learns from his mistakes. I hope he gets shot dead.”
Okey-dokey. Well, it’s one thing to be rooting for a character and hoping they’ll make this decision or that decision, and to be disappointed when they do something ill-advised…but to despise a character so much that you let them ruin your day…hm. That might be taking things a little too far.
Just remember–when characters do things that make you crazy, it’s a good thing. If characters were boring and predictable, you’d lose interest, right? When the first BODY MOVERS book was released, I was a guest at a book club discussing the book and one member commented, “Carlotta seems like the kind of character who’s going to make a lot of bad decisions before she makes a good one.” Then the reader grinned and added, “Gee, I hope so.”
How about you–do you let book characters make you crazy? Why do you think you’re critical of particular characters–do they perhaps remind you of people in your own life?
Stephanie is giving away a signed copy of 4 Bodies and a Funeral to one commenter!
Books 4, 5 and 6 in the BODY MOVERS series will be released back to back April, May, and June 2009. (Books 1-3 are still available at all Internet bookstores.) For more information, go to www.stephaniebond.com. To read an excerpt of book 4 in the BODY MOVERS series, 4 BODIES AND A FUNERAL, click here. Stephanie is speaking at the June Georgia Romance Writers meeting on the topic “What are You Waiting For?” — How to identify and overcome obstacles, real and imagined, standing in the way of taking your writing career to the next level.
After the GRW meeting, she’ll be signing all 3 books in the Body Movers trilogy at the Barnes & Noble at The Forum.