"The Big Bang Theory" started out as a predominantly male cast, but over the seasons more and more women have made their mark on the witty show. This has often begged the question, are the women of the show represented fairly?
Penny (Kaley Cuoco) is a pretty, laid back, and somewhat ditsy neighbor to the geeky physicists. At first, Penny's major characteristic was her hotness - her outfits, especially in the first episodes were extremely skimpy. However, as time as gone on, Penny has come into her own and, even though she doesn't always get the "Star Trek" references of her building mates, she is able to hold her own with Leonard and his friends. Often, Penny is able to show that her street-smarts count for more than the academic achievements of Leonard and the guys.
One of the first female scientists to make an appearance on "The Big Bang Theory," Leslie Winkle, played by Sara Gilbert. She was portrayed as being more intelligent than Sheldon. She was also one of Leonard's sexual liaisons, with her being in the driver's seat of the whole experience. The only thing that the character of Leslie Winkel lacked was likeability. Even though she was written as a strong female character that was smart and sexually independent, she didn't seem to have something to commend her to the audience, aside from her lightning ability to insult Sheldon.
Amy Farrah Fowler
Amy Farrah Fowler (played by real-life scientist, Mayim Bialik) is the genius counter-part to Sheldon Cooper. Amy is portrayed, like the male scientists, at being a complete genius in the lab, but completely hopeless in social situations. Although she is Sheldon's girlfriend, she is also totally enamored with Penny, who she calls "bestie." In a recent episode, Amy commissioned a gigantic portrait of Penny and herself as a gift for the bewildered waitress. In terms of intellect, Amy is definitely portrayed as being equally intelligent as the other physicists and equally as awkward.
Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) is Howard Wolowitz's fiancé. With wedding vows looming for this couple, Bernadette is supporting Howard through his training to become an astronaut. She also makes more money than Howard, which is a sore point for the NASA engineer. In a recent episode it was revealed that she doesn't want children. Her solution, "Since I make way more money than you [Howard] anyway, what if you stayed home with the kids?...You'll watch Barney and pull Cheerios out of their noses...And I'll work and have conversations with people my own age and enjoy my life."
Well, it certainly seems that the female characters on "The Big Bang Theory" are as zany and flawed as the male characters, even if there were fewer of them in the beginning. I look forward to seeing how all of them evolve and change this season.
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