We’re All One Big Dysfunctional Family
We are all from dysfunctional families in one way or another – some of us a little more dysfunctional than others. Big Bang shows us many personalities, and how this group of geeky scientists and their friends face the world is shown through their support system.
To look at this how this Big Bang family dynamic works, let’s start with Sheldon Cooper, played by Jim Parsons.
Sheldon Cooper, with all his quirks and phobias, has a support system in his family, both extended and blood-related. He is misunderstood, but loved and encouraged by those he keeps closest to him.
“My Mother Had Me Tested”
His mother, Mary Cooper, (Laurie Metcalf) probably misunderstands him the least, yet loves him the most. A Christian fundamentalist, opinionated, true-blooded East Texan had concerns if Sheldon was ‘crazy’ and “had him tested” in Houston – which was when her baby boy was declared genius.
She has two other children besides Sheldon: Missy, Sheldon’s fraternal twin, and older brother, George. When Sheldon was little, his alcoholic father George died. Mary has raised the three children with love and respect for their differences, but to her relief, her other children aren’t as exceptional as Sheldon. She told Leonard, “I thank the Lord my other kids are as dumb as soup.”
Mary is more wise than smart; and despite her Christian views, she is tolerant of other’s belief systems. But as she struggles to follow her beliefs, she influences Sheldon in his life choices. Leonard calls her ‘Sheldon’s Kryptonite’, calling her when he believes Sheldon is off-course in his life.
She is known to use reverse psychology to get Sheldon to do the right thing, as in coaxing him to go back to his girlfriend, Amy. Mary also keeps to her own values by not bending to Sheldon’s needs. In “The Rhinitis Revelation”, she went sight-seeing with the gang instead of staying home making Sheldon’s favorite foods and attending lectures with him.
Leonard and the rest of his friends all wish they had a mother more like Mary: loving, accepting, encouraging, and demonstrative of her love to her son.