What you can learn from Sheldon Cooper’s mum

COMMENTS | John Sandeman
Wednesday 17 June 2015

Sheldon Cooper has a mother. Who knew? If that appears mysterious to you, Sheldon Cooper is the main character in Big Bang Theory, the comedy show that makes science really funny and seems to prop up the Channel Nine schedule.

In this nerdiest of shows, Cooper is somewhere on the autistic spectrum; the show is largely about the social embarrassments that result from his condition.

It’s also about academic pretensions. (Old fogey confession: the casual sex on this show really irritates me, so I don’t watch it very often. I gather that Sheldon’s mom comes in and out of the series for special occasions. But it’s a first for me. Sorry, fans.)

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 2.21.06 pmSheldon’s mom turns out to be a fundamentalist and a redneck parachuted into an elite college atmosphere of the show.

In the episode that grabbed my attention, Sheldon baits her:

“When the animals went in two by two what did they feed the lions,” he asks.

Mother: “The floating bodies of dead sinners.”

Asked when she realised she’d had a genius son, she replied, “When I was driving to church and praying for a son smarter than his dumb ass daddy, and I looked over and saw a bubble head Jesus in the back of a Subaru nodding at me.”

But just when we thought it was a standard Christian bash, the writers provided a subplot, drawing an interesting parallel between Sheldon’s mum’s parenting technique of unconditional love and that of Leonard’s mum (Leonard is the other lead character), whose method tends towards reward for achievement.

The fundamentalist comes out ahead.

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