Thursday June 20, 2013
Catching up with Kaley Cuoco
By ANGELIN YEOH
Catching up with Kaley Cuoco on the latest season of The Big Bang Theory.
WHEN The Big Bang Theory premiered in 2007, some critics were unkind towards the show’s brand of nerdy humour, claiming that it mercilessly “clubs audience over the head with the same that’s-how-nerdy-they-are jokes”. They thought it was lame and wanted it dead.
The primetime sitcom focuses on the daily lives of brainy housemates Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), a theoretical physicist with an IQ of 187, and Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), an experimental physicist with an IQ of 173.
The nerds and their equally nerdy friends – aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) – are such geeks that no conversation is complete without one of them referencing lines from Star Wars, Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica. And no ... they’re not exactly hot stuff in the chick department, either.
Adding to the mix is the ditzy (and literally) girl-next-door Penny (Kaley Cuoco), who is Sheldon’s usual pain-in-the-neck and the others’ object of desire. Critics weren’t too happy with the character. One even described Penny as “bland”.
Well, now it seems Cuoco (and the rest of the cast and crew) is having the last laugh. The show is now one of the most successful American sitcoms around, having won numerous awards.
The latest one is the recent 2013 Critics’ Choice Awards, where both Helberg and Cuoco won the Best Supporting Actor and Actress awards, respectively. The show was also named Best Comedy Series.
In an interview transcript provided by HyppTV, Cuoco mentions that she has always had a feeling that the show would be successful.
“I knew it from the very first episode. I knew we’d created something funny and entertaining and different. We had an incredible cast and funny stories to tell ... I had a feeling that it was all going to work out. Thankfully, I was right,” said Cuoco.
Perhaps, she’s the real genius here. The Big Bang Theory is now in its sixth season and much has changed since the show first aired.
For starters, Sheldon is now in a relationship with Amy (Mayim Bialik), a neuroscientist. Cuoco shares her opinion on Penny’s budding friendship with Amy.
“Amy is a good friend and she always wants to help. Some people think there’s a little bit more to the relationship, but I’m not sure about that.
“However, I know Amy literally likes being the shoulder Penny cries on. It’s very sweet. Penny can rely on her.”
The series also focuses on Penny’s on-off relationship with Leonard. Their relationship took off in Season Three and the lovebirds’ biggest problem is their insecurities.
“Oh, there’s always a problem with those two – but that’s part of the fun of the show. At the end of day, I think they’re just really good friends for now. That’s what I honestly believe.
“Down the line, like at the end of the show, I really hope they are together – but right now, I think it’s probably not right for them,” said Cuoco.
The actress feels that the character needs some time off from the fiery relationship.
“Penny dating (other guys) ... that would be fun. She hasn’t really done that in a very long time, so it would be cool to see it on the show.”
Apart from relationships, Cuoco also hopes the show will finally introduce Penny’s mother – the only parent who has yet to make an appearance.
“I think Lisa Kudrow is at the perfect age to play Penny’s mother because the character is just like a little Lisa. I see her hitting on all the guys. That would be so much fun! She could arrive on the show as a ‘cougar’ but you’d get the feeling this has happened many times before.”
Considering Penny’s sibling issues – she once described her brother who operates a meth lab as “kind of a chemist” – her idea to have a “troubled” mother makes sense.
“All the siblings are so messed up with parole and other nonsense. You have to have a reason behind where that comes from: Their mother.”
The Big Bang Theory is filmed in front of a live studio audience, and the show is known for its sharp writing and hilarious banter between the characters.
However, there are moments when a joke falls flat and Cuoco reveals how the writers “fix” such nerve-wracking moments.
“Some jokes just don’t work and you get stuck in the middle of the scene waiting for laughs that are never going to happen. You think to yourself, ‘well, that didn’t work’.”
She added, “You just keep going. You carry on with the scene, but as soon as you stop – the writers jump into action. You’ll see 30 people running from out of the darkness with 30 new ideas.”
The writers would have it all figured out and eventually get the desired effect on the audience.
“In the end, they always get a laugh. The writers know what they’re doing and they know what’s funny. We rarely get killed on a joke. It just doesn’t happen.”
Catch the latest season of The Big Bang Theory on Warner TV (HyppTV Ch 613) every Wednesday at 9.30pm.