The Big Bang Theory: Jim Parsons Live at the Paley Center
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As the all-too-logical, defiantly antisocial super-nerd Sheldon Cooper, Jim Parsons has taken writer Chuck Lorre's lovably infuriating creation and turned him into one of television's most hilarious characters.
This Paley Center for Media live event celebrates actor Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper on "The Big Bang Theory," the comedy series about two nerdy roommates who --despite their genius status -- try to blend into the world, spurred on by their pretty neighbor.
Ron Simon (television and radio curator, The Paley Center for Media) offers opening remarks and welcomes moderator Michelle Kung (culture reporter, The Wall Street Journal) to the stage. Kung then introduces Parsons.
Kung and Parsons touch on such topics as: the difficulty of his initial "Big Bang" audition; why he never makes suggestions about Sheldon's character to the writers; and the challenge of memorizing an excessive amount of scientific jargon for each script.
Questions from the audience then lead to a discussion of the following topics among others: the need for Parsons to educate himself about the show's cultural references via YouTube and Wikipedia; his "wonderful" experience attending a recent Comic-Con; and why he reveres the work of Robin Williams on "Mork and Mindy" and John Ritter on "Three's Company."
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Jim Parsons's characterization of Sheldon Cooper is truly magical. He strikes just the right notes of crazy-intelligent geeky socially awkward adult without turning it into a cartoon. So I was interested in seeing what he would have to say in an interview and Q&A session. I wasn't disappointed.
First the good stuff: Jim Parsons, like his character, is from Texas, and the Texas "drawl" isn't an affectation for the character -- it's real. He struck me as extremely intelligent - not "Sheldon Cooper brainiac intelligent," but definitely smart. And he has no real background in science. He discusses his work habits - how he prepares for taping, etc. -- and his background. I found his answers both honest and direct.
Now the not-so-good stuff -- the interviewer is VERY annoying. I can't exactly put my finger on why, except that she struck me as a starry-eyed college freshman meeting a celebrity for the first time. Also, Jim references scenes from the show and also from his earlier acting career which were obviously shown to the audience at the event, but none of them are included in this video, so there are "gaps" in the narrative.
That said, if you're a "Big Bang Theory" fan, this will probably appeal to you. Getting more background on one of the popular characters helped me get a better picture of the talent involved. Very enjoyable.