This week sees the DVD release of the 10th season of The Big Bang Theory, still the number one comedy in the US and perhaps even the globe. Starting in 2007, the show has gone from strength to strength but it feels like only yesterday that the show, centered around four super-smart science geeks (Sheldon, Leonard, Raj and Howard) and their new BFF next-door Penny, began.
To celebrate the release of the decade-marking series, we sat down with star Kunal Nayyar (aka Rajesh Koothrapalli) to chat about the show and its continued success. As fans of the show, it’s still so strange to us that a decade has gone past since its inception and for Nayyar, the feeling is mutual as he says it’s strange for them too and sometimes a little overwhelming:
“It’s overwhelming to think about the time-span because some days it feels like just yesterday, and others when you’re in the middle of the season, especially towards the end of the season when you’re like ‘Wow, man, we’ve done some many episodes, what episode it what?’ and then you take a little break from the show and you can’t wait to go back because I don’t know how long we have so I think it’s a bit of both for us, at least for me. But what I do know is the nostalgic side of me is kicking in because I know we have less time than we have already had – unless we go for another ten years but I don’t think anyone wants to see this in ten years!”
The show has endured, however, through such a long time because of the smart evolutions of both the stories and the characters. While Penny and Leonard got married, Sheldon and Amy became closer and Howard and Bernadette became parents, Raj could quite easily have been left behind and stayed the same guy he was at the beginning. But Nayyar is thankful that the writers have given him so much to work with, saying:
“Absolutely I’ve enjoyed his journey. It’s nice as an actor to evolve with your character becuase if the show was the same eight, nine years ago as it is today people would be bored and no-one would watch the show, it happens to shows all the time by the way – where a formula works but then people outgrow the characters becuase no-one wants to see someone who has aged a decade still where they were ten years ago emotionally that’s why the show has progressed, that’s why there’s now families, babies, marriages, we’ve gone through losing Wolowitz’s mother and Carol-Ann Susi in real life, and now Sheldon and Amy – it’s a testament to the writers that we don’t know where we are going to go.”
With a further two seasons already announced, as well as the Young Sheldon spin-off debuting this Fall season, just how much longer the show will continue past that remains a mystery. But Nayyar says that if the audience wants them and the writers can keep coming up with new and exciting plotlines, he certainly won’t be leaving anytime soon:
“I’ll continue to do it as long as they’ll have me. Television is changing with so many platforms so this may go down as one of the last “sitcoms” – multi-camera sitcoms – and if we’re in the same circle as Everybody Loves Raymond, Seinfeld, Friends, why would I walk away?”
The Big Bang Theory: Season 10 is released today in the UK on Blu-ray and DVD.