2009.03.18

I’m really enjoying THE BIG BANG THEORY, and it’s been a while since I’ve loved a sitcom. I like the characters, I like the dialogue, I love Sheldon a lot, but here’s the one I keep coming back to: wardrobe. Sure, I watch SEX AND THE CITY and GOSSIP GIRL half for the clothes, but that’s understood. That’s half why they make the show. THE BIG BANG THEORY–about geeks and boys, no less–should not be about the clothes.

A show that wants to be more realistic could learn a lot from THE BIG BANG THEORY. Not only do the same t-shirts and jackets and socks pop up again and again, across seasons even, we see the characters folding same clothes when a scene happens in the laundry room.

(One of my first hints that THE O.C. was greater than the sum of all the teen parts that had come before it was Seth’s favourite t-shirt. First, we saw him wearing it as pyjamas. Then by itself, then layered over long-sleeves. It was his favourite, and that matters when you’re building a character for viewers to relate to.)

Maybe it’s only because I recently watched all 34 THE BIG BANG THEORY episodes over two days (or maybe only because I’m me and weird like that), but I noticed the clothes. It only makes sense that a group of nerds would find comfort in the predictable patterns and create uniforms for themselves. Sheldon wears short sleeves over long. Leonard wears a t-shirt, a hoodie, a khaki jacket–in that order. Howard has tight pants, big belt buckles, and turtlenecks with a lapel pin. Raj wears sweater vests and warm-up jackets, and his patterns rarely match.

When even wardrobe is this tightly structured, it bodes well for the greater narrative arcs.