I would be remiss if I failed to comment upon Sheldon’s mother. This is a character we don’t see often on the show, but each appearance is to be treasured. Sheldon is from East Texas and his mother is a deeply devoted fundamentalist Christian. While one is used to this type of character being skewered in Hollywood, I find the character to be portrayed with admirable sympathy. While Sheldon has little natural human empathy at all, his mother has taught him skills of dealing with the things of which he has small understanding. She has also gently chided Penny for allowing too many men a “free ride on the roller coaster” while admitting that at an earlier age she herself could be had for “a bottle of wine and a ride in a car.”
Without saying whether this is the best way to interact in such situations or not, it is drawn from a reality I am familiar with rather than being the one-dimensional parody of the fundamentalist we are usually shown.
This show is not everyone’s cup of tea and I do find myself concerned that it’s on so frequently. I’ve begun to try to temper my obsession. Maybe that is a skill I can learn.
(Bobby Winters, a native of Harden City, Oklahoma, is Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Mathematics at Pittsburg State University. He blogs at redneckmath.blogspot.com and okieinexile.blogspot.com. You may contact him at email@example.com.)