What do I think of Jessica Radloff’s book? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I read a number of books just for the fun of it and this is one of those. If you’re here to learn about the scientific theory, you’re going to be disappointed. This is about the making of the TV show and its 12-season run.
I had some friends introduce me to this show and I immediately enjoyed it. If I enjoy something, I want to learn more about it. I have read books about a number of shows, especially Smallville, and I saw this one on sale and decided to check it out.
Let’s say something at the start. If someone thought this was a show to make fun of nerds, you’re wrong. That was definitely not the intent. One can say it’s poking fun at our community, or rather communities, but we’re also a strange group. What do you expect?
Yet something amazing did happen because of this. At the first Comic-Con where the cast and crew showed up at, they had fans staying out overnight to interact with them. The fans felt represented. Finally, someone was paying attention to them.
Let’s definitely not forget about Sheldon in all of this, the main character and while it was never stated on the show, Peter Roth who was behind the scenes in the book says that Sheldon is definitely on the spectrum. I wasn’t surprised to read this. As one on there myself, I can understand a lot of things he does, even if some of them drive me crazy as well.
However, on a deeper point we Christians need to learn, the show also spoke to a deeper issue. Loneliness. A lot of us struggle with it. Sure, I can come home and have a lot of fun things to do here and a lot of research, but there is a lot of loneliness. How many of us really know our neighbors at all? Most people get off work, come home, and stay in their homes. Nerds tend to be more introverted and we can do that, but we also need fellowship.
There was also in the book the discussion that some jokes were made then that you couldn’t make today because of the political climate. I consider this a shame as I think one should be able to make jokes about anything. Does that include my Christianity? Yes. I support your freedom to do that. I don’t have to like it. I can even think some jokes are wrong, but I want you to state what you honestly think.
One of the great ways to learn about who is in control in a society is to learn who you can laugh at and who you can’t. If you are not allowed to make jokes about a certain group, they are the group in power that does not allow criticism. You can also count on them to be a dangerous group the more power they get. I do plan on writing a later blog on humor so expect this soon.
As a big Bob Newhart fan, I liked reading about his appearance on the show. Much of the audience watching would likely be younger people, so would they know him? As soon as he showed up, the audience went wild. Everything was put on hold for two minutes because they were so excited.
I also enjoyed a story about Johnny Galecki where he was riding a mountain bike he’d been given in an area called the Lagoon at the Warner Brothers parking lot. The staff constantly told him to wear a helmet or he would get hurt. They went to Chuck Lorre, the producer and he said “He’s a thirty-something man! I can’t tell him what to do!” When they left, he picked up his phone and called WB and told them to fill the lagoon. The next day when Galecki showed up, the lagoon was filled and he said “This guy knows how to play.”
However, you also get some realities we Christians need to be aware of. Actors are often comparing themselves to other actors just as much as we compare ourselves to others. Impostor syndrome is very real. Hollywood glamourizes the rich and famous as it were, but they bleed just like anyone else. If anything, perhaps in some ways more so since they don’t get as much privacy and it can be harder to share since your life can be under a microscope.
Consider this statement from Kunal Nayyar who plays Raj, which is the last main statement in the book:
Because as much as someone thinks fame is some really glamorous, fulfilling thing… fame is a very, very lonely experience. It just is. And social media makes it seem otherwise. But ultimately, it’s just an acceptance and a true surrender to realize ultimately you are just alone. Like, when it comes down to it, there’s only two or three people.
I understand wanting to get likes on social media and things like that. We all appreciate that, but that’s also not the real world. Fame is lonely. We have a number of people who are giving everything they can just to get likes on Social Media. (Dylan Mulvaney anyone?) In the end, you will still be alone. Those people aren’t really invested in you.
And friends, people in Hollywood need Jesus just like you and I do. They have the exact same needs. They want to be loved for who they are and not just as a character on a show or an actor. Yes, I know we condemn Hollywood a lot, but we should also pray for them. If God sent Jonah to Nineveh for His love for them, can we imagine He has any less love for the people of Hollywood?
Well, if you like this series, you’ll get some fun material out of this one. I appreciated the story, but I also appreciated about learning what goes on in the making of a TV show and all the discussion that takes place. I also appreciated the inside look at the lives of these people who really, as it must be emphasized, are more like us than unlike us.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)