Sheldon and Amy’s ‘Big Bang’
‘Big Bang Theory’s’ Sheldon and Amy Are Finally Having Sex! 10 TV Couples Who Kept Us Waiting.
• “The iHeartRatio Jingle Ball 2015″ (7 p.m., CW/Ch. 30): Performers include The Weeknd; Calvin Harris; Selena Gomez; 5 Seconds of Summer; Demi Lovato; Nick Jonas; Fifth Harmony; Zedd; Shawn Mendes; Fetty Wap; Tove Lo; Charlie Puth; Hailee Steinfeld; Rock City; Conrad Sewell; and DNCE. • “2 Broke Girls” (8:30 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Han believes his diner employees are not working together as a team, so he insists they all attend a mandatory night out. • “Barbara Walters Presents The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2015′: (8:30 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Bradley Cooper, Amy Schumer, Tracy Morgan, Ronda Rousey, Bernie Sanders, Misty Copeland and Donna Karan are on the list for this annual bit of TV fluff. • “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” (9 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): President Obama joins Bear in Alaska for a trek through the wilderness and a visit to Exit Glacier, where they witness the effects of climate change In anticipation of Thursday’s big love scene between Amy and Sheldon on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, Mayim Bailik and Jim Parsons sat down with Entertainment Weekly to explain why the time was right – and what, if anything, this does to their on-screen relationship. That’s the immortal question being posed by the long-running CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.” In tonight’s episode, Sheldon must choose between having sex with his girlfriend Amy for the first time, and attending the opening night premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” It’s a major milestone both for the show—now in its ninth seasons—and for its characters.
According to actress Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy, this was not a decision the producers and writers took lightly. “It’s really special to us that we’ve had a relationship that is the longest-running nonsexual romantic relationship you’ve seen on TV,” the former child star told Entertainment Weekly. Because it’s a comedy, the pivotal moment is depicted with the prerequisite humor (Bob Newhart’s Professor Proton appears dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi), but it’s also awkward, warm, and sweet.
I honestly felt like there are so many different aspects of their relationship and this show, and I don’t feel like I definitively felt like, “Oh, it’s going to happen at some point.” I thought it might have become a nonissue, you know? Whether they were hindered by previous relationships or by the ever-important search for extraterrestrial life, here are the pairs who took “will they or won’t they” to the extreme. Since the titular couple in “Mary Kay and Johnny” became the first partners to share a bed on television back in 1947, networks have struggled with how to depict sexuality honestly. The truth is out there as to whether the two became FBI special agents with benefits, but it was implied that they both dropped their suits in this season 7 episode.
CBS wouldn’t allow “I Love Lucy” to use the word “pregnant” on air, so the program had to explain Lucille Ball’s real-life pregnancy (incorporated into the show) by saying she was “expecting.” While we’ve come a long way since then (“How to Get Away with Murder” featured gay interracial analingus this season), television—and American culture in general—still struggles with addressing the topic of virginity. Before they were on a break, they had fans breathlessly sipping cappuccinos and waiting for them to finally hook up, which happened in Ross’ (David Schwimmer) museum once various other suitors (we still love you, Paolo) were in the past. It’s still hard to believe that the two were able to keep their hands off each other while spending an entire summer on his boat between seasons 3 and 4. But somehow, Joey (Katie Holmes) kept demurring, and they waited to do the deed until more than halfway through season 4, when things finally heated up during their wintry cabin trip. Russell Wilson and Ciara were treated like a public spectacle for their pledge to do it “Jesus’ way,” as the Seattle Seahawks quarterback claimed in an interview, while those who give it up “too late” are seen as innately weird—from Coldplay frontman Chris Martin (who lost his virginity as 25) to Judd Apatow’s “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” Meanwhile, young Disney starlets make careers off their vows of chastity, as part of a brand model that sells sex while insisting that actually having it is strictly taboo.
After countless furtive glances in the workplace, the two pals finally became more than just coworkers after starting a relationship in the season 3 finale. There’s no better example of this than the late-90s/early-2000s pop stars Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, who presented a reductive duality of female sexuality as either the Madonna or the whore. “Christina was able to monetize her position as the anti-Britney: a sexy star you could actually have sex with,” the Daily Beast’s Amy Zimmerman wrote. “But by maintaining her virgin status, Britney wasn’t rising above these sexual politics—she was also playing to a male fantasy, just one that required slightly less eyeliner.” While the purity ring made a comeback in the late 2000s with celebrities like the Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, and Miley Cyrus vowing to wait, these decisions tended to fall into the same reductive rhetoric. And considering they both had to listen to countless “that’s what she said” jokes from their boss, they deserved to get a little something extra from their jobs. During the 2008 VMAs, host Russell Brand joked about the Jonas Brothers’ well-publicized abstinence pledges, and “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks came to their defense: “I just have one thing to say about promise rings.
Which couple had the stronger on-the-job chemistry: Bones’ FBI agent and forensic anthropologist, or Castle’s mystery novelist and homicide detective? It’s not bad to wear a promise ring, because not everybody—guy or girl—wants to be a slut.” When it comes to sex, you’re clearly damned if you do and damned if you don’t. This pair clicked a lot faster than Seth (Adam Brody) and Summer (Rachel Bilson) did, yet the toy horse–loving couple ended up in bed a lot sooner than the bad boy from Chino and his former debutante paramour. That problem is, of course, a product of America’s pervasive abstinence-only sex ed programs, which leads to false ideas of what sex is and isn’t. As Feeney and others attest, our damaging views of virginity even come down to the words we use to describe it: “taking a woman’s virginity” or “giving it up.” Feeney argues, “They characterize women as passive with something to lose, and men as the aggressors with something to gain.” “Losing” virginity is portrayed as many things—a rite of passage, a life-changing moment, an act that deserves punishment, or a decision that could ruin your life—but these also define it as a form of violence.
There’s little consent, affirmation, or celebration in “taking.” That’s why we should celebrate television programs who depict human sexuality in ways that are more honest and reflective of its viewers actual experiences. It’s not that nervousness of like, “Oh, I don’t really know you and now we’re going to do it.” I’m just grateful my kids don’t watch the show. Luke (Scott Patterson) learned it was a good idea to hang on to the horoscope Lorelai (Lauren Graham) gave him, as their first date ended up with her wearing his shirt as she greeted the breakfast crowd at the diner the next morning.
Of course, this moment is not quite as enjoyable for fans of the couple when they know that her frustrating marriage to Christopher (David Sutcliffe) is right around the corner. Although Americans, on average, lose their virginity around the age of 17, over a quarter of men and women between the ages of 15 and 24 have yet to engage in sexual contact of any kind. For some, having sex is a big decision and a sign of commitment, many might view intercourse as primarily for pleasure, and others might not have it at all.
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