The Big Bang Theory gave us Geek Chic

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CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – All this week, we are paying tribute to The Big Bang Theory as we prepare for the final episode on Thursday night.

Tonight, Angela Moryan shows us how the show created Geek Chic!

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Dr. Josh Hamblen/UTC Physics: “When that show started, I was asked for years, ‘Do you like the Big Bang Theory? Do you watch the Big Bang Theory?'”

“I’m a physics professor. I am a physicist. I have a PhD in physics. So I am I guess, exactly like those guys on TV. I kind of feel like I’m living that life to a certain extent.”

The Big Bang Theory has exploded into tens of millions of households over 12 seasons. But it’s more than just one-liners and Sheldon Cooper.

Lucien Scott is Creative Discovery Museum.

“I really feel like the Big Bang Theory opened up people’s perception about scientists. That nerdiness can be kind of quirky but it can be kind of cool.”

Michael Garish is the manager of CM Games.

He says “The show’s been really good about just exposing different cultures to the world… We no longer have the sense of, if you want to play D&D with your friends, you don’t have to keep it a secret now over threat of being shoved in a locker.”

Big Bang dedicates entire episodes to comic books, super heroes, video games — even Star Trek — without turning off those not so nerdy.

Garish adds “Even if a person wasn’t a fan, they could watch the show and go, ‘I know super heroes. I know Batman. I know the Avengers. … They were really cool with staying relatable to an audience as well as touching on some things that maybe a fan would know a little bit deeper.'”

The show has stayed relatable to an average of more than 16 million viewers a season … while changing the pop culture image of a nerd.

Scott: “I think one of the biggest impacts the show has had, is that people can look at scientists and see them as humans, as people with real lives, real families, real jobs that aren’t necessarily centered around a lab rat.”

Hamblen: “It kind of humanizes these people. You know, I’m just a regular guy. I’m a dad. I’m a professor here as well, but I like to laugh. I have hobbies. I think it shows that side very well. That we are real people and … not robots.”

But the resounding message is it’s okay to be yourself.

Scott: “If you’re a geek you can be okay with that. And I think the show really helped to kind of mainstream that geekiness to kind of make it cool. Yeah, you can be smart and you can be nerdy, but you can also be cool at the same time. And I think the Big Bang Theory really brought that to the forefront.”

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