Sitcoms usually have a tough first season. Early on, characters often have not found their voices and the creators behind the show are still working out the kinks. Go back and watch the first season of either the US version of The Office, or Parks and Recreations. They’re really, really hard to get through. However, by the end of the season, both shows began developing their voice. And in both of these cases, when they returned for a second season, they were rejuvenated and far, far improved.
In the case of The Office, Dwight was less malicious, Michael Scott was more likable (though still cringe-inducing), and Pam and Jim were pretty much the same because THEY ARE PERFECT. A similarly dramatic shift could also be seen in Park & Rec characters like Leslie Knope, who went from being a female version of Michael Scott to one of the strongest, most complex and amazing sitcom leads in the last decade.
The Big Bang Theory and its characters, however, never seemed to grow. Ever. Sure there were love arcs and troubles for the characters along the way, but the personalities of many of the characters were pretty interchangeable. Quick: which one is quirky and loves science? Oh, wait… There isn’t enough difference between the characters, specifically the male leads, to provide a decent answer to that question. They all seem to operate in the same stratosphere and their debates are based on the minutia of opinions instead of actual ideologies. These characters all view the world through a similar prism, so by and large, we aren’t getting any insight from one into another thought their interactions.
With The Big Bang Theory making its exit, there is a sense of trepidation with regard to what will fill the spot it will leave behind. While the show drew heavily from superior comedies like The I.T. Crowd, it never lived up to the same level of quality. (The I.T. Crowd had a laugh track and actual jokes, so you can have your cake and eat it too!)
Our biggest fear is that when The Big Bang Theory ending, it will leave a void for another vapid, pandering, unfunny show aimed at a demographic that tangentially appreciates geek culture and who is fine with their comedy being devoid of actual jokes... oh, wait. Young Sheldon is getting a second season. Nevermind.