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bernadette listening to baby monitor season 12 the big bang theory

The Big Bang Theory has been such a TV staple that it's actually hard to imagine it'll close out its twelve-season run in May. For star Melissa Rauch, the journey has been nothing short of amazing, and there are definitely moments and memories that she'll look back on fondly. What she'll miss the most, though, isn't necessarily a particular episode, storyline or co-star, but something altogether more personal. In her words:

I’m going to miss the most that Bernadette has been a few steps ahead of me in life. She was a mother before I was. She had to re-enter the workplace as a mother before I did, too. I’ve been able to do this bit of dress rehearsal, in Bernadette’s shoes, before I actually experience everything.

Quite the introspective answer from Melissa Rauch, who has been a regular part of the Big Bang Theory cast since Season 4. (She recurred in Season 3.) But also one that makes a ton of sense. As her TV character, the actress was able to experience certain major life moments that she hadn't yet achieved in the real world, which would seemingly offer a light introductory course on how to handle things.

Granted, The Big Bang Theory isn't exactly the most realistic representation of the average person's life. For instance, Bernadette and Howard very rarely look exhausted enough to willingly fall asleep while lying atop railroad tracks. There's also a startling lack of raised voices, sloppy messes and general helplessness. Still, though, it's at least a rough guideline of what parenthood can be life.

Melissa Rauch was speaking on stage with co-star Kunal Nayyar and Big Bang Theory regular director MarkCendrowski for Deadline's Contenders Emmys panel. There, she also talked about appreciating the CBS sitcom for the way it doesn't limit its characters' evolutions. In her words:

One of the beautiful things that Big Bang has done is allow these characters to grow into the best versions of themselves. It’s a real testament to the human potential. Bernadette came from a sheltered upbringing like [her husband] Howard and now she’s a mom to two kids.

Let's not forget that when The Big Bang Theory started, it was basically a show about nerdy dudes having the hots for an attractive female neighbor. Now, said attractive female is married to one of those nerdy dudes, with two of the others also marrying their own mates. (Sorry, Raj.) Plus, Sheldon and Amy have been trying to get themselves in line for a Nobel Prize, which feels like a sure sign of maturity.

In some ways, it was the introduction of Bernadette and Mayim Bialik's Amy that turned things around for The Big Bang Theory's main characters. While it may be hard in some ways to tell that Sheldon, Leonard and Howard have "grown up" and matured over the years, their Season 1 selves would be completely overwhelmed with the status quo in the final season.

Like many of her co-stars, Melissa Rauch has been spending some time looking back fondly on her time with the CBS sitcom. Recently, she shared the following post, which contains a picture of her BIg Bang audition letter.

Here's hoping that the last handful of Big Bang Theory episodes deliver as much narrative justice as possible for Bernadette and the rest. (And maybe a few plot-based surprises.) Just don't expect any explosions.

Fans can check out the last leg of the Big Bang Theory's twelve-year run on Thursday nights on CBS at 8:00 p.m. ET.

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