2019 marks the end of many great TV shows across the spectrum, from Gotham to Veep to Transparent to the already concluded Broad City. When it comes to the medium's largest audiences, though, the biggest series exit is almost definitely that of CBS' The Big Bang Theory, which is ending its stat-topping run after twelve seasons. Understandably, the cast has been active in publicly sharing their emotional highs and lows leading up to the series finale.
No one else's messages, however, can properly compare to star Johnny Galecki's recent Instagram post, which shines a light on Big Bang Theory's finality in an all-too-real way.
A quick glance at only the image itself isn't going to reveal anything too heartbreaking. At its core, this is a room full of smiling people, which usually promotes positive and non-ominous vibes. Assuming the smiling people aren't also greedily rubbing their hands together, that is. Plus, most of those folks would be unfamiliar to the layman viewer, outside of maybe co-creator Chuck Lorre, with Johnny Galecki as the only Big Bang Theory star in the shot.
Rather, it's that big and empty white board behind everyone that is the real emotional catalyst here. As Johnny Galecki notes in his post text, everyone is standing in the Big Bang Theory's writers room, and the white board is where the team would note upcoming episodes for story and script discussions. But considering the show is ending and the finishing touches are being worked on for the big finale, the white board is completely devoid of Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, Raj and Howard...and all the rest.
This marks the first time in a whopping twelve years that the board has been so clean and free from episode chatter, according to Johnny Galecki. That really drives home the fact that The Big Bang Theory will no longer deliver any new episodes to fans after its May 16 finale. (Find out when all the other big network shows are ending, too.) Seeing Kaley Cuoco sharing throwback pics or reading about other stars' memories about Big Bang Theory are certainly reminders that the end is near, but they still bring to mind lots of memories for fans.
On the other hand, a big empty board like that doesn't bring to mind anything so warm and comforting. It's a bright and intimidating abyss, just begging for all those writers to jot down rhyming episode titles onto it. Sadly, there's nothing more to write. But at least there's a crown on the table for someone to wear in times of need.
This particular shot of The Big Bang Theory's creative team features showrunner and executive producer Steve Holland, who had been quite open through most of the season about not specifically knowing how the show was going to end for all the characters. That's obviously changed, considering the end date is just a month away. But Holland still doesn't want fans to think that the finale is going to be this heightened, world-changing extravaganza. Here's how he'd put it recently.
It’s going to be the last episode and it’s going to end, but people’s lives still go on. The characters will be giving the idea that their lives continue on. It’s not going to be an atomic bomb where things blow up and you never see anybody again.
Viewers will definitely going to get some kind of resolution for Sheldon and Amy's Nobel Prize drama, hopefully with even more guest stars involved. A lot of fans are also hoping to hear some kind of baby news from one of the couples that isn't Bernadette and Howard. (Although it would be funny if Bernadette got pregnant again, but with triplets or something along those lines.)
For only a few more weeks, The Big Bang Theory airs Thursday nights on CBS at 8:00 p.m. ET. Just don't expect to learn Penny's maiden name before it's all over.