The Big Bang Theory is ending soon, but not because CBS wanted it to end, or because fans stopped tuning in. Surprisingly enough, it's because star Jim Parsons wanted out. While he'd previously offered up a more vague "it just felt like the right time" reasoning, Parsons has now opened up and provided the most non-Sheldon answer possible.
It was the first time in my life of doing this show that it occurred to me that I might want to not do another contract after [Season] 12 was up. I don't know if it's because I'm an Aries or just because maybe I'm in touch with myself. Whatever it is, once I had that thought, I was like, 'Well, that's your answer.'
For those in the back, Jim Parsons may very well have continued on with The Big Bang Theory for another 10-20 years if he would have been born a Libra or a Virgo. Not necessarily, of course, but the actor is clearly not against the belief that astrological symbols could have come into play as far as how he wanted to move forward in his life and/or career. I dare not imagine how Sheldon's scientific mind would wrap around that concept.
In any case, Jim Parsons finally reached a fork in a road that had previously only gone straight though, seemingly without any potential to change up. But going into Season 12 set something off in Parsons' brain that allowed him to conceive of a reality where he could leave Sheldon behind. Whether it was the zodiac or mental fatigue that inspired him, the actor now had the notion that he could move on from The Big Bang Theory, and it wasn't a notion he was eager to get rid of.
Speaking with THR, Jim Parsons reassured potentially worried fans by saying that there wasn't some scandalous catalyst that led him to his decision, nor any contentious behind-the-scenes incidents with any of The Big Bang Theory cast members or crew. It was a matter of innately knowing that this season should be the last one, despite Season 13 negotiations having started up just prior to his announcement.
While fans might not be able to tell by his performances in Big Bang Theory episodes, Jim Parsons apparently feels a disconnect with Sheldon at times, with aging and maturing as a person being a key factor in that mix. In his words:
It has been fascinating to think about who I was 12 years ago. And sometimes when I have trouble learning a line or saying a line of Sheldon's right now, it's hard to know why specifically. But it's like, you're not the same person you were. There is a possibility that this actually became more difficult for you in a way. And I don't know what that means but it's like you just change.
From a fan perspective, that's an unfortunate thing to hear, just because audiences would prefer to go on assuming that sitcom characters will always be the same. It's just more comforting that way.
However, it's a completely understandable perspective from any other point of view. Few of us could claim we're the exact same person we were a dozen years ago, and that definitely doesn't have to be a bad thing. Sheldon, Amy, Leonard, Penny and all the rest of the characters are different now from what they were twelve years ago.
Can you imagine how awkward it would be walking up to Sheldon in the pilot and saying, "Excuse me, sir? In the next decade, you're going to have sex with a woman that you will later get married to." Surely he'd believe you without a lick of flagrant condescension, right?
What do you guys think about Jim Parsons' reasons for leaving The Big Bang Theory behind? Totally understandable, or something he should have tired to move past? Also, was it easier for him to leave behind given the fact that he still gets to play Sheldon, so to speak, via the spinoff Young Sheldon?