The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother are among the most popular U.S. sitcoms. Their biggest cult figures are the narcissistic womanizer Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) and, highly intelligent scientist Sheldon Lee Cooper (Jim Parsons). Both have roles that are unique in their approach as well as characterization, Sheldon by his emotional and social incompetence and arrogance, Barney by his selfishness and narcissism. But, we have a winner. I will list down 6 reasons why Sheldon is the “cooler” one out of the two-
1. He is smarter
In one of the episode’s, Barney has loads of trouble to narrow down out of all the women he had “made love to” (somewhere cupid is committing suicide) the one women who had got to him and, made him prone to backfires. Whereas, Sheldon has a photographic memory, and can literally remember everything he has ever seen, heard, or experienced. He is capable of lecturing people on their own culture (Raj & Howard being classic examples of his religious teachings). He is smarty-smarty-smart!
2. A better actor
I know many people reading this post would have taken the next flight to Bangalore (Or, are in front of my door to kick me for such a comment) I say give me some space to prove myself right! Agreed, Neil Patrick steward is a jack of all trades- He can sing, he can dance and he can act but, his role can be done by anyone for that matter (I can picture many actors as possible replacement for him, For ex- Joe from “Friends”). Sheldon has a lot to do and, has to piss-off a lot of people all the time! He is batman for the nerds. He is “The Nerdman”. A dark knight who no one likes but, can’t do without. It’s hard to act with big words and, not having to laugh at all while doing so. I’m well aware that Neil Patrick Harris is no doubt one of the best actors ever but, I prefer Jim Parson’s acting style because it is unique, effortless and, meaningful.
3. Happy and Gay
Both of these actors are openly gay. A question open to all would be – Who would you picture to be gay out of the two? Barney? Never! Sheldon? Definitely yes! Barney is a landslide. Barney can act like a toolbar, but there’s a real person in there behind the act, and is capable of acting human. Might be an Inception-like act within an act, but its there. Yes, Barney Stinson is fundamentally more likeable. But, being who he really is, that is, an actor pouring sentimental glop all over the character. Neil Patrick Harris convincingly pulls off this role, which makes us really wonder how he can be gay in real life while pulling off this great, loveable, sleaze of a character. This doubt, this unevenness is what takes a lot of credit away from him as a convincing actor. With Sheldon, it’s clearly visible in his role play as well as, by the nature of his character that, Amy( His girlfriend in TBBT) will have to live unmarried ever after!
4. More confident
Sheldon is ruthlessly confident about his abilities. For example, he is sure of winning the Nobel Prize sometime in the future. He is sure of himself when he lectures other people about the facts they were not aware of. He is a genius, or to quote: “They call me a genius, because I am a genius”. Whereas, with Barney, there have been many instances where he has lost his confidence. Be it, with his friends, the bimbos that he hunts for, “challenge accepted” going awfully wrong and, stuff like that.
5. More complicated
Sheldon’s character is much more complicated then it seems to be. Sure, Barney has a twisted mind too (swinging to the devilish south). But, Sheldon’s complexity has made even his friends bring out conspiracy theories about his life and what not. Here are a few examples-
I think Sheldon might be the larval form of his species and someday he’ll spin a cocoon and emerge two months later with moth wings and an exoskeleton.
Over the years we’ve formulated a number of theories about how he might reproduce. I’m an advocate of mitosis. I believe one day Sheldon will eat an enormous amount of Thai food and split into two Sheldon’s.
Sheldon is actually a robot, which cannot meet the 3 Laws of Robotics by Isaac Asimov.
Sheldon is a species of alien that must not move housing, so as to not confuse the mother ship when it returns to take him back.
Barney’s Complexity (Or, lack of it!) as explained by his friends-
Ted- He is a Jerk.
Robin- He is a pervert.
Lily- He gave me Herpes!
Marshall- I can slap him for no reason at all!
All signifying his meaningless, bimbo hunting lifestyle and, nothing more!
6. Knock, knock, knock Penny
“Knock, knock, knock Penny” beats “Legen… wait for it… dary!” any day of the year. First of all, it is not repetitive. It sounds repetitive but, Sheldon is able to pull it off every time with an elegance that is much more fluidic than Barney’s “Legen….dary” statement. Secondly…. There is no secondly. Bazinga!
To end it all, let’s consider a situation where both of them meet face-to-face. This is what their conversation would be like-
Barney: What up bro? (Raising his hand for a High-Five)
Sheldon: What up?? (Eyebrow raised in the typical Sheldon manner)
Semantically, your statement is wrong. If this is some urban slang, I will play along. First of all, your hand is up (Points to Barney’s hand). Secondly, if you look outside, the Sun is up. Did you know that there is an initiative to celebrate the third Thursday of April as National High Five Day?
Barney: (Jolts from a fake nap) Sorry I slept off because it’s sooooo boring. (Hand still up). Come on, I can’t keep my hand up for so lonngggggg. (With a pleading face).
Sheldon: No. I am not touching that.
End of story. Bazinga!
©Arjun Karath for PosterGully.com