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Big Bang Theory: Kunal Nayyar’s Real Life Makes Raj’s Ending Worse

CBS' sent off its characters in a satisfying way, except for Raj, and, unfortunately, Kunal Nayyar's real-life made it much worse. As one of the original five players in the sitcom, the actor played his role since 2007, when it started and until . But for some reason, he never had a real personal arc throughout the show's run, which many fans weren't thrilled about.

The original pilot for The Big Bang Theory didn't feature Raj. Instead, Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) were supposed to be the only two characters fronting the sitcom. But after it was reworked following CBS' notes, creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady expanded the cast, bringing in Penny (Kaley Cuoco), Howard (Simon Helberg), and Raj. Eventually, Amy (Mayim Bialik) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) joined the gang. While all of them progressed in both their personal and professional lives in the next several years, Raj's growth was slow, and at some points, even stagnated. 

At the , all other six characters in the show were at a stable place in their lives. Sheldon and Amy won the Nobel Prize in Physics and were happily married; Howard and Bernadette were getting used to having two kids, while Penny and Leonard were expecting their first child. Raj, on the other hand, not only didn't have a clear professional path as he just started a new job, but he was also single having just broken up his engagement. For most of The Big Bang Theory season 12, he was dating Anu (Rati Gupta) and they were supposed to be married, but it was canceled at the last minute. Leaving Raj this way was already off-putting, but learning that in the last 12 years since he lived far from his family in India makes his character's ending so much more depressing. Unlike his castmates, who were mostly based in the U.S., it’s more difficult to keep in touch with his clan.

The concept of happiness is subjective, and Raj's ending could be interpreted as such by some; after all, it appeared as if he didn’t have any issues with how his friends’ lives were shaping up. He was clearly starting to embrace his true self, standing up to Howard for his constant passive-aggressive bullying. He also stopped ironing his hair to fit in. These may be small steps but it's an indication that he's slowly improving towards loving his true self. The problem with this, however, is that, out of , he was the one who had been longing for love since the beginning. He's the most romantic among his male friends; he regularly put himself out there despite the constantly failed relationships. He worked so hard to overcome his selective mutism in the hopes of finding his mate; he even agreed to an arranged marriage because he was so lonely. So leaving him alone at the end of The Big Bang Theory was sad for many. 

On the heels of the backlash regarding how the show left his character, Nayyar defended Raj's The Big Bang Theory ending. However, that did little to ease people's criticisms of how the sitcom handled his character. At this point, there's no way to make up for it. Instead, it can be done later when an inevitable reunion happens. 

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