The premise is that two roommate scientific geniuses - Leonard and Sheldon - are happy living in their logic-driven world ... until an attractive, and significantly less logical, blonde, Penny, moves in next door. Leonard falls hopelessly in love with her and antics ensue.
While entertaining, the series also does a good job of incorporating scientific discussions and terminology. The very first scene involves Sheldon accurately recounting the quantum wave particle duality, to which Leonard replies, "What's your point?" Sheldon says, "Oh, I just think it would make a good t-shirt." The scientists are certainly portrayed as caricatures, but lovingly so and with great deftness, by exaggerating real quirks that many scientists into the level of eccentricities and neuroses.
The show doesn't require an understanding of the physical principles to get the jokes, but if you do happen to get them, then I think it just adds an extra layer to the amusement. What impresses me the most is that, in general, they are applied so appropriately and accurately. Given that it was a sitcom, I was expecting the scientific concepts to be sloppily bandied about ... such as when George Lucas threw the word "parsec" in the first Star Wars film as a measurement of time.
Instead, The Big Bang Theory seems to genuinely attempt, at least, to portray the science accurately. It's funny precisely because it is so precise, because it makes jokes not only of the scientists but also of the very universe that they study. The very logic that allows them to understand abstract quantum physical concepts is what keeps them from understanding a normal person like Penny ... and what keeps us tuning in.
The Big Bang Theory runs Monday evenings on CBS. Check your local listings for times. For more information, or to watch some episodes, check out the show's official website.