Not the strongest outing for ‘The Big Bang Theory’ show this season, but not the worst. I am enjoying the Sheldon and Amy living together dynamic and I hope they keep it going, although I was sad the couple was not arguing that much this episode, as the comedy gold is them clashing and trying to figure out how to get along together.
Once again they split up the cast into multiple storylines tonight, with Sheldon and Amy throwing a “practice” brunch with the guy from the Geology department, a woman who barely speaks English from downstairs, and of course, Stuart, who is non-t00-pleased once he finds out he is part of the test case, and not important enough to be part of the real brunch. There is a running joke that the woman from downstairs learned all of her English from TV and repeats often heard phrases from TV shows and commercials out of context, the Geology guy is always awkward and funny, and of course, Stuart’s feelings are hurt when Sheldon callously reveals that the brunch is a practice for when his real friends come over. Luckily, Sheldon finds a way to bond with Stuart over feelings of loneliness and being left out, and they end up drinking far too many mimosas and becoming even better friends, with Sheldon teaching Stuart the joys of hurting people without ever using a curse word, and then demonstrating on Amy.
The Wolowitz’s meanwhile experience the first baby kick during the night, which puts Howard in full baby mode. The next day he and Raj head out without Bernie and buy both a crib and a mini-van, which does not sit well with the soon to be mom, who does not want to be seen driving around in a mini-van, though she does seem entertained that the salesman at the dealership assumed that Howard and Raj were married. When the guys try to show off the features of the mini-van to her, she still does not seem overly impressed. Then Howard and Raj try to take the new crib out of the back so they can go for a test ride, and Howard throws out his back, and she has to drive him to the emergency room. Along the way, Howard is inconsolable until Raj turns on the built-in DVD player to calm him down, and Bernie admits that the mini-van can stay, as it can help her deal with both the new baby and her husband.
As for Penny and Leonard, Penny is invited to a low-rent Comic Con for her Ape horror movie part, and Leonard convinces her to go for the fun of it. He even gets a money-maker belt, insisting on charging irregular prices for autographs just so he can make change on the belt. After learning that her movie is loved for being so awful, and asked if she was so awful in the movie on purpose, Penny is not sure how she feels about her “fans.” Eventually, it comes out that Leonard is her husband, and the shows once again revels in its oldest trope, that of other nerds being amazed that Leonard ended up with a beautiful woman like Penny. They end that storyline with a large group of nerds in a story circle hearing the tale of Leonard getting the girl which might have been funny/cute back in seasons 1-5, but here in season 10 seems a bit dated and old hat.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
LEONARD: (on the type of celebrities at Penny’s Comic Con) Wow, an appearance by George Lucas…..’s dermatologist….still I want that autograph.
BERNADETTE: (questioning Howard’s intelligence) Which M.I.T. did you go to?
HOWARD: (refuting Bernie’s claim that they still have time to prep for the baby) Really? Look at you? Willy Wonka would roll you to the juicing room.
HOWARD: The guy at the dealership said they [mini-vans] are not just for moms anymore.
RAJ: Than again, he did think you were my husband.
BERNADETTE: They thought it at the ultrasound. Why not think it at the car dealership?
SHELDON: (on his fear of popping a champagne bottle) The average cork speed is 25 MPH. If that is too fast around a school that is too fast in the kitchen.
AMY: (impatiently waiting for her mimosa) Been 15 minutes, just saying.
HOWARD: (on the painful drive to the ER) If childbirth if half this bad you are SCREWED!
Not a bad episode of ‘Big Bang,’ though I am noticing a pattern here, and wondering if they are deliberately keeping the cast so separate for scheduling issues. Seems like a lot of episodes this season have Sheldon split off with Amy, Leonard with Penny, and then the Wolowitz’s with Raj, with rarely an overlap (except for Sheldon and Leonard’s groups).
This week, the separate storylines never intersected, which was very odd, but still the episode was funny, but just writing wise, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ has just become less of a sitcom with a centralized story and more a show with a series of slice of life stories with characters who happen to know each other. I still stand by the idea that the cast is at its best in large groups, and breaking them up like this seems more like a convenience for the production and the writers and the schedules of the actors. Still, this episode was better than some of the others from this season, and I still found myself laughing at the Howard and Sheldon storylines, even if I was a little bored at the Leonard storyline, as I am getting a little tired at the schtick about how astonished people are that he got Penny. It’s been 10 seasons, we get it, he got lucky, please stop building episodes around him explaining to people how lucky he was and how “funny” it is that they barely believe him. It’s getting old.
Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.