TV Review: ‘The Big Bang Theory: The Laureate Accumulation’

Yet another mediocre outing for the final season of the ‘Big Bang Theory.’ I feel like they are trying to get all the mileage they can out of Sean Astin and Kal Penn, and while they are both amazing actors and bring a lot to whatever role they are playing, there just is not all that much for them to do here, the writers just are not bring the funny anymore. More and more it feels like the series is squandering what little time they have left just going through the motions, waiting for that finale to roll around so they can wrap this up and move on to whatever their next project is.

The main story this week continues Amy and Sheldon’s ongoing battle for their Nobel Prize, encountering new obstacles in that they cannot get much support from former prize winners because Sheldon has managed to insult most of them in the past due to his jealousy of them. Feeling bad for Amy, he reaches out to Leonard for help in learning to control himself, which comes in handy later because Leonard and Penny take pity on their friends and reach out to the Nobel Prize winners for Sheldon and Amy, and convince them to go to a dinner to help support Sheldon and Amy, mainly for Amy’s sake who they say really deserves the award.

Of course their competition shows up at the dinner, but Sheldon manages to show surprising restraint (helped out by Leonard and his new code phrase for the situation, “shut up”), though Amy manages to lose her cool and blows up at the room, calling the other scientists trying to get their award frauds and making a scene.

In the B-story, after telling his daughter a story about being scared when up in space to help her get to bed, Bernadette decides to make a children’s book out of Howard’s story, with Stuart doing the illustrations. Of course Howard does not like the idea as it forces him to relive the ridicule he experienced from his fellow astronauts and admit to the world that he is the “frightened astronaut” in the book. Bernie convinces him to be brave so he can help out other children, as well as his own daughter, with his story. Of course, this comes after he and Stuart try to rewrite the story by making Howard a shirtless astronaut fighting aliens in space which of Bernie is not on-board with.


SHELDON: “Oh you’d think but sometimes brilliant people can be painfully oblivious to social cues…”
PENNY: “Thank you for pointing that out Sheldon.
SHELDON: (oblivious) “…No problem.”

LEONARD: “I’m impressed. When did you start caring about other people’s feelings?”
SHELDON: “Well I laughed when Amy got shocked from the broken Christmas tree light…. so after that.”

HOWARD: (as Bernie looks at the new comic) “So what do you think?”
BERNADETTE: “I think if you were in space without a shirt on you’d die.”

PENNY: (to Penny and Amy) “Now get out of here and go talk to some smart people! (Leonard looking annoyed) Sorry, sometimes I forget you’re smart because you’re so sexy.”
LEONARD: (nodding) “…I can see that.”

In the end, the laughs were meager, the whole Nobel Prize story-line is really dragging along and needs to conclude soon, and characters like Penny and Raj have had nothing to do in recent episodes. I’m pretty much dreading the rest of the season at this point, as I have lost most of my faith in the series to deliver even a semi-adequate final slew of episodes. At this point I’ll settle for at least a decent finale once we get through the last batch of episodes, and hope for a mediocre laugh or two along the way.