Season Eight, Episode Two
While Sheldon’s departure was handled too quickly and way too tidily, the whole gang is back together and I guess that’s a good thing (though it would’ve been incredibly intriguing to have Sheldon apart from the group for at least a few episodes). Sheldon gets the news that he can move on from String Theory if he agrees to be a professor and teach a class at Caltech. Finally, The Big Bang Theory is rolling the dice. My mind was already racing with the possibilities and set-ups that could happen with Sheldon teaching a class, but it looks like we’ll have to wait for the next semester.
Sheldon is disappointed that no one signed up for his class, but Howard agrees to be his only student, which naturally results in Sheldon mocking Howard that he’s not smart enough to attend his class. So we had a Sheldon vs. Howard showdown. Will Sheldon finally admit that Howard is smart enough to take his class? Will Howard be able to keep up with Sheldon’s course? Will these two ever get along?!
Meanwhile, Bernadette and Penny butt heads when Penny is lackadaisical towards preparing for her new job that Bernadette vouched for her. This allows Amy to fulfill her “cool girl” personality by getting close to both of them separately and bad-mouthing the other. Sure, it’s not something that Amy should be doing at this stage of her friendship, but it’s Amy and we know that her craving to be noticed is extreme. Plus, she’s in a relationship with Sheldon, so we have to cut her some slack. But at the end, Bernadette and Penny are good again, pushing Amy back to being the dorky friend who’s in a dead end relationship.
This isn’t what I wanted to see from the first two episodes of the new season, but I guess it’s something I’ll have to expect. The show has plenty of problems in its sitcom format and the problems aren’t being addressed quickly enough to turn the corner. The Big Bang Theory is a great show when it combines its jokes with heart, something that How I Met Your Mother did very well. But where’s the heart? Sheldon is as cold as ever, we’ve seen zero between Leonard and Penny, and the show has temporarily abandoned the most romantic story-line: Raj and Emily. Instead, we were stuck watching the Jim Parsons show. I guess they’re just trying to make him earn his money, but for the viewer it was a fairly poor hour of television.