Season Eight, Episode Three
After a less than mediocre start to the eighth season, The Big Bang Theory delivers with a funnier, yet stale episode. It’s never terrible when a comedy is funny, but with a ratings blockbuster like The Big Bang Theory, you would expect more. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen it in a long time.
The best moments in the episode revolve around Simon Helberg’s physical comedy. The scene where he’s warming up to throw a baseball while practicing in the gym is great fun. Helberg has taken over most of the series’ jokes since he’s matured from the little, horny geek striking out with every ridiculous pick-up line. Also, Kunal Nayyar gives some great one-liners throughout, plus I loved him jeering Helberg as he’s pitching in a video game.
The B-story was all over the place, with a double date between Leonard, Penny, Sheldon, and Amy. The double date idea is good, and I appreciate the show actually developing the engagement between Leonard and Penny, but the execution of this story-line is poor. As we continue to question why Amy remains loyal by Sheldon’s side, they legitimately believe that they’re a better couple than Leonard and Penny. Which I guess I can see because Leonard and Penny’s past is proof that they’re both a wreck together, though that’s probably more Penny’s fault than Leonard’s. But still, how could Amy, who shows great deal of frustration practically every other episode, believe she’s in a healthy relationship with Sheldon? I’m not buying that.
We at least get an update that they don’t have any imminent plans to set a wedding date, so I guess the show will drag that story-line out. I like how they confront each other about their insecurities being with each other for the long haul, but like every time TBB tries to explore serious relationship issues, they resolve the conflict way too quickly. So while Sheldon and Amy scored an 8.2 on that relationship test, Leonard refused to take it but still gives a sweet remark to Penny that makes Amy jealous. It’s a decent analogy for both of their relationships, but everything else barely hit skin-deep.
While this was an improvement from last week’s back-to-back episodes, it’s far from being a good one. But for a while, TBB has been bumping out stand-alone episodes for syndication without attempting to drive home any kind of story-arc. This is why TBB will get ratings, but will easily be forgotten in the long-run. It’s the reason I see Friends and How I Met Your Mother repeats, and it seems that Two and a Half Men reruns have disappeared.