That’s right. Possibly my second or third deepest, most meaningful post to date as I lay down my thoughts about the modern classic TV sitcom – The Big Bang Theory.
Its at that point… it’s at the crossroads in its existence. They have surpassed 100 episodes and are nearing the end of Season 5. Both of which are points where shows slump and die or become classic icons in TV History that redefine how a group, sect, or even generation of people think about ‘Prime Time’ TV.
Shows like Roseanne, Home Improvement, The Facts of Life, and Night Court made deep impacts on those who watched them and well over 160 episodes each. Their slumps, if any, came later, lasted longer, ran an elite course.
The Big Bang Theory has all the makings of a new classic. It has a cast that is not only talented, but they work really well together. And if the original 5 regulars weren’t enough, they successfully added two more characters and managed to keep the chemistry and the talent running at their max. (My favorite addition is Mayim Bialik, who you might remember better as ‘Blossom’. As a young viewer at the time I was a huge Blossom fan (WHOA!) and think she has taken the roll of Amy and made it great. Indeed, this post is inspired greatly by her role of this weeks last episode)
They also have great writing. Really just great writing that is smart AND funny. And that ties to the other part, the niche. A show about geeks and nerds. It appeals to this crowd through its principal characters and the way they act. If you’ve ever thought, “I’d like to own a Batman costume” or some variation, you will immediately relate to these 4 guys. (And btw, chances are if you are around my age you DID have a Batman costume, it was just plastic and made for Halloween and the mask was tough to breathe out of)
But if you AREN’T a geek or a nerd but are around them a lot you can relate to Penny. Always a step behind in pop culture and technology, but 5 steps ahead in social conventions.
It also proves geeky and nerdy can be and are the new cool. (Thank you Wil Wheaton)
So, when I saw a few episodes this season that, while not bad, were certainly nothing to Facebook home about, I had that thought… Its happening… it had a good run, but it’s not gonna make 200 episodes, let alone 160.
A sad thought for sure. However with the last few episodes they have delivered in two very different ways. In one, Howard taunts Sheldon over working with Stephen Hawking ultimately leading to Sheldon meeting his ‘peer’. With Mr Hawking making an appearance in the episode it made for an iconic moment in the shows past, up there with Penny’s gift to Sheldon of a napkin signed by Leonard Nimoy.
It is at Sheldon’s expense that the most recent episode demonstrated they still have some ‘funny’ to go. Amy hypothesized that she could progress their relationship by manipulating Sheldon with her ‘neurological bag of tricks’. She has devised an experiment to increase Sheldons feelings for her at an accelerated rate. What does this consist of? Mostly catering the parts of Sheldon that she knows he holds most dear.
JOKE SPOILER ALERT!
This hilarious mix from the start begins with her setting the ‘mood’ of their date with some romantic music: the Theme from Super Mario Brothers. It continues with her making Sheldons favorite dinner as a child, Spaghetti with little bits of cut up hot dog. (He says his mother calls it a real ‘I-talian treat) It concludes with Leonard walking in on her playing Doctor with Sheldon. Star Trek style, as she puts it, she is in uniform using a medical tri-corder.
/END JOKE SPOILER ALERT!
The episode also had more Penny and Leonard issues, with them moving faster in their relationship, though hitting a big speed bump. All in all, a great episode that I watched 3 times to get this article right.
If you are on the current minority that aren’t watching this show, I say tune in and enjoy. It is classic. It is geeky. It is funny.
(BTW, if you enjoy seeing Stephen Hawking in a geeky show, check out his appearances on Futurama or go old school with the Simpsons.)