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The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory is a comedy about two physicists Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper who live and work together in Pasadena, California. They live a comfortable geeky existence until attractive wannabe actress Penny moves in across the hall. CBS 2007-???

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Episode 24 - The Bon Voyage Reaction

18 May 2013

Credit CBS

Synopsis: Raj pushes Lucy to meet his friends. Dinner with Amy doesn't go well because Raj keeps pushing for more intimacy. He invites her to Leonard's bon voyage party but she doesn't come and breaks up with him. Leonard is off to the North Sea to work on a research team that Stephen Hawking has put together.

The Good: It's felt like a season of tiny steps forward for the gang. Leonard and Penny have slowly become a happy couple. Raj has gone from needing Stuart for company to finally being able to talk to girls without alcohol. Howard has loosened the apron strings a little. Sheldon is comfortable contemplating a life with Amy in it. This is the slow paced world of The Big Bang Theory. So far there's no sign of the breakups which I assume will have to come somewhere down the line. Nor any sign of career changes or apartment swaps or other characteristics of sit coms going into their seventh season. The show is what it is, it's hugely successful and largely its character development is logical and straightforward.

This was more of that. Sheldon is jealous of Leonard's new opportunity. Simple. Penny and Leonard are sad to say goodbye for a few months but ultimately handle it very maturely. Lucy breaks up with Raj but it leads to a major breakthrough. Good for him.

The Bad: It just wasn't very funny and hasn't been especially funny for most of the season. Statistically it doesn't seem to be any worse than the previous two seasons. I think familiarity has just set in at the point where Sheldon's flippant remarks just aren't enough anymore. In this episode we got the particularly lame suggestion that he thinks of his friends as Star Trek characters. It's an idea that doesn't make much sense and relies entirely on the "you will understand this reference" school of comedy.

Comic Highlight: I did smile at Howard's need to point out that he had been to space and that that trumped Leonard's exciting boat expedition. It's been a while since he brought it up but you knew it was in there.

In Conclusion: I've been warning that there's a chance I will stop reviewing most of the comedies I currently cover episodically. I don't know what to think about The Big Bang Theory. There really has been enough tiny developments over the years to give me a grudging admiration for the show runners ability to sneak change into a formula that is otherwise pretty flat. On the other hand what am I adding by endlessly dolling out 50s to the show ever week. I've never seen the show strive to be funny. I've never seen the writers put a story they wanted to tell over the needs to tick all the boxes they do every week (geek reference, Sheldon put down, status quo maintained). This isn't a show I should be covering in depth, it just happens to exist in an era when comedies that I value are at an all time low. I probably will be back next season but reserve the right not to be. I wish the show well but it doesn't need my help and could be here for another decade churning out essentially the same story week after week.

('DiggThis)

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Comments

  • what the heck!!
    This show is "the" best comedy show i have ever seen....
    If u r critcising about pace and dialogue, no one in this damn world can do this kinda stuff on and on for season after season.
    I dont remember even 1 single episode that has disappointed me... YOU SUCK :p

    Posted by SURAJ, 29/05/2013 10:27am (6 years ago)

  • Thank you for the kind words guys. There's a good chance I will be here. I will let you know either way.

    Posted by The TV Critic, 22/05/2013 10:53pm (7 years ago)

  • "You can't leave! Who will cater to my every whim?" - Sheldon Cooper

    Posted by JStrange, 22/05/2013 3:36pm (7 years ago)

  • Please keep reviewing this show.I really like the way you review this show.

    And as far as this episode is concerned , I would like the episode to have focussed more Leonard and Penny's feelings rather than Sheldon's feelings.

    Viewer score: 60 / 100

    Posted by GT, 19/05/2013 2:41am (7 years ago)

  • I hope you continue to review TBBT: you're precise and analytical about the show's strengths and weaknesses. I like your objectivity and succinct style.

    But I don't blame you for being weary of TBBT. Season 6 wasn't particularly funny despite its good intentions in developing characters and giving everybody something to do. The comedy declined, the comic highlights were lower than ever and harder to find.

    Maybe it's because the show's become too familiar? When Sheldon tells the gang he thinks of them as anonymous Star Trek characters, it felt stale and something he would've mentioned years earlier. When Leonard's and Penny's airport goodbye is interrupted by Sheldon, I'm reminded it's still all about Sheldon. The so-called "lack of chemistry" between Penny and Leonard is more a result of the writers' indifference and an over-reliance on Jim Parsons.

    Stuff (like Raj finally talking and Leonard leaving) that should've mattered more and could've been cool and dramatic if worked up to and hinted at felt rushed and inconsequential. As it was, I thought it typical that Raj and Penny get a more emotional scene than Leonard and Penny and I half expected the two to end up in bed together. Heck, even Sheldon and Penny have a more truthfully written moment together. Just like every other season.

    I've thought it before: TBBT's just good enough to make you start to feel "Hey, I like these guys and I wonder where they're going" only to make you realize they're mostly already there. This season meant well but it made me realize it doesn't really matter. Leonard and Penny together or apart. Sheldon and Amy whatever. Raj gay or not, talking or silent. What happened to Stuart? Is he still living with Raj? Who got tenure? Is Sheldon still Nobel-Prize bound or just a self-deluded OCD snob? Is...never mind, it doesn't matter.

    However, if you keep reviewing, I'll keep watching. I promise.

    Viewer score: 60 / 100

    Posted by JStrange, 18/05/2013 2:33am (7 years ago)

  • I'm just relieved they have ended the insanely stupid "Raj can't speak to women unless he is drunk" storyline or motif or whatever it was. Though it seemed to me to happen for no reason.

    Posted by Faheem, 17/05/2013 10:54pm (7 years ago)

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