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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-???


Episode 10 - The Fish Guts Displacement

9 December 2012

Credit CBS

Synopsis: Amy is ill and Sheldon agrees to look after her. She enjoys the experience so much that she conceals her recovery to spend more time with him. Howard has dinner with Bernadette’s family and she suggests that her father take him fishing. Howard turns to Penny for advice on how to fish.

The Good: The Howard-Mike bonding story was about the most basic middle of the road family sit com story you are likely to see. The scary father-in-law and the geeky son-in-law find a way to sneak around their women-folk. Easy. The fish gutting scene was a decent use of Penny and provided some predictable smiles.

Amy faking illness to get attention from Sheldon was equally familiar but quite fun. The writers latched on to the plausibility of the chest rub gag and ran with it all the way to naked bathing and spanking. If we are headed toward Sheldon becoming sexualised at some point in the future then the writers are laying the ground nicely with Amy. You could tell that he was staying far more willingly than he has in the past and that his affection for her is genuine. From her point of view any little step toward intimacy can be a source of both jokes and touching moments.

I was interested that the studio audience “ooohed” at Sheldon’s deeply inappropriate joke about the death of an Asian colleague of Amy’s. I’m pretty sure the joke about tunnelling to China was meant to get a big laugh at the sheer outrageousness of the idea. Instead the audience reacted as they should have with disapproving surprise. Its little moments like that which show the value of an audience giving instant feedback on how jokes and characters come across.

The Bad: Nothing at all. The Big Bang Theory isn’t pushing any envelopes with material like this but why would they when the show is such a success?

Comic Highlight: Actually seeing a nonplussed Sheldon deliver a spanking was quite the cheeky moment and Amy held back her joy very nicely.

In Conclusion: These were two very simple, competently handled, pleasant stories.



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  • Howard was Howard without making me wince; I like that. Sometimes the writers seem to mock the characters to the point where Sheldon's Season One comment comes to mind ("Previously I felt sympathy for the Leonard character, now I just find him to be whiny and annoying.") Howard's being ill at ease around his stern, macho, outdoorsy father felt real and not at all overdone.

    Shame it wasn't all that funny though. ;)

    If anyone but Sheldon and Amy had a spanking scene, I think I probably would have felt it inappropriate. However, Sheldon's unawareness and Amy's restrained enjoyment were amusing: Sheldon reluctantly sees it as a necessity and Amy seems to view it more as something she's read about but never thought she'd experience.

    (BTW, I'm glad you mentioned Sheldon's joke about tunneling to China. I, too, liked the audience's reaction)

    Viewer score: 60 / 100

    Posted by JStrange, 09/12/2012 5:28pm (7 years ago)

  • I'm glad you enjoy the reviews. It's difficult to judge Amy and Sheldon by normal standards. There aren't many asexual people in the real world and so any relationship he has will be unusual.

    Posted by The TV Critic, 09/12/2012 12:56pm (7 years ago)

  • Hi Tv Critic,

    I love the way you review this show.
    But I was pretty much grossed out the spanking scene. It was just too weird for me to enjoy.
    And Amy enjoying it makes sense but it's starting to look like she is desperate. Both of them seem to be in a complete different place in their relationship. The more they show the oblivious Sheldon and Kinky Amy the more I am going to think about this relationship being written badly

    Viewer score: 50 / 100

    Posted by Critic, 09/12/2012 12:45pm (7 years ago)

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