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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 3 - The Higgs Boson Observation

12 October 2012

Credit NBC

Synopsis: Sheldon wonders if some of his childhood work demands re-exploration. He hires a grad student to do the grunt work and settles on a woman named Alex Jensen. He treats her like a servant and Leonard is the only one who is kind to her. Amy is initially jealous but then realises that Penny is the one who should be worried. Meanwhile Howard is told he will be staying a week longer in space and begins to freak out.

The Good: As I always maintain, the show is at its best when new characters interact with the established eccentricities of the cast. Sure enough Alex’ arrival prompts several fun moments. The best surrounded Raj (see Comic Highlight) who Leonard cruelly sets up to speak with her, knowing that he can’t. I also smiled at Leonard’s fearful “ooooh” when she admitted that she had missed one of Sheldon’s many steps in acquiring the perfect frozen yoghurt for him.

The discussion between Amy and Penny as to whether Alex was a potential threat was funny too. Amy is annoyed that Sheldon didn’t tell her that his new assistant was female and Penny responds “Maybe he didn’t notice.” Amy assures herself that she has nothing to worry about and Penny guffaws in agreement “No you do not!” I will be pleased if Alex sticks around although I suppose there is the danger of just replaying the Priya dynamic all over again.

The writers are certainly committed to Howard’s space travel and I guess you won’t see anything like it on another sit com. His misery at being kept up there for a long period of time makes perfect sense and I did laugh at his fearful statement that the Russians “left dogs up here in the 60s!”

The Bad: As with each of the Howard-in-space plots though it became repetitious and tedious. Similarly Sheldon’s interactions with Alex were a disappointment. He quickly formed his dismissive\abusive attitude toward her without many good gags. If she sticks around there could be loads more to explore there. Amy too got a lot of dialogue which didn’t do much for me. Rubbing her scent all over Sheldon’s office was too silly an exaggeration.

Comic Highlight: Raj and Leonard barge into Sheldon’s office to take him to lunch and are surprised to meet Alex. Raj of course goes completely silent. When she leaves Leonard comments “She seems nice.” Raj takes offence and points out that Leonard already has a girlfriend. Leonard replies that all he said was that she was nice. “Yeah well I love her” Raj retorts with feeling. That captured his desperate neediness in a really fun way.

In Conclusion: This was pretty good. Not funny throughout but by far the best of the season so far.



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  • New regular characters have to justify their existence in this crowded show. Priya wasn't funny and her interactions with the gang weren't funny - but the idea was interesting: new people can lead to new situations and comedy.

    I thought this episode was the best so far for the season, but that's not a strong compliment. The close-ups of a panicky Wolowitz weren't funny and visually we don't need to see Howard up close. Ewww. Plus, is that how the show's going to play HW's attempts to man up, get married, go into space: as further proof of his childish helplessness?

    Raj's reaction to Leonard's mild comment about Sheldon's graduate assistant was funny. I hope they don't make the GA into a new Priya; that was dull enough the first time. Penny, it seems to me, might welcome Leonard finding someone else - that way Penny could dump him without feeling she'd left him hopeless and alone.

    Viewer score: 60 / 100

    Posted by JStrange, 12/10/2012 9:18pm (7 years ago)

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