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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 Countdown Reflection

10 October 2012

Credit CBS

Synopsis: Howard is preparing to take off into space and thinks back on the past two days. He and Bernadette decided to get officially married before his mission. So they went to city hall but weren’t able to get to registered in time. Raj organises an impromptu wedding on the roof of the guys’ building. Sheldon, Amy, Leonard, Penny and Raj all get certified and preside.

The Good: I’m happy to see Howard and Bernadette get married. They make a nice couple and are believably in love. Raj admitting how much he loves his best friend was fine too. As was Amy’s hysterical excitement at being Maid of Honour.

The Bad: I didn’t enjoy much else though. I’ve mentioned before that Chuck Lorre makes his shows on a tight budget. What I mean by that is that compared to other sit coms The Big Bang Theory is pretty static. We very rarely get new sets or locations. Even though it was explained within the story I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see an actual wedding with friends, relatives and other guests. Perhaps we will get the reception at the start of season six.

I should just elaborate on that point. I have no special interest in seeing their wedding nor any specific affection for wedding episodes in general. It’s just a reaction against the insular, repetitive and cheap nature of the show. On any other sit com we would get a proper wedding episode with jokes crafted for the occasion. It struck me as typical of The Big Bang Theory that we only got as far as the roof and that the characters were simply repeating the same gags established before this episode rather than anything new.

That cheapness compounded the lazy uninspired script. I didn’t buy that Bernadette and Howard would stand there while their friends bickered during their ceremony. It was also unbecoming of Leonard and Penny to continue their personal issue during someone else’s wedding. The brief scenes of Howard on the space ship were a total waste of time, filled with the most basic of gags. That time could have been spent on the various sub plots instead of the paltry scene we got where Sheldon bemoaned the whole concept of gift giving.

Comic Highlight: The first time Howard called Bernadette “Mom” and had to quickly twist it into “Ma Bernadette” was funny.

In Conclusion: This was a very disappointing finale. The guys have already been to the North Pole and messed around with the Mars Rover and nothing came of either. So there was little suspense as to whether Howard would suffer from his trip into space. The wedding was a non-event ruined by the producers’ total lack of ambition.

I would say that season five has been a disappointment overall. Only three episodes scored above a 65 and it felt weaker than either of the previous two years. I think the writers succeeded in making Amy a funny part of the ensemble but they weakened Raj. They got less value from Sheldon than they should have and the Leonard-Penny relationship is a mess. They seem no more like a real couple than they ever have.

The show isn’t going to change drastically as it remains one of the three most successful comedies on television (the other two being Modern Family and Two and a Half Men). I can only repeat my refrain that minor tweaks could make it both funnier and more interesting.

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  • i fricken loved it tbh

    Viewer score: 70 / 100

    Posted by Bruce, 10/10/2012 12:03pm (6 years ago)

  • Howard yells "OY VEY" as the rocket takes off

    Posted by KF, 22/05/2012 12:21am (6 years ago)

  • I thought the ending was fine though I too missed what Howard yells. My comment about the budget is just that both this and Mike and Molly and 2 and a Half Men are all pretty short on locations and extras. The cast get paid well but not a lot else is spent on going to new places. I suspect Lorre knows how to keep costs down so that he makes an efficient cost effective show for CBS. I'm sure they could spend more if they wanted to.

    Posted by The TV Critic, 14/05/2012 11:29pm (7 years ago)

  • Hi Robin,

    Actually, I found this unexpectedly moving, particularly the scene at the end when all the couples hold hands while watching their friend blast off into space, and Sheldon says "Boldly go, Howard Wolowitz". Of course, since this is an American sitcom, I only had a minute or thereabouts to be so moved.

    As regards the issue of having a proper wedding, I think the people in charge of BBT would have had their work cut out to get a plausible group of people together, because we have hardly seen any people from outside the core cast, relatives, friends or otherwise. From what we can tell, the core cast mostly hang out with each other. Very unrealistic, even for a group of scientists; who are not the most social people in the world. Also, a vaguely related comment. I've never seen anyone comment on this, but the Sheldon/Leonard/Penny apartment building seems strangely deserted. We never see people walking down the steps from the upper floors; and we would expect to see them, because of the broken lift, unless they were jumping out of the windows. The general lack of socializing with other tenants I don't find implausible, since this is the US. At least in my limited experience of the US, people in apartment building mostly keep their doors closed and don't talk to each other.

    As regards the BBT having a tight budget, is this documented somewhere, or are you just inferring it? They could certainly afford to spend money on the show; I read that the core three actors are being paid $250,000 per episode now.

    Does anyone know what Howard yelled as the rocket took off?

    Regards, Faheem

    Posted by Faheem, 14/05/2012 4:31pm (7 years ago)

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