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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 23 - The Launch Acceleration

5 May 2012

Credit CBS

Synopsis: Howard is thrilled to hear that NASA have called off his mission and he won’t have to go into space. He keeps it quiet though. Amy tries to get Sheldon to have feelings for her by using his favourite things to win him over. Leonard and Penny sleep together and he proposes in the heat of the moment. NASA call to say the mission is back on.

The Good: I was intrigued by the idea of Howard actually being relieved at not going into space. After he found the training so hard (518) it made sense but I was hoping to see more conflict. As it probably had been his childhood dream it would have been nice to hear him express more complicated emotions than just fear and relief.

I really liked the thinking behind the Sheldon-Amy story. The writers have been so resolute in not letting Sheldon enjoy sexual things. Even now they stick to it as he claims that a sex ed book Leonard made him read “gave me nightmares.” But Amy is so determined to move their relationship forward that she has hit on a cunning plan. She uses things from his childhood to try and transfer his feelings of affection for them onto her. Or as Sheldon acidly remarks “Amy has embarked on a campaign to increase my feelings for her by making me happy.” Her use of his favourite childhood food and drink was fun and the sound of the Mario Kart music was very well chosen. The final scene was the coup de grace as she gets him to play doctor with her using an authentic Star Trek outfit. That story really could be fun and fruitful if it continues on.

Amy’s desire to push things forward was influenced by the impending nuptials of Howard and Bernadette. That event inspires Leonard too to propose to Penny while they are having sex. Given his worship of her it’s not implausible and I did enjoy seeing them being cute together for a change (playing with balloons).

The Bad: The rest of the Howard story was predictable and led to some dull jokes about Bernadette’s Dad being tough and disapproving. The Leonard-Penny story didn’t really overcome any of the usual obstacles with taking their relationship more seriously.

Comic Highlight: I did appreciate the final gag with Howard and his father-in-law. Howard takes a risk by confiding that he is worried about dying on the mission but is reassured that it will be alright. “You really think so?” he asks to which Bernadette’s father replies “Of course, a pretty girl like Bernadette, she’ll find a new guy.”

In Conclusion: This has potential but was executed with little spark.

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  • I liked the balloon bit at the beginning with Leonard and Penny being playful on the couch. The writers generally do a terrible job of making them seem like a real couple. The show could do with more scenes like that. I agree that it would be more realistic to make Howard seem conflicted, but going into space is probably really scary if you are about to do it, so terror is (in my opinion) a realistic reaction too.

    Posted by Faheem Mitha, 06/05/2012 4:52pm (7 years ago)

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