Crumbs: Reviews » Comedies » The Big Bang Theory » Season 5 » The Rhinitis Revelation
Critical reviews of U.S. TV shows
and analysis of what makes them
good, bad, irritating and enlightening.

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 6 - The Rhinitis Revelation

21 October 2011

Synopsis: Sheldon's mother comes to visit and he has planned activities where she can either look after him or be proud of him. She feels he has outgrown those needs and would rather see the sights. She takes an interest in the gang and their various problems.

The Good: This was fairly pointless but then again on a show where plots move at a glacial pace this was to be expected. Mrs Cooper almost took a walking tour of our gang and their various problems. We should be thankful that they have problems for us to be interested in. Howard's space mission is an ongoing story, as is Leonard's long-distance relationship and Raj's loneliness. It may not feel like progress but it is.

I didn't think it was very entertaining but Sheldon's refusal to change did feel believable. For someone who already thinks he is better than everyone else I can buy that he doesn't see the need to grow up emotionally. All he knows is that he was happy when someone was taking care of him and making him feel special. Why should that ever end? I was really hoping this was the moment when he would realise that he had to transition that relationship from his mum to Amy (without being too creepy of course). But it would have been a logical development for him to feel like she now gives him the validation that his mother once did. But it wasn't to be and instead we just got more of Sheldon being unashamedly selfish which for some will be enough.

The Bad: For me the complete lack of development will always feel like a let down and frankly the episode was dull. Sheldon's mother plays the role well and her story made sense but it wasn't particularly funny. The politically incorrect Texan Bible-basher stuff is predictable and basic. I felt it was inappropriate for her to ask the gang to pray. That implied a level of pushiness and insensitivity that didn't reflect well on her.

Sheldon's "realisation" that he was the same as anyone else when it came to emotions was a bit of a waste of time. Mainly because he didn't learn anything from that experience and was back to championing his own exceptionalism by the time his mum sang "Soft Kitty" to him.

Comic Highlight: Amy is the one who explains to Sheldon why he is emotionally the same as everyone else. As they discuss the idea he begins sneezing. "Are you sure you're not coming down with a cold?" she asks, "Oh yes, the common cold" he retorts "Just like everyone else, you'd love that wouldn't you?"

In Conclusion: This was a stasis episode. Nothing happened, nothing changed, nothing was tried. I've never known a sit com so content to sit still as The Big Bang Theory.




Add your comments on this episode below. They may be included in the weekly podcasts.

Post your comment


  • I would like to think that was the case. But I suspect the writers will have him revert to type when they need him to rather than plot a genuine trajectory of growth.

    Posted by The TV Critic, 21/06/2012 12:29pm (8 years ago)

  • Strange, I saw this episode in completelly opposite fashion - as a point where a brake occurs in sheldon and he understands that he is not so different from other people. For me this episode meant that Sheldon will be in a "growing state" from now on, probably in relation with Amy. So quite the opposite - not stagnant, but showing huge discrete change inside the Sheldon, which now will lead to gradual changes in his behavior.

    Posted by harris, 21/06/2012 11:40am (8 years ago)

  • as for me i'm really disappointed with the words of raj & howard in the church - comic characters do not have a right to laugh at Christian symbols. ps i did my best to find polite words.

    Posted by Denis, 29/10/2011 10:25am (9 years ago)

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments