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The Big Bang Theory

Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper are both brilliant physicists working at Cal Tech in Pasadena, California. They are colleagues, best friends, and roommates, although in all capacities their relationship is always tested primarily by Sheldon’s regimented, deeply eccentric, and non-conventional ways. They are also friends with their Cal Tech colleagues mechanical engineer Howard Wolowitz and astrophysicist Rajesh Koothrappali. The foursome spend their time working on their individual work projects, playing video games, watching science-fiction movies, or reading comic books. As they are self-professed nerds, all have little or no luck with popular women. When Penny, a pretty woman and an aspiring actress originally from Omaha, moves into the apartment next to Leonard and Sheldon’s, Leonard has another aspiration in life, namely to get Penny to be his girlfriend.

Watch The Big Bang Theory – S07E20 – The Relationship Diremption

http://www.spoilersguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/The-Big-Bang-Theory-Season-7-Episode-20-21.jpg Lately, The Big Bang Theory has been pretty good about giving all the main characters their moments in the spotlight and not hinging every single episode on Sheldon. But at the end of the day, Dr. Sheldon Cooper is probably the single biggest reason the show has been as successful as it has, so some weeks he has to take point. That’s what he did in “The Relationship Diremption.” Sheldon’s messy breakup (with String Theory, not Amy) made for some entertaining viewing and served as a reminder of how funny Jim Parsons can be with the right material at hand.

Lorre never actually specifies what “these things” are in the vanity card, and it’s interesting to look at the rest of his message with “these things” meaning his sitcoms. He doesn’t want to write them, but that doesn’t mean he won’t. All of his comedies were picked up for next season on CBS, and Big Bang Theory got renewed for three more years. These shows are paying the bills and a whole lot more, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be going away any time soon. He doesn’t want to work on them, but he can resign himself to his contract and turn out work he’s not passionate about.

Raj is now only dating Emily, as Lucy was less cool with being one of two date-ees. He and Howard arrange a double-date with Bernadette and Emily. Raj makes Howard promise not to tease him, or reveal anything embarrassing.

At the restaurant, Howard admits that he thinks that Raj will blow the relationship with Emily. Unfortunately for Howard, he recognizes Emily when she walks in – and not in a good way. Emily finds Howard familiar, but can’t place him… until she can.

The Big Bang Theory S07E20 HDTV x264-LOL


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Watch The Big Bang Theory – The Closure Alternative Online S06E21

The Big Bang Theory - The Closure Alternative
In this week’s episode of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon and Amy deal with his need for closure, Penny tries to get excited about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Raj tries to butch it up. In other words, this is an episode about people trying to change something deeply ingrained into who they are and failing absolutely spectacularly.

First we have Sheldon, who finds out that Alphas has been canceled, and what’s more, it ended on a cliffhanger. We’ve all been there, I’m sure, but the problem is worse for Sheldon who can’t even stand to not complete his door-knocking, much less not know what happens after the disastrous scenario in which Alphas ended. (And can I just say… obscure!)

Amy decides to try to help him out by conditioning him to accept life without resolution and hands up, who here over-related to him just not being able to handle it? Particularly at the end, when he gets his closure and all but passes out with relief. My hand is in the air and I’m guessing a few of yours are as well.

Meanwhile, Raj decides to butch it up after stalking his girlfriend online and finding that she had referred to him as feminine. His solution to this seems to involve wearing a hockey jersey and serving frozen burritos for dinner, and I laughed a truly ridiculous amount because I completely believe that that is what Raj thinks masculinity comprises. Naturally, it also fails, but luckily she doesn’t mind his lack of traditional masculinity, and in fact it’s one of the things she really likes about him. I think I’m slowly coming around to liking her.


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Watch The Big Bang Theory – The Tenure Turbulence Online S06E20

The Big Bang Theory - The Tenure Turbulence
Tenure is the bane of any college professor’s existence. It’s great if you can get it, but the road to a tenured position is paved with years of uncertainty and endless amounts of inter-departmental politics. Tenure was the dragon our heroes wrestled with in this week’s episode. And as expected, they were each forced to make a choice between their years of friendship and the prospect of lifelong financial and professional security.

This could have been the basis for a really dramatic episode, but with the season finale still a few episodes off, perhaps now wasn’t the time. Unfortunately, the humor wasn’t as strong as it could have been, resulting in an episode that was neither that funny nor very dramatic.

The Tenure Turbulence” brought back two supporting players on the Caltech scene that have crossed paths with Sheldon and the gang previously in the season – rival professor Barry Kripke (John Ross Bowie) and HR director Janine Davis (Regina King). Right away that started the episode out on muddy ground. Mrs. Davis is an enjoyable enough character, mainly because of the way she brings out Sheldon’s unintentionally racist side.

That element certainly came back into play as Sheldon did his best to woo her with inappropriate gifts and other misguided gestures. Watching Sheldon’s hip little handshake maneuver at the very end was probably the highlight of the week.


Watch The Big Bang Theory – The Closet Reconfiguration Online S06E19

The Big Bang Theory - The Closet Reconfiguration
It’s not often that The Big Bang Theory gang is together for most of an episode. “The Closet Reconfiguration” was a pleasant surprise with laughs, but also serious moments when everyone was there to help Howard through an emotional situation.

I doubt there is a single person out there, even the most organized, who hasn’t thrown stuff in the closet ahead of having guests over to their house. Howard’s method of picking up in preparation for the dinner party was a universal, non-geek exclusive situation. Though, Sheldon’s love of organizing was not a punishment for bringing his own food, though at least Bernie got reparation for his wrong.

Anyone who has been watching The Big Bang Theory knows that the group cannot keep secrets. They are horrible gossips and Sheldon is the worst. At least, he didn’t just blurt of the letter’s contents and even after Penny approached him it took a bit of manipulation for him to squeal.

After years of not opening the letter, Howard was rightfully upset that all his friends knew the contents when he didn’t want that out in the world. The resolution was touching to see. Yes, the show is a sitcom, but sometimes in order to enjoy the laughs there needs to be some seriousness too. The gang’s decision to tell him truths and lies was the perfect way to give Howard resolution to his troubled relationship with his father.


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Watch The Big Bang Theory – The Contractual Obligation Implementation Online S06E18

The Big Bang Theory - The Contractual Obligation Implementation
Who knew that a roomful of teenage girls could bring such hilarity to The Big Bang Theory? The girls themselves didn’t even have to actually DO anything, such is the terrifying truth about their cruel nature. I wasn’t even a COOL middle-schooler and I was STILL an asshole and once Leonard, Sheldon, and Howard entered the locker-lined arena of Howard’s old middle school, their awareness of just how awful middle school was and is stole their lunch money and gave their contractually obligated women-in-science program a swirlie.

Meanwhile, Bernadette, Amy, and Penny played hooky to go to Disneyland and Raj’s library date with Lucy actually wasn’t a disaster. In fact, Raj wins this episode of TBBT, if only because he was the only one who wasn’t completely miserable by the end of the episode. He came up with an unorthodox but ultimately successful date-night idea to accommodate both his inability to talk to women without being drunk and Lucy’s crippling social anxiety, and it was great and everyone was happy and he ALMOST got a kiss out of it. YAY RAJ!

The contractual obligation in “The Contractual Obligation Implementation” forced Leonard, Howard, and Sheldon to create a program that would help draw women into science careers, but The Big Bang Theory took the opportunity to point out (and poke fun at) female inequalities all across geekdom-from grotesquely proportioned video game warriors in barely there armor to the fact that, for as advanced and civilized as the society in the original Star Trek series was meant to be, the show still featured a black lady (in a mini skirt) answering the space telephone. Even Sheldon-who was initially apprehensive to the point of being antagonistic in his reluctance to devote time to a female-oriented program-conceded to the often-overlooked practice of women using their initials rather than their full names to take credit for work in order to avoid being dismissed before a superior even bothered to look at the content.

And so The Big Bang Theory tackled a fairly serious issue in “The Contractual Obligation Implementation” and while its commentary was far from being the definitive statement on the matter, it WAS a very good, and more importantly for TBBT, very FUNNY. It’s honestly not hard to make me laugh, but sometimes it’s hard for The Big Bang Theory to make me laugh because so much of its humor relies on overcooked stereotypes (apologies). Yet the one-liners in “The Contractual Obligation Implementation” just kept coming-and they were excellent.


Watch The Big Bang Theory – The Monster Isolation Online S06E17

The Big Bang Theory - The Monster Isolation
In this week’s episode of The Big Bang Theory, Raj continues his awkward courtship with the equally awkward girl he met at the Valentine’s Day party last week. Her name is Lucy and, during their coffee date, she does a runner out the bathroom window, leaving Raj a broken pathetic mess. Well, more broken and pathetic than he usually is, and lest you accuse me of being hard on poor Raj, those are his words, not mine!

Everyone else has found a significant other and is in the slow process of settling down, but Raj is still adrift in a sea of loneliness and garlic butter sauce. Last week’s Valentine’s episode offered a ray of light as Raj was approached by an actual, living, breathing girl named Lucy (Kate Micucci) and embarked on a date. The oddly titled “The Monster Isolation” picked up right where “The Tangible Affection Proof” left off and documented Raj’s descent into madness following his botched date.

Because if there’s a thing I like about the show, it would be that I think the people who make it are at least somewhat harsh critics of their own work. It’s just hard to change a TV show, particularly one that’s this big and successful, and like steering an ocean liner, those changes come very slowly. This thing can’t turn on a dime. But over the course of the last few seasons, Big Bang Theory has mostly shook off some of the rut I felt it was in when I was reviewing it regularly, and it’s found some other gear. I’ve always liked comedies that slowly evolve and turn into other shows over time. I liked when Mary Richards moved into that other apartment and all of the cast changes on Cheers.

I like when things shift, because people’s real lives will shift, but so many sitcoms since the ?90s-especially the more traditional ones-have been frozen, essentially trapped in the status quo set up somewhere in the first season. The Big Bang Theory was that way for a while, but it isn’t now, and that has made all the difference.


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Watch The Big Bang Theory – The Tangible Affection Proof Online S06E16

The Big Bang Theory - The Tangible Affection Proof
Ugh, Valentine’s Day, right? It sucks when you’re single because it’s just a big pink-and-glittery slap in the face to remind you of your lack of desirability. It sucks when you’re in a relationship because of the intense pressure to wow your other half so thoroughly that he or she forgets how apathetic you are as a partner the rest of the year. And that’s before you account for complicated relationships like Leonard and Penny’s, where one half is getting his romantic ninja action on and the other is binge-drinking red wine like she’s at a VD mixer at Delta House.

Still, change is in the air over at The Big Bang Theory, and has been since the show returned from its winter hiatus. There’s always the chance that the show’s current storylines are all just some experiment gone horribly wrong, but at the moment, their effects on the core characters are plentiful and generally awesome. So awesome.

But first, a bit more of the same. Enough of the same that I was ready to write off the first half of “The Tangible Affection Proof” as typical Big Bang Theory tropes jazzed up with some candy and hearts for the special occasion. Amy was stoked about the holiday while Sheldon enlisted Alex (HI ALEX!) to do his boyfriend work and buy Amy a gift. One of Penny’s exes almost ruined everything. And Raj and Stu threw a singles party at the comic book store for “people who don’t have dates,” codespeak for “nerds.” Cuz you know, nerds NEVER have dates on Valentine’s Day.

Raj talked himself into an awkward hole when he pointed out that he and Stu would have “solved all their problems” if only Stu was female because they do awesome stuff like read comics and go the movies and play video games and we all know that women NEVER do those things. Ever. Under any circumstances. The payoff to Raj’s storyline was pretty great, though. He’s TOTALLY “that guy.” You know, the one who rallies the troops to reject the holiday, preaching solidarity and positive self-worth beyond a romantic relationship, only to bail as soon as a girl agrees to get coffee with him. Typical Raj.


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Watch The Big Bang Theory – The Spoiler Alert Segmentation Online S06E15

The Big Bang Theory - The Spoiler Alert Segmentation
Season 6 of The Big Bang Theory has been marked by slowly brewing tension among the various characters. Leonard and Penny have hit another plateau in their relationship, with Leonard ready to settle down but Penny being her usual waffle-y self. meanwhile, Sheldon has spent the bulk of the season treating Amy like less of a partner and more of a pack mule, a role which until now she’s been content to play. But all the tension finally bubbled to the surface this week as these two relationships hit major bumps. And it’s all that damned Harry Potter’s fault.

As egocentric as Sheldon has been lately, there was bound to be something that set Leonard off one of these days. I suppose an argument over Harry Potter spoilers is as valid as anything else. And certainly, anyone who struggled to power-read the final couple of books before spoilers hit the grapevine can sympathize. It was an amusing way to kick off what was a relatively dark episode by Big Bang standards. However, I thought the writers were a little cruel when they mirrored the conflict at the end by having Sheldon spoil a major character death in The Walking Dead.

Harry Potter spoilers are fair game at this point. The final book is well over five years old and the movie adaptations have come and gone. But to spoil a major development in a TV season that isn’t even finished yet, much less available on DVD, is just cruel and thoughtless on the part of the writers.

In any case, the Sheldon/Leonard rift quickly grew into a dual conflict as both Penny and Sheldon realized they really didn’t want their significant other moving in. I can’t say as I particularly sympathized with either of them. Penny and Leonard have been dating on and off for almost the entire life of the series by now. If she’s not ready to live in the same space as Leonard, she might as well just accept that their relationship is doomed. Likewise, Amy is 100 percent correct that she’s the best girlfriend Sheldon will ever have. Who else would tolerate all of his many eccentricities and casual cruelty? Besides Leonard, obviously.


Watch The Big Bang Theory – The Cooper/Kripke Inversion Online S06E14

The Big Bang Theory - The Cooper/Kripke Inversion
A man like Sheldon Cooper attracts a lot of enemies, and they seem to be coming back to haunt him lately. Following the return of Wil Wheaton earlier in the season, Sheldon was forced to partner up with rival physicist Barry Kripke. All Sheldon needs at this point is for Leslie Winkle to roll back into town and the trifecta will be complete.

I was pretty mixed on the idea of a Sheldon/Kripke-focused episode coming in. While I’m always up for any conflict that pushes Sheldon out of his comfort zone, Kripke has never been one of my favorite supporting characters. Too much of his “humor” involves his speech impediment and the fact that he sounds like Elmer Fudd. That tends to get old really quickly.

This conflict started out well enough. Sheldon’s initial overconfidence quickly fell away when he realized that Kripke was not only an intellectual rival, but had him on the ropes on this particular collaboration. Sheldon’s brief meltdown, which manifested in the form of “The Imperial March” and an afghan rug, was a highlight among his scenes this week.

But then the plot took a turn for the worse when it became clear that Kripke was less interested in working and more interested in hearing all the sordid details of Sheldon’s supposedly whimsical sex life. That did absolutely nothing to make Kripke more likable. Instead, he came across as a creepy stalker, and here the Fudd accent really didn’t help. While it was admittedly amusing to watch Sheldon stumble about and try to embrace all the sexual slang the cool kids use, I wish the episode had taken a different direction that focused more on their odd couple pairing and less on Kripke trying to live vicariously through Sheldon.


Watch The Big Bang Theory – The Bakersfield Expedition Online S06E13

The Big Bang Theory - The Bakersfield Expedition
In this week’s episode of The Big Bang Theory, the boys get lost and demoralized at Vasquez Rocks and the girls get sort of geeky. Finally.

I don’t read spoilers for this show, so I honestly have had no idea as I wrote previous reviews that this episode was coming. And while I don’t think it was done perfectly (I really could’ve lived without every guy in the comic book store staring at the ladies as they entered and then gawping at them throughout the rest of the scene), it was certainly an improvement.

First off, we need to take a moment to address the fact that Jim Parsons looked uncanny as Data once he was in the makeup. It’s not just me, right? He was eerily reminiscent of a younger Brent Spiner. (And Kunal Nayyar wasn’t too shabby as Worf, either. Kudos to the makeup team this week. They really brought it with that cosplay.)

I particularly enjoyed the way the argument snuck up on the girls; it felt very much like how similar arguments start with my friends. One minute you think you’re making a totally obvious statement and the next you’re digging through volume upon volume of canon trying to prove who’s right.


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