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Friday, September 24, 2010

The Big Bang Theory delivers smartest humor on TV



     Last night, CBS's The Big Bang Theory returned to begin it's fourth season.  There are plenty of great sitcoms on television.  I've watched a great number of them them week, both new series, and old favorites.  However, Big Bang emerges as the most enjoyable.  It has such a polished cast of characters at this point, and feels fresh because of the inclusion of Mayim Bialik (Blossom), who was introduced in the season finale last spring.

     Jim Parsons recently won the Emmy for playing Sheldon Cooper, an incredibly smart scientists with little to no social skills.  What works best on Big Bang is the chemistry between Parsons and Kaley Cuoco, who portrays ditzy, slightly slutty neighbor Penny.  Sheldon and Penny are from two totally different worlds, but somewhere along the way, Penny was sweet enough to begin to feel a fondness for Sheldon.  Sure, he gets on her nerves frequently, but the two have formed an odd friendship.

     Last night, Penny finally learned of Amy (Bialik), pretty much the female version of Sheldon, and encouraged Sheldon to go on his first ever date with her.  He agreed, but only because he thought that text messaging would not 'provide the required intimacy' that he and Amy would need to share if they made a genetically superior test tube baby from their shared DNA.  He has no romantic or sexual interest in Amy, or anyone else for that matter.  He also does not have a driver's license, and so Penny ended up being the third wheel.  The dinner conversation, where Sheldon and Amy talked of mathematically calculating all of Penny's sexual partners, was one of the finest moments of the series.

     Amy is an interesting women who certainly brings a new dynamic.  Is she interested in Sheldon sexually?  It's hard to tell.  She certainly does not object to his company.  We are told that they have been texting and tweeting constantly for four months.  But it's unclear whether they have just found kindred spritis in one another, or if there is something more.  There is certainly is not from Sheldon's perspective, because he has no time to think of such pedestrian pursuits.  Which suggests that perhaps Amy is the same way.  Therefore, should things progress between them, there must be an outside catalyst acting to cause the merge, most likely Penny.

     The other characters had an amusing plot as well, though not nearly as side-splittingly funny as the above occurence.  Howard (Simon Helberg) brought his work home with him.  Namely, a robotic arm he had created to do outside repairs to the space station.  He quickly discovered it could do more remedial tasks, as well as help him out sexually.  This led to an uncomfortable situation when Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) had to take him to the hospital to separate man from machine.  It was a bit raunchy, but provided a few good one-liners.

     With such a promising start, it's easy to believe that this season may top the previous three, which is a pretty tall order, considering how great the show has been in the past.  Tune into The Big Bang Theory on CBS on it's new night and time, Thursdays at 8pm.

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