I still watch the Big Bang Theory. I’ve missed a couple of episodes this season, but I’ll catch up in a bit. It use to be something I made time for in my schedule to watch new episodes, but my like in the show has seriously waned. There were things about it that bothered me, and after poking around online I realized I wasn’t the only one who liked the show, but for some reason disliked it at the same time. Let me go into my problems with the show.
The first time I had an issue with the show I never got over was Episode 1 of Season 3, “The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation”. After the guys return from the North Pole it’s revealed that Leonard, Howard and Raj tampered with Sheldon’s research by using an electric can opener. Now, there’s no way that Sheldon should have published those results quickly (I can’t imagine any scientist would) but deliberately screwing with someone’s research is unforgivable. For the sake of making fun of their “friend” they played a prank on him during a very serious point in his career. Why? I just wanted to reach into the TV and say “Sheldon, these are not your friends. You’re better off alone.” Because that is such a seriously messed up thing they. How could Sheldon ever trust them again for anything? They are no better than the bullies he had to deal with as a kid.
For me this kind of ruined the show on a fundamental level. But I kept watching.
And then there was my other problem; Penny. I’ll name two things I noticed around season 5 about Penny.
#1 – Where did all her friends go? At the beginning of the series Penny was a fun outgoing person who had friends she went dancing with and she had parties. Now all she does is sit with the guys on the couch, drink and complain. While I want to believe that Penny is going through a story-arc, there’s no real explanation for this unless I missed something. Theoretically, Penny could be going through a depression where she isolated herself from all her friends and took to the bottle to numb the pain and no one else seems to notice because to the rest of the guy’s she’s just Leonard’s hot girlfriend. Amy’s only known her a short time in comparison. Bernadette knew Penny from before though as they worked together. Bernadette should have noticed this shift in Penny and as a friend, I would hope, addressed it. But there’s no explanation as to why Penny, the non-nerdy girl who we never see play Halo anymore, or Ages of Conan, bought one Thor comic, and hates cosplaying, stopped doing her extracurricular activities to drink wine on their couch.
#2 – What do Leonard and Penny talk about? People on the show have asked this, not just me. While I bought their first foray into romance, the second attempt which is still currently going seems contrived. These two people have nothing in common except living in the same building and being sick of Sheldon. I argue that Leonard made a good match with every single woman he has dated on the show except Penny. They don’t do anything together except make fun of everyone else and have sex with each other. In 6:21, “The Closure Alternative”, is I think when I really lost it as Penny spends the whole episode trying to find an activity she is passionate about and ends up saying it’s Leonard. That’s it? Only Leonard? What happened to acting or even making penny blossoms? I thought they were finally going to address what was going on with Penny, instead I get confirmation of a forced romance between two incompatible characters.
I see Penny and Leonard together and I just think it’s sad that this once vibrant woman has become a depressed borderline alcoholic and the only people closest to her don’t seem to notice or care.
But she’s not the only one who went a different direction, because then there’s Amy.
When Amy first appeared I was a bit annoyed at female Sheldon, but after a few episodes I liked the interactions between her and all the characters. I was also happy Sheldon had found a friend that didn’t put him down for his personality even if they didn’t always agree on everything. Unfortunately, and I’m not sure how this even happened, but Amy turned into a horn dog chasing after Sheldon. To this day I’m baffled. In 4:1, “The Alien Parasite Hypothesis”, it’s established that Amy is attracted to Penny’s ex Zach and when she holds Sheldon’s hand she realizes she is not attracted to him. Granted, people change their minds, she could be in love with Sheldon, whatever excuse you want. But I think it’s sad that she came as female Sheldon and is now a sex-starved woman in a bad relationship. She’s been on other dates, she could find another man. I don’t understand what happened and I can’t say that enough. I understand the overbearing bonding she has with Penny and Bernadette, but Amy season 4 to season 7 might as well not even be the same person.
And that brings me to Stuart because I like Stuart. He’s an artist, a sweet guy, a business owner. He followed his passion despite the financial troubles he had in owning that store. When Stuart and Penny went on a date in season 2, that was more believable than Penny and Leonard. Because I can believe Penny being flattered by an artist drawing her. Stuart back then was, yes nerdy, but somewhat smooth. he wasn’t awkward like Leonard or a perv like Howard. So then for some reason in later seasons they turned Stu into an even bigger joke than the leads of the show. Every line he says is self-depricating. Why can’t Stu just have been a struggling artist with jokes about his experiences instead of becoming a joke himself?
But I keep watching. At this point the show is like background noise to me. something I can have on the TV while I work on other stuff. (Some people like music, I like sitcoms). I’m not invested anymore. I don’t want the merchandise. I’m kind of embarrassed that I still watch it.
On a happy note, I do like Howard and Bernadette. They are an adorable couple who obviously love each other, not in spite of each others fault, but as a whole. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up divorced or something, because crazy shit happens in the writing offices of Big Bang. As for Raj, which I barely mentioned, he’s seen some very sad character development too. I like to think that it’s because since he’s the cutest (in my opinion) they had to add extra stuff to bring him down to Loserville which is the town they all live in according to the writers.