“The Wheaton Recurrence”
April 12th, 2010
There are two things that the Big Bang Theory isn’t particularly good at, and they include handling serious dramatic situations within its comic tone and the integration of guest stars beyond their initial appearance. The show has always shied away from any sort of realistic emotional tensions in favour of a cheap joke, and characters like Christine Baranski’s Dr. Hofstadter were novel upon their first appearance and felt like a big ol’ sitcom cliche in their next.
“The Wheaton Recurrence” does little to change either of these facts, even if one could argue that there was positive momentum on the emotions front. There’s a difference, ultimately, between actually dealing with emotions and featuring emotions in a major storyline: while this episode forces Penny and Leonard to consider the state of their relationship, it’s something the show should have done a long time ago, and something that we should have seen some evidence of in earlier episodes. Nothing about their revelations feels particularly natural, and the lack of either a rising action or a proper denouement makes any sort of “event” in the episode seems like a wasted opportunity.
Which, I guess, is preferable to a waste of time.
Why I Hated the Pilot
June 30th, 2009
[While I’ve blogged about some episodes of the show, and even covered the PaleyFest panel about the show in April, I haven’t actually watched The Big Bang Theory with any consistency. I’m watching the show as my thesis breaks over the next few weeks, and while I have no intentions of any indepth thoughts (not that kind of show), I do have a few things to say about the show, and will stop by with them on occasion.]
For a good year, the only thing on this blog on the subject of The Big Bang Theory was an article lumping it in with Cavemen, a problematic judgment that I knew needed to be addressed but didn’t really see any rush in fixing. The show just really turned me off with its pilot, and after watching it there was absolutely nothing that could convince me to keep watching…or so I told myself.
In my head, I had sworn off the show after the pilot, never to watch again after it had offended me so – watching the first season, however, I appear to have watched at least a few of the episodes that followed, whether randomly or purposefully but without much intention. Clearly, my experience with them didn’t override my disdain for the pilot, so going back to that first episode I was still very curious to see if I could pinpoint just what it was that resulted in such vitriol.
I think I’ve found the answer: the thing that made me hate this pilot is, rather than the existence of a laugh track, the execution of said sitcom device.
“The Classified Materials Turbulence”
May 4th, 2009
I’ve been writing about sitcoms as part of my thesis work, and in doing so I’ve had to define the traditional sitcom in its more basic terms for an academic audience that won’t have quite my obsession with television. So I figured now would be another time to stop by with my new friends at The Big Bang Theory, a series that fits into the mold of actually being able to just “stop by” so to speak. I haven’t yet started catching up on the series, so I’ve still got thirty odd episode episodes to dig into.
This one, admittedly, didn’t do much for me outside of the elements that I find most engaging in the series; it’s clear to me that I’m going to have to spend a number of episodes wishing that the show is spending more time with Sheldon than Leonard, and that I’m going to expect more out of some of the storylines than the show is willing to offer.
PaleyFest 09: The Big Bang Theory
April 16th, 2009
[I got the chance to report on last Thursday’s The Big Bang Theory Panel for the good folks at HitFix while I was in California, so below is a bit of a teaser, a link to the story, and after the jump some photos from the event. Enjoy!]
In the interest of full disclosure, I had seen two complete episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” before attending Thursday’s panel discussion as part of PaleyFest 09; however, in the same interest, the panel was more than enough to convince me to rectify this particular injustice as soon as possible.
Most of the reason for this lies in Jim Parsons, whose Sheldon is pretty unanimously considered the show’s breakout character and who made a big splash as comic relief throughout both the early screening of the next new episode of the series, “The Vegas Renormalization,” and the panel discussion. Discussing the show’s key dynamic, co-creator Chuck Lorre was pretty clear on one of the writers’ key missions.
To read the rest of the article, head on over to HitFix – to see some pictures from the event, keep reading!