October 12, 2009 · 11:19 pm
“The Pirate Solution”
October 12th, 2009
Usually, my reviews of The Big Bang Theory end up devolving into my frustration with the show’s treatment of Sheldon (a subject that many disagree with) and the ill-advised nature of Leonard and Penny’s relationship (which pretty much everyone agrees with, outside of a vocal minority), but “The Pirate Solution” is a rare occasion where I get to focus my analysis elsewhere.
I often feel that the show is held back by is adherence to the sitcom tradition of a fundamental lack of character development, focusing instead on character interaction. There are episodes where I totally buy into the value of this, accepting that although it holds the show back it nonetheless can result in some really fun comedy. However, there are episodes like “The Pirate Solution” which focus their attention on a character and in the process remind us that while some have turned into full-featured individuals others have, well, not.
Raj Koothrappali is a character who, like Penny, is a good foil for nearly every other character, but when you isolate him on his own things become starkly simple. Kunal Nayyar is an engaging actor, but the problem with Raj is that his lack of development is proving detrimental. When the show designates a Raj episode, it means the show recycles cliched India jokes and once again has Raj’s inability to speak to women prove detrimental. I won’t argue that this isn’t entertaining, as I think the Raj parts of this episode were charming; however, I think that there’s a point here where I wonder why Raj needs to be reduced to these stereotypes, and at what point his evolution would only improve the show’s dynamics.
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Filed under The Big Bang Theory
Tagged as Alcohol, Character, Columbus Day, Deportation, Entertainment, Episode 4, Eye of the Tiger, Gremlins, I swear to cow, Jim Parsons, Koothrappali, Kunal Nayyar, Leonard, Penny, Physics, Raj, Season 3, Television, The Pirate Solution, TV, Twitter, Wolowitz
September 21, 2009 · 10:09 pm
September 21st, 2009
How I Met Your Mother (How-Eye-Meh-Ett-Yo-Err-Mah-thur) Noun.
1. CBS Comedy Series.
2. Probably the most “anticipated” comedy return of the fall season for this particular critic.
While The Office might be more consistent, and 30 Rock might be more uproarious, I think that I find myself most honestly excited about How I Met Your Mother, a show that just a few years ago I didn’t even watch on a regular basis. I think it’s because while The Office thrives on awkward comedy, and 30 Rock plays the absurdist angle, HIMYM tends to operate most often by either charming us as viewers (something The Office can do but which 30 Rock rarely attempts) or by introducing some really interesting intermingling between serialization and concept episodes of unquestionable quality.
So heading into its fifth season, more successful than one could have imagined two years ago, How I Met Your Mother finds itself closer than ever (we presume) to the identity of the Mother, and finally pulling the trigger on a long-gestating relationship (Barney and Robin). This means that, quite similar to the Office’s premiere, “Definitions” is more about defining (Yeah, I went there) how the show is going to handle Ted’s new job and Barney and Robin’s relationship rather than surprising us with anything even remotely considering a twist.
But, done in typical HIMYM style with plenty of flair and a whole lot of laughs, one can’t really complain about the execution, although the evasion of definition and expectation is certainly a theme.
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Filed under How I Met Your Mother
Tagged as Architecture 101, Barney Stinson, Barnman and Robin, Cloud, Cobie Smulders, Definitions, Emmy, Entertainment, Episode 1, Fedora, Girlfriend, Gremlins, HIMYM, Hockey, Indiana Jones, Kiss Cam, Lily, Marshall, Music, Pregnancy, Premiere, Professor, Professor Mosby, Robin, Robin Cherbotsky, Season 5, Season Premiere, Television, TV, Whip