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August 28, 2015

'The Big Bang Theory' Season 4, Episode 14 Recap

by Oliver Miller, posted Feb 4th 2011 6:40AM
'The Big Bang Theory' Bollywood Dance['The Big Bang Theory' - 'The Thespian Catalyst']

For the second time in a row, the plot of 'The Big Bang Theory' hung upon the slenderest of threads. Last time around, the plot of the episode was skimpy, but it still managed to be funny. This time around ... not so much.

At this point in the show, we basically know these characters. Penny will always be ditsy. Sheldon will always be uptight. Raj will always be longing for the love of a good woman, and so on.

It's a fine line for a sitcom. The essence of comedy is that we know how characters are going to react. There's the straight man, the provocateur, the dame, and so on. ... But at the same time, if the jokes are too predictable, then it'll stop being funny.

This episode was very predicable, and as a result, it wasn't that great. The set-up featured Sheldon, who was standing in front of a class, trying give a lecture to a group of PhD students. Of course, he failed, due to his lack of social skills -- his students ended up Tweeting things like "KMN," which stands for "Kill Me Now."

Next, the gang headed to the Cheesecake Factory to discuss Sheldon's failure -- which was when Raj started moping about his own failure with women. Bernadette was their waitress; when she told Raj he was "cute," it led to the episode's most amusing plot-line. Raj continually drifted off into dream sequences where Bernadette begged him to have sex with her, and the whole thing culminated in an unnecessary -- but fairly awesome -- Bollywood dance sequence to end the show.

Meanwhile, Sheldon was trying to win back his students. Amy told him to work on his charisma, so he knocked on Penny's door, and asked her to give him acting lessons, so that he could fake being charming. And ... boom! There you go. That was the plot. But, well ... it was all a little weird.

The central "joke" was that through acting, Penny recovered Sheldon's buried memories of his mother. Sheldon collapsed into tears at the end of the session, so Penny called his mom on the phone: "Ms. Cooper?" she said. "Hey, it's Penny. I think that I broke your son." That was funny. But mostly, their interaction consisted of Sheldon being rude to Penny, over and over again. It was jokey at first, but then it just seemed ... mean.

Sadly, Leonard and Howard had nothing at all to do during the episode. Leonard was on-screen for about three minutes total. Obviously, with an ensemble cast, these things will happen -- but still, isn't Leonard supposed to be, like, one of the main characters? What happened to his relationship with Penny? Wasn't that what the last episode was about? It seems like the writers gave up here.

In the end, tonight's episode was about dreams. Raj dreamed of Bernadette. Penny dreamed of being an actress. Sheldon dreamed of being accepted. Dreams are nice, but the audience needs something tangible to hold onto. For the second episode in a row, our simple dream was that something would actually happen on this show. Sometimes, 'Star Wars' and 'Star Trek' jokes just aren't enough.

Speaking of which ...

Random jokes:

"I think that was what Darth Vader said right before he started building the Death Star."

It's like accidentally walking into a gay bar and having no one hit on you."


I sense that you're trying to slow-walk me to an epiphany."

Whatcha thinking so hard about?" -- "Just that I'm definitely not gay."

Penny: "I had dreams, you know." Sheldon: "I'd like a frozen yogurt please."

"His unique genius is the best chance for bringing peace to a vast and troubled galaxy."

Dance number aside, I am still not gay."

'The Big Bang Theory' airs Thursdays, 8PM ET on CBS.

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Sandee Russo

I enjoyed the Penny/Sheldon scenes but as far as the rest of the episode went worst BBT in a long time.

February 04 2011 at 8:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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