Thursday, October 3, 2013

TV Threshold: The Big Bang Theory

(TV THRESHOLD = the episode after which you come to love a series and appreciate its greatness)

As of this season, The Big Bang Theory is the biggest thing on television.  Their opening for season seven was the highest rated in the show's history.

I must admit that this is one of my comfort shows.  When I was recovering from my first surgery, my wife played it on a constant loop.  It is some great silly fun.

But it wasn't always as well-liked by me as it is now.  In fact, this one has a very long TV Threshold for me.

There is some debate by fans as to whether or not the show improved with the addition of the larger female cast.  I've heard from a lot a people that it was funnier with just the guys and the science jokes.  I disagree.  I think the addition of the regular women characters has added more depth.

When I first watched the show I enjoyed it, but it did suffer from oversexualization and emotional distance that other Chuck Lorre shows have (e.g. Two and a Half Men).  It took me a long time to like the characters, even though they loved geeky things like I did.  But the characters were alternately selfish, simplistic, infuriating, and morally troubling.  Remember that Leonard and Raj bought a prostitute for Howard in season 2.  I actually still find that incredibly upsetting.

But I stuck with the show and it eventually went from a show I watched to a show I love.  The TV Threshold for me was in the in the 3rd season.  It was an episode titled "The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary."  This episode had just the perfect mixture of jokes and funny characters including:

-the introduction of Bernadette
-the introduction of Will Wheaton
-Sheldon quoting Kahn
-Sheldon quoting Kirk in Wrath of Kahn

And it has, for me, one of the funniest moments in the shows history.  Check out the clip below (skip to 0:49 for the joke)

It was hear that things really began to click and The Big Bang Theory started to become appointment watching, and not "I'll catch later on Tivo" watching.  The show got better by adding Bernadette as a permanent cast member and also bringing on Amy.

I should also note the moment I went from really liking to loving this show.  It was an episode in Season 5 called "The Stag Convergence" where Howard has his bachelor party and Bernadette finds out all the perverted things he used to do.  Her disgust summed up a lot of my disgust from earlier seasons.  But then Howard shows up and gives one of the best monologues I've seen on television, because it really encapsulated how Howard and the show itself had grown:

I can now look back on those earlier episodes and enjoy them, because I know that the characters are going to get better.



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