Visiting The Big Bang Theory on Its Deathbed: Week #2


The Big Bang Theory is a CBS sitcom about a group of geeky adults that has run for 12 staggeringly long years. In that time period, it has attracted critical ire, many Emmys, and earned its stars million-dollar salaries. But now this show is dying and I, a pop culture critic with a heart made of onyx who has never even seen a single episode, have decided to watch the program weekly to pay my respects—and also roast it to death one last time.

[A programming note: I was out last week in a remote castle where nobody could hear me scream with zero access to the internet and/or television, so I am combining Episode 2 and 3 in this post!]

Season 12, Episode 2: The Wedding Gift Wormhole

Summary: Leonard and Penny give Sheldon and Amy a crystal wand for their wedding gift, which has no real purpose other than to torture them since they can’t figure it out. I hope to steal this idea someday. Meanwhile, Howard and Raj help Stuart, who owns a comics shop, go on a date with Denise, the assistant manager there. Also Raj decides that he wants an arranged marriage because he’s alone in the world.

Worst joke: Howard makes a comment to Stuart that it’s nice when someone’s pubes are groomed before a date, and his wife Bernadette, yells “I KNOW HOWARD, I’VE BEEN BUSY.”

Nerdiest moment: When trying to figure out what the crystal wand is, Sheldon says, “The gift card said it was the perfect gift, but it’s not a dinosaur fossil or matching pocket watches so I don’t see how it can be.” Charming, how he has the mind of a 12-year-old boy!

What I learned this week: That the comics store these guys shop at is doing extraordinarily well, considering it’s like five times the size of any one I’ve ever been in. Also, I learned that all of the men on the show seem pretty experienced in the dating department?

Did I laugh?: I did laugh when Raj burst into the apartment, announced he was getting married, and while everyone was exasperated and asking “what?!” Penny said loudly and dryly, “no.”

How dead is this show?: When Sheldon says that he’s not the smartest person in the world because “some of those Chinese fellas are pretty clever,” I thought, wow, this whole shebang is gonna die soon.

Season 12, Episode 3: The Procreation Calculation

Summary: Penny decides she might not want kids, but gets major, bizarrely hostile pushback from everyone. Leonard storms off angrily when she tells him, Bernadette tells her she’s just being silly and doesn’t know what real love feels like, Amy is mad because now her kids won’t have friends to play with, and her own father is upset he won’t get “grand-babies.” Meanwhile, Raj decides to continue on the arranged marriage path and meets a very formal potential wife who reveals herself to be more of a romantic than he knew (and also has a tongue piercing.) Maybe SHE won’t tell Penny to have kids, who knows!

Worst joke: Somehow we’re supposed to think it’s funny that Leonard called Penny’s dad to complain about her not wanting to have kids? Narc!

Nerdiest moment: Penny notes that Leonard’s so good at painting nails and he responds that it’s because he’s “spent a lot of time painting D&D miniatures.”

What I learned this week: That everyone thinks they’re entitled to what Penny does with her body. Also that Leonard and Penny own a cereal dispenser in their kitchen for some reason.

Did I laugh?: No.

How dead is this show?: I had to comb through several inches of cobwebs to find a conversation about a woman not having kids that felt accurate to 2018 and… could not find one! Let’s give it some bed rest and see how it feels next week.

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