Episode 6 finds us in what I like to refer to as “filler territory.” And what’s most surprising about that with this specific story is that it was actually written by show co-creators Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre. It’s not that it was a lazy outing, but again it feels like an episode intended to fill a time slot with some added minimal laughs and cheap gags. Even a pseudo-cameo from Professor Stephen Hawking couldn’t rescue our gang this week from mediocrity; however, off we go!
Sheldon starts a game of Words with Friends with Professor Stephen Hawking, and immediately he believes that they are now something more than just fellow scholars: friends. So Sheldon embarks on a quest to best the most brilliant mind on the planet in a game of words, only to learn that Hawking is actually a sore loser. By default, Sheldon learns the hard way that always striving to be the best isn’t always the best thing, and he takes his friends advice and lets the professor win. And in true geek fashion, Sheldon gets his face rubbed in the proverbial dirt as Professor Hawking gives him a personal phone call to brag about winning the game. All in all, it was a mildly funny storyline with little payoff, other than Sheldon being forced to uncomfortably succumb to his better judgment and let Hawking win.
Also this week we see Penny thinking about returning to school full time by taking just one class at the local community college as she tests the waters of higher education. What’s interesting about this turn of events is that it now seems that her acting career is being placed even further on the back burner than it has ever been. I was hoping that with the start of a new season we would see her begin to actually pursue the acting career, but alas we are left with the dreaded “back to school” storyline. While I did enjoy a little more one on one time with Penny and Leonard, it again felt forced this week. And the end result has Leonard AGAIN in trouble for trying to help, albeit because he is smarter than Penny and she feels threatened. Same old song and dance, but I did enjoy the fact that both Amy and Bernadette were behind Penny’s success!
The silver lining in the entire show this week was the one on one time we got with Leonard and Sheldon as they attempted to solicit each other for advice on their respective problems. This scene was hysterical as they used a chess clock in a failed attempt for giving each other equal time to vent their issues. I really enjoyed the fact that Sheldon got completely hung up on one single issue in this episode, and it furthers the mystery around his personality and whether he just has OCD, or something else entirely (I’ve speculated that he may have some form of Aspberger’s Syndrome or something similar). While we were left with the same old issue with Leonard behind the 8 ball with Penny, this was still the scene of the night. It’s very nice to be reminded that they really are the best of friends and that they do lean on each other when times are down, despite all their bickering most weeks.
Again, I feel that this week’s episode was primarily a waste of time, lots of filler with little payoff; but I suppose that’s to be expected. We cannot simply expect a show that is usually spot-on week in and week out to continue at that pace for 20+ episodes. Here’s hoping the next new episode is a return to form!
Let’s discuss, argue, or share in TBBT love! Get me on Twitter: @davyshrader or via email: email@example.com
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