I wanted to do an article on this show but since it is still on the air it didn’t seem right to do a face off or anything.
I have already talked about about how much I love this series. But that doesn’t mean it’s without flaws. In fact this show amazes me with how polarizing it is. For everyone who loves it, there are people who despise it. Some find it flat out offensive, hate Sheldon Cooper with a passion, and condemn the low brow humor. So to be fair to the people who do hate this show today I am going to look at the other side of the coin, and discuss five moments on this show that even I do not like.
By the way, as to the three complaints I listed the third one is not that valid. If this show were bad with the lowbrow stuff I would not watch it. It’s not Two and a Half Men. The first point I already dissected in depth elsewhere. As for the second, well, I guess I can see how someone would hate Sheldon but I love him. I give credit to Jim Parsons for making thing funny and keeping him from being truly obnoxious. But that’s my opinion.
Before I complain about the moments I hate let me explain why I like this show. It’s funny. Do you need more? Ok,ok..the truth is I like the characters. Sheldon is funny to me in his attempt to keep his world under control. While some find him annoying he just cracks me up. He has evolved over the years though not as much as Amy. When we first met Amy she was exactly like Sheldon. But where Sheldon has resisted changing she has turned more normal, admitting she has needs and desires which Sheldon still cannot meet. I didn’t like Amy and Berndaette at first but it was time for Penny to have her own friends, it makes her a more well rounded character. As for Howard and Raj, it took me awhile to like them and Raj is the one character I can do without. I love the evolution of Howard, going from a jerk with sex on his mind to a married man who only has eyes for Bernadette. Finally, Leonard and Penny go back and forth and while it’s kind of cliche it’s still fun to watch the two. Leonard has become more confident while Penny has become more rounded as a character. All the characters work well, and I am glad the show is not afraid to change things up here and there.
Now, all that said let’s discuss my top five dumbest moments!
#5.Leonard contrively advances the plot (“The Work Song Nanocluster”)
I realize the description is a little meta, but that is what makes this fail so much. The episode from season 2 has Penny wanting to start up a business selling hair barrettes. Sheldon helps her make them and the guys chip in with a business strategy. But we need wacky conflict, so when Leonard sets up the website where people can order these things, he puts a one day rush on it. Why??? Is he not aware that there are only five people making these? Then of course a gay and lesbian group order 1,000 of them one day rush so the group has to stay up all night to make these things. Then to make things even dumber they give Sheldon coffee which makes him race around like a loon. Yeah, they didn’t see that coming? It’s a contrived plot which is so contrived that the episode loses all realism.
#4.Amy and Penny run and scream like little girls (“The Infestation Hypothesis”)
Girls get some stereotyping too, like in this episode from last year. All of the hate seems directed on how nerds are portrayed, and yet no one ever comments on how Penny, Bernadette, and Amy sometimes get handled. One episode had them trying to figure out why the men like comic books, and when they walk into the comic book store the men in the store are stunned! Uh yeah, I have seen women in comic book stores. Penny doesn’t know things anyone should know, like Adam West was Batman on TV. But the worst has to be from this episode. Penny brings a chair in from the street and Sheldon refuses to sit in it. Even worst, he insists Penny remove it outright. First Sheldon tries to use Amy to get Penny to get rid of the chair. Penny gets mad at Amy, and to keep her as a friend Amy sits in the chair. Only to have something bite her, and a visible outline moving around the chair of something inside it. Ok, HOW WAS THAT NEVER NOTICED WHEN PENNY IT HAULED UP THE STAIRS? Finally, the two ladies run out of the apartment screaming liKe little girls. Um, Amy dissects Monkey brains for a living I find it hard to believe she would run and scream like that. And Penny is tougher than that too. Totally out of character for both. But that’s how girls react, right?
#3.Is Sheldon Autistic?Â (from “The Luminous Fish Effect”)
I am an easygoing person so if the creator of the show says Sheldon is not autistic, that is fine with me. Even though he does do “autistic” things. But there is one moment from a very early episode which really sends this home, and in hindsight I bet whoever came up with this would call it a mistake. The set up is simple, Sheldon has been fired and finds he has plenty of time on his hands. As the episode develops he gets stir crazy, and begins to withdraw more and more. At one point, he sneaks into the kitchen for food, without making eye contact with anyone. and when Leonard tries to confront him Sheldon turns and runs back into his room. What is this? Sheldon would never act this way! This was, as I said, a VERY early episode. The joke doesn’t work and the scene is just, awkward.
#2.Sheldon and Leonard Fail Basic Trivia (“The Bat Jar Conjecture”)
This is the tag of the episode, and is really stupid. The episode is about a physics bowl which Leonard and his team win, over Sheldon. That was all pretty good, but then we get to the tag. Penny comes in with a trivial pursuit card determined to prove once and for all who is smarter. She asks very basic questions and neither Leonard or Sheldon can even begin to answer them. I could understand not knowing the answers, but they act like they have never even heard of these things! I mean, The Brady Bunch? Van Halen? Sean Penn was married to Madonna? Brittney Spears? Who doesn’t know these things? Leonard is shocked that Penny knows this stuff. Penny asks who holds the records for being People’s sexiest man alive, and Sheldon says it has to be William Shatner or Patrick Stewart. What?? Penny then asks what Tweety Bird “Taw he Taw” and Sheldomn says it was Romulans. First, he never heard of Tweety Bird? and Uh, yeah it is possible to love Star Trek and also be aware of other things going on around you. And you can’t use the excuse of never watching it. I have never watched The Partridge Family but I can tell you who Keith was or who Susan Dey played. This scene is just a lot of fail.
#1.Evil Wil Wheaton and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (“The 21-Second Excitation”)
The first time we met Wil Wheaton on the show it was a decent episode. But than they made him “evil” and every time he appears the show got sillier. Until they finally did away with that and make he and Sheldon friends. However, before they patched things up we got this stupid episode, probably my least favorite of all which comes from Season 4. The guys want to see a release of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but when they arrive they discover the line is huge because they are so late which is ludicrous. Then Wil Wheaton gets in ahead of everybody. Then they are unable to get in, literally everyone in the line get sin but them! This causes Sheldon to be so mad he steals the movie print and runs out of the theater with them…followed by Wil Wheaton and an angry mob. Maybe this was supposed to be an homage to Raiders, but it was just lame and the episode sucks. I mean, are we supposed to really care if the guys can’t see a movie they were watching on video at the start of the program??? But even worst, in order for the story to work Leonard, Howard, and Raj have to become idiots. How it didn’t occur to them to not get in line early is beyond me. They did know Raiders is kind of popular, right? Sheldon tried to tell them but they ignored him. You know he isn’t as annoying when he is 100% correct! Then Sheldon stealing the movie is ludicrous, does anyone work in this theater? No security? Dumb episode.
For some reason Howard and Raj were spared from my list, but they had their moments too. Especially Raj who can be a real jerk at times. Another ignored chatracter is Priya, who I hated for the most part.
So one last question many may ask now that the show is in Season 7, is it past its prime? I am not ready to say that yet but I will admit age is catching up to the series and I really am not sure where else they can take these characters beyond this year. But the show is still funny thought I wish they would stop expanding the Stuart character. I find him boring and they already have plenty of characters. I also just pray that Chuck Lore does not run it dry and continue it until it’s a cardboard cutout of itself. You know, like Two and a Half Men is.