Oh Sitcom! Lo, how these many miserable months of reality television have made me miss you. So much so that I will apparently alliterate with wild abandon. Watch out! I may even run amok! In case you haven’t guessed, tonight saw the return of The Big Bang Theory. And my sanity. A story line? Thank you, God!
We start out with the return of our boys being their geekiest selves. It seems that they have found a way to jump a signal through several different devices on a global scale, all in order to turn their lights on and off via the internet. When they activate the stereo, it seems obvious what their musical choice would be. Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zoroaster), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 30 (Main Title of 2001: a Space Odyssey). Less obvious is the psychotic ape dance that accompanies it. Penny comes through the door to ask them to turn it down and Howard complies via his laptop connection.
They try to explain to Penny what they have accomplished, but she is predictably unfazed and tells them to just get a universal remote. Hoping that sometimes you must bring the mountain to the man – or woman, as the case may be – our nerds open public access to their new connections and within moments their lights are flickering thanks to some netizens in China. It is only when the electronic population discovers the remote controlled cars equipped with webcams that the full importance hits Penny. Oddly enough, her eureka moment comes right on the heels of Sheldon informing her that pants may have been a better choice of attire.
Of course, remote controlled cars and live upskirts are not what tonight’s episode was about. Rather, it seems that Sheldon and Leonard were invited to speak at conference of fellow particle physicists. Without bothering to mention it to Leonard, Sheldon had discarded the invite. So, of course, when Leonard found it he immediately wanted to go, and thus our conflict is born. It seems Leonard feels he and Sheldon each contributed equally to their groundbreaking research and the subsequent published findings thereof. Sheldon, on the other hand, informs Leonard that he just threw him a bone. And he’s welcome.
Leonard feels less than "welcome" and despite the fact that Sheldon forbid him, he decides to brave his roommate’s attempts at Scanners style head exploding powers and give the lecture at the conference. He enlists the aid of Penny as personal stylist, which goes about as well as we could expect it to. They pass over the Battlestar Galactica original series flight suit in favor (all things being relative) of the corduroy suit. Yup, corduroy.
At the conference, everything seems to go really well, until a gentleman in the back who is dressed remarkably like the Unibomber gets belligerent. As one would expect someone dressed as the Unibomber to do. It’s Sheldon, and he wants his credit. The episode rapidly devolves from stinging insults to a slap fight at the font of the conference, but I don’t mind. It’s a storyline! But eventually the boys make up without actually apologizing or seeming to learn anything. And you know, I can actually accept that. I may be making a leap of faith based on my delirious joy over the writer’s strike being over, but I think all of us have those friends where we can get into a fight, never really resolve it in any appreciable way, but still move on because…well, because we’re just that good of friends.
I did not mean to was rhapsodic all over the place, there. Sorry.
The Good: Need I say it again? STORYLINE!
The Bad: It occurs to me that The Big Bang Theory never really got a chance to find it’s pacing before the strike. It occurs to me because, it’s still not quite there. It seems like there are always characters that are sacrificed in each episode. Tonight, it was Rajesh, who just kind of hung out. In the background mostly. But I am hopeful this ensemble will hit it’s speed in due time.
The Funny: Where to begin? Android penis circumcision? Insult via figuring out the drag coefficient of the tassels on flying carpets or rather "Yo mommas research methodology is so flawed…"? I think I’ll just leave you with this exchange between Penny in Sheldon in regards to how he is coping with the state of his relationship with Leonard over their disagreement:
Penny: How do you feel?
Sheldon: I don’t understand the question.
Penny: Is it difficult to fight with your best friend?
Sheldon: I never thought of it like that. I suppose I could be experiencing a physiological response to emotional turmoil.
Sheldon: I couldn’t poop this morning.
Thank God the writers are back!