Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

Thursday’s season premiere of CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” was quite the opposite of a big bang. The lack of any substantial humor or plot twists made for a mundane episode that left the viewer feeling more negative than an electron.

The premiere began with NASA scientist Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) floating in space aboard the International Space Station, quibbling with his ever-invasive mother about his recent marriage to Bernadette (Melissa Rauch). Howard’s mother, who is extremely overprotective, is fussing about him not being able to send postcards or letters from space and saying that Bernadette will tear him apart from her.

The Wolowitz mother/son drama continues throughout the episode, producing few laughs and a even fewer surprises. In past episodes, Howard’s mother tried to pull him one way and Bernadette tried to pull him the other, and it left Howard in a vulnerable, predictable situation between the two women in his life, and left viewers wondering when the scene would become funny or interesting in any way.

It was an episode strictly dealing with the relationship status of the show’s major characters, and lacked the scientific, nerdy, droll aspect that makes the show so unique and watchable.

Leonard Hofstadter, played by Johnny Galecki, spent the whole time attempting to have a serious talk with his next-door neighbor and girlfriend, Penny (Kaley Cuoco), after she rejected his untimely, mid-coitus proposal last season, and the two were interrupted by their lonely friend Rajesh (Kunal Nayaar) who is the only person in the episode who does not have a significant other.

The three of them begin to watch a football game, and, as Raj gets drunker, he gets more loquacious. He spills his feelings and informs Penny that she should tell Leonard she loves him, which is something she has never done.

Penny ends up booting Raj from the apartment, and Raj makes his way to the comic book store where he shares a strange dance to “Bassanova” with Stuart, the store owner. Raj realizes he is uncomfortable and leaves, only to turn around and ask Stuart if he wants to hang out. Stuart says yes and later says to himself, “I could do much worse,” which mildly suggests he may be interested in Raj in a romantic manner. It will be interesting to see how that plays out throughout season six.

Perhaps the only bright spot in the episode is Sheldon Cooper, the socially inept physicist played by Jim Parsons. Sporting a new comb-over hairstyle, one cannot help but laugh as Sheldon continuously blurts out inappropriate, yet hilarious sayings.

The best of Sheldon comes when he is out to dinner with his equally strange, yet brilliant girlfriend, Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik). As Sheldon goes through dinner saying all the wrong things-a behavior to which Amy usually gives no heed-she suddenly gets upset and threatens to break up with him if he cannot say something meaningful.

Sheldon transcends his thick emotional barrier and whips up a beautiful, poetic speech that has Amy practically in tears, only to reveal that it was actually a quote from the first “Spiderman” movie and then asks if she will split the bill. Considering Sheldon’s emotional range is generally quite limited, Amy goes with it and their relationship lives to see another day.

Despite Sheldon saving what would have been a practically unbearable episode with his usual strangeness, the premiere lacked the endorphin-releasing excitement and humor that made the show one of the most popular on television.

It almost seemed too realistic, which when talking about “The Big Bang Theory,” is not a good thing, considering the amount of eccentric and unrealistic characters. The show was made in order to be so different and outlandish that it was hysterically funny, and from this first episode it seems like every other relationship drama on television.

Howard may have been sent into space, but this premiere was far from the proper way to blast off a new season.

Kenny Ayres is a third-year student majoring in communication studies with a journalism minor. He can be reached at KA739433@wcupa.edu.

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