May 31, 2012

[TV] The Big Bang Theory: Season 5

It's kind of surprising how quickly the current TV season appears to be wrapping up. I know it has more to do with the fact that they shows are really designed to end around a certain point. I guess the feeling has more to do with the fact that it doesn't always feel like the show has actually wrapped up it's business for this period and thus we're craving a bit more.

I really felt that way with how The Big Bang Theory wrapped up a few weeks ago - so much so that I was still expecting an episode or two to come out in order to do a proper job of finishing things. It was still a nice season - or at leas a decent enough one I suppose. But at the same time it felt like it was missing a certain something or other - I can't quite put my finger on what it is exactly, at least not yet.

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that the show's cast has grown over the years. And irony of ironies, it is Wolowitz is the only with with a truly stable relationship with a woman at this point in the series. And as much as I love Amy Farah Fowler, the added character load does somewhat limit how much screen time each character can get in any given episode, thus resulting in a lot of group dynamics.

Synopsis: The Big Bang Theory is a CBS sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady. The show has received many nominations over the years and in particular Jim Parsons recently walked away with both the Golden Globe and the Emmy for his performances as Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.

The season begins with a somewhat stressful status quo. Leonard (Johnny Galecki) is still seeing Priya (Aarti Mann), the sister of Raj (Kunal Nayyar), although she has now returned to India. The dynamics of an online relationship are particularly tricky, resulting in some amusing webcam encounters (naturally).

Howard (Simon Helberg) remains engaged to Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) but of course now she's coming to terms with the prospects of dealing with Howards mother - or even possibly living with her. But beyond the domestic strife, there's the bigger challenge of Howard being selected to go up into space as a payload specialist to assist a key mission. And this is a story element that seems to define a lot of the season, when you get down to it.

Sheldon (Jim Parsons) is still technically "together" with Amy Farah Fowler (Mayim Bialik). It's interesting to note that her character has begun to better express her frustrations with having Sheldon as a boyfriend and her actions shift from just trying to cope with the status quo to eventually trying to change things around. And this is an area where things definitely become a lot more interesting.

The season introduces a lot of fun elements, as always including the return of Wil Wheaton, a collectible card game that I'd actually like to try playing called Mystic Warlords of Ka'a, a romantic relationship with Apple's Siri and cameo by Leonard Nimoy as a Spock action figure and a guy in a Gorn suit. Fun times.

The cast of The Big Bang Theory on a panel at ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
But I guess at the same time, a lot of the developments on the show have it feeling less and less like a geek series and really more of a conventional sitcom with the usual romantic entanglements that just happens to have geek stuff in the background. As much as Sheldon remains fairly consistent in his geeky ways, we've seen the rest of the guys start to act a lot more like your run-of-the-mill guys who aren't all that unique.

The girls continue to be fun and clearly the writers have begun to capitalize on the quirky machinations and motivations of Amy Farah Fowler. And I suppose for the most part that's a good thing but overall I just worry the show is beginning to lose steam in terms of actual motivation and creative drive.

And by the end of the season there's a clear attempt to salvage a past plot thread, which may or may not amuse you as a viewer. I guess it depends on who you're going to root for, I suppose.

The Big Bang Theory continues to be a good show, but I'm not sure if it's quite the fun, quirky, geeky show that we originally fell in love with. It's still okay, but it doesn't necessarily draw you in as much in favor of appealing to a larger audience. And I suppose that can't be helped. Still, this fifth season gets 4 excuses to get out of the space mission out of a possible 5.

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  1. Wow! Season 5 na pala 'to. I haven't watch Season 1 yet :(

  2. It's never too late to start, although I'll admit the show isn't necessarily for everyone.