Blogging Big Bang Theory Season 4 “The Herb Garden Germination”

I liked what I saw of tonight’s episode of Big Bang Theory, but between missing the very very beginning and a bit about a third of the way through when the emergency broadcast test came on, I definitely missed some things. For instance, I assumed that Sheldon and Amy were sitting in at a reading by an author trying to make physics more palatable to the masses, but didn’t know that was the case until later. Anyway, Sheldon gets up and hurls some pretty funny, though super-harsh insults following it all up by saying something like “Just kidding I’m a big fan.” It turned out that aspect of the show wasn’t very important aside from the fact that it gave Amy a chance to tell Sheldon that Bernadette was thinking of breaking up with Howard. With that the episode has it’s theme: rumors and how they spread.

Later, while playing an archery game on the Wii, Sheldon tells Leonard about the news. Leonard puts up with a healthy dose of Sheldon’s craziness (he demands they both pantomime pulling the arrows out of an imaginary quiver) and then…the emergency test came on and by the time it stopped, I was watching Leonard and Priya brushing their teeth in Sheldon and Leonard’s bathroom. Priya lets slip that she knows that Raj will be happy to hear about Bernadette wanting to break up with Howard because he has a huge crush on her (Priya discovered this after reading some of his crappy poetry, rhyming Bernadette with clarinet). At some later point, Leonard runs into Penny and spreads the original rumor and also mentions that Raj has a crush on Bernadette. After THAT, Priya and Raj have a conversation with their parents where Priya says she’s looking for her own place, Raj kind of hints at her being with Leonard and even they find out about the Bernadette/Howard rumor.

So, with everyone but Howard thinking that Bernadette was planning on breaking up with Howard we then find ourselves watching the guys talk over lunch at the university. Howard’s distracted and the guys think it’s because of the impending break-up, but it’s really because duh duh DUH, he’s planning on proposing! The reaction isn’t super enthusiastic for various reasons, but the real fun comes in the next scene between Amy and Sheldon when they’re discussing how quickly the rumor spread. Amy mentions meme theory which I’ve actually done some reading about and gave name to every weird piece of spreadable online content you find yourself chuckling at nowadays. They decide to test a theory by spreading two rumors which turn out to be: Amy and Sheldon had sex and Amy is starting an herb garden to see which ones travel faster. Amy chooses Penny to tell first and word spreads pretty quickly. I’m really glad the emergency alert test didn’t happen during this scene because the rest of the episode would take on a whole different context.

In an effort to try and work his “magic” on Bernadette, Raj heads to the Cheesecake Factory while she’s on her shift and drinks some of those creepy florescent green drinks he likes, making awkward small talk with Bernadette. Penny spots this and comes over to give him shit, telling him that’s his best friend’s girl and that he shouldn’t be sniffing around. She also spreads the Amy/Sheldon rumor which then gets told to Leonard who brings it up just slightly around Sheldon without outright saying it.

The episode ends with the whole gang hanging out at Sheldon and Leonard’s house. Amy tells Sheldon she had to make up some aspects of their sexual interaction. Meanwhile Howard calls everyone’s attention and proposes to to Bernadette. She stops him from talking and then…ACCEPTS! It’s awesome. I know they’re fictional characters but they’re so darn cute together. Even with the missing pieces, I dug this episode and had fun with it. Now we just need to get Penny and Leonard back together and we’re gold!

Blogging Big Bang Theory Season 4 “The Zarnecki Incursion”

I’ve missed Big Bang Theory lately thanks to a mix of reruns and errands keeping us away from the house. This seems like a really strange TV season in that new episodes have been very scattershot ever since Thanksgiving. Anyway, I had fun with tonight’s episode which was split between Sheldon dealing with a hacker who stole all of his in-game World Of Warcraft stuff and Penny dealing with seeing Leonard and Priya together. The episode kicks off with Leonard returning home to see Sheldon in hysterics talking to a police officer about something being stolen. It soon comes to light that it was his WoW account that got hacked and everything he had spent 3000 amassing was now gone. The cop leaves because, well, that’s not what cops do and Sheldon’s left waiting for his friends to get done with baths and other activities to come over and help him figure out what’s going on.

Sheldon really got to shine in this episode as everything was all about him, but without his friends getting annoyed with him, something that rarely happens. They’re all on his side, trying to figure out what’s going on. Penny even brings Sheldon a day-old cheesecake to help ease the pain. She passes Priya on her way back to her place where she soon finds herself complaining to Amy and Bernadette about having Priya’s relationship with Leonard rubbed in her face over spiked ice cream. There’s a great moment where Penny offers Amy Khalua on her ice cream and remembers her mom telling her about peer pressure. She agrees to the taste and announces she’s drunk after one bite. Mayim Bialik is such a perfect fit in this show now that they’ve established her as friends with Bernadette and Penny. Bernadette and Amy decided to be mean towards Priya partly because they’re friends with Penny and partly because it’s what primates do.Back in the boys’ apartment, the guys are assembled to help Sheldon get his WoW gear back. Raj offers to let his lady character have sex with someone to get information about who the thief is. Priya’s none too pleased to be waiting for her boyfriend to play a game with his friends and takes off. 

Next, the boys head to confront Todd Zarnecki after Howard discovers his true identity (and after they stop  by his house to watch Wheel Of Fortune with his mom, though she’s not in the room, of course). They drive down, rocking out to a quest music CD Raj put together, hit traffic and finally get to his house. Sheldon even brought a Bat’leth which I’m ashamed to say I knew right away, though thankfully didn’t know how to spell correctly. Todd’s kind of a giant nerd who refuses to give Sheldon his stuff back and swipes the Klingon weapon, closes the door and the guys are back in the car. Leonard’s car breaks down, so they call Penny to come get them (he lied to Priya and told her he was working late). Penny first notes that Leonard’s lying to his girlfriend and then heads back to Todd’s house, kicks the giant in the junk and makes him swear to give Sheldon his stuff back.

All in all, the episode isn’t really important in the greater sense of the show as an overall story, but it was still really funny and balanced the stories and characters well together, no small feat considering this episode had nine important characters all with their own jokes and beats. Well done all around.

FAVORITE MOMENTS/QUOTES

“They took my battle ostrich.” – Sheldon. “Oh, no, not Glen.” – Leonard.

“Can you at least point me in the direction of a rogue ex cop?” – Sheldon.

“There’s not enough chamomile tea in the world to quell the rage in our heart.” – Sheldon.

Penny explaining she had to carry Leonard when they were dating and she had to drag him to the beach. Bernadette one-ups her by saying that Howard almost burst into flame like a vampire.

“Drunk” and surly Amy.

Priya and Penny walking up the stairs in awkward silence.

Casting Internets

Things are going to get a bit busy later today, so I figured now would be a good time to let you know about the links that have drawn my attention the last few days.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Cullen Bunn for CBR, the results can be seen here.

Do yourself a favor and check my last Tumblr entry, I guarantee you’ll chuckle.

My boy Sean Collins’ first Comic Journal interview went up today, it’s with a cat named Blaise Larmee. A rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock bib for $8? I might have to get that for the kid. (via Fashionably Geek)

I would also like to see Anthony Hopkins as a villain in the next Bond film. (via /Film)Alejadro Burzzese’s cover of Omega Men #17 over on Covered is hypnotic.

I loved reruns of the Monkees TV show and seeing them in the mid 80s was my very first concert, so I’m glad to hear Peter, Davy and Micky have gotten over their problems and agreed to tour again. Now they just need to convince Mike to come back, liquid paper fortune be damned! (via Rolling Stone)

Finally, rest in peace Mike Starr. Watching him struggle with his addiction on Celebrity Rehab was tough to watch. The reports haven’t come in yet as to what killed him, but whatever the case, it’s a sad story. Rolling Stone has a solid mini bio of him and Alice In Chains worth reading. They also posted a feature on the band they did back in 1992 which I haven’t had the chance to read yet, but look forward to finally getting around to it.

Blogging Big Bang Theory S4 “The Toast Derivation”

As regular readers noticed, I didn’t blog about last week’s new episode of BBT. Sorry about that, but the missus and I were getting much needed haircuts, eating dinner and then getting packed for our trip to Ohio that weekend. I’m assuming that the episode reintroduced Raj’s sister Priya and rekindled her relationship with Leonard which got back to Penny who somehow revealed her lingering feelings for Leonard to Bernadette and Amy. It doesn’t sound like the previous episode was a game changer, but it does seem like a lot happened. Hopefully the episode will still be on CBS’s site and I can get caught up. Anyway, tonight’s episode picked up with Leonard telling Sheldon he was heading over to Raj’s to eat with him Priya and Howard. This instigates an argument between the two about the definition of a party. Sheldon says that five people eating is a party, but not when it’s at their house because they don’t have parties. The dynamic duo head over to Raj’s where he and Priya made Tex-Mex and margaritas, which Sheldon can’t seem to wrap his head around. Sheldon leaves the party and heads to The Cheesecake Factory where Penny’s tending bar. He orders a water, neat with an umbrella in it. While sitting there Amy calls him and drops the knowledge bomb that Leonard is the nucleus of the group, not him, even though he’s the most fun person Amy knows. The next day, Leonard’s heading over to Raj’s again, but Sheldon informs him that he’s having people over: his nemesis from the university Barry Kripke, Penny’s ex Zack and Stuart from the comic shop. LeVar Burton was also invited via Twitter. Once everyone’s there and it’s deemed that Burton’s not coming, Sheldon says they should go around and introduce themselves. Barry says he’s there because he was told there was a raffle (it’s at the end of the party and you have to be present to win), Stuart’s there to use their shower and Zack has trouble answering the question. After Sheldon tries to get them to play Colecovision, Atari or text based computer games Kripke says he’ll get his karaoke machine, Zack will get more beer and Stuart goes to take a shower. After that it’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”Meanwhile, over at Penny’s house, she’s hanging out when Bernadette and Amy show up in an effort to get her out of the house and to think of something aside from Leonard getting with Raj’s sister. Their idea is to go dancing, hence the little red number in the picture above. Bernadette and Amy seem really curious about attracting a guy at a club, bringing him back home, biting his butt, doing a few other things and then kicking him to the curb the next day. Penny says it’s okay, but Bernadette wants some of that. Amy recommends getting an electric toothbrush if she remains single for a while. Over at Raj’s house the gang realizes something unexpected: they miss Sheldon and his random bits of information (like that the Romans put toast in their wine which is why it’s called a toast). Just then, Sheldon shows up because his other friends weren’t having fun right and lets Priya know that she didn’t actually make chili because it has beans in it. At the very end, LeVar Burton shows up at the apartment to see Zack, Kripke and a still-in-a-towel Stuart singing “Walking On Sunshine” but disappears before they can see him cursing Twitter as he leaves.

FAVORITE QUOTES/MOMENTS

“Indians making TexMex, we might as well have had Chinese pizza.” – Sheldon

“We’re like hippies at a love in.” – Sheldon when told to sit anywhere at Raj’s.

“Don’t be needy bestie, that’s probably what drove Leonard away.” – Amy to Penny after saying people thing she’s pretty fun.

“Yo P-dog.” – Amy, showing up at Penny’s.

“That should display enough of your bosom to attract a healthy man or a hungry infant.” – Amy to Penny after selecting the red dress.

“I think it’s like Beetlejuice, we said his name too many times.” – Howard

 

Overall, this is a pretty fun episode. I like Sheldon’s alternate friends and hope they stick around for a while. It also seems like the writers have figured out a way to make Penny and Leonard interesting without having them together, though I would still like to see them get back together, especially if it devolves into a Penny/Priya catfight.

 

Blogging Big Bang Theory S4 “The Benefactor Factor”

After complaining last week about how little Leonard had to do in the episode, we get treated to an episode that’s pretty much all Leonard. Also like with the previous episode, it seems like the writers of the series have gotten a better idea of how to handle the larger cast of characters they’re working with this season even if that meant Bernadette didn’t appear, Amy only had scenes via laptop and Penny only popped up a few times. I’d rather miss certain characters for an episode than wonder why I’m watching a boring or ridiculous story just to have them in an episode.

The thrust of this episode involves the president of the university–played by Sports Night‘s Joshua Malina–asking Leonard, Sheldon, Raj and Howard to attend a fundraising dinner with potential donors. Sheldon refuses to go at first, telling the others to tell the president he’s busy “tearing the mask off nature to look at the face of god” when, as Penny points out he’s really just doing his laundry. So the trio heads to the party where they meet a Mrs. Latham played by the wonderful Jessica Walters, a rich widow who likes making smart people feel uncomfortable. Back at the apartment, Sheldon has a conversation with Amy via Skype where she raises a question to Sheldon: do you feel comfortable resting the future of your funding on Raj and Leonard? The next thing we know, he’s asking rich people for money but refusing to shake hands with them for fear of contracting their germs.

The day after the party, the president calls Sheldon to tell him not to come to any future fundraisers, but the call is interrupted by Mrs. Latham calling to ask Leonard out for dinner. Everything goes well and then on the way home, she makes a pass at him. Leonard freaks out and returns home where Sheldon’s waiting for the zombies in 28 Days–which is a call back to an earlier joke where Leonard confused the titles of the Sandra Bullock rehab drama 28 Days with the zombie flick 28 Days Later, rookie mistake. Anyway, Leonard explains what happened thinking she only wants to give the university money for their department if he sleeps with her, which he’s uncomfortable with. Howard and surprisingly Sheldon are in favor of him using his masculine wiles for such a purpose because Sheldon just wants that money, noting that this might be Leonard’s one chance to do something good for science. Leonard goes out one more time with Mrs. Latham, before which Sheldon hands him a kit that includes condoms and a picture of a 25-year-old Mrs. Latham. Before dinner, she tells him she’s going to give the school money anyway, that sleeping with her is something people don’t forget–which is why Mr. Latham married her–and then, well, they go at it. Penny catches Leonard returning calling him a walk of shame. Sheldon suggests he use his gigolo skills for even more gain. The next day at work, the president thanks Leonard publicly for his efforts and everyone cheers him on, though he still says it wasn’t for money.

Overall the episode was fun, but also went by pretty quickly. The dialog was quick and even though Penny and Amy didn’t have much screen time, they still had some great lines, which you can read below.

Favorite Quotes/Moments

“Just because the nice man is offering you candy, doesn’t mean you should get in the van.” – Sheldon to the others after the president asks them about the party.

“I respect your macho rebellious attitude toward the man.” – Amy regarding Sheldon’s feelings towards the fundraiser.

“Oh, the humanities.” – Sheldon thinking about potential money for the sciences going towards the liberal arts.

“I’m not crazy, my mother had me tested.” – Sheldon. I expect this to be on a T-shirt in the next few months.

“An entire dinner to talk about YOUR research? Where are you going, the drive through at Jack in the Box?” – Sheldon to Leonard.

“You’re an expert in trading sexual favors for material gain.” – Sheldon to Penny.

“She stiffed you?” – Sheldon after Leonard explains he got the money before sleeping with Mrs. Latham. “I believe that’s what your roommate did to her.” – Penny. Of course, Sheldon doesn’t get the joke.

Blogging Big Bang Theory S4 “The Thespian Catalyst”

Ah bummer, I just realized I missed the last new episode of Big Bang Theory. I think it was because of the holidays or Wipeout or something, but I guess I’ll have something new to watch once reruns roll around or I buy the DVDs. Anyway, after a pretty uneven season with some really bad episodes and some pretty good ones, I was pretty excited about this one after hearing it would involve Sheldon giving Penny acting lessons. I just hoped they wouldn’t try to awkwardly cram all the other characters into the episode when dealing with often winning combination of Penny and Sheldon. Thankfully that wasn’t the case this time around, though Leonard wound up playing pretty much no part in the episode and Amy only poppped up briefly, but with an important piece of advice for her not-boyfriend. The episode kicked off with Sheldon teaching a lecture to a bunch of college students who found him, understandably insufferable. Raj, Howard and Leonard kept track of the lecture thanks to Twitter and Flickr. Sheldon returns feeling pretty good about his lecture only to have Raj show him the Tweets which include KMN which apparently stands for “Kill Me Now.” Frustrated, Sheldon hides in his room after saying “I didn’t want to teach those poopie heads anyway” to which Howard responds to the group “FYI I think that’s what Darth Vader said just before he started building the Death Star.” This is a great scene with plenty of characters (Penny’s there too because Sheldon changed the WiFi password to “pennyisafreeloader” without her knowledge). Everyone gets some good business to do, even becoming forgotten cast member Leonard. Later Raj, Howard and Leonard are hanging out at the Cheese Cake Factory. Howard tells his girlfriend that Raj needs a girlfriend and Bernadette says it shouldn’t be a problem because he’s a hottie. This kicks off a series of events throughout the episode where Raj imagines situations where Howard and Bernadette ask him to take care of his girl…sexually. The first involves Howard moving to Israel for some kind of fellowship while the second involves Howard getting into a pretty serious scooter accident (that’s what the above picture is from).

Meanwhile the Penny/Sheldon section of the show gets kicked off thanks to Amy suggesting that Sheldon take acting lessons to play better in front of a group of students (after saying they could laser part of his brain). He heads over to Penny’s and asks her if she can help him. Penny’s pretty happy with the idea that she knows something Sheldon doesn’t. Sheldon’s quick to point out that going from actor to acting teacher is essentially admitting that the acting career is over. Penny almost walks away from the whole deal until he offers her money. Sheldon shows up to the first lesson wearing a cool Flash t-shirt I can’t track down and doesn’t get into Penny’s opening body movement exercises to loosen up, noting that he keeps “a cool, wary distance” from his body. As you might expect, Sheldon’s not so great at improv either. During another acting lesson–Sheldon wanted to take two instead of one so he could perfect the art–he tells her he doesn’t want to do a scene from Tennessee Williams’ Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, but instead a scene from the Star Trek fan fiction he wrote called “Where No Sheldon Has Gone Before” that he adapted into a one-act play. It’s about a young Sheldon getting transported to the future where his genius is respected and celebrated. When Penny asks if he thinks he’s a better writer than Williams, he says they should let history decide. He wants to play Spock and have Penny play his mother in the scene, but Penny mixes things up, saying she will play Spock and he should play his mother. I’m guessing Penny making the above hand gesture and spouting a few of Spock’s catchphrases will spawn it’s own fan fics. Anyway, Sheldon gets caught up in the emotion of the scene and Penny has to call his mom to talk him down. The episode ends with a Bollywood like fantasy dream sequence between Raj, Bernadette and everyone in the university’s cafeteria, ending with Raj opining “Dance number aside, I’m SO not gay.”

Favorite Moments & Lines

“Listening to Doctor Cooper has made me want to start cutting myself again.” – Penny reading a Tweet about Sheldon’s lecture.

“That was the last arrow in my quiver of whimsy.” – Amy after using an underwater background on Skype and acting like she’s swimming doesn’t cheer Sheldon up.

Lecturing is the first thing Sheldon’s failed at since trying to do a pull up as a kid. He must have forgotten about learning to drive. Leonard saying that Syfy’s new spelling and logo is about his biggest part this episode. For what it’s worth, I completely agree with him, it’s a ridiculous change.

All in all, this episode was a lot of fun. The A and B plots were both plausible and fun to watch, unlike the episode where Raj and Howard kept talking about fighting. Penny and Sheldon together is a winning combination, there’s no doubt about that. It’s just too bad that Leonard seems to be slipping into the background. At least when he was dating Penny, it would make sense for him to be in the same scenes with Penny and Sheldon, but without that relationship, he’s become the forgotten cast member, like the low key cast member on any given season of The Real World. So, what I’m saying is, get them back together dammit!

Sheldon’s Purple Batman Shirt For Sale!

Ever since I saw The Big Bang Theory episode “The Apology Insufficiency” I’ve been wondering where to find the black T-shirt Sheldon’s wearing with the purple/green Batman symbol. Seems like a lot of other people have too. Luckily, it just came through my Google Reader from Shirtoid! Shirtoid calls it the Batman Gradient shirt while 80s Tees, the site actually selling it for $24, has simply dubbed it Sheldon’s Batman Shirt.