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The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory is a comedy about two physicists Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper who live and work together in Pasadena, California. They live a comfortable geeky existence until attractive wannabe actress Penny moves in across the hall. CBS 2007-???

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Episode 3 - The Fuzzy Boots Corollary

29 March 2012

Synopsis: Leonard sees Penny with another guy and asks out a girl he works with. She rejects him and he begins to become depressed. He tries to ask out Penny but she doesn’t realise that it is a date. She tells him that she is not ready to date someone new and he doesn’t admit that it was a date.

The Good: The show really begins to explore the extent of the geek based jokes it can make. The opening sequence with the guys playing World of Warcraft is suitably fun and snappy. Then later we join a frivolous chat about whether Sheldon is a robot. It seems stupid until Leonard walks in and Sheldon explains that the internet has been down for half an hour. It’s a punch line which is remarkably prescient and subtle.

Leonard’s proposal of a date to Leslie Winkle is farcically scripted and yet they both play it so straight that you can’t help but enjoy it. It’s an example of excellent acting and directing making good on what could have been a poorly written scene. Wolowitz chips in with a couple of fun jokes as well, particularly his defence of himself after asking what kind of kissing Penny and her friend were doing – “I’m a romantic.”

Leonard is well characterised here. He has the courage to ask Penny out but then can’t bring himself to correct her when she thinks the other guys will be there too. It’s believable and it allows him to get close to her before realising that now isn’t the right time. It demonstrates good pacing by the show and makes Leonard seem bold enough that maybe one day he will get her.

He also has the chance to demonstrate the self conscious fears that live within him with a wonderfully acted rant about an imaginary date “There’s a pause, we both know what’s happening, I lean in, we kiss, it’s a little tentative at first but then I realise, she’s kissing me back. She’s biting my lower lip. She wants me. This thing is going the distance. We’re gonna have sex! Oh God! Oh my God!” To which Sheldon asks “Is the sex starting now?”

The Bad: The scene with Leonard asking out Leslie may be too silly for some to enjoy. Their scientific language makes the dialogue sound a bit silly. Perhaps the biggest problem is her argument that the dates success really depends on the good night kiss. Surely the rest of the date would be important for the result of the “experiment”?

Similarly the suggestion that Sheldon is a robot is wittily scripted but we have no reason to believe it would annoy him. For it to annoy him he would have to take it seriously, which clearly he shouldn’t.

They jumped the gun on a good joke by having Leonard appear from his room with huge sweat patches. By hiding them for a second they could have got a much bigger laugh.

Comic Highlight: Sheldon says to Leonard: “Ok look. I think that you have as much of a chance of having a sexual relationship with Penny as the Hubble telescope does of discovering that at the centre of every black hole is a little man with a flashlight searching for a circuit breaker.”

In Conclusion: The show appears to be coming into its own really nicely. The dialogue is witty and crisp and the jokes fly at you fast. They make Leonard more likeable and move the plot forward. A really enjoyable episode.

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  • That should be "Sheldon says to Leonard:".

    Posted by Faheem Mitha, 29/01/2012 3:33pm (8 years ago)

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