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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 15 - The Pork Chop Indeterminacy

29 March 2012

Synopsis: Sheldon’s twin sister comes to visit and all the guys start hitting on her.

The Good: This is a very joke heavy episode, as you would expect with nerdy guys hitting on the hot girl. Howard is in particularly good form with his incessant attempts to be smooth. When he meets her he manages to turn Sheldon’s dismissive “I wasn’t expecting you at all” into “nobody ever expects me, sometimes you just look and BAM! (offers hand to Missy) Howard Wollowitz.” And later when Rajesh says “you’re welcome” to Missy because Indians invented pyjamas, Howard retorts “Yeah well my people invented circumcision. You’re welcome!”  Just to complete the cultural insensitivity theme he asks Sheldon “is it coz I’m Jewish, because I would kill my rabbi with a pork chop to be with your sister.”

The coup de grace for him is when he decides to ask Missy out using a magic trick. “Do you like magic?” he asks. “Not really, no” she replies. “Then you are in for a treat” he continues undeterred. The trick goes wrong as he tries to pull out a cloth which has written on it “Will you go out with me.” She of course says no and he goes into his next trick pulling a handkerchief from his sleeve which says on it “Are you sure?”

The Bad: The sheer volume of silly jokes delivers some misses with the hits. For example Rajesh’s silly drug side effects are implausible and too predictable to get a big laugh.

Missy is not the most convincing sister for Sheldon. Her thick Texas accent makes you wonder why he doesn’t have one at all. And apart from some juvenile references, there is no real attempt to give them some common thread which would denote them as family. There is no attempt to make a point about Sheldon and why he is the way he is or where he has come from.

In fact this episode feels very much like Two and a Half Men territory where the quick fire humour overshadows any attempt at characterisation.

Comic Highlight: Missy asks Rajesh his name and he can’t talk to her as usual. So he just turns and walks off as no one says anything. It’s a passable joke. But then he returns to the shot and grabs a piece of paper off the wall. Which is really funny because we know it is a note from the Pharmacology department looking for volunteers to test new medication for social anxiety.

In Conclusion: The humour is pretty solid throughout and should entertain, even though there is a greater opportunity for character development wasted.

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