REVIEW - The Big Bang Theory - S07E01 & S07E02

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The seventh season of The Big Bang Theory kicked off with two episodes back to back. Some time has passed since the end of the last season, but Leonard is still at sea and Raj can still speak to women. 

The first episode was... okay. It was by no means bad, but it wasn’t great either. Not quite what you would expect for a season premiere, but then again, I didn’t know what to expect after the rather disjointed season six. There are three separate story-lines going on in the first episode, the most interesting one revolving around Sheldon, Penny and Leonard. Sheldon is missing Leonard (although he won’t admit it), and has been using Penny to fill his place. They bond, and it’s nice. When Sheldon finally caves and they call Leonard it seems he is not missing either of them at all - he’s having the time of his life partying on the boat. Not much more about Leonard’s time on the boat is revealed, so I wonder whether this has been a regular occurrence or a one off.

Anyway Raj is still hung up on Lucy, so Howard takes him out to meet women, and Raj shares a bonding moment with Mrs Davis. It was reassuring to see that they haven’t backtracked on the whole Raj can speak to women thing, but apart from that it didn’t seem all that significant. I know they are going to bring Lucy back at some point (I don’t know how long she’ll be back for though), so I don’t see a relationship between Raj and Mrs Davis forming.

Meanwhile Amy and Bernadette go away on a conference together, but end up squabbling after they insult one another’s partners. The highlight of this storyline was watching the two girls celebrating when they realise men are hitting on them because they find them attractive, and not just as a way to get to Penny.

In the second episode Leonard arrives back from his sea voyage a couple of days early, and decides not to tell Sheldon so that he and Penny can spend some time together. Sheldon, being the observant person he is, quickly discovers that Leonard has returned and decides he can no longer trust what Leonard tells him. 

When Leonard left on his sea voyage at the end of last season, I was not sure whether they would do a time jump like they did between seasons two and three, or have a few episodes wherein Leonard is away (like Howard at the beginning of last season), but Leonard was only away for one episode. Not much was mentioned about what happened while Leonard was away, except that both Sheldon and Penny seemed to miss him, were spending lots of time together, and Leonard did not seem to miss them. I assume they showed Leonard partying for a reason, hence why Leonard did not come back in the first episode, but I am wondering what they are planning on doing with this bit of information about Leonard’s time away. I really hoped they would use Leonard’s absence to progress the Penny/Leonard relationship more. I know it would be hard to do when they are separated from one another, but perhaps it would have been nice to see Penny missing Leonard more. She did say she had been missing him a lot, but I wanted to see her missing him. I’m sure they could have achieved this if he had of stayed away for just one or two episodes more, but they must have their reasons for bringing him back so soon.

Finally there was a cringe-worthy storyline involving Howard and his inadvertent consumption of estrogen. Howard becomes weepy, emotional, and concerned about his outward appearance. In other words, he behaves like a ‘woman’ - don’t get me started... I am rather disappointed The Big Bang Theory would stoop to such lows. I have been a fan of the show since the beginning, and have watched as the quality of the comedy has declined in order to produce a few cheap laughs. I know that the show is currently the most popular sitcom in America and would probably like to retain this title, but I don’t think it needs to reduce itself to pandering to the masses in order to be popular. After a rather shaky start to the seventh season, here’s hoping The Big Bang Theory gets some direction and picks up its game for the rest of the season.

Review by Heather Bale.


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