Warning: The following blog contains perhaps one too many potentially awkward metaphors. Reader discretion is advised.
I grew up on television. As a proverbial child of the 90s, television was many things to me before the internet intruded upon our relationship and shamelessly swept me off my feet: babysitter, surrogate parent, forbidden lover, and above all, friend. I was a “couch potato” — as most modern children with parental-induced agoraphobia are — and unapologetically so. For a long time, Saturday morning cartoons and family sitcoms were my shit.
Then things changed, as they are annoyingly prone to do. ABC cancelled One Saturday Morning, family sitcoms became obsolete, and… I grew up. The Dark Ages of American television had begun with “reality programming” at the sinking ship’s stern and— okay, I’ll stop with the dramatics and put it like this: things sucked until Chuck Lorre gave us The Big Bang Theory.
TBBT is, quite simply, my crack. Been onboard since the pilot, own all three seasons on DVD, would name my goldfish Sheldon Cooper if I had a goldfish, etcetera, etcetera. Lorre (creator, writer, and producer) managed to do what so many in Hollywood couldn’t – he brought the sitcom into the new millennium, making it fresh, watchable, and most importantly, funny (can’t say I’m entirely surprised; he did, after all, do major work on Roseanne, the Holy Grail of sitcoms).
My love for this show runs so deep that I feel obligated to be completely honest in my critique of its latest season: up until this week’s episode, I was worried. Worried because the characters weren’t exhibiting any signs of growth; worried because Sheldon appeared to have become a caricature of himself; worried because the jokes were stale; worried because I wasn’t laughing.
Season Four is about one season too early for any show to jump the shark, and yet the signs, which I outlined above, are already there (it won’t happen officially until the writers go COMPLETELY assbackwards and give Sheldon a steady girlfriend). I just pray that this week’s episode, where the gang hilariously embarked on a weekend getaway to a science conference, marks a turn for the better. Interestingly, it appears the comedic stylings of Melissa Rauch (Bernadette Rostenkowski) and Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler/Blossom) will be TBBT’s saving grace until the writers figure out to do with everyone else.
But just like with a marriage, I’m in this thing for the long haul. For better or for worse. In sickness and in health. And that’s no bazinga.