Big Bang Theory – Season 7 Premiere
Kevin Rigdon (@pralix1138)
“This man held my breast the other day, and I love him for it.”
The crowd in Pasedena is back in the supersized season premiere of The Big Bang Theory. Well, technically, it’s two episodes, “The Hofstadter Insufficiency” and “The Deception Verification.” If you don’t remember, last season left off with Leonard joining Stephen Hawking’s experiment group in the Black Sea, Sheldon and Amy having an adult round of D&D, and Raj getting so heartbroken that he shuffled off his not-talking-to-women-without-being-tanked pathology. We pick up the story a couple months later.
Leonard is still out to sea, but thankfully hasn’t been eaten by a kraken. He is, however, missed terribly by Penny and Sheldon. Penny and Sheldon have learned how to cope with each other over the years, and I daresay, have developed quite a bond, though it’s always been with a buffer (i.e. Leonard). Outside the time when Leonard went to Switzerland on Valentine’s Day, Sheldon and Penny have rarely been alone together for any length of time. Well, now it’s time.
In their efforts to console themselves in Leonard’s absence, they decide to call him only to discover that Leonard is having the time of his life partying with the other science team members. In emotional flux afterwards, Penny and Sheldon do a bit of bonding by revealing a secret about themselves to each other. Penny reveals that she did a topless scene in a low budget horror flick called “Serial Apist.” Of course she only thought it was secret. She had to know that Wolowizard would’ve found that out years ago. Sheldon shares that he doesn’t like the new Youtube™ rating Then there is a significant exchange that shows how much these characters, particularly Sheldon, trust one another. Penny blows off Sheldon’s dislike of the new rating system, much like many of us do to our friends and family. Sheldon, in a wonderfully childlike response, tells her that she hurt his feelings, and though the issue of video website rating systems is unimportant to her, it is quite important to him. The fact that she can recognize the hurt she’s done Sheldon, and her willingness to apologize and his acceptance of it prove how deeply these two have come to love one another.
Meanwhile, the other major starting point for the new season is Raj’s ability to talk to women. Yeah, that’s not really going so well, is it? So, he has his ability to talk now, which is good. But his awkwardness is still abundant. He can’t seem to say anything right. At least when he was drunk there was a built-in excuse. Now, not so much. His tortured exchanges provide just the right amount of discomfort for the viewer without it being too sad. The culmination of his newfound communication skills is with Janine Davis of the Human Resources department. Turns out, she was just left by her husband, and Raj tries to make her feel better and connect with/hit on her at the same time. It ends up being a nice, little, (non)moment.
So, what of the rest of the gang? Well, while traveling to a neuroscience convention, we find out some pretty disturbing things about Amy and Bernadette. As they’re sitting at the hotel bar, they get bought drinks by some guys. After Bernadette tries to get Amy to play the field a little bit–you know, because of Sheldon being, well, Sheldon–things go slightly awry. What started out as a fun-filled symposium on brain stuffs (that’s the technical term), turns into a let’s insult each other’s husband and/or boyfriend fest.
Here’s the creepy bit, though. As they’ve made peace and are back in the hotel room, they start talking about the guys that bought them drinks, and somebody brings up something that almost always causes weirdness: the hypothetical. So, if they had gone with the guys at the bar, which one would each pick? Amy would want the short one who she’s sure wants to get under her cardigan. Bernadette would like the tall, thin, intellectual virgin. See where this is going? Yeah, like I said,
All the while, Howard Joel Wolowitz, attempts to help Raj, and be the all around good guy. Turns out he’s been helping his mother apply some topical ointment that just happens to be loaded with estrogen. Oh, and he hasn’t been wearing gloves. So he starts getting emotional. He goes on a diet because he had to buy his latest pair of pants in the men’s department, but the funniest bit of the entire 2-parter is when Raj comes over and Howard wants to know if his boobs look bigger. We are then treated to lots of Howard and Raj shaking their man boobs. Due to the amount of ointment he used on his mother, Howard may be stuck “riding the dragon” as Bernadette put it, for several weeks. I wonder if they’ll keep the gag going.
In the end, it’s wonderful to have the show back. The characters continue to grow and progress. Sheldon is still Sheldon. Penny made it through the entire two episodes, including missing Leonard and dealing with Sheldon, without being intoxicated. It’s going to be fun to watch Raj develop his chatting up skills sans alcohol. All in all, a great start to season 7.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars