The Big Bang Theory – The Raiders Minimization


Kevin Rigdon (@pralix1138)

“When we deceive for personal gain, we make Jesus cry.” Wise words, Sheldon Cooper. Wise words, indeed. Unfortunately, Mr. Leonard Hofstadter doesn’t remember these words of counsel when it comes to his girlfriend, Penny. It’s all sneaky manipulations and destruction of childhood classics on the newest episode of The Big Bang Theory, “The Raiders Minimization.”

I think we all understand that moment in the relationship when we share one of our all-time favorite things with that special someone and they completely, and utterly, destroy it. Sheldon has shared one of his great loves, Raiders of the Lost Ark with Amy, and while she finds it entertaining, she can’t help but point out the glaring story problems (i.e. Indiana Jones is superfluous to the plot). Regardless of whether she’s right or not, it has the effect of causing Sheldon great discomfort. The answer? Sheldon seeks to find something in her life that she’s always loved, and destroy it. You know, I think they may be right. Sheldon could be one accident away from a life of super villainy.

But Sheldon’s pathological need for revenge is nothing compared to his roommate, Leonard. It all starts with Penny reading one of Leonard’s mother’s books for her psychology class. Having met his mother, I’m sure we can all agree that the book would be…interesting. After Penny tries a few things to make Leonard feel better, Leonard soon hatches a plan: just pretend to be sad a lot so Penny will initiate sex and watch various geeky things only he’s interested in. This particular little plot line doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I won’t go so far as to call it a glaring story problem or anything, but two things sort of stand out to me: Penny is a big ol’ five–lest we forget, and Leonard spends most of his time whining and moping. So, Leonard will mope and Penny will have sex with him, but there’s no direct cause-and-effect here. Really, the only reason to have it is to set up the gag where Penny finds out and video calls Leonard’s mother who reveals that Leonard walked in on his parents naked with his mother spanking Leonard’s father with a ping pong paddle. Yes, much therapy would be needed.

The third arc of the show, which is imminently more depressing than Leonard’s kinky parents, features Raj and Stuart setting up online dating profiles in their never-ending, yet thoroughly heart-breaking, attempt to meet women. At first they struggle, not only with taking headshots for the website, but trying to figure out how to make themselves sound interesting. Sometimes people find it easier to communicate through the written word rather than speaking directly. But Raj and Stuart have trouble with that as well. But they soldier on through it and complete the profiles. Here’s the depressing bit: after an initial excitement that their profiles are being viewed by multiple woman, they are contacted by none of them. Undeterred, save for the emotional kick in the nether regions, they decide to do it the old fashioned way and head out to a bar. The result? You guessed it: utter failure. Turns out anonymous rejection is better than face-to-face rejection.

Overall, I was a little disappointed in the episode. Understanding that every episode can’t be the greatest ever, it was still somewhat lacking. There were certainly some funny moments to be sure, but nothing that reaches out and grabs you. I’m enjoying the fact that Sheldon and Amy are slowly turning out to have the healthiest relationship on the show. They were able to talk out Sheldon’s anger at Amy having ruined Raiders for him. Great strides being made there. Even though I don’t anticipate very many rewatches of this episode, it’s still The Big Bang Theory.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

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