Back With a Bang?
When Friends was taken off E4 back in 2011, who would have guessed that a quirky American comedy that centres around the lives of a group of young physicists would take its spot with the channel showing constant, but incredibly popular, repeats and new episodes of the show.
The Big Bang Theory was certainly a surprising hit and is now one of the most popular comedy shows currently running. With loveable characters, a quirky sense of humour and story-lines to make you laugh and cry, it has everything you could possibly want from a comedy show. Despite the show being in its eight season with the actors now earning a ridiculous $1m per episode, it still retains all the loveable qualities it has always had and is just as entertaining as ever.
Sheldon Cooper, fresh from his trip across America, has changed his area of study from string theory to dark matter allowing us to see his more vulnerable side as he tries to cope with change. Penny and Leonard have finally settled down and are cuter than ever, and no longer annoying now they are engaged. Stuart is a brilliant addition, Amy is as funny as ever and Raj shockingly has a girlfriend, something he can’t quite understand himself.
Charming, funny, emotional and entertaining, The Big Bang Theory is not only bigger but maybe even better than it has ever been before.
Out With a Whimper?
After seven seasons of science jokes and Star Wars fangirling, you’d think the folks at The Big Bang Theory would hang up their lab coats and call it a day. But alas, season eight returns and brings with it not even one atom of originality.
The irritating thing about The Big Bang Theory is that it had potential. If it went in the direction of The Inbetweeners, for example, it could have been a great underdog comedy that finally gave voice to a group that is often marginalized on TV. People are tired of shows about dudes named Chad who have great hair and lots of sex; we want losers.
Sadly, Big Bang is missing one crucial element of the sitcom formula: humour. What it lacks in wit and irreverence, it makes up for with a wealth of offensive pseudo-jokes. A key trope is ‘Penny-the-dumb-blonde’; her lack of college education makes her a prime target for raucous studio laughter. Season eight opens with her fumbling through a job interview and blurting out that she used to wash cars wearing a bikini, because apparently if you’re not book-smart, you’re resigned to a life of crippling failure. Let’s not forget Raj, the token minority, who is constantly berated for his gentle nature and lilting accent, and Sheldon, whose asexuality has been a running gag since the show’s inception. How ironic that a show about intelligent people has to reduce itself to banal stereotypes.
Melissa Gitari and Emily Murray
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