As the regular cast of "The Big Bang Theory" gets larger, sometimes some of our favorite characters take more of a back seat. Such was the case Thursday night when Leonard and Penny had relatively minor roles, in favor of a pair of stories involving Shamy (Sheldon and Amy) and Hojesh (Howard and Raj, though I'm not sure anyone has ever referred to them by that portmanteau).
The Howard/Raj story stemmed from an incident in an on-campus lab, where a faculty member was bitten by a radiated rat -- though to the disappointment of everyone involved, including me, the faculty member did not gain superpowers. This led Howard and Raj to debate which one of them is the sidekick in their vaguely homoerotic relationship, which led to them wrestling each other (yeah, nothing awkward about that), in quite possibly the dorkiest thing ever depicted on the show. And to be clear, dorky is different from nerdy which is different from geeky. Shockingly, they never even made contact with each other.
As for Shamy, things got rocky between them when Amy was out having dinner with Penny and Bernadette (in the latter's only scene of the episode) and met Penny's old boyfriend Zach, experiencing something that was later identified as sexual arousal. The process by which Sheldon and Amy identified what Amy was experiencing, and Sheldon's later attempts to resolve those feelings, was more of the traditional "not getting normal human interaction" type humor we've seen from this show over the years. Somehow that formula still feels fresh, despite its predictability, which is a credit to Jim Parsons's ability as an actor.
Going all the way back to the beginning of the episode, Sheldon stated that the "best" number is 73. While his reasons for that answer were mathematically valid, I preferred Raj's selection of 5,318,008. Why? Well, because as Raj explained, when you type it into a calculator and turn it upside down, it spells "BOOBIES".
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.