I know I'm a little behind in my TV reviews from this week, but Heat games on Thursday and Friday and spending half of Saturday hitting refresh on TicketLeap will do that to my schedule. Still, I can now start to catch up thanks to the joys of in-flight WiFi (seriously, I don't think we realize just how amazing the times we live in truly are), and I thought I'd start with this week's episode of "The Big Bang Theory", which marked the second consecutive really funny episode, after a string of mildly disappointing ones.
There were two main stories in "The Thespian Catalyst". First, Sheldon's latest teaching appearance was widely panned by his students (to the amusement of the rest of the group), sending him into a depression. On a suggestion from Amy, Sheldon decided to get acting lessons from Penny, so he could "act" like he cared about the students. I like that the show remembered that at one point Penny was a struggling actress, not just a waitress who hung around with a bunch of nerds. Her teaching scenes with Sheldon seemed to be mocking every generic acting teacher the people on the show have ever encountered, and as usual the pairing of the two most different characters on the show made for a really amusing conflict.
The other story involved Raj getting complimented by Bernadette, which led to him fantasizing about Wolowitz's girlfriend in more and more elaborate ways, resulting in an incredible Bollywood-style song-and-dance number to end the show. It was probably one of the top five things the show has ever done, in both its execution and its insanity.
To be honest, neither story came to a real satisfying resolution, but I'm OK with that, because I've gotten used to how "The Big Bang Theory" works. It's not really a serialized show, but it lets threads linger, to be pulled at later. And while it might have been funny to see Sheldon trying to use his new "acting" techniques in front of a class, the breakdown he suffered while acting out his one-act play with Penny was pretty damn funny too.
Also, I thought this episode did a solid job of getting the entire expanded cast involved without forcing them together or awkwardly acknowledging someone's absence. Sure, Leonard didn't do much, and Amy really only appeared via video chat, but that's more realistic than all seven of them constantly hanging out. It seems like the writers are getting into a rhythm with their new pieces.
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.