Where else could a show go that is unique to its niche market yet wildly successful? Up – there’s no other answer. For three seasons The Big Bang Theory has done what other famous sitcoms have done – push the boundaries while never forgetting its humblest of beginnings. And though not many can say they fully understand these four geniuses, each and every one of them has found a way to win us over with some sort of charm even if characteristics dictate otherwise. Not much has changed to the formula just more has been added to it to spice things up and keep things fresh.
To say season 4 starts off with a bang is the only way to put it, pun intended. The very first episode sets the tone for the season that sees that Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) is in possession of a robotic arm meant for the international space station. Given his work as a low-level engineer with only a master’s degree according to Dr. Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) this episode is fitting for Howard’s progression as a character. Where the episode goes is absolutely outrageous – something better to be seen than read about.
What show creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady have done well is sprinkle in new characters here and there that adds so much more depth that causes change in characters we thought would be stuck in their ways. Enter Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) and Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch) who in have become regulars in this new season. Their additions to the cast add something that felt was missing from the previous seasons – a little diversity. Not that the show isn’t diverse already with Dr. Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar). More intelligent and capable women is never a bad addition to a show like this. It’s quite inspiring.
“Wait a minute, a child? You never see this girl, you just email and text and twitter, now you’re considering having a baby.”
Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler who was introduced in the season three finale without a doubt steals every scene she’s in. Mayim commands the spotlight proving that she belongs here with this already incredible cast of actors and actresses. She’s the female Sheldon but over time her growth from another robotic emotionless introvert changes when she’s with Bernadette and her bestie Penny (Kaley Cuoco). Starting off with an unnecessary awkward meeting – Penny is forced to drive Sheldon and Amy on their not a date “date” their friendship evolves into a very unique friendship.
The Big Bang Theory’s biggest success can be attributed to the characters and how their personalities have developed over time. Coming into their fourth season characters have evolved more than ever thought possible. It’s natural to take such simple yet extremely complex characters and add new traits that keep them feeling fresh. Where Sheldon started in season one is a completely different character now. He’s still the quirky arrogant know it all that you can’t stand and hate to love but he has opened up a lot more and his rough edges now feel smoother.
At its foundation The Big Bang Theory has always centered around the relationship of Dr. Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Penny. On again off again game of cat and mouse is the best way to describe their relationship, even when they were a couple. But with new characters added to the group different relationships are focused on to ease the constant back and forth of will they or wont they. Time is equally split between the three couples Howard & Bernadette, Sheldon & Amy aka Shamy, and Leonard and Raj’s sister Priya (Aarti Mann). Priya adds a different dynamic to the group. For once there is actual tension between Penny and Leonard that’s less comedic given how close Penny is to the group. It’s a trope sitcoms have explored in the past – Ross and Rachel in Friends or Ted & Robyn in How I Met Your Mother.
“Like everybody else’s: subject to entropy, decay, and eventual death. Thank you for asking.”
It’s not a season of The Big Bang Theory if nerd culture isn’t highlighted and celebrated. Continuing the tradition of nerd culture are the guest stars including Steve Woziniak, Katee Sackoff, George Takei, Neil deGrasse Tyson, LeVar Burton, Steven Hawking and now in a reoccurring role Will Wheaton all as themselves. It also isn’t a season of Big Bang Theory if Howard and his overbearing and suffocating mother (Carol Ann Susi) aren’t bickering back and forth while she’s off screen – it’s some of the best dialogue whenever they have scenes together.
With all the new development from the core group one remains the same with little to no growth. Raj still cannot speak to women without alcohol unless its Priya. It makes for a good running gag as he encounters the FBI agent Angela Paige (Eliza Dushku) with the rum cake. But when is it Raj’s turn to break out of his shell the way Sheldon, Howard and Leonard have? Giving Raj a secret love interest isn’t enough to keep Raj as a character feeling fresh despite the fantasy of his best friend dying and him having to take care of Bernadette.
Penny also back tracks with her new relationship in Zack Johnson (Brian Thomas Smith). After dating Leonard, she reverts to her old ways, but Zack is different. He loves chatting about science with the boys even if the roles change and they become the bullies. Brian Thomas Smith couldn’t have been more perfect in his role with the way Zack speaks to his body language and his love for Archie and Jughead.
The Big Bang Theory has been consistently funny, heartwarming that embraces being a full out nerd and geek. Even with new characters added to the core group the relationships are still at the forefront which makes this show easy to watch given the advanced science that’s discussed. It’s fun being a nerd and we finally have a place to embrace it, no more hiding what we love. 5 out of 5.
The Big Bang Theory season four premiered in 2010 and can be streamed on HBO Max. The Big Bang Theory season three has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 100%. The Big Bang Theory was created for TV by Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady and stars Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik, Melissa Rauch, Will Wheaton, Kevin Sussman and Carol Ann Susi.
So, tell me, have you seen The Big Bang Theory season four and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.