Created by: Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady
Cast: Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik, Melissa Raunch, Wil Wheaton
Synopsis: Sheldon and Amy explore their very unique relationship even further. Leonard and Penny give things another shot. Howard gets an opportunity to be an astronaut by getting a rocket to the International Space Station, much to fiancée Bernadette’s fears. Finally, Raj remains yet to find companionship, whilst his sexuality is brought into question more than once
I had been warned before embarking on this season that it was a bit of a let down, particularly in comparison to how successful the series had been until now. This assessment does not agree with my own experience. The show has changed a lot over five seasons, especially in terms of an increased cast. The show could have become very repetitive without a few changes, so these additions have done a lot to keep the show fresh, with new personalities in the mix. The male to female mix now makes the show resemble a previous decade’s popular sitcom, but that sitcom did go down the mediocre path. I still love Big Bang!!
The continued will-they / won’t they relationship of Leonard and Penny is perhaps the closest connection that Big Bang has with Friends. Yet in the case of the latter, I was sick of hearing “we were on a break” after two episodes, and it was a gag that was continued for a much monger period than that. There is no such holding patterns with Leonard and Penny. While they keep dancing around each other, their storylines and relationship continue to naturally evolve. Most importantly, humour continues to be mined from both characters, keeping interest in the two of them alive.
Similarly, the other two couples have forged their own identities, while as individuals they all also continue to thrive. This is especially the case for Sheldon and Amy, who are just as much individuals as they are a pair. They may officially be in a relationship as a result of events this season, but their mutual misunderstandings of human intimacy make this a unique experience. Sure, Amy is more open to intimacy than her partner, with Penny too, to boot, but she lacks awareness of how to approach this intimacy, and overcompensates to hilarious effect. Howard and Bernadette now work best as a couple, and they provide some of the most touching moments this season. There is still plenty of room for Howard to be a douche, not forgetting the characters roots.
That leaves poor Raj, still all alone, but still a vital element od the mix for the show. Though sad, it is also a smart move, having one of the original four guys not paired up. Episodes that delve into why often prove highly amusing, and it is nice for the alone geeks out there to still have a character in the show that connects with that feeling of being a geek and as a result being misunderstood. Comic book shop owner Stuart is also in that boat, and he also seemed to have a slightly increased role this season, fulfilling the same role without the more amusing homosexual connotations Indeed, it would be great for Raj to come out, to further open up the show to a wider appreciative audience. As long as it is done smartly and not as a pure ratings grab, it could be very interesting.
The laughs are still coming five years on. I will keep watching while that is the case. Lets just hope TBBT learns from previous shows mistakes, and keep running when the creativity in humour starts to dry up!!
4 stars out of 5
Season 5 promo [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWvCX0cmbQU]