‘Big Bang Theory’ Season Finale Mixes Sweetness With Laughs (SPOILERS)

The Big Bang Theory Season Finale

As soon as “The Big Bang Theory” introduced an actual romance between Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) there was a concern the show would fall victim to “Moonlighting” syndrome (or “Cheers,” if you prefer), where putting two principal characters together — and breaking them up — risks overwhelming the show. By that measure, Thursday’s season finale (and SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t watched) marked a testament to just how accomplished this series has become, not only getting laughs from all seven regular players and recurring guest Kevin Sussman, but incorporating a poignance and even sweetness that has become one of the CBS mega-hit’s hallmarks.

Here, much of those latter elements came from Jim Parsons as the childlike Sheldon, who — as he states repeatedly throughout the episode — hates the idea of change. So Leonard’s announcement that he’s engaged to Penny and wants to live with her puzzles his scientifically minded roommate, who initially allows that Leonard’s bride-to-be can stay with them “one day a week for a trial period.”

Parsons’ talent (and here’s an early plug for his upcoming performance in HBO’s “The Normal Heart”) has frequently helped “Big Bang” resonate beyond its comedic moorings, and Leonard’s apprehension about letting him venture off on his own underscored a string within that relationship the producers have become increasingly adept at plucking.

Of course, Leonard and Penny’s engagement is apt to drag on a while, but the idea that change is part of the show has already been established. Indeed, this is a very different series than the good one that premiered on CBS in 2007, having added Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch as regulars, introduced the notion of balancing fanboy pursuits with marriage and given the women virtually as much due as the central quartet of guys.

Like anything that’s both inordinately successful and hangs around a long time (she helpfully intimates as much), it’s easy to take “The Big Bang Theory” for granted. Still, one could see just how much the show means to CBS by watching the finale, based strictly on all the promos for other programs (including new summer and fall series) the network crammed into it.

On his season-ending vanity card, exec producer Chuck Lorre cited the show’s humble desire to repay viewers for their time and attention with laughter. But at its best, “Big Bang” delivers a bit more than that — something that’s consistently, to use Lorre’s analogy, a pretty good bang for the buck.


Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 8

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Bill says:

    BBT has consistently provided a story line which evolves and morphs from season to season without losing any of its originality and humor. The additions of Bernadette and, ESPECIALLY Amy, have added immensely to the show. It will be interesting to see if a Raj relationship finally develops. The secondary characters of Stuart, Will Wheaton, and Krupke can easily be developed more, and the parents roles are ripe for expanding…especially Christine Baranski. Will we EVER see Mrs. Wolowitz???
    BBT is the BEST thing on television in many years…my belief is that it FAR surpasses Two and a Half Men and Friends…they were both far inferior to BBT.

  2. Ken says:

    Will poor Stuart re-open his comic book store?? Will Sheldon go back to working on String Theory?? Will Amy ever get laid??? What a terrific season finale to what is consistently the finest ensemble comedy on tv! But why oh why did they kill off Professor Proton last week? (Hope Bob Newhart returns next season, as Sheldon’s Obi-Wan-ish dream state mentor!). When will the Emmys recognize this show’s frequently wonderful writing and directing?

    • Dale Hopson says:

      I’m guessing Stuart’s comic book store is long gone… he has a new career now which is a stronger reason to be part of the group. We will never, ever see Mrs Wolowitz!

  3. Fred says:

    Thw one red flag for me, in the pilot, was the intimation that Penny’s family in Nebraska was dire white trash (her brother’s in prison, her mother remarks that Penny would be the first member of the family to get married when she wasn’t pregnant). That, along with the growing emphasis on Howard’s surly mother, is unfortunately reminiscent of Chuck Lorre’s wrong turns in the latter half of his other sitcom, “Two and a Half Men”. The last thing this show about science geeks needs is the introduction of crude, redneck characters – something for which Lorre seems to have a weakness. Let’s hope he’s not heading there.

  4. James Mack says:

    To be honest BBT writers/producer did an excellent job for finale. This has been the norm for all my favorite shows season finale. Talk about CLIFF HANGERS! I thought I was back in my neighborhood movie from 1960. It makes for an interesting upcoming season, just as much as when Leonard for sea and Sheldon and Penny relation grew. I always expected to see Sheldon living with P&L even if they did get together, or looked to see Penny land a good job & Leonard tag alone w/her.

  5. Richard Mattingly says:

    BBT has begun to leave the viewers behind and is becoming a stale version Friends without nerds in many aspects this year. Gone is comic con pilgrimages, using college equipment to make sandwhichs, and girlfriends bewildered by what the differences are between StarTrek and Star Wars. BBT had better make a warp speed 180 fast next season back to the star fleet of geek, fans don’t want season eight to turn into a vapid couples comedy centered on relationship issues.

More TV News from Variety