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"The Colonization Application"/S8E17

Posted on March 19, 2015 at 5:35 PM

By Dhruv Rao

Ever since the early 2000s, television audiences have become addicted to scrutinize unorthodox television couples. For instance, if one were to log onto Tumblr or Twitter, one would find countless memes of different quirky dialogues one half of an odd couple said to another. This need for a new type of relationship was the reason people were refreshed when they saw Marshall and Lily's happy relationship in How I Met Your Mother. They were one of the rare TV couples of the day that wouldn't hate each other or have awkward dinners. Instead, the writers decided to portray them as sweet and loving people with problems the crowd could relate to. As for Big Bang couples, Chuck Lorre's writers took the need for an unorthodox couple and made it their skeleton for forming couples on the show. If we scrutinize each of the couples, we can find plenty of odd aspects; however, the only couple that really stands out is Shamy, because every baby step for them seems to be a milestone. When Leonard and Penny first said, "I love you," the writers cut the scene right after that, but Shamy's love confession was pulled for longer, as the fans truly relished that patricular moment and Mayim Bialik's expression when Sheldon knew exactly what to say...

This romantic aspect of their relationship isn't at the forefront this week, as the writers set their relationship on fire this week with the news that Sheldon might be moving to Mars. The subtlety with which the A-plot was diverted is what I appreciated the most of this episode, as the writers managed to switch from a light-hearted plot to a bombshell without interrupting the flow with which the episode went. Furthermore, the show stayed true to its sitcom nature by balancing these plots out with comic filler plots that didn't advance the plot, but added depth to the characters and their relationships. This equilibrium of both sides of a television program is what made the episode a strong one, even though the comedy was off during the filler plots. The comedy provided during Sheldon's video for going to Mars was actually a highlight for me, as we got to see him throw a pie at Leonard and watch Leonard's perfect reaction. Many have scorned Johnny Galecki's sarcastic method of delivering of lines, but frankly I love how he mocks Sheldon. It shows how his relationship with Penny has in fact has an impact on him. The entire plotline was so sophisticated that I mentally applauded when Sheldon told Amy that she could join him on his trip to Mars. It's no When Harry Met Sally or Sleepless In Seattle moment, but it's up there for Shamy...

The romantic nature of the episode would have completely ruined this week's half-hour had the other subplots been romantic as well. Leonard and Penny's story was a reminder to the viewers that they are no longer the couple that can't get along anymore, they're now the perfect couple. Therefore, there won't be much of a conflict with respecting each other. That leaves a plethora of stories for the remaining couples on the show, but I wouldn't advise the writers to add more conflicts into the relationships. However, I would appreciate a more subtle shift to careers for the first half of season nine as it would be a refreshing change of pace. The change of pace is exactly why The Anxiety Optimization was regarded as a boon for the season. After that one great episode, the writers once again fell prey of the comfort zone and decided to attach a string of average and above average episodes which staddled the fences of relationships once again. Furthermore, the plots are starting to knaw at me, as their content seems to be degrading by the episode. This week's Raj-Emily fuss was a horrible one, and I think the writers ought to place Raj in a relationship he is stable in. The fans waited six years for him to quit his selective mutism and another year for him to get into a normal relationship. Please, writers, give us a spark in Emily and Raj's relationship! It would be much appreciated...

Grade: B

Categories: The Big Bang Theory

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