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"The Matrimonial Momentum"/S9E1

Posted on September 21, 2015 at 8:35 PM

By Dhruv Rao

There was a large amount of the Big Bang fanbase which was disappointed by the direction season eight eventually took after the various cliffhangers placed in the finale. I wasn't completely on board with their thinking; however, I did doubt whether the direction the writers intended to take was the right one. As the weeks building up to the finale passed, I didn't pay much thought to this show. However, last week, after I wrote the season recap, my mind somehow started to wonder towards the possibilities this season had. Then, I looked around and read the taping report. My thoughts? Impressive, but a little too much for a show which usually doesn't step out of the traditional television narrative style, i.e. the larger risks the writers take aren't often well-received.

However, after this premiere, I would like to commend the writers' courage to completely tear apart Shamy and have the season focus on that development instead of the premiere quickly stitching the loose ends of the last season. Furthermore, the writers must have taken a lesson from the staff over at Brooklyn Nine Nine, because the comedy and the script seemed to have a fluidity that was absent from a large portion of last season. This comedy made the drama involved in the episode so much lighter that I almost forgot that the show has had quite a few misfires with drama over the last two seasons. I was watching the episode with a group of people this time around, and the fact that they were reacting sharply to every single nuance presented, from facial expressions to explicit actions, is a clear indicator that the writers are prepared to take on this challenge knowing that the audience isn't 100% supportive of the path they're taking. I think that bold risks evetually pay off, as with the case of How I Met Your Mother's finale, which to this date is a controversy among the fans. However, as of late, you'll find people who thought it over and, upon dissecting the episode, found that the ending made sense. In a similar fashion, if one were to look at all the various indications that Amy was fed up of Sheldon placed somewhat strategically over the last few seasons, one would understand that this decision to split the couple up was one that had been built up for years. And that's why I support how the split was handled. The plot was simply a plethora of reasons why Amy's decision was justified, ranging from Sheldon's insensitivity to his inability to sympathize with others. Furthermore, his demeanor with the remainder of the cast didn't help his case that he was boyfriend material.

The rest of the cast, excluding Leonard and Penny, was side-stepped once again and were mere "catalysts" for the Shamy plot. There were various moments of comedy provided by them; however, I am still awaiting a big development for any of their characters. Maybe once the season isn't as fresh as it is right now they'll be given their moments in the limelight. I'm hoping for some big changes for them in various fronts, but really looking at how much work the writers have between the two main couples of the show, it is very much possible that these changes may be postponed to the second half of the season or maybe even the next and possibly the final season. (While that discussion is very much relevant here, I feel like I will be able to discuss the pros and cons of the show going beyond a tenth season after gauging their performance on these loose ends.)

Finally, I have to talk about the wedding. The writers jumped in and got the two characters married, even though their situation on the way to Vegas was rather murky. And while placing their argument after their marriage invites more problems, it's a shrewd move because it's the lock that opens up so many possible plotlines that may reveal certain questions we've always wanted to know the answers of. The cuaways between the Shamy drama and the tie-in with it at the end of the episode was a brilliant way to end the premiere. Furhtermore, the image of Leonard and Penny on the phone with Sheldon and Amy respectively as the opening of the new season was one that evoked a great amount of laughter from me, due to Sheldon's insecurities. That image also evoked how big of a show Big Bang is right now, with the current report of an audience of 17.48 million people. The entire episode could never be pulled of by a newer show, as the various complications and inside jokes that were embedded into the plots were done so subtly that it would require a loyal fanbase that knows the big picture along with minor details at the back of its hand. And while popular shows often have a mediocre premiere, The Big Bang Theory started off with a knock out of the park, with a premiere that was comparable to the fifth season premiere, the best season premiere in my opinion. Here's to a season that makes me forget the mediocrity of the last one!

Grade: B+

Stray Observations:

- "Knock-knock-knock, Penny!"

- Is it me or does Simon Helberg's hairstyle just deteriorate each season?

- Sheldon's zingers this week were on fire, but the one which I think made me laugh the most was "thos eggs you're toting around have a sell-by date".

- Raj's first appearance this season was the classic joke that a show like this one would pull. However, I still laughed laugh because I'm a sucker for a good joke, even if it's been used before by shows like Friends.

- Penny: "We've put this off long enough. Let's just do it!" Leonard: "Aww, that's exactly what you said the first time we slept together!"

- Stuart's creepiness is a major laughing point in this episode, but does it hint to something else? If we've learnt anything from the last few seasons and indications, there probably will be some tension with Amy and Stuart.

- Bernadette and Howard fist bumped because they won, i.e. they had a better wedding.

- Leonard's face when he was carrying Penny accross the threshold, classic!

Categories: The Big Bang Theory

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