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"The Bachelor Party Corrosion"/S9E3

Posted on October 5, 2015 at 1:00 PM

By Dhruv Rao

The Big Bang Theory has only had two weddings so far in its eight-year run, and the emphasis on the nuptials for each wedding has been different. When Howard and Bernadette tied the knot back in 2012, many of the prenuptials and the actual wedding itself were given much significance. However, as far as Leonard and Penny are concerned, their wedding was an impulse decision which took place under murky circumstances. That night was a strange one indeed, as it involved the dissolution of Shamy and the destructive catalyst of Leonard and Penny's future. However, as much as the writers did focus on those two plots and their aftermaths, the writers completely side-stepped Howard, Bernadette, and Raj by giving them trivial plots which one wouldn't even recall. This is the season's third episode, and the writers still haven't navigated the plot outisde the box of the married couple versus the broken-up couple. Ever since Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch were inducted into the show's main panel, the show has sometimes felt too crowded as many characters other than Amy, Leonard, Penny and Sheldon were made to wait a couple of episodes before any major plotline involved them. I love the new direction the show took four years ago, but they still haven't managed to create a solution for the amount of screentime per character. 

This episode doesn't solve the problem but perpetuates it even further by having the guys take off to a bachelor party while Bernadette and Amy try and convince Penny to tell her father she eloped. However, it does give the audience a break from the relationship dynamics of the show, which have been central to the plots since its fifth season. The idea of a conventional bachelor party isn't played around with this time, which is surprising considering how often the show depicts the nerds' version of a significant event, like when Howard and Bernadette's wedding was hosted on the roof in order to get the wedding on Google Earth's image of Pasadena. This episode barely grazes the surface of what this party would be like, with Richard Feynman's van breaks down en route to Mexico. The episode then changes shape to become a commentary on how people with brains aren't gifted in the area of common sense. After that plot twist, I was pretty much disinterested in the A-plot, so I decided to focus more on the subplot of the episode and how it could be more entertaining and interesting than the dull A-plot.

It was refreshing to see Penny's father make an appearance on the show almost five years since his first appearance. The family dynamic is barely touched upon on The Big Bang Theory, and it often leads me to question how the show claimed its primetime leading position without having to tap into the various dynamics for which other shows are well-known. (Ahem, flashbacks...How I Met Your Mother?) However, the show gained its audience by primarily being a reflection of the academic brilliance and poor social skills associated with scientists. Though the idea may not be revolutionary, the path the show has carved by initially introducing the scientists as awkward and then breaking them out of their shell is brilliant, as it gives the characters a fresher feel even eight years after the pilot episode was aired. The show may seem very different from what it was during its first few years, but change is often the only constant in life. The resonance between the characters on the show and real people is often very faint, but with certain ideas like how the socially awkward can be rendered more pleasant to talk to is one that has lined the main plots of the show since its fifth season. While the show is on a constant state of improving the writing and comedy it provides it users, the ride towards the inevitable end is seemingly more and more enjoyable...

Grade: B-

Stray Observations:

- Sheldon: "I'm getting too old for this crud!"

- Penny: "Lock up your daugthers or Sheldon may lecture them about the North American Free-Trade Agreement."

- Amy's wardrobe-changing announcement and the reactions it received are examples which illustrate the progress of the show over the years. 

- Penny's pig is part of the family: "The Breakfast Family!"

- Amy's mother forced Penny to lock her up in the closet.

- "I had to spend the night with Sheldon!" "You win!"

Categories: The Big Bang Theory

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