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"The Helium Insufficiency"/S9E6

Posted on October 26, 2015 at 6:25 PM

By Dhruv Rao

The Big Bang Theory used to be known for its scientific, nerdy nature in the initial seasons; however, as time went by and the cast was expanded to include more women, the focus of the show shifted to the relationships between the main characters. This volta lead to a multitude of complaints from the show's original audience stating that the show had sold out since its primary focus was no longer the unique characteristics of scientists but rather the different arcs of the relationships of the show. Faced with the threat of losing their fanbase, the writers immediately switched gears in the eighth season to include both scientific and romantic ventures of the characters; however, the quality of the comedy and the plotlines was compromised. 

This entire back-and-forth of the fans and the writers has produced the string of episodes of this season which are certainly an improvement from the eighth season, but they also give the show fans from both sci-fi and rom-com genres, much like Taylor Swift did when she released her album Red in 2012. However, unlike Swift, the writers for The Big Bang Theory aren't being reprimanded for including different sensibilities into the episodes. Rather, this season vindicates the versatility of the writers, and this episode is an epitome.

The main plot and subplot fall into the sci-fi and rom-com categories respectivelty. The former involved Leonard and Sheldon venturing into the black market for liquefied Helium while the latter was a commentary on the increasing popularity of Tinder. Theoretically, the merging of two plots so different into a cohesive half-hour sitcom episode seems unlikely; however, The Big Bang Theory knows exactly how to hit the nail both comically and in relation to the pertinence of the season's plot. Both the plots and the comedy involved fit aptly into the show, as the writers kept the big picture for the season in mind while constructing this episode. It was brilliantly executed, and the types of comedy integrated only helped their case that this show is ready to keep one foot in the rom-com genre and another in the sci-fi.

Grade: A-

Stray Observations:

- "How many questions is 'too many questions'?"

- "If you lose the game, you have to go out with Stuart."

- "If you wanted me to stay out late, you should've given me more spending money."

- "If he's good in bed, she can throw him a fish!"

- "You being related to a metal container explains a lot."

- Michael Rapaport was hilarious tonight as he was on Friends.

Categories: The Big Bang Theory

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