The Big Bang Theory had a big year.
Last season, the show became the most watched sitcom on television and Jim Parsons -- a.k.a. genius Sheldon Cooper -- won an Emmy for Best Leading Actor in a Comedy Series. This led CBS to try to challenge NBC's hold on Thursday night comedy, moving Theory from Monday to Thursday.
So after all this buildup, how does The Big Bang Theory respond with its season premiere? With a big, fat, resounding, "eh."
The episode opened all of our favorite nerds -- guess what -- doing nerdy stuff. Wolowitz brought home a a robotic hand he built for NASA and the group isn't using it to build a rocket or spaceship, but rather, pull their Chinese food out of the bags. Ha ha! So funny! Actually, not really. Considering this was the effing season premiere, that was a pretty lame cold opening. But, alas! We press on and hope for more Sheldon.
We quickly learn that Sheldon's been spending the past four months texting and talking with Amy Farrah Fowler -- the perfect match that Wolowitz and Raj found on a dating site for Sheldon at the end of last season. However, Sheldon is in denial about his love interest. He claims they're just friends despite the rest of the group calling them "Shamy" -- until he drops a bomb on everyone. Sheldon and Amy want to procreate.
The episode moves forward and Penny convinces Sheldon to get to know Amy more before they decide to have children together. This turns out to be a bad move, as Penny gets roped into driving the Shamy couple on their first date (which actually turns out to be Sheldon's first date ever).
The whole night turns into a fiasco with Shamy ragging on Penny's love life -- mainly, Sheldon mathematically figuring out how many men Penny's dated and how many sexual partners she's had. (approximately 193).
Now, remember that robotic hand? Well, during the Shamy date, Wolowitz -- being the giant pervert he is -- decides to use the hand to, um, pleasure himself. But of course, he messes up and the hand gets stuck on his junk and Leonard and Raj come take him to the hospital. Whoops.
Overall, the episode had its moments. The decision to advance the "Shamy" plot is great because the constant Penny/Leonard love struggle is getting repetitive and old. Seriously. How many times can they split them up/bring them back together. They are not Rachel and Ross.
But, with the other characters in this episode, it was a bit disappointing to see the writers fall back on such a cliche sitcom plot. I mean seriously, how many times in other shows have we seen a character have to go to the hospital because he did something embarrassing to his penis? Yeah, I guess penis jokes are always kind of funny (penis!), but this felt like a blatant cop-out by the writers. One of the strongest characteristics of The Big Bang Theory is that it manages to be an original sitcom. Yeah, there's canned laughter. And yeah, it's overacted at times. But until this episode, all of that was part of the overall nerdiness of the show. For the first time in four seasons, I felt like I was watching a standard run-of-the-mill sitcom.
So yeah, the premiere was alright. As always, I just wanted more Sheldon.