Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Big Bang Theory, "The Einstein Approximation": Ball pit Bazinga

Though the scene with Sheldon and Leonard in the ball pit on last night's "Big Bang Theory" was hysterical, overall I found the episode to be one of those occasional outings where Sheldon's behavior is pushed so far to the extreme that you wonder why any human being would tolerate him, why Leonard would live with him, the others be friends with him, etc. And I usually find those episodes tough to take, as was the case here.

What did everybody else think?

33 comments:

David said...

I would have left Sheldon and moved to Bozeman, MT years ago. But the ball pit was hilarious. And have they yet explained Wolowics' girlfriends waitress/biologist situation?

Phil Freeman said...

See, I took it as an interesting reminder that crazy people aren't always quirky/wacky - sometimes they're a real pain in the ass. I liked the somewhat darker tone we got as Sheldon descended into madness.

Andrew said...

I'll tell you... I dont know the last time I laughed as hard as I did the first time Sheldon popped up and said bazinga. An unforgettable moment in an otherwise forgettable episode.

Bryan said...

I think they would've been better off just spending the entire show in the balls and at disco night at the roller rink.

Katty said...

The Big Bang even when it's not at its greatest, as was the case with this episode, still makes me laugh more than most of the other so called 'comedies' out there.

Mark S. said...

I thought this was one of the funnier episodes this season. Bernadette controlling Sheldon, Howard saying his mom isn't coming on the double date...this time. And the ball pit was hilarious, but they did overdo it when they went back at the end.

Lisa said...

I LOVE Jim Parsons. LOVE him. But "BBT" is turning into "The Sheldon Show" and it's going to kill it.

Cathy said...

I think the ball pit was a little overdone, but Parson's and Galecki's physicality, it was great sight gagging a la Lucy and Ethel.

forg/jecoup said...

I love the cast but The Big Bang Theory has always been The Sheldon Show since Day 1 but this season I think the writers did a good job with the other characters especially Raj and Penny. Howard had some character development too. Leonard with Penny is not as distracting as I thought it would be.

I miss Leslie though

renton said...

The ball pit scene was great, but between the first scene and the end of the show, that was a few too many bazingas.

I also liked his efforts to apply for a "menial" job.

Anonymous said...

I imagine that scientists would give a lot of leeway to a fellow scientist who was stuck while working on an important project. I dated a science grad student at Harvard and there is a lot of tolerance for eccentricity in those fields. Especially wrt Sheldon, he's more accomplished than the other guys and dealing with his quirks probably helps the other guys politically in the university.

Anonymous said...

The notion that Sheldon was a better waitress than Penny was worth any over-the-top antics.

Matt said...

This episode went too far off from the "conventional" BBT to make it enjoyable for me. Sheldon sitting in the unemployment office and Leonard's interrogation of Waiter Sheldon were high points, but the ball pit scene(s) were very low-brow and unbecoming of the high quality of the show. It would have been funny for 10 seconds, but when they kept going back to that well, it got old really quick. After the third "bazinga" I was reaching for the remote to skip forward.

But apparently I'm just weird because everybody else seemed to love it. Maybe next week they'll do ten minutes of Spit Takes.

Brandy said...

It didn't bother me that Sheldon was a better waitress than Penny. He is extremely detail oriented and the only table we saw him serve was that of his friends who he would know excedingly well.

I thought Leonard giving him a hard time about his ordering was really funny.

I thought the end scene at both the roller rink and the ball cage were over done.

But Sheldon didn't bother me in the least, in part because their is a whole class of medication I can't take because I become like Sheldon was for those days. I irritate everybody around me, including myself and I can't stop and I can't sleep.... at all so by 4 am I'm just NUTS.

So I empathized with both Sheldon and his annoyed friends.

Michael said...

I couldn't stop laughing at the ball pit "Bazinga!" gags, even though they kept doing it.

Anyone catch that the employment office worker was Yeardley "Lisa Simpson" Smith?

RD said...

I got really annoyed while watching this episode. I didn't laugh at anything except for the first "bazinga". But as soon as they repeated it for a 3rd and 4th time, it just seemed to annoy me. Sheldon is, undoubtedly, the star of the show, but BBT is getting a bit too "Sheldon-y" for me. Also, I don't find Leonard's one-liners funny at all, and the fact that the laughing track appears to be on "max" is quite annoying as well. I don't know, I guess I'm just frustrated because this show was good, but recently, it's been going downhill. With better comedies out (Parks and Rec, Modern Family, HIMYM), I might have to call it quits on this show if it doesn't improve soon. Sigh.

Tom Galloway said...

While generally on the side of thinking Sheldon's negative social quirks have been exaggerated to the point of often wondering why the other three guys keep hanging out with him, this was one case where it didn't bother me.

The whole point was that this was Sheldon at his "worst"...but he had a reason for being so that the other three (and Bernadette) all understood, namely becoming stuck/overfocused on a science problem. It's not to say that they particularly liked his behavior, but he did have a specific reason for losing what social skills/understanding he does have.

To me, the annoying bit about the episode was Raj's "I don't have a girlfriend, I'm a fifth wheel" bit...given that the show didn't bother to show/explain why he's not with the Danica McKellar character who was last seen making out with him two episodes ago.

Billiam said...

To each his own, and I shouldn't be singling out that one above poster, but I've started to get sick of saying something like "Comedy A hasn't been that good lately, but it's still better than all other comedies on TV." There are ALOT of great comedies on TV (I alone watch HIMYM, Modern Family, Cougar Town, Better Off Ted, Scrubs, all of NBC's Thursday night lineup). It's a great year/era for sitcoms.
BBT always makes me laugh, but I'm not enamored with the characters to the extent that I am with other shows, most notably The Office and HIMYM. That's the same complaint I have with 30 Rock.

Chris said...

They were careful to set this up as an aberration even for Sheldon. There was a brilliant line in here that I have forgotten and so will have to watch it again.

Chris said...

Just remembered the funny line. Apple Store genius.

Anonymous said...

This was the third show I've seen, since I'd heard good things about it. Gotta say, I've given it a chance I think, but it is the low point in an otherwise stellar monday night lineup.

Anonymous said...

To answer an earlier question about Bernadette and being a biologist and waitress, they stuck a throwaway line in one of the recent episodes where they said she is now just a biology student, not a Doctor like she was originally. They obviously forgot how they originally introduced her and had said she worked with Penny, and then tried to fix it when someone realized their mistake.

James said...

i think it's always been she's a bio grad student picking up shifts as a waitress.

Riddler said...

By the way, the closing song, "One Night in Bangkok" was from the musical CHESS.

A nerdy musical. Very clever. . .

Although I agree, I think an intervention needs to happen. I'm a Resident Director, and I handle roommate conflicts all the time.

Sheldon would have been LONG GONE in my world.

belinda said...

Ball Pit scene was awesome.

But I actually didn't find Sheldon's behavior (with his friends) to be too extreme - I was actually wondering why his fellow friend scientists aren't at all interested in his query - especially Raj, since doesn't he work with/for Sheldon? The fun part of Sheldon's quirkiness is that his friends aren't completely weirded out by it because they know him, and well, they all have some tendencies to be a little like Sheldon as well when they're geeking out on something. I didn't find Sheldon annoying, but I found it annoying to see the others (other than Penny, who isn't a scientist) being annoyed with him. I guess it would be nice to see them all hang out together as friends, as they are supposed to be.

Also, I didn't like yet another scene of 'Sheldon interacting with a stranger who thinks he's crazy' bit. It's nice to see Yeardley Smith, but I'd prefer them fleshing out H/R nonexistent plot line (which at the end was really just "2 geeky guys in weird outfits rollerskating", which, isn't really all that funny).

Anonymous said...

I thought the episode was middling at best until *after* the ball pit scene. The employment office scene had me laughing out loud, as did Sheldon "working" as a bus boy and waiter.

I will admit though, that part of what makes me laugh about Sheldon/this show is that I live with a 9yo version of Sheldon :/

Owen said...

This was my least favorite episode of BBT.

Most episodes go like this: (1) Some event happens, (2) the gang reacts to the event.

I usually don't mind that in (2), the reactions are 80% Sheldon and 20% everyone else. It bugs me a little, but I'm okay with it.

However, this episode decided, to hell with (1), let's cut directly to Sheldon reacting. So now the episode is only about Sheldon acting wacky and his friends reacting to his wackiness.

It must be tempting for the writers to write an episode like this where all it is is Sheldon does funny stuff and his friends are exasperated with him. But they should leave that to the fanfic community and write an actual episode.

I like Sheldon. He's funny. But I don't want to watch "The Sheldon Show". And I wasn't interested back when it was called "Mork & Mindy".

Oh and an unrelated criticism: didn't it bother anyone else that the science didn't sound right? I thought BBT prided itself in shoutouts to the geeks. All they have to do is consult with a scientist. But Sheldon's epiphany was that he should be thinking in terms of waves instead of particles? Really? Isn't waves vs particles one the most basic concepts in his field? That sounds suspiciously like the kind of pop-science that a tv writer would throw out there off the top of his head.

alex s. said...

I liked that fact that Sheldon's weirdness came from his work (instead of just basic weirdness/compulsion) this time, but I was a little disappointed that none of his science friends went with him (or really seemed all that interesting). If anything, it seemed like there was a "we don't need science, we've got girlfriends" vibe, which divides the group and make the whole less interesting. (I hadn't thought about it, but almost the same thing was happening on HIMYM, with Barney spending his time chasing sex and the rest of the group split off doing other things.)

I also thought it was a little annoying that they gave Bernadette a weird new ability to deal with Sheldon (all the other characters seemed surprised by it as well). I guess they're still trying to figure out what do to with the character, but I wouldn't be surprised if we never see it again.

NJ Mark B said...

Sheldon serving Wolowitz: "One bacon cheeseburger, breaking two Jewish dietary restrictions simultaneously."

I always make it a trifecta by having one at Passover.


I thought the ball pit thing was overdone, but having it go on as long as it did almost seemed inspired by the extended scene in the Simpsons where Sideshow Bob got hit with a rake every time he took a step. (I don't know why that was funny to me, but the ball pit wasn't.)

Pamela Jaye said...

I don't remember a lot by now, but I had to watch in self defense before spoilers took over my newsfeed on Facebook.

Leonard interrogating Seldon on his order was hysterical!

I don't watch enough sitcoms to say that this makes me laugh more than the other... um... 3 I watch (though I think it probably does) but ask Baylink what he wants to watch for any given two hour period and it will be (currently) Chuck, Big Bang, Scrubs

Pamela Jaye said...

I will admit though, that part of what makes me laugh about Sheldon/this show is that I live with a 9yo version of Sheldon

my brother was Sheldon when he was 4. It was incredibly annoying, but not so much in lack of social eptness (cause you don't expect that at 4 - at 4 I was "why"ing my mother to death. Jay was telling the trolley conductor how the trolley worked and running around with his copy of Practical Electrical Wiring (why the reporter said my 9 year old choice of Reader's Digest was odd was beyond me. As long as I didn't read Drama in Real Life, I didn't have nightmares)

all of this reminds me of hoe Leonard is the underachiever in his family.

Pamela Jaye said...

and how I never proofread

David Glasser said...

As an engineer and MIT alum, I thought that Sheldon's behavior during this episode was way more realistic and believable than in most other episodes. Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn't really spent much time around mathematicians and physicists at their most desperate. An ex still likes to tell the story of the time I was going for a hike with her and her parents and I suddenly stopped and spent 10 minutes scribbling in the dirt with my fingers... (And hey, I did get a paper out of that.)