Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Big Bang Theory, "The Precious Fragmentation": It's one ring in a box!

Very funny "Big Bang Theory" last night, I thought. I probably would have watched an entire episode that was nothing but the guys pulling different items out of their cardboard box of geek treasures, and/or an entire episode of the guys trying to psych each other out in their hands-on-a-hard-ring competition, while still making the effort to move together ("And plie! And releve!"). As things stand, it probably worked that we only got a bit of each, but I enjoyed both greatly.

The one flaw, as usual, was that Leonard and Penny as a couple just don't work at all, and having Penny constantly ask herself why she's dating Leonard doesn't really solve that problem.

What did everybody else think?

33 comments:

Bryan said...

very very funny - I agree with the Leonard / Penny thing - they're at a point now where Leonard is "cooler" than the other guys so when he steps back to being one of the guys - like last night with the ring - it's very jarring. I like him better as one of the guys but him and Penny are seem so serious I don't know that you could pull off a break up without really hurting the chemistry.

Wendy said...

I liked this episode but I just keep thinking of that early Simpsons episode where the boys all chip in to buy Radio Active Man #1 and the suspicion/distrust that ensues. Was that just me?

Laurel said...

Loved it! I laughed so hard at everything they pulled out of the box and then felt a little bad at how dorky that makes me! The only thing that would have made that scene better is if the Alf doll spoke. I had an Alf as a kid and I still remember what it said 20 yrs later - Here kitty kitty kitty. Be there or be square. Let's go check out the fridge.

At this point I think Penny is best suited as a foil to Sheldon and her relationship with Leonard is the excuse for her to be in the picture. She hung out with the boys when they were all friends but now that she has been dating Leonard, if they broke up with wouldn't make sense that she would still hang around (as we have seen with Robing and Barney). Although I would put up with awkward Penny/Leonard scenes if it got me more Penny/Sheldon, so I am happy with the status quo.

The Pop View said...

I would disagree a bit, in that I think this episode helps demonstrate why Penny and Leonard are together. There have been episodes where Penny worried that she wasn't smart enough and they were able to move past that. There was the football episode where Leonard worried about fitting in and Penny gave him a pass.

This week, Leonard gives in to his geek side, but as soon as Penny mentions Victoria's Secret, he drops right out. (Although, admittedly, he ultimately succumbs to the ring's power.)

I will admit, however, that Penny-Sheldon interactions are always funnier than Penny-Leonard interactions.

Bobman said...

I liked this episode but I just keep thinking of that early Simpsons episode where the boys all chip in to buy Radio Active Man #1 and the suspicion/distrust that ensues. Was that just me?

Nope, to the point where I wanted to play the part of Comic Book Guy and say "looks like you boys bit off a little more than you could chew" or whatever he says (can't remember exactly), and then cackle as lightning strikes.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there also an episode where the fought over the time machine? And Leonard's collection? And the trip to CERN? It seems like they go to this well a lot.

Don't get me wrong. I laughed a lot. But as I was laughing, I also worried about the show's long-term viability.

barbra said...

We need to see Penny thinking that Leonard's geekiness is cute a certain percentage of the time, and a little frightening the rest of the time. After all, that's how we feel about this group and it would feel good for Penny's feeling about them to reflect our own. And that's why Penny fell for Leonard, right? His cute geekiness? We need to see that a bit more, and then I think their relationship will work better for us.
Let Leonard geek out more often, like he used to, and have Penny find it cute and attractive a satisfying portion of the time...

cadfile said...

A great funny episode all around. I too remember Alf speaking "here kitty kitty..."

Lot of great lines that I will mess up trying to quote them and I loved Wolowitz and Raj going after MeMaw to get at Sheldon... classic.

"I can't believe you didn't know Adam West was Batman..." LOL

Dan Coyle said...

Wow, I thought this episode was terrible, but I find LOTR to be the cheapest of targets anyway, and I'm not even a big fan of it (the novels are a chore; the films are a lot of fun). I don't think I would have minded if the WHOLE EPISODE hadn't been about it. I kept expecting a B plot to kick in with Penny or something, but no.

Really, though: LOTR jokes? In 2010? When Kevin Smith spent half of Clerks II baiting LOTR fanboys it was kinda pathetic; here it's just... huh?

Hutch said...

I have to agree with Anonymous, they've been to this well plotwise a little too often. I actually thought "Here we go again!" a few minutes into the show. Writers: please mix it up a bit. As much as I like Sheldon and Penny together, that, too, is getting a little old. Loved Sheldon as Gollum though.

Andrew said...

Hey, just a question, did they have Wolowitz break up with Bernadette somewhere or is it assumed they're still going out?

Anonymous said...

Is it me or are they slowly inching Raj out of the closet?

Lisa said...

Why would you think Raj is gay? He's never seemed that way before. Besides, once he gets his drink on he is always way more successful with the ladies than any of the other guys. I thought adding that he's a fan of SATC was funny. He often gets the best lines.

Lisa said...

Meant to also leave my 2-cents about the episode. Here goes. Overall it was not one of my favorites. I can't relate to going nuts over any of that stuff. BUT, the scene with them all locked together like a human May pole and Raj saying "plié" and then "relevé" had me screaming with laughter.

lizriz said...

I didn't like the Victoria's Secret bag. It seemed like a random attempt to say Hey! The relationship works! See, cause Penny bought lingerie! I don't know, it just felt kinda lazy/cliche and not organic.

I thought the bit where she punches Sheldon worked much better. But seriously, Penny and Leonard need to either break up, or actually *do* something together the way - HELLO - Penny & Sheldon sometimes do.

Bronwyn said...

I can't remember a single episode where I didn't shout out, "Ooh, I want that!" The bottle city of Kandor, Raj's musical shirt, Sheldon's superhero T-shirts. Even last night, where all the focus was on the box of nerd goodies, I was coveting the seen-but-never-mentioned Rubik's Cube-styled Kleenex cozy.

ADW said...

I enjoyed the episode although I agree the LOTR reference was just a tiny bit dated... but aren't the obsessions of the group pretty dated?

It gave Sheldon a classic moment to explain the exact details of the inscription on the ring... written in Mordorian (or something) and in "Elvish" script. However, he put it, it was hilarious.

I question the Penny-Leonard relationship at times but I still like it more than not like it. That duo sets up the Penny-Sheldon moments, so it's good.

The magic of the Victoria's Secret bag reminded me of the famous Seinfeld's "Master of My Domain" humor - so I thought it was funny.

Although, I wasn't taken with Leonard keeping the ring.

Bronwyn said...

Someone should tip a hat to Seinfeld's contest episode. I knew Leonard would be the first to give in, and that he would quote Cosmo Kramer on his way out the door.

Anonymous said...

The problem I have with the Big Bang Theory is that even when an episode is funny (like last night's) they usually don't come together at the end. I mean, the resolution to the Ring was just Sheldon and Leonard fighting in Leonard's bed. The show tends start with a bang and end with a whimper (no pun intended).

Oh, and I think the problem with Penny/Leonard is just Leonard in general. He needs to stop being so condescending and nasty. Most of the time he seems to be exasperated that he has to put up with the others and it's starting to wear thin. Raj and Wolowitz have found ways to still seem sweet even when they're fighting with Sheldon.

Bronwyn said...

Jinx!

DolphinFan said...

Beyond anything else that made this a terrific episode--Sheldon actually getting confronted for his nonexistent social skills, Leonard being lured away from the Ring by the siren call of lingerie yet winning out (sort of) in the end--it just looked like the four main actors were having a great time during the "all hands" sequence. I think a main reason this show has become a major hit is that it feels like the cast is enjoying the hell out of working together and it shows. Just like it shows with some programs where it's clear that is NOT the case.

Anonymous said...

Of course, The Simpsons Comic epi was a take on The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, so its fun to see how certain memes are handed down and subtly change trough time.

Or maybe I'm just old.

Puff

Henry said...

Loved this episode. The show seems to have picked up from a small downturn in quality in the middle of the season. I loved the possibilities in the "nerd box" and the video conference with Raj's lawyer cousin ("Call your mother. She worries.") and Penny's punch of Sheldon. Honestly, they could have gone with an immediate cut to Sheldon's face in the aftermath for a couple more laughs instead of going to commercial.

Matt W said...

I thought it was a good episode. My favorite part(s) was Sheldon asking about "The Precious" and his dream where he turned into Gollum.

As for the Penny/Leonard relationship, there might be a problem in the future with the show. If Penny and Leonard break up, they may end up being awkward around each other, which would REALLY put her out of the loop (her and Leonard would be exes, Raj can't talk around her, Sheldon...is Sheldon, and Howard is..well, Howard). I agree that the dynamic between them just isn't there, and when she asked herself about dating dumb guys from the gym, that showed that things are ... off.

My only "complaint" is that, to sound like "South Park," "the Simpsons already did it." Remember that episode where Bart, Milhouse, and Martin got the Radioactive Man #1 comic book and didn't know how to share it? Sheldon, Howard, and Raj seemed to have that same conundrum with the ring.

Overall, good episode, but there have been better.

CJ said...

Loved the episode, and so did my husband. LOTR never gets old; Tolkien is a classic and standard geek fair. The only relic I couldn't appreciate was the Alf doll, because I never liked him or the show.

As for Penny and Leonard together, it still makes perfect sense to me, and just because she makes comments like needing to go back to dating "dumb guys from the gym" does not mean that the relationship is "off." In any relationship there is usually some clear aspect of one partner that the other person never truly "gets," but nonetheless accepts and loves (even though it sometimes exasperates).

The Victoria Secret bag may have been a little lame, but it also demonstrates where/how Leonard recognizes the way in which some would say he *has* a life.

Robin said...

Maybe I don't hold this show up to the same standards as everyone else, but I loved last night's episode. LOTR is one of THE classic geek things. Saying that it's dated would be like saying being called a Trekkie is dated. Geeks get obsessed with things and those obsessions very rarely ever go away.

I like the way the show has handled Penny and Leonard's relationship, in that they haven't made a big deal about it. They are a couple. They also still hang out with their friends. I don't think making the show more about them would be an improvement (in fact, people complain when it's more about them). I can see why Penny is with Leonard, and I can see why he is with her. Opposites attract. And I don't think the Penny-Leonard relationship is supposed to be the comic centerpiece. If anything, I think it's the relationship that grounds the show in some sort of "reality."

Riddler said...

By the way, Sheldon's shirt, the red one, is a Red Lantern shirt that signifies RAGE (It's the second non-Green Lantern shirt he's worn.

Sister T said...

I thought it would have been entertaining if Penny had suddenly found something she loved in the box, i.e., a My Little Pony, Snoopy Sno Cone Machine, Light Brite, Shrink-a-dinks, Little Mermaid soundtrack cassette tape, etc.

mrsb said...

I have to say that this was actually the first episode that I really believed Penny and Leonard as a couple.

When she punches Sheldon in the face, then they cuddle up to each other and Leonard says "That's my girl", it looked completely natural.

Leaving the boys in their quest for the ring when he found out Penny had lingerie was right on the money as well.

I just wish that they'd start working on making them some sort of equals in the relationship. Yes, Leonard is a little geeky, but he's also successful and brilliant. Let them start moving beyond "geek and hot girl" and we might actually get somewhere with it.

Tom said...

Pretty weak ep., in my book.

The essence of the story is this: Leonard is turning into Gollum. He baldly lies to his best friends in order to secretly keep the precious ring all to himself. What's worse, he takes a smug, sanctimonious attitude while doing so.

Sheldon discovering THAT should have been the first act break. The aftermath and Leonard's (presumed) comeuppance should have been the bulk of the episode. Could have been pretty funny.

Instead, we just get the premise and a few gags stretched out over 26 minutes. With, oh yes, Penny stitched into the thing because, well, she has to be. Too bad.

(I notice there were 5 or 6 writers credited for the episode. There seems to be a law of diminishing returns with the number of cooks here....)

Nahara said...

I don't think the LOTR stuff was dated. It's never dated to nerds/geeks and that's what they are. I can still say "precious" to certain friends and it gets them every time. LOL

Loved the episode.

The Rational Number said...

I used to have an ultraportable laptop I named 'precious' (hostname). When the other guys at work asked to see it I said 'No! It's MINE!' ;-) LOL

Abhimanyu said...

Again no new episode this week? The schedule by which they trickle out a new episode every three weeks or so is starting to seem totally arbitrary to me. Is there anyplace we can look up future airings of new episodes?