09 June 2011

The Watcher: 05/27/11 - 06/09/11

Hey, all. Well, the 2010-2011 TV season is behind us, and now with summer full speed ahead - and the deathly temperatures to prove it - what does that mean for this feature? Initially, I was perplexed as to what on earth I was going to review, but thankfully, I was saved with the reminder of two shows I love returning next month! On the Syfy Channel, the only-decent-show-left WAREHOUSE 13 premiers its third season, while TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY debuts on Starz the same week. Color me excited. So, until then, I'll be focusing on other 2010-2011 programs I need to catch up on, or some series I check out via Netflix Streaming. There just might also be a SMALLVILLE rewatch on the horizon...

The Big Bang Theory - Season 4

It was the end of season two when I first heard of THE BIG BANG THEORY, and quickly rented the available seasons. Comedy gold. The freshman year had me laughing nearly nonstop, boasting some of the most clever and hilarious jokes I had encountered in a long while. Returning with a season two, the show was just as brilliant, just as original and clever and hilarious. Season three had a bit of a rough start, with a few good episodes there and some mediocre episodes here, but luckily ended strong. This year is very similar to last, where there are some genuinely laugh-out-loud funny episodes every three or four. It's not the strongest season by far, but props must be given that the writers are actively seeking out growth for these characters and attempt to change things up with the recurring presence of two female co-leads. The season has its ups and downs, but is still entertaining nonetheless.

Last year saw the consummation and eventual breakup of Leonard and Penny. Whether you're a fan of the couple of pleased to see them separated, I dug how the writers approached the relationship, and how it seemed to evolve as a organic rate. Season four has Leonard on the lookout for the Next Best Thing, Sheldon experiments with having a female companion to share in intellect, and Howard takes small steps towards adulthood with girlfriend Bernadette. Basically everyone but Raj is getting his groove on, sadly enough, regulated to jokes on racism and his gay or not gay friendship with Howard. In regards to Howard and Raj, there is some tired jokes that just need to be retired already: all the material about Howard's mother and his freaky, PSYCHO-esque lifestyle at her house, the whole gay undertones with Raj & Howard, and the 'I'm an engineer' bit that makes Sheldon laugh with mockery. Time to move into a new direction with these guys, and if the last two episodes of season four are any indication, the writers just might be...

This season is most remarkable for the rather creative relationships that affect all the characters. First, we have Amy Farrah Fawler who is a girl and is a friend to Sheldon. She's basically him but with female parts, and their relationship is more or less a partnership of brilliant minds. Of course the gang have loads of fun making jokes at Sheldon's expense, but amazingly, by seasons end, Amy feels like one of the original gang, and has solidified a friendship with Penny and Bernadette and created a unique dynamic between her and Sheldon. Perhaps the best creative decision of season four, I genuinely hope Amy stays onboard longer. As for a romantic relationship between her and Sheldon, I can't say I'm to keen for that to develop, but I wouldn't be opposed to it. What the writers did with that relationship was perfectly handled. In addition to Sheldon, Amy becomes Best Friends with Penny and Bernadette, and her interactions with the ladies end up making the best episodes of the year. When the three of them are together, jocularity inevitably ensues. Leonard finds himself a stable girlfriend in Raj's sister Priya, introduced earlier in the season, and she is awesome. A legal gal, confidant, and gorgeous, she does have a few stuck-up moments but I genuinely was all-systems-a-go with their relationship. Another nice development I appreciated. Furthermore, Howard took great strides in becoming an adult this year, what with his relationship with Bernadette blossoming. Overall, in regards to the relationships and group dynamic, it's been a great year full of change.

Unfortunately the episodes weren't always up to snuff and don't successfully reflect the fun and interesting development of characters, but nevertheless, it was another year of Leonard, Penny, Sheldon, Raj, and Howard (and even Stu), so I'm hugely thankful and enjoyed the season regardless. See ya next year for another 24 episodes of BIG BANG goodness!

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