Last night was The Big Bang Theory‘s 100th episode, and to mark this momentousness occasion they went for an arc plot line and showed us some Leonard-Penny (they need a hybrid name….) relationship cuteness. I certainly don’t blame them there. At 100 episodes, you go and say thank you to your fans and show them what they want. And to say that we wanted it would be stating the obvious. Of course, I probably should have put my thinking cap on a little and looked at the title of this episode, “The Recombination Hypothesis,” and recognized that it probably wouldn’t happen in a way that I would want, but I was lazy. Despite what I consider to be a cheap move (I wasn’t cool with it when Bones did it either, that kind of stuff is for soap operas), the episode was a fun time for all. I’m not entirely sure if I would consider it the most well written, and the general lack of the rest of this great ensemble cast was very strongly felt, but it did give me little girlish squeals which I am definitely embarrassed about. Of course, I certainly felt Sheldon’s pain for his poster. That was a tough choice.
Then again, what I want and what should happen in the life of a show are frequently completely different things. Which makes me think about the relationship we viewers have with shows like The Big Bang Theory. The characters are hardly well developed, and yet we treat them like friends. When I was studying abroad, I actually watched episodes when I was feeling homesick. All my friends from college are would be doctors (of both the MD and the PhD variety), so some of these episodes would really hit home. And perhaps that is what makes these shows so successful. By creating characters just real enough that we believe in their existence, they are allowing for the viewer to fill in the gaps; making the character into so much more than what we see for thirty minutes a week.
The sitcom has been getting quite the comeback recently. I remember the time when we were all convinced that Friends was the greatest sitcom ever, and could never be outdone. Comedy nights for channels were where the adult cartoons lived, and they just weren’t seen as the best in television. The comedy has certainly flourished since that little dry spell, and letting new and quirky characters into our homes for some fun each week. Considering our economic state, we could use a little levity.