I have a friend who finds me a very smart woman (which I am, thanks) and for this reason he can’t understand why I watch The Big Bang Theory. Whenever I remind him it is my ‘guilty pleasure’, I’m into it for the laughs, he repeats, “well, keep it a secret from other people, not everybody is as sympathetic as I am.” (He is my Sheldon somehow. I am his Amy somehow, but that’s long before the I-love-you-too confession.) Last week’s episode was not very laughable, and it got me thinking about his impression of the show.
The Champagne Reflection is a title that says very well what The Big Bang Theory season 8, episode 10 was about: observations on lifetime achievements. It’s never too late to weigh in our actions and to think of where in life we are going, right? It’s just unclear to me why the writers thought such contemplations would make a funny plot, and a big mystery why they broke the episode in 3 subplots.
Subplot 1: Fun with Flags final episode
After 232 (technically 233) episodes, Sheldon decides to bring the freakish web series “Fun With Flags” to a close. Sheldon’s hosting always makes great physical comedy and co-host Amy’s awkwardness heightens the effect and this time we got to see some highlights of “Fun with Flags” that Sheldon made off-screen with hilarious costumes and backdrops. It by far the funniest thing about the show, Sheldon and Amy looked like a real couple more than ever.
Subplot 2 – The Cleaning-up Crew
While cleaning out an office (I’m still wondering why they were given this task), Leonard, Howard and Raj discover a bottle of champagne given to a deceased CalTech professor by his mother, which was to be opened at the time of his first world-changing breakthrough.
(We assume it never happened once the bottle remains unopened.)
I seriously felt like fast-forwarding the episode every time they cut to the guys. Boring to death.
I might have liked it better if instead of trying to make the dialogue purely existential, the authors had gone with a more theatre-of-the-absurd-like approach, especially because Howard has been to the Space Station, Raj was featured in People Magazine and Leonard worked for Stephen Hawking in the North Sea – all sound like things to be proud of themselves for.
Subplot 3 – Mean Bernadette
That Bernadette is a bully, everyone knows, but I think that went a bit too far in The Champagne Reflection, with the story of coworkers tipping in to buy her coffee (because they were afraid to tell her they were paying for their own), a private bathroom and the unfortunate name-calling of a disabled colleague ‘Wheelchair Cathy’ (such an inappropriate joke). Plus, the subplot ended up being a waste of time, since the talk she got from her boss and a wallflower-Penny had no other effect on her than a few tears – she will get a personal espresso machine and keep the bathroom!
– (Sheldon as Betsy Ross:) “I have no idea. Because the story of me sewing the first American flag is unsupported poppycock.”
– Sheldon setting at four thousand the number of times Amy needs to apologize for forgetting to press record and therefore missing Fun With Flags Fourth of July Special Episode.
I find it about right that Sheldon opens the champagne in the end, after all, he seems to be the one bringing fans back episode after episode. Quite an accomplishment.