Review: ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Season 4 Premiere

Wednesday, September 15 by

The Big Bang Theory” brings its A game when it moves to Thursdays. They’ve got an episode that should keep all their fans comfortable with the new night, and it’s broad enough that it won’t scare off the Thursday night visitors.

It comes up with a situation that certainly puts Sheldon (recent Emmy winner Jim Parsons) in a position to let his personality loose. There’s also a technology story that’s a little lowbrow, but in an intellectual context. The A and B story provide a good balance of relationship humor and nerd humor. I’m surprised it took the show this long to go where the B story goes.

More after the jump…

It’s a solid sitcom episode, keeping the characters pretty much in standing sets so they can perform dialogue together. It’s good situational comedy where they find as many jokes as possible about the current dilemma going on this week, instead of making up fake jokes from the sitcom manual. It seems like there are some references to running gags, which should make devoted viewers happy. They can confirm whether it’s something that’s come up before.

I’m not usually into “The Big Bang Theory.” I get how smart the jokes and reference are, but somehow it’s still a bit distant to me. Sheldon’s behavior is a bit too much for me to find funny. I get that he’s so book smart he doesn’t quite understand social nuance, but I think he’s just selfish. You’ve got to be nice to people no matter how smart you are.

So with that bias going in, I appreciate the season premiere. The guest star is a great addition to the cast and I could definitely see this role recurring if that’s the plan. Still, the episode puts Penny and Sheldon together. I still think Sheldon’s too mean but it’s got a certain groove. Obviously people like it so it’s something that works.

The references this week are a bit more popular and punny, at least the ones I got. Maybe there’s more obscure stuff that went by me. A spit take is a bit obvious, but everyone loves a good spit take.

I may not become a regular “Big Bang Theory” DVRer, but I like watching stuff early and this was certainly a good one. I appreciate the writing, the performances, the use of established characters. They should do fine on Thursdays.

“The Big Bang Theory” returns September 23rd at 8/7c on CBS.

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