Midseason report card: Has ‘The Big Bang Theory’ season 7 delivered a bang so far?

We’ve made it now to the final entry of our Midseason Report Card series, and we’re taking a look today at a show in “The Big Bang Theory” that is actually coming back on the air fairly soon. The show returns with a new episode Thursday night, but before we come to that, let’s go ahead and pose the question: How are they doing so far?

If you ask many fans of the show, they will tell you that season 6, after Howard arrived back on earth at least, was the best season that the show has done. The characters evolved, and there were countless funny moments that proved that there are still some great stories to tell here on a show that really doesn’t feel as old as it is at times. So far, the challenge this year has been trying to match that.

What worked – Having a few longer stories this year was a nice touch, especially when you look at Sheldon thinking that he had discovered a new element, Leonard coming back from a summer at sea, or Raj trying to get over the end of his relationship with Lucy. Also, there was a balance between these stories and some more standalone ones, which brought the sort of light laughs the show is known for. This is not something that is going to make you think hard all of the time and question your own life, and there really is not any problem with that at all.

Special consideration has to be given this year to the Christmas episode, which is only second to the Leonard Nimoy – DNA installment as our favorite “Big Bang Theory” half-hour themed around the holiday.

What didn’t – The biggest overall issue with the first half of the season is that there could have been so much more done with Raj now that he has the ability to speak with women. We’d love to see him really try to get his flirt on, and get to know some more people similar to how he did with Regina King early on in the season. Instead, it seemed to be overshadowed at times by just making Raj into this effeminate guy who loves cooking for other people.

One especially poor episode this year, surprisingly, was the Thanksgiving episode. Save for some great moments between Sheldon and Bernadette’s father, it ended abruptly and really didn’t feel like it ever went anywhere.

Overall – Still, a very solid season for “The Big Bang Theory,” but it falls short so far of season 6. We do wish at times that there were some more creative risks taken, but you have probably afforded yourself a little bit of an opportunity to play it safe when you have the top-rated comedy on TV. Grade: B.

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!