‘The Big Bang Theory’ season 8, episode 6 review: Kunal Nayyar kills it; everyone else?

Raj -Monday night’s new “Big Bang Theory” episode was the last of the CBS show before going back to Thursday, and it was almost a case of two stories. One of them was incredibly funny, and the other was a retread and almost uncomfortable to watch.

Maybe it’s just us, but we don’t find watching couples fighting over money to be very funny, and when it comes to Howard and Bernadette in particular, their relationship is sometimes a little too Freudian for its own good. It’s like the whole “Howard likes women who are like his mother” joke is reinforced time and time again, and it’s better when you have it in small doses. What does Bernadette see in him? It’s another play on the classic sitcom trope of the guy somehow getting the girl that is impossibly out of his league.

We don’t feel the same way, strangely, about Leonard and Penny, and that may be because there are times when you see Leonard’s sweetness and care for Penny. Can he be a jerk sometimes, too? Definitely. This whole money storyline was dull to us just because it’s a variation on every other show, and the reason why “The Big Bang Theory” works is because of its originality compared to other sitcoms.

As for the Raj and Sheldon story, it was pretty delightful. Kunal Nayyar has been an unsung hero of the show for some time, and his performance while trapped in a mine-simulator was Sheldon was hysterically funny, in between trying to explain the story of Hannah Montana and having a complete meltdown when Sheldon bolted and “left him to die.” There was also some surprisingly heartfelt stuff in here, as well, as Raj explained his insecurity and fears upon leaving India. It informed us of his past, while staying true to the present. Amy had a fun little cameo in here, as well, involving a vending machine.

We almost wish that we could give this episode two separate grades. the money story was a disappointing D, whereas the Raj / Sheldon stuff was a solid A. In the end, we’ll just try to average them out, with Raj getting the slight benefit of the doubt. Grade: B-.

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