It is hard to dispute the success of “The Big Bang Theory.” This is one of the highest-rated comedies of our time, a hit all around the world, and for the most part a pretty funny sitcom. However, in preparing this piece and looking back at some of this season, we started to realize that there was somewhat of a problem with consistency, and also some balance among the cast. Therefore, we get a feeling that this is a show that still needs to up its game when it comes to laughs entering season 9.
What worked – The way in which the show handled something so delicate in the death of Carol Ann Susi was nothing short of outstanding. They did not rush into a tribute just for the sake of doing one, and they also made it into an arc that really lasted for Howard Wolowitz the entire season as he was forced to confront the idea of not having one of the most important people in his life. His story and Sheldon’s, as he was forced to face his relationship issues, were the two strongest parts of the season.
As a whole, there are of course some episodes that stand out more than others. We found Sheldon and Leonard battling an internet troll to be particularly funny, just as we also appreciated getting to see Leonard and Penny’s story involving his graduation and some of the Raj / Emily relationship. The finale was dramatic, but even it had its funny moments.
What didn’t – Something is obviously not connecting right with the core audience, given that the ratings were lower for the show than they’ve really been since the move to Thursdays. Maybe a part of that is the schedule shifting, but we’d argue that another part is there not being anything that is shocking or earth-shattering happening at the moment. Too many episodes this season were somewhat forgettable, and it needs some sort of shot in the arm whether it be a new recurring character or some different gags.
For us, one of the things the series really needs is for Amy and Bernadette to have some more stories that focus more on their professional achievements, and not just the struggles that they are in with their relationships. We know that the four guys are in some ways the main faces of the show along with Amy, but these two have been implemented into the ensemble now on a level playing field. It’s time for them to have more of the limelight.
Overall – A funny, but sometimes-uneven season that really did not have enough classic comedy looking back. Grade: B-.