TV Underdogs: Will ‘The Big Bang Theory’ season 9 give more to Kunal Nayyar’s Raj?


The Big Bang Theory” has a fairly large cast in compared to some other sitcoms, and as a result of that we do from time to time see storylines play out in blocks. For example, most of the second half of season 8 was about Leonard and Penny, while the first half of season 9 was about Sheldon and Amy. If you go back further, we had a rather extensive arc in the midway portion of season 8 about Howard and his mother’s death.

Now that we’ve looked at all of this, are we getting set to enter the age of Raj? It’s been a while since Kunal Nayyar has been given his fair share of the spotlight, and that is something we are set to investigate further now in this latest edition of our TV Underdogs series.

Why he’s an underdog – He’s the character on the show with the smallest amount of experience in a relationship, and as a result of that he’s the only one of the guys still trying to figure things out. His arc with Emily is one that many people understand: Not being sure that someone is right for you, but at the same time being so afraid of being alone that you don’t want to move away from them. He’s often also overshadowed career-wise by Sheldon and Leonard, so despite being a series regular it feels like there is constantly a part of him that is relegated to the background.

Why we don’t see more of him – We do have Raj in every episode more or less, but his storylines have been fairly limited thanks to other matters that have needed to be attended to. For example, you cannot ignore what happened to Mrs. Wolowitz, just as you couldn’t drag on Leonard and Penny’s engagement or not put Sheldon and Amy in a position where their relationship was actually tested in some way. Ultimately, the good news here is that we get the sense that Raj is going to be more of a focus in upcoming episodes.

Ways to see more of him – One thing we’d really love to see is someone like Raj make a major scientific discovery before Sheldon and Leonard, only to then watch them be a little jealousy as a result. We got some of this with Howard being an astronaut, but this could be a way to milk it even more and turn it into something really funny. Also, wouldn’t it be interesting to see more stories that put Raj solo with Bernadette again? They’ve gotten a chance to do some pretty funny stuff in the past, and we like the episodes that pair off the cast in unusual ways.

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