‘The Big Bang Theory’ season 6, episode 22 review: A positive charge

Bob NewhartWe’re a couple of days later than usual when it comes to our review of Thursday’s “The Big Bang Theory,” but since this was such a pivotal and much-anticipated episode of the season, it feels appropriate still to provide our two cents.

In some ways, “The Proton Resurgence” was a very funny installment in that it brought in a comedy legend in Bob Newhart, and proved that he was just as sharp as ever (and not to mention a master of facial expressions) playing a curmudgeon of a former TV personality who taught children about science. At the same time, it was also rather sad how this “Professor Proton” character has devolved from his heyday into a guy forced to take gigs performing to children in order to continue earning a salary. He knows science extremely well, but no one in the community takes him seriously.

It’s really not often that we feel like the series is actually trying to tell us something, but this episode was an interesting piece of commentary about how jaded the science community can be, and also how hard these sort of TV stars have to work in order to gain respect after the fact. It is something that Bill Nye has managed to achieve over time, but this took a great deal of time and effort even after “Bill Nye the Science Guy” ended.

The truth is, Professor Proton and real-life characters in a similar field may never reinvent science, but they help young kids hopefully become lovers of the field later on in life. Isn’t inspiring future generations just as important, especially in a world where science education is hardly embraced? This may be the most subversively political episode of “The Big Bang Theory” to date, and we hope that people take a moment away from the jokes and engage in this conversation.

What was perhaps most curious here is that no one ever bothered to even mention or discuss Amy Farrah Fowler in any of this. Was she not a fan, or was she too busy to ask Sheldon about it? We don’t know, but the reality is just that sometimes, a character is not needed in an episode and it’s better to just let them miss one rather than shove them in.

We won’t spend much time talking about Raj and his missing puppy (thanks to Howard and Bernadette), mostly because it didn’t do much for us. We got that Bernadette can be quick-tempered, and that Raj is effeminate. Save for Bernie opening up to the idea of children, there wasn’t really anything to see here.

Did you think that “The Big Bang Theory” was doing something a little bit different with this episode? Be sure to share your thoughts below, and you can read what Newhart had to say about this episode here.

Photo: CBS

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