The sign that a show is becoming iconic is the career boost given to the actors in recurring roles. Barry Kripke (John Ross Bowie) keeps popping up in the strangest of places. He’s now in ads for Progressive Insurance and DiGorno pizza. He’s the guy with the hole in his floor wanting his pizza back from the goofs below. Plus he hosted Larry David in his mansion during the latest season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. He’s on the road to Puddy (Patrick Warburton) stardom. Unfortunately he looks like he’s not in tonight’s episode. But there will be plenty of spoilers in my coverage of The Big Bang Theory‘s Christmas special. You’ve been warned.
“The Maternal Congruence” wraps Penny around Leonard as they watch Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas with Sheldon. The couple are mushy while Sheldon is perplexed at Chuck Jones’ animated classic. He relates to the Grinch except when the character sells out at the end and saves Christmas. Leonard tells Penny that Sheldon roots for the sun against Frosty the Snowman. Sheldon explains how important the sun is when compared the snowman. It’s a realistic argument. Why hasn’t Frosty been put on trial for his crimes?
There’s a lot of ads tonight. This is the fate of the hottest sitcom on TV. This is the best way to let people know what gift to get that special geek in their life. Although you might want to consider the new Blu-Ray of How the Grinch Stole Christmas available at Amazon.com. The high def mastering makes the snow bright white. Don’t confuse the animated masterpiece with Ron Howard’s disaster. A pal of mine used to have a lawn ornament of the Grinch beating Santa with a giant candy cane. His neighbors called the police claiming the yard art was destroying the spirit of Christmas. He didn’t get busted, but eventually someone stole his Grinch.
Penny decorates the tree in Leonard’s apartment. He explains his family didn’t have a tree. His family spent the day reviewing each other’s scholarly work. Sheldon’s house was covered in blinking lights – enough to cause neighbors to have seizures. He doesn’t want to help decorate except adding a bust of Sir Isaac Newton to the tree. He points out that Newton’s birthday was really on Christmas whereas Jesus was born in the summer. The church moved it to the pagan holiday. They won’t let him put Newton on top of the tree. The big Christmas surprise is Leonard’s mom is coming into town. Penny’s nervous about what the mom thinks of her dating Leonard. Why wouldn’t she approve of her? “I’m adorable,” she confirms to herself. Turns out Leonard has never told her they’re going out. Things are going to be uber-awkward.
In the car, Sheldon sits in the back with Leonard’s mom (Christine Baranski). She’s happy Sheldon picked her up at the airport, She ignores her own son. Turns out Sheldon has been critiquing the mother’s papers, iChatting with her and sending her flowers after her surgery. Leonard is clueless to all of this. Sheldon is her new son. She talks about her daughter’s upcoming nuptials. She asks if Leonard is seeing anyone. He dodges the question.
At the apartment, they sit around having dinner. Mother asks if Raj and Howard have consummated their latent homosexual feelings for each other. Howard declares he has a girlfriend, but she’s out of town at a grandfather’s funeral. Mother doesn’t buy it. Raj whispers and Howard gets flustered cause that just doesn’t look good. Penny arrives and mom tears into her about her issues with her dad. He still wants her to be a boy. Mom drops the bomb that she’s leaving her husband after catching him cheating on her with a cafeteria waitress. Leonard is in shock. Sheldon already knows all the details. They also tell Leonard that his dog died. Sheldon was part of the deciding factor. Leonard is confused at how little he knows and storms off. Mom asks Penny what’s new in her life and she says, “Nothing.”
Why Leonard would hide the fact that he’s dating Penny from his mom? It’s kinda like Schrödinger’s Cat. As long as people don’t know what’s in the box, you can consider yourself a cat owner. But once you say there’s a cat in the box, people want you to open it up and let them see it. Do you really want them to know if you’re carrying around a dead cat in that box? Nothing cursed relationships faster for me than informing my parents. There was a nasty streak of telling mom that she might have to set an extra plate for dinner and the end of the affair. It was like telling a pitcher that they’ve got a no hitter going. You just don’t do it until they can be carried off the mound. My wife and I dated for three months before her identity as my girlfriend leaked out to my parents. Even though I had moved all my DVDs into her place, my folks thought I was 100 miles away. Leonard’s actions are completely understandable and admirable. Also remember that when you have to declare that you are dating someone, make sure they are in the immediate area. Nobody believes you have a girlfriend in Canada that loves riding your moped that’s kept at grandma’s house. Although it was sad that nobody wanted to tell Leonard that his dog had died. But like Schrödinger’s Cat, as long as long as nobody told him, Leonard had a live dog back home.
Penny drives the mom back to the hotel. Mom didn’t want Leonard to drive her since he seemed rather unstable. She notices the “check engine” light being on. Penny wants to cover it with tape. Penny asks about the divorce, but mom is more fearful about the clunky car. Mom admits she didn’t have sex with her husband for 8 years. She’s been responsible for her own orgasm for a long time. Penny wants to get a drink. Mom doesn’t drink, but Penny promises to teach her.
Leonard looks pathetic curled up in his bed. Sheldon taps on his door. He points out that he’s made tea. Leonard doesn’t want tea, but Sheldon never made it for him in the first place. He just needed a conversation starter. Sheldon comforts him by pointing out a German word for the feeling of comparing your real world with the ideal world. This is what Leonard is really suffering from. Why must he be such a caring pal in his weird way? Sheldon explains that he’s now the roomie’s surrogate family.
Penny and mom do tequila shots at a bar. Mom has never had the hard stuff. She’s losing her inhibitions fast. She’s gone from a robomom to a Bad Girls Club contestant. She wants a busboy to hump her. Penny declares she’s sleeping with Leonard. Mom wants to know how her son’s penis turned out. Penny doesn’t want to go there. Mom wants to know if he’s hiding the relationship because he’s ashamed of Penny or frightened of telling things to her. Penny calls a taxi while mom attempts to molest the busboy.
The drunk girls barge into the apartment and wake up Leonard. The drunk mom wants to know about him and Penny. He wants to know why she didn’t tell him of the divorce, her surgery or his dead dog. She gives him a drunken hug. She gets a warm feeling in her heart. Did it grow like the Grinch’s heart? Penny declares its the Del Taco. Sheldon walks into the drunken mess. She grabs Sheldon and gives him a hard kiss. Sheldon has a startled look on his face. She’d rather have the bus boy.
Wow. Just wow. Poor Sheldon has his chance to score with his dream woman and fails. Although to Sheldon, she’s not a MILF. She’s the MILAM – Mother I’d Like to Adopt Me. He’s not trapped in an early ‘80s film about sleeping with your roommate’s mom. She was drunk and wasn’t looking for a partner that needs an education. She’s looking for a man that can move and groove with her lubricated state of mind. The important message of this scene is to always call a cab if you’re tipsy. No matter how much your fare costs; it’s a bargain compared to legal fees, court fines and the chance of killing someone on the road.
Everyone is in the car. Mom is wearing her sunglasses. She’s so hungover. She begs Sheldon’s apology. Sheldon blames Penny for mom’s drunken weirdness. Penny blames Penny. The good news is she approves of Penny dating Leonard even if she doesn’t have much career prospects. Her big warning to him is to not make Penny responsible for her own orgasms. Penny sings “Deck the halls” to make the mood more Christmas like.
“The Maternal Congruence” is a brilliant Christmas special cause they avoid the usual holiday sitcom script that borrows from O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.” There’s no sacrificing for the sake of buying the ultimate gift. There’s very little “real story of Christmas” theme. Even with the Grinch bookend, they don’t exactly pay homage to Dr. Seuss’s plot structure. There’s no Mary Lou Who to be heartbroken. This episode is about the emotional nightmare of Christmas with drunk relatives that invade your personal space. This is a true fear of millions of people. Tequila should be registered as a drug and not merely liquor. There probably numerous horror stories involving me and Pepe Lopez. Luckily I can’t remember any of them with exception of stumbling home.
News just arrived that the Golden Globes didn’t think Jim Parsons or the show was worthy of their Best Comedy nominees. What exactly are these foreign press people watching? Hung? Is that really a comedy? And this season of Californication was rather depressing. How dare these foreign press people come to our country and not pay tribute to Jim Parsons.
The next new episode isn’t scheduled until January 11th. So have a festive Festivus.
Tags: Californication, Christmas, Leonard, Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory