During the holiday break, I finally had a chance to see the Entertainment Weekly with the cast of The Big Bang Theory dressing up as the sensations of 2009. Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco were rather passionate as the Twilight lovers and horrific as Jon & Kate. They do make a fetching couple when goofing around. If you care to see the pics online, visit here.
But if you’re eager for tonight’s episode, so is CBS. They’ve been teasing all week with promos promising Sheldon in the role of wingman for Raj. How exactly does the Green Lantern’s lantern work into this strange world of cruising for the ladies? Does this really work? Will geeks be camping out overnight in hopes of getting their own lantern and ditching the Axe Bodyspray? The one thing that CBS won’t do is give us a special Big Bang after the Superbowl. They’re still insisting on boring us to death with the saccharine Undercover Boss. Do you think any of these CEOs are going to call their slacker employees on the carpet? Don’t expect any disguised boss to scream, “I made this process simple enough for a monkey with a tie to run it. But I guess we overestimated your chimp capacity!” This is a warm fuzzy infomercial for corporate chiefs to show off their hearts.
My only fear for the ratings of tonight’s episode is Charlie Sheen’s Christmas ugliness with his wife. Are people going to flip the channel to avoid the face that has been disgracing all the Entertainment Tonight special reports? Will they remember to turn back for The Bang? It could have been worse if CSI:Miami guest starred Tiger Woods.
“The Psychic Vortex” opens with Leonard and Howard spruced up for a double date with their girlfriends. They’re excited they have actual women for lovers. Sheldon wonders what other kind of women there are. That’s a question worthy of Howard’s expertise. Howard warns Leonard that there will be a lot of public displays of affection between him and Bernadette. Raj arrives. He’s excited because he has rented the 4 hour version of Watchmen on DVD. The guys have seen it. Leonard and Howard split for their big double date. Sheldon is excited that they’re not around. He’s got the exciting plan of backing up his hard drive. What’s Raj going to do? Sheldon suggests he look into several types of artificial women.
Raj checks a laptop to see what excitement is happening in the area. There’s a Zoot Suit night, but Sheldon won’t participate in a tribute to the Zoot Suit Riots. Raj does find a mixer for the science department. Raj wants to go out and he needs Sheldon’s help. The ubergeek explains he likes to visit the imaginary world of Flatland. He goes into a trance to enter the geometric shaped world. This is going to be a long night for Raj.
Watching Howard and Leonard getting ready for their dates is exciting. They’re growing up. They’re spending a night with a woman that isn’t Lara Croft. But you know it can’t get too cute cause American audiences didn’t tune into Coupling. Raj is upset that he’s losing his guys night at the apartment. Sheldon doesn’t care. I get the idea that at the end of the series, Sheldon will be sent to Mars since he won’t go nuts from the long trip. He’ll think he’s a circle in his imaginary world. He’s happy upgrading his hard drive which is something I had to do. I’m not saying I’m old, but I remember paying over $100 for a 1 GB Jaz Drive. The other day I had to replace my computer’s harddrive. It was $75 for 750 GBs. Shocking. Barely a decade ago, that much memory action would have cost $75,000. It’s cheaper to be a geek in the 21st Century.
In the car, Leonard asks Bernadette about the new restaurant, She’s excited for fine dining after a day of watching flesh eating bacteria. Penny thinks her acting career might be turning around after doing Anne Frank above a bowling alley. A psychic has told her that if she cuts her hair, she should get a national commercial. Leonard acts jerkish about her believing the psychic. Howard announces he’ll be making out with Bernadette instead of getting involved in the conversation.
In order to get Sheldon to the party, Raj gave him his limited edition Green Lantern lantern. Sheldon has brought it to the party which upsets Raj that his wingman is in full dork mode. Raj scouts the room looking for women. He instructs Sheldon that his job is to agree to everything he tells the ladies no matter how outlandish. However before Raj can work his magic, Abby (Danica McKellar) asks Sheldon about the lantern. Raj swoops into save her from the wingman. She asks about Raj’s Indian background. He jokes about Slumdog Millionaire being based on his life. Sheldon reminds his pal that his family didn’t live near a dump. Abby’s friend Martha (Jen Drohan) is also turned on by the lantern. Sheldon is the chick magnet with his conversation starter.
At the restaurant, things are tense around the table. Howard suggests the topic of why people who believe in psychics are idiots. Leonard won’t back off it. There’s nastiness brewing. Penny won’t let him try her fish. Bernadette and Howard won’t jump into the conversation. It’s not the social event of the season.
Penny and Leonard walk up to their floor’s lobby. He goes toward her apartment, but she slams the door on him. He enters his apartment to find Raj, Sheldon and the two ladies playing Rock Band. Sheldon rejoices that they scored in his role of the wingman.
Recognize Danica McKellar? She was Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years. After six seasons of teasing Kevin Arnold, she’s ready to please Raj. Besides being a child star, she’s a certified math nerd with a BS from UCLA. She’s co-written a paper published in the “Journal of Physics.” If they ever want to do a geeky Laverne and Shirley spin-off, Danica needs a phone call. She’s the type of woman who might be attracted to a realistic Green Lantern lantern in real life.
Why has Leonard become such an utter jerk now that he has his dream woman? He knows Penny has goofy dreams and beliefs. She’s an actress. I went to a major art school and women in the drama program were dramatic along with some of the men. Deal with their idiosyncrasies or end up dumped. During the drive and dinner, Leonard doesn’t even come close to couching his disdain of psychics. A new haircut might help Penny land a commercial gig. Not every snip ends up a disaster like what happened on Felicity. These people live in Southern California – the home of the flakes. He needs to get used to such quirks or suffer the consequences.
In Leonard’s lab, Howard enters looking good. He made it to 8th base with his woman. Leonard uses his laser to destroy a cylon action figure. He’s not sure about his relationship with Penny. Leonard can’t go out with a woman who believes in psychics. Howard went out with a girl who swore she was abducted by aliens. He saw it as a good thing since it proves she’s gullible and likes being probed. Leonard is still not bending. Howard draws intersecting circles on the white board to show the small pool of woman available to Leonard. The geek doesn’t have much room to find his type of women that would want him. Howard uses the marker to draw a line on Leonard’s hand. This represents Leonard’s next girlfriend if he can’t deal with Penny.
Sheldon sits on the sofa learning Finnish from a book. Raj enters the apartment. Abby and Martha have texted Raj. They want to hang out with them. Sheldon doesn’t want to see them since he’s already moved on. He’s learning Finnish while his hard drive updates. Raj needs Sheldon to hang out with Martha. He swears there’s nothing to can change his opinion. Raj pulls out his Incredible Hulk smashing hands signed by Stan Lee. Sheldon slides them on and does a great Hulk impersonation. Bring on the ladies.
Down in the laundry room, Penny ignores Leonard while he tells her nerdy facts about dryer lint. She’s not impressed since her boyfriend proved more annoying than Howard. She wants him to see her psychic. He won’t, but promises to not comment on her various mystical beliefs. She believes in everything, but crystals. They seem to patch things up.
Back up in the apartment, Martha talks to Sheldon about Flatland. He seems amused at her insights. He still has on his Hulk hands. On the other sofa Raj is lip locked with Abby. Sheldon looks at his watch and declares it’s bedtime. Martha is up for joining him. But Hulk must sleep alone. She’s stunned as Sheldon stomps away.
Martha knocks on Sheldon’s bedroom door. He answers with the Green Lantern lantern as his nightlight. She wants to hang out in his bedroom while Raj and Abby are busy. He agrees. She sits on his bed. He declares he’ll sleep in Leonard’s room. Down the hallway he goes with the green glow leading the way.
This was an uneven episode. Sheldon’s “Wingman” story was hilarious. His inadvertent flirting with women was sound. He got Raj more action than Howard could ever provide. “The Double Date” fell short simply because it didn’t push the tale. Why didn’t they visit her psychic? It just resolved itself in the laundry room without that extra oomph. At this moment, the romance between Leonard and Penny doesn’t dazzle. He’s too cynical and bitter around her. He’s as jerkish as her earlier boyfriends. Sheldon had more chemistry with Martha. The writers really need to figure out why Penny is putting up with Leonard as a lover. Their scenes are about as perfunctory as David Spade’s solo moments in Rules of Engagement.
The strange romance between Sheldon and Martha played out just right. She was ready to pounce him, but he used his super human ability to be oblivious to human nature. If any woman is ever gets to 8th base with him, she’s going to have to use George Reeves’ original Superman cape. His libido can only be unleashed with nerdy bribes.
Good news as far as the ratings go. America loves a troubled Charlie Sheen. Two and a Half Men‘s ratings went up and so did The Big Bang Theory. The Bang‘s overnight had nearly 16 million viewers and the highest number of viewers between 18-49. Charlie Sheen isn’t dragging down the geeks.
Tags: Big Bang Theory, charlie sheen, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Hulk, Leonard, Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory