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How ‘Big Bang’ Imploded: A Season 10 Review

How ‘Big Bang’ Imploded: A Season 10 Review

When Netflix treated its viewers to the whole tenth season of ‘Big Bang Theory’ a few weeks ago, I took the opportunity to switch off and recharge my batteries with some harmless binging. Even though I did not expect much to begin with (compared to ‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘Breaking Bad’), I still found myself disappointed by the execution of a show I never considered myself that emotionally invested in before. So, where did they go wrong?

It’s hard for viewers of ‘Big Bang’ not to compare it to classic sitcoms like ‘Friends’. So when ‘The Big Bang Theory’ entered its tenth series, the same as ‘Friends’, one cannot help but think “well, this is dragging on a bit”. Perhaps the most important aspect of a TV show of any genre is the characterisation. Sometimes it’s not until you go back and watch a show again that you gain this appreciation for how far your beloved characters have come. In ‘Big Bang’, Howard Wolowitz went from being an inappropriate, mother-dependent child, to a loving and responsible father. And Sheldon, who has been at centre stage throughout, transformed from a strange emotionless character to a somewhat socially accomplished man, who maintained his lovable quirks. And yet, it is quite apparent that the characters’ journeys in the last series served more as mediocre plot twists than to present realistic conclusions to all they had gone through over the decade. Leonard Hofstadter and Penny (now Hofstadter herself) endured a turbulent relationship in series 1-7, but somehow spent most of the show as a happy couple. The decision to host a spontaneous marriage in Vegas, only for Leonard to reveal his infidelity right before, was never addressed again after that episode.

Another problem arises when Howard and Bernadette have their baby. Although it is a big moment in the show, much like Rachel’s baby, Emma, in ‘Friends’ series 9, the baby in ‘Big Bang’ is scarcely mentioned or seen at all. The main plot concerning this new life surrounds the tension between Stuart and Raj as they compete to be the best helper of the Wolowitz family. Having said that, Stuart remains to this day one of my favourite characters on TV, a brilliant portrayal of a character who, despite having no hope or love for himself, brings an exceptional lightheartedness to the atmosphere. Raj Koothrappali seemed to have his storyline on track come series 8, only to find himself single and alone again. There was an episode dedicated to him asking his exes why they broke up with him and learning nothing from the experience. The ‘laughing stock’ of the group is yet to find real happiness. Every other character is enjoying academic success, and a loving relationship, both of which continue to elude the fourth of this quartet of best friends.

The show is still an entertaining watch, so perhaps I’m taking it too seriously. I was simply struggling not to get bored during episodes when the plot showed no obvious signs of an end goal. The final episode of series, when Sheldon proposes to Amy out of the blue, did give me some hope of further character development in series 11, which is currently airing now. However, I do think one more season is the most they’ll be able to squeeze out of what’s been a fantastic educational and comedic show. Let’s hope they get it right!

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