Monday, September 10, 2018

TV on DVD Review: The Big Bang Theory - Season 11

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Still some great laughs and fun storylines
Cons: Laughs aren’t as strong as they used to be
The Bottom Line:
Gang still entertains
But antics are wearing thin
Fans will still enjoy

“You Can’t Criticize Something You Haven’t Seen.”  “I’m Sorry, Are You Familiar with the Internet?”

For years, I’ve felt like one of the few people who was still fully enjoying The Big Bang Theory.  I found that I was laughing just as much as ever at the antics of my favorite brainy geeks while many others were complaining that the show had passed its prime.  For the first time in season 11, I began to see what everyone else has been saying.

Naturally, season 11 opens exactly where it left off.  Sheldon (Jim Parsons) has just flown across the country to Amy’s (Mayim Bialik) summer housing at Princeton to propose.  But they aren’t the only couple with big news coming out of the season premier.  Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) makes a shocking discovery – she and Howard (Simon Helberg) are expecting again.

The season really has two major storylines, Bernadette’s pregnancy, which leads to her being on bed rest for several months, and the plans for the wedding.  Naturally, with Sheldon as the groom, planning a wedding doesn’t go easily, and the results are hilarious for us.

And the rest of the gang?  Raj (Kunal Nayyar) takes on a job narrating a show at the planetarium, Penny (Kaley Cuoco) makes a surprising new friend , and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) sets out to write a murder mystery.  Oh, and one of the couples on the show breaks up – at least for two episodes.

I’ve notice that with this show, I often laugh harder at the reruns than I do the first time I watch an episode.  I’m not sure why that is, but I do.  However, I’ve found this season to be the exception.  Yes, I still watch the reruns faithfully (the only show I even have my DVR set to record reruns for), but I’m not finding them as funny as I did before.

I think much of that is because the jokes have been done to death by this point.  Yes, there are a few storylines that are fresh, but for the most part, we know what the punchlines will be.  And they were funny – for the last 10 years.  I get it.  It is hard to keep the comedy coming as quickly as it does on this show consistently for so many years.  And don’t get me wrong, I certainly did laugh.  But it wasn’t as consistent as it has been in the past.

Melissa Rauch was pregnant in real life this season, and the writers did a great job of incorporating it into the show with Bernadette’s second pregnancy and bed rest.  She only missed a few episodes as a result, although she wasn’t as big a part of the season either.

And they did give Sheldon some real growth this season.  Okay, so it doesn’t necessarily hold over from one week to the next, but he had some breakthroughs, especially in his relationship with Amy.  I enjoyed watching his transformation.

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the season overall.  I just found the antics were beginning to wear thin.  It’s hard to complain entering the eleventh season of a comedy.

And I’m certainly not blaming the actors.  They are all in top form still.  They clearly know their characters and enjoy playing off each other, and it shows.

A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that the soon to premier season 12 will be the final season of the show.  I will certainly miss the characters when the show goes off the air (I’m already mourning it a little bit), but I want the show to end while I’m still enjoying it.  As season 11 shows, this upcoming season is probably is the right time to end The Big Bang Theory.

1 comment:

  1. They could have brought some new characters on. That revitalized the show with the addition of Bernadette and Amy. But they got too comfortable with the cast they had and didn't do what they needed to do. I still watch it, but you can shuffle the deck and find any show fitting into any year, so similar are they. Also they are wildly too old to play their characters who still act like people in their twenties and not their forties. And hiding two children is just ridiculous. Maybe caring for children would have helped the story lines.