Critical Condition: The Big Bang Theory

Leonard and Penny finally at last make it to the aisle in the season nine premiere of The Big Bang Theory (TV2, 8.30 Wednesday). But will they live happily ever after and is Stuart the new Howard?

Leonard and Penny at last make it to the aisle in the season nine premiere of The Big Bang Theory (TV2, 8.30 Wednesday). But is the biggest twist Stuart becoming the new Howard?

“Sitcoms risk missteps when they marry off characters. That’s a cautionary note for the new season of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory … Even in what was, for this series, a relatively clunky episode there were still some funny lines … The episode sort of belonged to Stuart (Kevin Sussman), With Howard (Simon Helberg) married off, Stuart has the potential to take his place as the suitor with all the wrong moves.”

“Leonard and Penny got married in Vegas, inspiring beautiful blonde women everywhere that they, too, can marry short, near-sighted scientists if they just live next to them long enough. But because the BBT gang has always been more adept in physics and dramatic haircuts than relationships, Leonard and Penny immediately get into a fight about the woman he admitted to making out with pre-Toy Story vows and return home separately. Was this the epic union nearly 20 million weekly viewers have been waiting for through all the wooing and dumplings eaten on the floor?”

The Big Bang Theory was the most-watched prime-time TV series – of any genre, and on both network and cable – last season. And with its ninth season officially launched, TBBT is also the longest-running non-animated sitcom on network TV. Which is to say, despite all those who may consider the show’s longevity to be a head-scratcher, there’s no disputing that Sheldon Cooper and his geeky gang do continue to have a very devoted fan base. This season premiere is the perfect example of why.”

The Big Bang Theory defied expectations this week, but in a good way. Rather than treating the long-awaited Leonard/Penny marriage like a happy moment for the gang, this episode leaned heavily on recent relationship drama and delivered an unusually somber and depressing storyline. While the general lack of humour was a bit disappointing, the drama-heavy focus feels right at the moment. Sheldon and Leonard both have a long journey ahead of them, and hopefully one that will anchor the season going forward.”

The Big Bang Theory was more like The Big Pang Theory in its season nine opener last night, appearing to lose most of its sense of humour … That said, there were some hilarious moments – most of which came from Stuart of all people. After years of not being sure of what to do with him, the writers may have found a great little niche: sleaze ball.”

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