Much like Sheldon Cooper found himself impossibly stuck in last night’s The Big Bang Theory trying to puzzle out a physics conundrum, the show has, I fear, found itself a bit stuck in a conundrum of its own: How to keep its breakout character from overwhelming what has been a delightful, gut-busting ensemble show? Unlike Sheldon, however, it’s going to take a lot more than a quickie stint as Penny’s Cheesecake Factory quasi-co-worker for the show to elucidate this very real concern.
I don’t mean to oversell my frustration; this was still a pretty funny episode. Leonard, for instance, had a great opening line after noticing Sheldon’s frantic early morning behavior: “Penny, I told you, if you don’t put him in his crate at night, he just runs around the apartment.” And the show’s subplot — if you can call it that — involving Howard and Leonard taking their ladies out for a double date of disco roller-skating got off to a strong start with Raj’s lament that his buddies stole the idea from him: “No, it’s okay, I don’t have to go. I’m happy just to guide you and your ladies to suitable entertainment choices. I’m a walking brown Yelp.com.”
But beyond Howard’s insane lycra pants, the women’s mild embarrassment at their men’s boogie abilities (or lack thereof), and the inexplicably silly mini-scene at the end of the episode of Raj and Howard (those pants!) spinning in the rink, said subplot was rather thin in the plot department — more like a sub-distraction, or sub-digression. READ FULL STORY