‘The Big Bang Theory’ – ‘The Roommate Transmogrification’: Trading places

It’s been a while since I’ve written about “The Big Bang Theory,” for reasons I’ll get into after the jump, but last night’s season finale seems a good time to check back in on the show. Some quick thoughts on the finale, and the season, coming up just as soon as I put away my tricorder…

On top of the timeslot conflict with “Community,” “BBT” is a tough show to regularly blog about. While it’s more consistently funny than several comedies in the regular rotation, it’s not especially deep or ambitious, which means there’s not much to say most weeks beyond “this made me laugh” and “this didn’t.” We can discuss minor variations within the show, like the degree to which Sheldon becomes an insufferable bully (say, at the end of the episode where Priya found loopholes in the roommate agreement) or the extent to which the show wants us to laugh at or with Wolowitz, but the show is the show, it does what it does, and even if I weren’t tied up watching and writing about another comedy I prefer, I just wouldn’t have a lot to say about it.

That said, Bill Prady and company introduced some potentially major changes this season. With Amy Farrah Fowler and Bernadette promoted to semi-permanent status, the show is now able to spend large chunks of each episode focusing only on the women, and in the process has made Penny a much more well-rounded character rather than just a foil for the nerds. And now Howard and Bernadette are engaged, Leonard’s been in an extended relationship with Priya (albeit one that’s apparently about to end), and Raj and Penny had a drunken one-nighter that Leonard and the rest of the group knows about, etc. There’s a lot of story to work with next season, and even this season kept the writers from having to lean quite so heavily on Sheldon as in years past. Jim Parsons is brilliant and clearly the first among equals of this cast, but there can be such a thing as too much Sheldon. (Especially since, as noted above, there’s such a fine line between his Asperger-ish qualities being funny and really obnoxious.)

I imagine reviews will again be few and far between in the fifth season, but every now and then I’ll try to check in and take the temperature of both the show and its audience. So what did everybody else think?