The Big Bang Theory Review: "The 21-Second Excitation"

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I definitely liked last night's episode of The Big Bang Theory much more in theory (har har) than in practice. 

The A story had a great nerd setup we haven't had this season: the guys were waiting on line to see the midnight premiere of Raiders of the Lost Ark, replete with 21 seconds of new footage.

Return of Wil Wheaton

Add Wil Wheaton into the mix and how can you lose with a story like that?  Oh, and it gets better: Penny is not only back, but she has a slumber party with Bernadette and Amy, who have both been promoted to series regulars.

So with great storylines and amazing comedic setups, how could "The 21-Second Excitation" be anything short of hilarious? 

Unfortunately, despite all the funny references to Indiana Jones - like calling Leonard "Short Round" and the guys being chased out of the movie theater, a la Indy's retreat to the seaplane - the humor just wasn't there in the main story.

As for the slumber party, that really comes down to what side of the camp you are on Amy.  With Sheldon out of the scene, Amy clearly took over that character's role, trying her best to play off Penny and Bernadette.

Personally, I'm torn on Amy.  I liked the concept of her when she was first introduced at the end of season three.  But now that we've had for nearly half a season, her character just comes across as a mean female Sheldon that delivers her lines in a flat, dull way.  There's truly only one Jim Parsons.

Do some of her lines make me laugh?  Absolutely.  One of my favorites was Penny telling her to wear something comfortable and her response of: "Then I need to go shopping."   Or even Amy announcing that she and Bernadette won Truth or Dare.

Pretty much the quicker and more basic her quotes are, the better.  It's when she goes into the longer diatribes that only Sheldon can pull off that her character falls flat.

So, what do you guys think?  Are you on Team Amy?  Did you find the episode funnier than I did?  Or do you just come here for our collection of The Big Bang Theory quotes?  'Cause don't worry, we're ending with those:

Sheldon: I find zombies dancing in choreographed synchronicity implausible. And also it's really scary. | permalink
Penny: Okay, help me out here. How does an archeology professor get that good with a whip?
Wolowtiz: Maybe he took a class at the adult book store. That's how I learned. | permalink
Bernadette: Gee, I don't know if I should drink more. I have to drive home and I've got enough trouble seeing over the dashboard as it is. | permalink
Wolowitz: I'm guessing 21 seconds had something to do with that, too. | permalink
Sheldon: Well, if it isn't Wil Wheaton, the Jar-Jar Binks of the "Star Trek" universe. | permalink


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (31 Votes)

Eric Hochberger is the programmer of TV Fanatic, so please forgive his mediocre writing. His programming is far better. Follow him on Twitter and/or email him. Just don't request threaded comments. They're coming.


actually i do not so much like Amy, and i do not know how to describe her. i wish Sheldon and Penny could be together. Am i daydreaming?


I thought amy was great in this episode, but I understand the people who don't like her at all. my favorite part was sheldon reading will wheatons twitter, great!


Totally prefer Bernadette to Amy, but they played well off each other. And Bern's kinda cute, in a surprising way.


I greatly enjoy the show, but I want to ask or viewers if I am wrong about something I see happening with the show. It seems to me over the last seasons worth of shows, little by little, there seem to be more and more sex jokes of the type I would more equate with Two and A Half Men then with BBT. I'm worried that the writers are having a harder time finding the 'nerd' humor that made the show unique and are finding themselves resorting to easier, cheaper sex jokes. Earlier the humor came from how a nerdy guy could get a woman to like him enough to have a chance for 'coitus.' Now it seems the jokes are more about the sex act itself, which to me is, as I said, more Two and A Half Men then Big Bang Theory. I'm worried that the show may eventually loose the unique qualities that make it so enjoyable. Anyone else feel this way?


Although Amy is pretty cringeworthy most of the time, this episode did show that Bernadette is hilarious. Like, really, really hilarious.


This may have been the best episode of The Big Bang Theory I have yet seen. The plethora of different great characters, the wonderful writing, the return of Penny to a general narrative that makes her relevant again, the compelling plotlines (some of which, like Amy's pursuit of popularity, have the capacity to continue and mature episodes down the line), and the episode felt fresh in that it had a new setting and lots of new dynamics and characters that make the show feel fresh and progressive. I couldn't disagree more about Amy. She is monotone, but that's what makes her so funny. If you want variant delivery and more difficult acting then look to another cast member. Which is exactly the point: the key to her charm is how ackwardly, bluntly, and freakishly she contrasts with anyone more normal. She is even more out of it than Sheldon is.


The problem is that Amy is not a human being but a robot. She only has one expression (Sheldon has HUNDREDS), speaks in an abrasive monotone (Sheldon's voice flies up and down all over the vocal register), and she reacts to everything in a remorselessly logical manner, like a computer or robot (while Sheldon is both an incredibly intelligent but socially incompetent sufferer from some sort of autism, trying to use his scientific smarts to figure out how human beings relate emotionally, and a very tyrannical and egocentric 3-year old in a man's body). So Chuck Lorre and team bizarrely have neglected to give Amy all the elements which have made Sheldon one of the great comic creations in television history. While Amy is just an irritating one-note cliché. Shame, Shamy...

Whipped by damon

I loved the slumber party, I was torn on Amy but I am def. coming around!!


This was the best episode in a while! I can't believe how much I've missed Kalie Cuoco! Team SHAMY all the way... Penny ans Sheldom are just like brother and sister. The girls night was awesome! I just prefer Amy standing close to Sheldom, otherwise she gets a little too weird... AND, OMFG!, how come no one said anything about Penny clearly adimitting she still have feelings for Leonard? Best couple on tv. Ever.
Ok, no one tops Chuck's Sara and Chuck and Gossip Girl's Chuck and Blair. But they're next!


A quick note, I'm pretty sure Sheldon is asexual so I doo't think that would ever work.

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The Big Bang Theory Season 4 Episode 8 Quotes

I'm guessing 21 seconds had something to do with that, too.


I find zombies dancing in choreographed synchronicity implausible. And also it's really scary.