The Big Bang Theory Review: "The Cohabitation Formulation"

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I think this may be the first time I recall The Big Bang Theory having a "previously on" preamble.

Relationship drama abounded during "The Cohabitation Formulation." One of those relationships, fortunately, did yield some laughable moments, while the other I nearly slept through. 

The Cohabitation Formulation Scene

I didn't find much about the Howard/Bernadette story to be that funny. Not that it's really all that shocking, but the more we witness exactly how co-dependent Howard and his mother are, the more uncomfortable it becomes for me. You'd think Bernadette would be sent screaming for the hills. It did manage, though, to serve up a few classic exchanges between Howard and his mother, particularly over fancy sex diseases.

On the other hand, Raj's sister being back in town promised good times for Leonard, but sent Raj into a frenzy trying to forbid (forbade? forbode?) them from having a relationship. Unfortunately, Leonard continues to be the straight man/lame duck of the group, not once uttering a line worthy of a chuckle, but lovable Raj is always good for a laugh, especially when he gets riled up - and works references to his culture into the debate.

The best part about Leonard's forbidden romance, though, was listening to both Sheldon and Amy react to the situations around them. 

I loved how Sheldon was able to take his surprisingly vast knowledge of Hindu traditions and twist it around into a gibe at Leonard, but completely oblivious to how rude it was. This is what I enjoy most about Sheldon's character, that he doesn't realize his complete lack of understanding of social protocols and decorum, yet still comes off endearing to the audience. So much better than when he's belligerently caustic and condescending for no apparent reason.

Amy also shone brightly as she attempted to comfort her "bestie," who was so obviously burying her emotions over Leonard and Priya. Her description of why Priya makes a better mate for Leonard than Penny ("She comes from the culture that literally wrote the book on neat ways to have sex!") , and her giddiness over finding Priya "an absolute delight" made me laugh rather unexpectedly. I think I'm starting to cozy up to Amy a bit.

Everytime Penny is played as a backboard off of which Sheldon or Amy bounce their wacky basketballs of complete social ineptitude, The Big Bang Theory scores a three-pointer.  

Share your thoughts in the comments below, and don't forget to revisit the episode's best quotes:

Amy: Good news! Thanks to you I was able to make a rhesus monkey cry like a disgraced televangelist. | permalink
Amy: I'm regretting my earlier cattiness; she's an absolute delight. | permalink
Amy: You don't have to be strong for me. Now let's talk about Priya that man stealing bitch. | permalink
Sheldon: Just keep in mind should you ever need a slightly apathetic, tertiary friend, I stand at the ready. | permalink
Sheldon: The Hindu code of Manu was very clear in these matters. If the woman's father is not around, the duty of controlling her base desires falls to the closest male member of her family, in this case Raj. The code also states that if she disobeys, she will be reborn in the womb of a jackal and tormented by diseases. If true, that seems like an awfully large gamble, given that the prize is Leonard. | permalink


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (31 Votes)

Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


I know this a year too late (watching reruns ) but does rajesh talk to penny throughout the episode...he does it twice...


i hate leonard character. the show would have been better without him. he i not fun at all. he is like not even part of the show


I like the chemistry that Sheldon and Penny have together, but Sheldon's snide comments towards her is keeping that from becoming anything serious. I agree that Amy is growing on me as well. She adds to the nerdy dynamic of the group with out going overboard. I have rooted for Wolowitz for a long time. I have secretly hoped that he would succeed despite Sheldon's abuse. I have for a long time thought that he is worthy of street cred. But Thursday night's episode has really shone his deep depraved loathing personal traits. Bernadette deserves better. Leonard is probably the character that keeps the group together. He is the sane person in the loony bin. But he is a limp noodle. HeHe. And I can't wait to see what happens next week.


Am I the only one that thinks the writers changed Sheldon and Amy's personalities? I mean, now Amy is the quirky good one and Sheldon although more aware of social interaction, is harsher. I could understand the development they are giving Amy, and it's plausible because some people were complaining about her lack of knowledge in simple human interaction when she is a neuro-biologist. It helps that women overall are more receptive and mature. But Sheldon instead of truthful and uncomfortable has being meaner. Why would the writers do that to his character, what's the purpose?

Whipped by damon

I too love Amy as Penny´s bestie, I think she really becomes alive! I did like this episode quite a bit but my god if I was seeing Howard, I'd have run to the hills by now!


The reason that Amy is becoming more likeable is because her character has changed from the beginning. She wasnt a female version of Sheldon, she was some sort of emotionless female robot that didnt add anything to the mix. The thing about Sheldon is that he does have emotions and its his lack of social protocols among other things that makes him different. Amy also has the the problem with social protocols but she came off sounding like some emotionless robot. I mean Data from New Generations has more an outgoing personality then Amy originally did. Now she talks about sex and being catty and it helps create a real person not just some emotionless being


To Elliot....... I completely agree with your comment! I felt that too! I adore Sheldon and I think he and Penny could pull something off. They work off of each other so well, I'm sure it has to do with their friendsip off the set as well. I'm going to be routing for them!


Elliott: I was thinking the same thing! Maybe I'm reading too much Sheldon/Penny fanfic! :)


As the old reviewer of this show and frequent complainer of Amy, I just wanted to pop in to say I agree with Jeff - Amy is finally growing on me! I feel like they've tweaked her character a bit, or had her grow if you will, to the point of likable. Definitely a great episode outside some of the painful Wolowitz-Bernadette moments. Could my favorite nerd show be back!?


I'm starting ti like Amy better when she has scene as Penny's besty! It's true Leonard is probably the less funny of all but I still love him. He's cute and the more "normal" of the group where he is needed!

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The Big Bang Theory Season 4 Episode 16 Quotes

Howard: I'm not having this conversation with you Ma!
Howard's Ma: God forbid you get one of those new fancy sex diseases!

Bernadette: I think the woman can manage to put a wig on by herself.
Howard: It's not just the wig, it's pinning her hair up, it's putting on her's a two person job.