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
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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.

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I loved this one, mostly because it had a nice story for Leonard and Penny, and because everyone got some story and funny lines. I hate the Sheldon/Amy-centric episodes that leave all the others standing there like extras. I agree about Howard and his mum, it's just too much - Bernadette seems way too, well, sane to put up with that guy. I still can't stand Amy, though this time it wasn't so bad since she got Penny to open up about Leonard :D But that was an exception, usually I can't tolerate her for more than a short video chat...


They did a "previously on" before the season three premiere, too. :) I'm excited we saw Penny get upset-she's realizing how strong her feelings for Leonard are and I adore it!


Did anyone else sense that Penny almost wanted to try her luck with Sheldon until she noticed he had Amy on video chat? Or maybe I'm just reaching


Are you kidding me right now? This was one of the best episodes Howard and Bernadette have had together! It had some very real 'couple' moments and moved their relationship forward. I loved it the great jokes it set up between Howard and his mom!


Yes Sheldon shouldn't be caustic all the time. Amy is hit and miss for me. Amy/Penny, and Amy/Sheldon/Penny scenes are usually good. I'd like to see more Counterfactual-like scenes. Raj was funny. I liked that Raj was pleased for a change to have Sheldon lecture the group on Indian customs. Bernadette was a waste of time this episode.

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.