The Big Bang Theory Review: "The Prestidigitation Approximation"

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Hey guys, it's your favorite Shamy-hating critic here again, back to take over weekly reviews of The Big Bang Theory

Luckily, I popped back in for an Amy-less (and unfortunately Bernadette-less) episode, "The Prestidigitation Approximation," to make my transition a little easier.

Hi, Couple!

As nice as it was to see Leonard get the A-story this week, the guy deserves better. The entire Priya plot was straight out of the generic sitcom handbook. That's probably where Chuck Lorre and company found the shtick where he switched from glasses to contacts and walked into every wall.

Penny, as hilariously pictured above, was definitely the highlight of Leonard's adventure.  Her entire interaction with Leonard at the Indian restaurant was cheesy and over-the-top, but somehow still believable as Penny.  Seriously, what would Leonard do without her?

Priya, unfortunately, was first introduced as a fairly complex, layered character, but has now just become a butt of a series of Indian jokes.  Don't we already have the amazing Raj for that?  Please find something else to do with this beautiful actress!

As usual, though Sheldon was there to pick up the comedic slack. This week felt like a throwback to days of old, before Jim Parsons was given his Emmy and forced into every scene and plotline possible. He was relegated to the B story here with Wolowitz and Raj, and delivered reliable laughs without any Sheldon overload.

While I may have predicted the card trick shenanigans of Wolowitz from the opening scene, it never stopped being funny as Sheldon tried to reverse engineer the trick. Great stuff, right down to Raj gesturing the "Two of Hearts."

Overall, it was a perfectly acceptable episode of TBBT and I'm looking forward to critiquing my favorite nerds again when they return on March 31.  Until then, I'll leave you with my favorite The Big Bang Theory quotes with more to come later in the afternoon.

Priya: Just because you're in bed Indian woman, you think that gives you permission to use crazy positions from an ancient Indian love manual?
Leonard: If you could find a book called "Weird Sex With White Boys," I'd be OK with that. | permalink
Penny: Not knowing's part of the fun.
Sheldon: Was that the motto of your community college? | permalink
Raj: Beefaroni and a show? How do you turn that down? | permalink
Sheldon: Where am I going to find Uranium-235 this time of night? ... C'mon, Craig's List! | permalink


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (48 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.


It's a strange show - it keeps pushing Leonard, who is clearly the most replaceable cast member, with truly tedious romances (let's be honest here - Leonard is CREEPY) and wastes the Penny-Sheldon dynamic (comedy not romance). It's like the producers want us to tune out...


I wish the section of TV Fanatic used for "The Big Bang Theory" had more features: Forum, Caption Contests (these would be hilarious!) and also Round Tables, I mean it's such a great show and it has tons of fans.


Priya's not being unreasonable. Priya's being underused. A few too many crashing into things for Leonard.


Just looked at "Brooke Johnson's" history...Just trying to sell stuff. Dump the squat greasy toad who pretends to be a buxom blonde


Hey, Brooke Johnson. Take your website and stick it. I hate that shit. I got five dollars says not one of those shirts is available.


Honestly, I can see where Priya would get little annoyed. I`m not the jealous female type but I`ve been wondering why Penny is always around too. She used to have some sort of social circle outside of Leonard`s group. And having your boyfriend lie to you about asking her to back off would cause a break in trust. Besides if any of my friends ever interrupted a date like that and ate my food, I`d be annoyed too. Also Penny does occasionally bring up the fact that her and Leonard used to date. She`s not meaning to be awkward but I can see why Priya would feel a bit uncomfortable. And about the clothes and contacts, Leonard could simply say no. Why is it that when the male is unhappy about changes in a relationship it`s always blamed on the woman? Just say no. Simple as that.


Thanks for the review, your opinion often mirrors my own with regards to the various episodes. I don't however think that JG's Leonard is unrepresented or made to draw the short straw, his sarcastic responses and ability to gain credibility outside of his circle more than make up for his lack of laugh out loud one liners. Trying to mess with the characters just to allow them to have episodic focus is wrong, apart from Raj of course, I think he goes from strength to strength; "All the more shame that will fall upon the house of Hofstadter"


Favoritelines: Penny: Not knowing is part of the fun.
Sheldon: "Not knowing is part of the fun!" Was that the motto of your community college?


It's obvious the writers are already working on the Leonard-Priya breakup. They're starting to turn her into a manipulative shrew: pressuring Leonard to give up Penny, talking him into contact lenses and new clothes. It's more or less what happened to Helen Baxendale's character on "Friends." Once the storyline goes stale, the "change Leonard" thing can easily become a deal-breaker. Ugh. The real male-female chemistry on this show is between Sheldon and Penny. - I loved Sheldon's crack about Penny's community college, and the "axiomatic" exchange. - But there's no way anything can happen without negating everything we've come to know about Sheldon so far.


The review was a little light...but it touched on something that bothered me too. Priya is an interesting character, is she really only going to get stereotype jokes? That's really a crime. Of course Sheldon is funnier. He's a broad strokes character. So he gets to mug and mince. Leonard plays the adult straight man. Harder to wring jokes out of him when he really doesn't have an obvious quirk. He's open to change. He's aware of the world around him. He wishes to better himself and his aware of his shortcomings...That sucks for comedy! But Sheldon was exactly where he should be in the ep. B story, but of jokes. Hochberger is correct here too. Ever since the Emmy, they try to shoehorn him into everything. Raj's sister takes up with Leonard, they somehow turn it into a "Sheldon Overanalyzes Lying" ep. Great use of Raj and Wolowitz in this ep too. Too often they get beaten down for comedy...>this time they worked as a team (with Penny!) and came out ahead. Nice to put one in the win column every now and again. Light review, but pretty good anyway.

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The Big Bang Theory Season 4 Episode 18 Quotes

Penny: Not knowing's part of the fun.
Sheldon: Was that the motto of your community college?

Beefaroni and a show? How do you turn that down?