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The Big Bang Theory Review: Boiled Frog Prince

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Manipulation. Lots of manipulation, even from Sheldon, made The Big Bang Theory Season 7 Episode 16 a funny half hour.

Who would have thought getting a dining room table would have been such a disruptive idea? When Sheldon's involved, it should be expected, right?

He doesn't like change. There's no such thing as good or bad change. Anything different is inherently bad where he's concerned.

Crowded Dinner Around the Coffee Table
The Bigi Bang Theory crew crowd around the coffee table for dinner.

Sheldon's forced realization that he's changed since he started dating Amy was a positive revelation. Ultimately the table was just a catalyst for that to come to light.

His reaction to break up with her was a natural response from him and lead to the funniest exchange of the episode.

Sheldon: No, I've changed. Like the frog who's put in a pot of water that's heated so gradually he doesn't realize he's boiling to death.
Penny: Or you're the frog who's been kissed by a princess and turned into a prince.
Leonard: Or, you're just a tall, annoying frog.

Amy's plan to manipulate Sheldon into not breaking up with her was brilliant. Whether he caught on or not, I'm not sure. Either way, Sheldon and Amy didn't break up which was a positive. I know many fans don't like them together or don't like Amy, but I find the two of them annoyingly charming.

They humanize each other and both continue to grow because of their relationship. Amy could probably find someone who's a better match for her, but she loves Sheldon and that matters. Plus, she's perfect for him. I love that she tried to trick him into moving in with her. I hope she keeps pushing him.

Amy: You don't need to explain yourself to him.
Sheldon: I don't need to explain myself to you!
Amy: You're sick of his nonsense and ready to move in wth me.
Sheldon: Keep the table! We don't use that space!
Amy: Damn it, I got cocky.

While a dining room table would make it easier to eat, there was a loss of casual community when they sat at the table. Will it be back next week? I doubt it. There's something so Big Bang Theory about their dinner gatherings around the coffee table.

I'm not sure what was going on with the magic wand remote control, but it did provide a few funny moments for Raj. It was weird, but any appropriate use of "muggle" is a win.

And, regarding Howard's offer to go back into space -- PHEW! I don't think I could handle more scenes of him in space. He hated it and was obnoxious at the space station. Once was more than enough. With the help of his friends, family, and Astronaut Massimino, Howard realized his error and manipulated his physical in order to get out of it.

Manipulations were the winner of the episode!

What was your favorite moment?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (67 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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You wouldn’t think buying a dinner table could provoke such fun. This was a hilarious episode that struck out on two familiar fronts: Leonard attempting to assert himself over Sheldon and Howard trying to act the heroic astronaut. Both stories provided good moments, were well played by the cast and cannily written. The interplay between the foursome of Leonard-Penny-Sheldon-Amy was excellent as each man attempted to win his argument with the other, backed up and then coaxed to antagonise by his partner, but both of whom ultimately back down and allow the old order to win the day. This showed some of the assertive, mature fun loving Leonard we saw in the early episodes to this season. He’s playfully teasing his friends, he’s making decisions, he adores his girlfriend and sparkles when he’s with her (both in posture and in dialogue) and he’s able to make and win coherent arguments. I like this version of Leonard; it’s much more adult than they whiney stammering childlike persona we usually see. Similarly it was nice to see Sheldon reboot the regulated ordered half of his self [‘I’ve allowed myself to become an emotional human being. This has to stop now!’] and also pleasant to see him lose an argument. Normally at this point I’d hark on about why Sheldon has to gain the upper hand even when he is clearly in the wrong for in the final scene while Leonard has the table and everyone agrees it’s a great addition to the flat, Amy and Sheldon prefer to eat on the sofa, eventually persuading their friends to revert to TV dinners. But that would be to miss the point of the scene and gloss over the clever writing, which all along in the episode has been demonstrating how both friends have been altered for the better by first their friendship and then by their partners. Sheldon doesn’t win out by being mean or unscrupulous, as he sometimes has recently, and while he may say ‘sometimes the baby wins’ he too has missed the point. The real winners are Amy and Penny and to a lesser degree Bernadette, who have molded their men and enabled them to become something resembling effective aware beings. It isn’t Sheldon’s intransigence which allows him to win, but the pull of familiarity, of friendship, the bond between the girls as much as the boys; his speech was the exact opposite of what he professed not to want to be: emotional. That could only happen because of the difference Penny and Amy have made to his life. Putting aside the psychobabble, the story had some great scenes and some wonderful lines [‘You… and your fancy genitals’ – ‘Fancy sounds like a compliment’; ‘Sheldon doesn’t like replaned wood, he thinks the previous owners will come back and use it’] and the acting from everyone was spot on. The second story (all the episodes seem to have two threads now, such a huge cast are the writers juggling) was equally as successful. Howard and Raj enjoyed another bout of male bonding over a magic bond remote control before Howard gets a dreaded call from NASA. I liked that this story felt so close to reality. Howard knows he’s an American Hero, so he’s compelled to act like one and has forgotten how traumatic his ‘heroic’ outer space experience was. Simon Hellberg was great again, playing the befuddled best mate, the smooth talker and the nervous wreck with equal aplomb. He displayed all these qualities in the confrontation scene, where Bernadette, Raj and Mike, with a little help from NASA, show him the error of his decision. Some of the lines were a joy and the character interplay excellent. It was nice the writers hadn’t forgotten Penny’s auditions but I was disappointed there was no immediate follow up to Raj’s speculative date with the vet from the previous episode, but these days the producers seem to prefer to drag storylines out a little. None the less this was an excellent episode, insightful, funny, well written and performed. Who’d have thought you got all that from buying a dining room table?

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Sheldon was so horrible and annoying. How is this funny??? I hate it when they show him like that

Fifty
@ tamara

Totally!!! Sheldon at his worst. Not funny at all.

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Loved Amy and Sheldon and the phone call from Penny to Amy to warn her just cracked me up. Bought a table, yep he is breaking up with you.

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Lauri Metcalf, great actress. Hope we get to see her soon on BBT

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So F-ing borring that it took less then 15 minutes to Watch this crap - I fast forward it btw.
Leonard acting high and mighty with calling Sheldon whiny etc, when he's the master of manipulation and whining along his puppy eyes - People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, right Leonard? And speaking of manipulation, what the hell is Amy and Sheldon still together? - It's even worse than the Penny and Leonard relationship if that possible, but after this episode it truly is. The positive side was that Penny was not buzzed, but I'm sure that will change in the next episode.

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@ Jonas

why do you bother watching

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@ JR

Because once started I will see it through even if it will kill me - But to be honest this show has lost it's spark and that started gradually in Season 4. Nowadays this show feels like a geek version of the show Friends, but on that show it was actually funny with all the pairings they had - On TBBT it has just become awful except forHoward and Bernadette's relationship/marriage.

Fifty
@ Jonas

Think you should quit mate !!!

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also a character as sheldon at the end it would become boring and banalese was not given him the possibility to be best. the authors have taken the correct decision.. patience for the fans that would want to always see the same things. There are the Simpson for them.
Obviously this is only my opinion

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I dislike that many people want Sheldon more human, Get over it, not all people have to be empathic with others, and with the rest of the civilization (and with the current status of human civilization, not a surprise)
I miss the previous seasons, with more nerd essence than this season

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@ annihilator

Well, that's all well and good, but just suppose for a minute that rather than this being a TV show, it's your life. You've got a roommate or a friend who's a constant nuisance, always has to have his way, has a opinion on everything, and dictates that you live YOUR life HIS way. Tell us now how you would NOT kick his ass to the curb or subject him to frequent ass-kickings!!! For seven seasons, we've been his "friends" and he's barely changed. I get that he's a fictional character, and it's still a funny show, but it's getting old, almost to where I would prefer to see the other story arcs in a given ep.

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@ MrWriteSF

Simple, moving out, despite the blonde neighbor

Sue ann
@ MrWriteSF

Back when I was in my middle twenties, I had two roommates in a smallish apartment. One of them went nuts, moved in her sister, and both their boy friends, and I had to move into the dining room. Our other roommate and I put up with this for some months, and then we bit the bullet and kicked all of them out. She took money from her boy friend/fiance to pay her increased share of the rent, and I started working a third job to come up with the money for mine. And the four we kicked out were combined, nowhere as nasty as Sheldon. The character they have been writing for him lately is so over-the-top that even a reasonable and submissive guy like Leonard should not be putting up with him. They go too far.

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@ MrWriteSF

Oh please just go out and play in a busy street or just shut the f*** up

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@ Jonas

Just what I was hoping for…a mature well-reasoned, cogent response. Thanks so much.

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@ annihilator

preach it and I'm so with you!

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@ Jonas

Thanks, i hope that the writters read our critics, and dont focus on those people that want to take away the nerd essence of the show maybe trying to convert TBBT in Friends 2.0,
The only way that Sheldon can be human in a nerd way is live alone (or with amy, but better alone) without the rest, that could teach him some hard lessons.

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@ annihilator

i am with you. what made me like and love sheldon is he was not like the rest of us, and tptb had him pair up with amy is slowly killing that part of him that i love and miss that is my i want shamy to break up

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Sheldon and Amy are the thing sweetest and amusing of the show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sheldon without amy would be still a boring and selfish scientist,she must help him to grow

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@ Silvia

Nice Disney fictional philosophie

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@ annihilator

I don't have problems to admit that I love the romantic philosophy. Why instead of always crying you angry fans not looked at another show? It would be easier, because to many people like Amy and Bernadette and they will belong to the cast up to the end. It was physiological that the characters and their lives evolved, the first three seasons could not be repeated for seven years and over.. fortunately the sitcom is successful more and more, the fans that follow this they will be all incurable romantics...

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I love sheldon and amy. They belong together. They both challenge each other in a good way. In any case who else would not go looney dating sheldon. I mean look how crazy he makes leonard. At least amy can handle it. But i love sheldon. He steals the show.

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i was hoping that the shamy would of broken up and there be no more amy!!!!!!!!!! but of crouse penny took her side like always it would of been nice if she stay out it.. it would be nice if peeny and leonard told sheldon what amy was doing to him. but no we can not have that. i am so over the amy love that tptb are having with her!!!!!!!!!! i like the howard story

The Big Bang Theory Season 7 Episode 16 Quotes

Penny: Translation?
Leonard: Waah. I don't want a table!

Bernadette: Have you guys ever thought about getting a dining room table?
Amy: Yeah. You actually do have room for one up there.
Raj: Oh, sure, I sit on the floor for years, no one cares. The pretty white girl's there ten seconds, and suddenly we're all running to Ikea.