The Big Bang Theory is a CBS sitcom about a group of geeky adults that has run for 12 staggeringly long years. In that time period, it has attracted critical ire, many Emmys, and earned its stars million-dollar salaries. But now this show is dying and I, a pop culture critic with a heart made of onyx who has never even seen a single episode, have decided to watch the program weekly to pay my respects—and also roast it to death one last time.
Season 12, Episode 19: The Inspiration Deprivation
Summary: Amy and Sheldon get called into HR after Amy screams at a room of Nobel Laureates and their HR representative is played by Oscar winner Regina King. Catch me screaming at my TV, Regina what are you doing here! Get out! Run! She emphasizes to them that they have a shot at winning a Nobel and they’re “blowing it.” Amy realizes that if she wins, she’ll only be the fourth woman ever to win a Nobel in physics.
She and Sheldon can’t relax so they decide to go to a sensory deprivation tank. Honestly, a sensory deprivation tank sounds terrifying, but that might be because my first exposure to them was watching the 1980 movie Altered States, in which William Hurt does a ton of LSD before climbing into one and somehow hallucinates that he’s become a caveman (great film!) Neither Amy or Sheldon turns into a caveman (ugh) but while Sheldon is having peaceful visions, Amy is imagining all the women who would feel let down by her losing the Nobel. “I was going to be a scientist, but since you lost, I’m just going to give makeup tutorials on YouTube,” a child says. Sorry, but has this young girl even seen the technical expertise of some of those YouTubers? Eventually, she chills out with the help of Sheldon who... hugs her? To each her own.
Meanwhile, Howard, ever the bad boy, buys a scooter (it looks like a moped, but he insists it’s a scooter). Bernadette, who I suspect was written by the Big Bang Theory writers room simply writing “INSUFFERABLE WIFE” on a whiteboard and leaving it at that, naturally doesn’t want the scooter. Howard insists the scooter represents the “freedom he had as a younger man,” and I want to barf. “What freedom, you lived with your mother!” Bernadette says. But once Howard begins to charge money for people to ride the scooter, Bernadette gets on board.
Worst joke: When Sheldon is figuring out how to relax, Penny proposes he get a massage. “No, the only person that touches me is my wife,” he says. “And even I have to let him smell my hand first,” she says. What?
Nerdiest moment: “She recently went to a rave at the mall,” Sheldon says at one point of Amy. “It was a Spencer’s gifts,” Amy replies. “There was music and a strobe light. If that isn’t a rave, then I don’t know what one is,” he says.
What I learned this week: Although I’ve always suspected it, Howard is attracted to “strong women” like the HR rep at Caltech.
Did I laugh?: I haven’t laughed in 100 years.
How dead is this show?: It’s not dead yet, but I find myself frequently fantasizing that the show will end with an extended Six Feet Under-style poetic montage where I get to see how every character dies (and it’s also set to that sad Sia song). Penny passing out in front of a Real Housewives of Mars montage, Howard and Bernadette being poisoned by their invisible children... I should be writing this show!