Even before coming into its fourth season, The Big Bang Theory had really hit its stride, pulling in massive ratings and marvellous reviews consistently each week. However, this obviously wasn't enough for series creator and sitcom tycoon Chuck Lorre, as Season 4 changes up the formula with an altered equation and varied results.
|Should I be here?|
|Yes I should!|
My preconceptions, however, were misjudged, with Amy's character slowly beginning to grow on me episode by episode, as she broke more and more away from the "Sheldon with a Vagina" mould, carrying some more substantial plot lines on her own and mixing with the girls' crowd (Penny and Bernadette). And it is with this "Girls Crowd" that the second major change for the series comes in. As before the show has focused primarily on the boys and their misadventures in geeksville, this season we see the spotlight being shifted slightly to share the laughs with the female side of things.
Penny's Leonard issues are pondered upon, acting as the slow burner of the season arch, Bernadette deals with trying to get serious with Mummy's Boy Howard, while Raj's sister Priya turns up in the latter half of the season to mix things up with Leonard's love life. Luckily, Priya's character is meant to be disliked, at least that's the way I felt, as her stuck up approach to controlling our boy Leonard sends Penny and the newly formed Gals into a tension fuelled hate party against her - with some hilarious outcomes.
|The Raj vs Howard battle surely is a season highlight|
Of course, the four guys, Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj, are still the central theme of the show, and still go all out in the comedy field. The gang's Justice League team-up is unmissable, with a little help from Penny-Ex Zach (who really deserves more eps!), and their quest to retrieve Sheldon's stolen World of Warcraft account from a sleezeball hacker reminds us all of what the show is really about; honest, nerdy, laugh-filled fun. Plus, the Indiana Jones homage featuring Sheldon, Wil Wheaton and a heck load of angry fan boys is just pure hilarity-ensued awesome.
|Raj on the Rise|
Overall, the series starts to feel more cohesive and connected, with relationships playing a more vital role than ever before, and episodes linking into each other with a more structured season story arch. For the majority of the time, the show retains its smart and sassy humour that keeps the wit intelligible and the laughs worthwhile, such as it has been loved for thus far. For any misstep in this regard, my faith is restored by a magnitude of Sheldon quotes or Howard puns, Penny put-downs or ingeniously planted pop-cult references (everyone's favourite Gorn makes an appearance).
It may have changed, but it's still going strong.
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