The Big Bang Theory—Season 2

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8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visual: 8/10

The gang's all back for a solid sophomore season

Traditional style sitcom might not be for everyone

 
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Here they come again!

Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Sheldon (Jim Parsons), Rajesh (Kunal Nayyard), Howard (Simon Helberg), and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) are back!  Leonard is still smarting from his failed date with Penny, and both are attempting to date again.  As both face the challenges of love, Howard, Raj, Penny, and Leonard find that dealing with Sheldon might even be more difficult.

The Big Bang Theory—Season 2 aired on CBS from September 22, 2008 to May 11, 2009.  The series continued to gain followers and was nominated for three Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series (for “The Hofstadfer Isotope”, “The Vegas Renormalization”, and “The Lizard-Spock Expansion”), Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (Christine Baranski), and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Jim Parsons).

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Laser chess…the next step in gaming!

I love The Big Bang Theory…the show is a geek’s dream.  Not only do you have relatively strong standard sitcom writing and plots, but you have it loaded with nerds pop culture references.  The writers are obviously geeks or bring in professional nerds to help sculpt the scripts.  How pathetic is it, however, when you find yourself questioning little superhero factoids they drop…usually they’re good but sometimes they aren’t correct…The next Batman should be Jason Todd…come on writers!  Even you know better than that!!! (Plus, I know Warners owns DC, but I think Sheldon would know a few more Spider-Man titles when it comes to comics.)

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Darlene makes her way through a couple of the cast…Rosanne would be mad!

The Big Bang Theory faces that tricky sitcom situation.  You want Penny and Leonard to get together, but the show goes up in smoke once they do.  Here you have them do the classic “date and break-up” this season with both of them wanting to get back together.  The show does a good job playing with this tired situation, but it does ultimately come down to classic sitcom fodder.  It remains to be see however how long the show can continue to have them get together and break-up…I know tons of people who do it regularly in real relationships, so I guess it isn’t that big of a stretch.

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Probably should just leave him hanging there…

The season does help solidify the cast.  Galecki, Parsons, and Cuoco continue to be the driving force of the show with Helberg and Nayyar around for the ride.  The pigeon-holed characters of Raj and Howard make it difficult for the characters to find their own directions, but this season does start to realize this and works to develop the characters as their own rounded people.  It still isn’t perfect here but the addition of a couple more women like Sara Rue as a returning girlfriend for Leonard and the scientific “probing” of Sara Gilbert.  The series also expands on scientific rival Kripke and down-on-his luck comic book store owner Stuart.  The show has some nice guest appearances by Summer Glau as herself, Christine Baranski as Leonard’s mother in her Emmy nominated appearance, and a blink-and-you’ll-miss her pre-Oscar Octavia Spencer as a BMV employee.

The Big Bang Theory is a fun show that feels like a throwback.  The three-camera sitcom format is a classic, but in recent years, many shows have shied away from it.  Returning to the format might be tough for some, but I do recommend checking out The Big Bang Theory, especially if you are a closet geek, nerd, dork, or what have you…It just might be that the “good guys” win.

The Big Bang Theory—Season 2 Episode Guide:

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“The Bad Fish Paradigm”

2.1       The Bad Fish Paradigm Airdate:  09/22/08

Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) go on a date, and Rajesh (Kunal Nayyar), Howard (Simon Helberg), and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) find it didn’t go well.  When Penny reveals to Sheldon that she’s worried about Leonard dating someone less intelligent, Sheldon finds he’s forced to keep a secret…which might force him to move.

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“The Codpiece Topology”

2.2       The Codpiece Topology Airdate:  09/29/08

Penny’s dating again after breaking-up with Leonard, and Leonard is encouraged to start dating again.  Leonard decides to try dating Leslie Winkle (Sara Gilbert) against Sheldon’s recommendation.

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“The Barbarian Sublimation”

2.3       The Barbarian Sublimation Airdate:  10/06/08

Penny finds himself frustrated by her life in Los Angeles and is sucked into the world of a Conan MMORPG, and Sheldon can’t get rid of her.

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“The Griffin Equivalency”

2.4       The Griffin Equivalency Airdate:  10/13/08

Raj is selected by People Magazine as one of the “30 Under 30” to watch.  When the award goes to Raj’s head, Sheldon, Leonard, and Howard find him impossible to be around.  When Penny goes to the award ceremony with Raj, Penny finds herself trying to fend off Raj.

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“The Euclid Alternative”

2.5       The Euclid Alternative Airdate:  10/20/08

Leonard cannot drive Sheldon due to working nights, and Sheldon is forced to get rides from Penny, Howard, and Raj…when he alienates everyone, Sheldon is faced with an intervention.

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“The Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem”

2.6       The Copper-Nowitzki Theorem Airdate:  11/03/08

Sheldon finds a graduate student named Ramona (Riki Lindhome) interested in him.  As Ramona injects herself in Sheldon’s life, Sheldon finds Ramona cutting him off from his friends and activities to finish his work.

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“The Panty Piñata Polarization”

2.7       The Panty Piñata Polarization Airdate:  11/10/08

Penny gets “three strikes” with Sheldon, and Penny goes to war with him.  Penny gets the guys obsessed with America’s Next Top Model, and Raj and Howard seek out the Next Top Model house in L.A.

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“The Lizard-Spock Expansion”

2.8       The Lizard-Spock Expansion Airdate:  11/17/08

Howard has a crisis when he crashes the Mars Rover while trying to impress a girl named Stephanie Barnett (Sara Rue), but Leonard finds himself making out with Stephanie.  Sheldon introduces his Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock decision making game.

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“The White Asparagus Triangulation”

2.9       The White Asparagus Triangulation Airdate:  11/24/08

As Leonard gets more serious with Stephanie, Sheldon tries to make sure the relationship doesn’t fail since he approves of Stephanie.

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“The Vartabedian Conundrum”

2.10     The Vartabedian Conundrum Airdate:  12/08/08

Leonard finds that Stephanie has moved in with him and that he wants his space.  At Penny’s suggestion, Leonard tries to get space from Stephanie.

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“The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis”

2.11     The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis Airdate:  12/15/08

David Underhill (Michael Trucco) is brought into the college and assigned to work with Leonard.  When Underhill starts seeing Penny, Penny finds Underhill has a secret.

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“The Killer Robot Instability”

2.12     The Killer Robot Instability Airdate:  01/12/09

Raj, Sheldon, Leonard, and Howard work to enter their robot Monte into the robot competition but learn that they are facing Barry Kripke (John Ross Bowie).  When Penny insults Howard, she might have to apologize so Howard will be ready for the battle.

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“The Friendship Algorithm”

2.13     The Friendship Algorithm Airdate:  01/19/09

Sheldon tries to befriend Kripke to use his computer, and Sheldon decides to analyze his friendships to determine how to do it.

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“The Financial Permeability”

2.14     The Financial Permeability Airdate:  02/02/09

Penny’s behind on the rent and forced to borrow from Sheldon.  Penny tries to get the money to pay Sheldon back, and Leonard decides to try to get money owed to Penny from her ex-boyfriend Kurt (Brian Patrick Wade).

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“The Maternal Capacitance”

2.15     The Maternal Capacitance Airdate:  02/09/09

Leonard’s mother Beverly Hofstadter (Christine Baranski) has come to visit and is making everyone’s lives miserable.  As Sheldon bonds with her, Leonard finds himself spending more time with Penny.

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“The Cushion Saturation”

2.16     The Cushion Saturation Airdate:  03/02/09

Howard starts a relationship with Leslie Winkle at a paintball tournament.  Penny accidentally shoots Sheldon’s cushion, and Leonard and Penny try to clean it.

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“The Terminator Decoupling”

2.17     The Terminator Decoupling Airdate:  03/09/09

Leonard, Raj, Howard, and Sheldon are headed to a symposium in San Francisco by train when they discover one of their fellow passengers is Summer Glau from Firefly and The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

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“The Work Song Nanocluster”

2.18     The Work Song Nanocluster Airdate:  03/16/09

Penny creates berets called Penny-Blossoms and tries to turn it into a moneymaker.  When Leonard, Sheldon, Raj, and Howard try to make the business a moneymaker, they find themselves in a rush to make one-thousand Penny-Blossoms in a night.  Sheldon experiments with caffeine.

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“The Dead Hooker Juxtaposition”

2.19     The Dead Hooker Juxtaposition Airdate:  03/30/09

Sheldon, Leonard, and Penny are getting a new neighbor and find Alicia (Valerie Azlynn) is attractive.  When Penny gets jealous, she starts to question if Alicia is using Sheldon, Raj, and Howard.

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“The Hofstadter Isotope”

2.20     The Hofstadter Isotope Airdate:  04/13/09

It’s “Anything Can Happen Thursday” and Leonard, Sheldon, Raj, and Howard are headed to the comic bookstore and Penny is going with them.  The store owner Stuart (Kevin Sussman) manages to pick-up Penny, and Leonard finds he’s jealous…leading to a trip to the bar with Raj and Howard.

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“The Vegas Renormalization”

2.21     The Vegas Renormalization Airdate:  04/27/09

When Howard is dumped by Leslie Winkle, Raj, Howard, and Leonard decide an impromptu trip to Las Vegas…where Leonard and Raj try to secretly hire a prostitute (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) for Howard.  Sheldon discovers he’s been locked out of his apartment and is forced  to spend the weekend with Penny.

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“The Classified Materials Turbulence”

2.22     The Classified Materials Turbulence Airdate:  05/04/09

Howard has his special toilet being sent to the space station but discovers that a flaw could cause problems for the astronauts.  Penny prepares for a second date with Stuart and Leonard finds both of them coming to him for advice.

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“The Monopolar Expedition”

2.23     The Monopolar Expedition Airdate:  05/11/09

When Sheldon gets a grant to study his string theory at the North Pole for the summer, he recruits Leonard, Raj, and Howard as his assistants.  With Leonard leaving, Penny finds old feelings returning.

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Related Links:

The Big Bang Theory—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Big Bang Theory—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Big Bang Theory—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Big Bang Theory—Season 5 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Big Bang Theory—Season 6 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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