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The Big Bang Theory - The Graduation Transmission - Review: "What makes you interesting"

What I like the most about this episode of TBBT is that is largely about being comfortable on your own skin, about proving to yourself that you have good qualities. Leonard’s speech is a clear reflection of that, and Howard’s attempt to fix the control remote helicopter is his way to prove that he has the skills to do that. I like when the show tackles these kinds of storylines.

The one storyline I disliked on the episode for being incridibly childish is how Raj put his parents against each other in order to keep his income coming (and even increasing it). It’s cheap comedy and the episode just throw it in to fill in for minutes and gives Raj little to do and little material to actually bring out a chuckle, since this kind of plot is as old as time and it is often done by little children, so seeing an adult doing this kind to manipulation to his parents is outright sad and not funny at all.

But everything else works perfectly; the most important thing about Howard’s plot about fixing the helicopter is that Sheldon never made fun of him, not even once, which would have been predictable and very uncomfortable territory. Instead, we see Sheldon giving Howard credit, which is very rare, but gives as many moments in which Sheldon’s jokes come out of taking things out of context more than mocking at Howard’s expense, and that’s when his jokes really land.

The Big Bang Theory is a show about friends, and while friends do mock each other from time to time this show sometimes turns mockery into outright insults and that’s when the line has to be drawn. After all this time having Sheldon and Howard become actual friends has been an issue that had to be addressed and developed, and I like to see just how comfortable they can be around each other.

Talking about comfortable, while this season hasn’t been the best of the show it has done something remarkable: Leonard and Penny seem really comfortable around each other, they resemble a real couple and they are clicking more than ever before.
The way Penny supported Leonard by arranging that he could give his speech via skype was a wonderful little moment which shows how much she cares about him, and both actors play it endearingly.

But the most remarkable moment of the episode is when Leonard realizes his speech is actually boring and decides to just speak through the heart:
"My point is while you're spending all this time of your own, building computers or practicing your cello, what you're really doing is becoming interesting and when people finally do notice you, they're going to find someone a lot cooler than they thought. And for those of you who were popular in high school, it’s over, sorry."

That right there is brilliant and to the heart; for a show that some people consider to be mocking nerds, this speech pretty much proves them wrongs, as Leonard outright says that those qualities people develop actually make them interesting people, valid people who should be admired and respected. That’s a very poignant message to give.

TBBT has had some slips, I won’t deny that: sometimes it has gone too hard on pop culture and one could argue that it could be making nerd stereotypes, but I feel that through these 8 seasons the show is actually managing to make the opposite effect, to prove that these people, while may have common interest in “nerdy things” are very different, layered and have a lot of heart. And that’s the best statement the show can give.

Once I said that everytime I fill in for Ben L. on his reviews about the show it turns out to be a pretty strong episode: I’d say the trend continues as this may not have been the biggest or funniest episode of the show, but if you keep Raj’s story aside it’s pretty endearing and it’s filled with good jokes, heart and comedic momentum. Those are the qualities I like on the show and what makes it so great when it shows them. It is what makes it interesting.

Grade: B+

Stray Observations:

-During the last two episodes Amy has been remarkably absent: she was seen around, but she hasn’t had much to do. Hope that changes soon. And as for Bernadette, who was also sidelined, the show needs to make better use of her overall.

-Sheldon: “I wonder if they make ‘I told you so’ signs on braille”

-Sheldon: “They are still getting at least one angry letter.”

-Raj’s dad: “I’m cutting you off!”
Raj: “Just to be clear, financially or mid sentence?”
-Howard: “How familiarized are you with miniaturized integrated logic circuits?”
Sheldon: “Not very.”
Howard: “That right there is a miniaturized integrated logic circuits”

-Sheldon: “I thought the zero gravity toilet didn’t work.”
Howard: “It worked fine, it just wasn’t design for russian astronauts and their potato based diet.”

-Sheldon: “He went to MIT, he can fix any problem as long as it doesn’t originate from an old man’s colon.”

-Sheldon: “You can’t return it, Howard wiped his ass with the warranty.”
Raj: “What?!”
Sheldon: “I think metaphorically… though he was in the bathroom for a long time.”

-Penny: “Sweetie, you know you are supposed to wear cloth underneath the graduation gown.”
Leonard: “A) Surprised you know that. B) I wanted to look like a sexy graduate for you.”
Penny: “Well, you go!”
Leonard: “Thank you.”

-Leonard: “This is very freeing!”

-The ending may have been a bit sudden, but I found it funny. I like that Howard did fix the helicopter, even though it went berserk. And Sheldon saying at the end “we’re all fine in here” was pretty funny!

-Also, Sheldon looking at the camera of the helicopter and freaking out when he realized the helicopter was coming after him was pretty funny.

About the Author - Pablo
I'm currently studying Psychology while also writing fantasy books (one already published in my home country, Chile, you can check it out on the facebook icon). I watch many different types of shows, including my favorites Revenge, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time and about 23 more. Currently writing reviews for Once Upon a Time, The 100 and Community
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