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The Big Bang Theory - The Relaxation Integration - Review: "Wildest Dreams"



I'm super pumped to dive into this week's episode, as I had the pleasure of watching it be taped live! Sprinkled into this review will be some additional behind-the-scenes info on what my evening at the Warners Bros. lot was like, what happens between takes, and an incredibly rare and special occurrence that took place at this particular taping! Keep in mind that I will be revealing some of what goes into the "TV Magic" you see each week. If you really don't want any of the magic to be ruined for you, I might suggest skipping over this review and coming back next week. No hard feelings. I'll be here. :)

First, take this in - it took 4 hours to tape this episode. 20 minutes = 4 hours. Before the taping begins, the audience entertainer introduces all of the cast members who walk onstage, take a bow and then stand in a line. Key crew members such as producers, directors and writers are then introduced, and we, the audience, are briefed on rules and what to expect in the hours ahead. What's also neat is that there's a DJ in the audience playing upbeat music to keep everyone feeling lively and excited; at tapings you watch the same scene be filmed multiple times, so remaining energetic can be a challenge. Although, with a script and cast as hilarious as these, we all continued to laugh through several takes. In many cases jokes are re-written depending on the audience's response (there are microphones in the audience recording our laughter to be used in the episode) - it's neat to see the evolution of lines through different takes.

The episode begins with the gang playing cards. Sheldon and Amy are discussing their upcoming wedding, and when they plan to tie the knot. Apparently Sheldon has picked 80 possible dates. Oh jeez. This is news to Amy, who thought they had settled on a date in June.


Turns out it was the day after Flag Day, so that was a total no no.

Sheldon has been thinking long and hard about this date, and is working it down to a science. He believes there is a perfect date, just as there is a perfect dessert. Penny begs to differ. Sheldon then describes his dream dessert - a dinosaur cake.


Sheldon assures everyone that he will find the best wedding date. Leonard suggests having it at Comic Con.


That's a resounding "NO!". Amy agrees that they should get married on a boring, uneventful night. Bernadette points out that they missed out on a great opportunity to get married tonight. Awwe man. We could've seen a wedding!

Around this time "Feel it Still" by Portugal. The Man began playing as the cast and crew prepared for the next scene. Let me just say, Kaley Cuoco really got into the groove. It was awesome. I can't listen to the song now without thinking of being at the show.

The next scene, of Amy and Sheldon, was filmed prior to our taping. They actually spend around a week preparing for a live taping, doing rehearsals and filming scenes in advance to expedite the process on performance night. We were shown the following dream sequence on monitors.

We're inside of Sheldon's dream. Amy has a sad announcement - they're out of Apple Jacks, and it's Apple Jacks day. She braces for Sheldon's response.


To her surprise, Sheldon says he'll have anything. Whatev.


Amy's turned on. It only gets better when he starts playing smooth jazz.


Coming out of the dream, Sheldon continues playing his smooth jazz through an air band performance. Amy is dumbfounded. I wonder how long Sheldon's been sleep talking for, and if Amy's been listening the whole time?


The next morning, Bernadette lets Howard know that she'll be taking a new co-worker out for drinks to help her acclimate to living in Pasadena. Howard reminds her that A) she's pregnant, and B) she's married. She tells him not to worry. Howard suggests setting her up with Stuart or Raj.


She wants to make a good impression on her co-worker, not scare her away! Howard persists, and Bernadette agrees to setting her up with one of them... if she doesn't end up liking her.


Problem SOLVED!

At Penny and Leonard's, Amy is sharing what happened in the middle of the night with Sheldon. Along with being relaxed and calm, he said 'whatev'.


Now Leonard's really worried. Penny brings up a good point - perhaps he's repressing parts of himself in real life, and expressing them through dreams. Although, she only dreams of being married to her little guy.


Leonard feels mocked.

Something neat about sitcoms is that they have multiple sets built, all lined up beside one another onstage, so all the crew has to do is move the cameras between the sets. The set we're about to see, the bar, is a 'Swing Set' - meaning it's changed depending on what's required for a given week's episode. The main sets - Penny and Leonard's apartment, Amy and Sheldon's apartment and the stairs/broken elevator area in the hall remain put.

Bernadette and Ruchi, her co-worker, are out for drinks. Ruchi thanks her for taking her out, although feels guilty they didn't go somewhere more pregnancy friendly for Bernadette.


She likes drinking cranberry juice from a wine glass and watching onlookers' horrified reactions. Oh, look whose showed up!


Bernie's not happy. The boys introduce themselves to Ruchi, and Bernadette becomes the horrified onlooker.

At Amy and Sheldon's, Sheldon announces he's found the PERFECT wedding date! Looks like he's put tons of thought into it - check out the board behind him:


May 19th, 1996. Amy's frustrated - every date Sheldon continues to suggest is in the past. She tells him he's acting miserable because of his stress over their upcoming nuptials. He's just frustrated he can't find an ideal date. Amy says that perhaps part of him wants to relax... and say 'whatev'.


That's quite simply the most absurd thing he's ever heard. She didn't add "er" to the end! When she sees she's getting nowhere, Amy storms out, repeating "er" three times. Sheldon's OCD is at an all time high.

Meanwhile, at the bar, Raj and Stuart are doing what they can to impress Ruchi. Raj throws in a discussion on hamburgers in an American accent to keep Bernadette involved.


Ruchi asks what the guys do for work. Raj describes his dreamy astrophysicist job. Stuart owns a comic book store - but finds a way to ask her out to dinner through a new, Ruchi only promotion he's doing. The two go back and forth taking jabs at each other's life fails. The conversation ends with Raj revealing Stuart lives with Howard and Bernadette - she tells Ruchi Howard's no catch, either. And with that, we're back at the drawing board.


That night, Sheldon's sleep talking about his mellow, public pool-friendly attitude. Except this time, Amy isn't letting it slide.


She plays the recording for Penny and Leonard the next day. Leonard's in shock. Penny wants a copy of it for her records. Amy continues playing the recording, and Sheldon walks in, asking what they're listening to. After hesitating, Amy hits play. Sheldon is oblivious. The gang explains that it is, indeed, Sheldon talking.


He's in disbelief. Befriending a hitchhiker? Throwing away a GPS and letting loose? Who is this man?! Amy asks if he's repressing parts of his personality, which Sheldon staunchly refuses. Sheldon admits he doesn't ask Amy if she's repressing her inner chainsaw when she sleeps. Apparently she's a snorer. He storms out, and Amy's mad. Leonard demonstrates the signal she should give him if she wants him to object at their wedding:


At the comic book store, Raj and Stuart are arguing over who should get to date Ruchi. Raj's argument is that because she's Indian like him, he should have the first rights of refusal. Stuart disagrees with that logic. They ask Howard if Bernadette said anything when she got home - all he knows is that she was less than thrilled with how the evening went. They agree that they should both go out with Ruchi, and she can decide who she wants to date. Also, apparently Stuart has had his share of medical scares  - including things growing out of other things and things "probably not ending well" for him. Yikes. How is Sheldon friends with this dude and not constantly concerned over his own health? Wait. Never mind.

In the apartment complex laundry room, Sheldon's doing laundry on a different day than usual. Penny's surprised. He admits to her that he's concerned his brain is hiding a totally different side of his personality from him - and that side may not be as brilliant as he hopes. Penny questions if he's worried about the big changes that come along with getting married, as that could be what's getting to his head. Sheldon says he can handle change. Although, according to Penny, Skittles changing the flavour of their green Skittle was a challenge for him, so she doesn't fall for his lies.


Penny rephrases. Maybe this "relaxed" side of his personality is trying to prove that everything will be fine with the wedding, and he's ought to chill out. Sheldon turns this into a scientific statement about multiple personalities.


Something like that. She says he should try making some small changes in maintaining a laid back attitude. Sheldon wants flip flops. Although he'd need a myriad of medical procedures done before wearing them in public, including a mole check. Penny admits to never having one done. Sheldon wishes her good luck in life.


(Fun fact - between takes of that scene - which took around thirty minutes to film - Kaley kept her phone in one of the washing machines.)

After this scene, Kaley and Johnny walked up to where the audience is (slightly elevated above the set) to thank everyone for being at the taping. I had been to a taping of an episode in Season 9 and remembered them talking to the audience as being one of the highlights.

This next scene was really awesome. Not only did they have to re-shoot it because Kunal kept laughing (can't blame him, it's incredibly funny), but there were issues with audio in the bar. They kept hearing a buzzing sound and had to locate it before they could proceed with filming. This took close to an hour to resolve, and the audience entertainer was trying to keep our spirits high. After a while, and this is the super rare moment I mentioned earlier, Kunal came up, over the bar separating the audience from the set, and was taking audience questions! He answered one of MY questions! I asked what his favourite episode has been to film - and he said when Raj and the guys got high on cookies in the desert (Season 3, Episode 8 - "The Adhesive Duck Deficiency"). He answered a bunch of other questions, and once he went back down to resume filming the audience entertainer admitted that a cast member coming right into the audience and taking questions has only happened maybe once or twice over the course of eleven seasons. It was magical.

Once the audio problem was resolved, filming continued. Looks like Raj managed to take Ruchi out for drinks, sans Stuart!


Before Raj can get too into detail on Stuart not being allowed to live near schools, he shows up. Raj is thrilled.


Ruchi's phone rings and she leaves the room. Stuart and Raj argue over who wants Ruchi more - to which Stuart makes a convincing argument that he is more desperate, and going up against him would prove to be tough competition. (This line had to be filmed a few times because Kunal kept laughing - as did the audience).

Ruchi returns, and Stuart reveals that Raj didn't inform him of tonight's outing so he could be alone with her. Ruchi thinks that's weird. Raj attempts to get her to say who she'd date - at which point she leaves. Stuart asks if they can still be friends - Ruchi says she'd like that.


BOO-YAH!

At Amy and Sheldon's, Sheldon has returned from his flip-flop acquisition expedition.


Amy rushes over to ask if he's okay. The two sit down, and Sheldon recounts his exciting day; including trying to rescue his flip flop from a sewer, stepping in "apple juice", the lost flip flop getting stuck in a "melted candy bar", and accidentally petting a "damp toupé".


Sheldon tells Amy to plan the entire wedding, including the date. Amy says she'd love to get married on a cliff. Sheldon looks like he might puke, and leaves to get cleaned up.

This final scene was also filmed in advance of the taping.

Finally, we see another of Sheldon's wild dreams. He's holding a meeting with the 'Council of Sheldon's'.


Sheldon has way more personalities than we could've predicted. There's a 'Humorous Sheldon', 'Fanboy Sheldon', 'Science Sheldon', 'Texas Sheldon', 'Germaphobe Sheldon', and newly discovered 'Laid Back Sheldon' - who is the focus of today's meeting. Should Laid Back Sheldon be brought into the Council? Most of the Sheldon's say no. Germaphobe Sheldon doesn't feel well. He's my fave. I relate to him on a spiritual level.


Can we make Council of Sheldon Meetings a regular thing?!

At the end of the episode, all of the cast members are called out once more to take a bow. From seeing them live twice, and watching their interactions with fans, it's clear how kind all of them are. They're humble, warm and very welcoming to guests. If you're EVER in the LA area i'd highly recommend trying to get tickets to a taping! As it's the most popular sitcom to see live, it may take you some time to figure out when to get online to snag them - keep trying, it's well worth it!

Website for tickets: https://www.tvtickets.com

Down below, let me know which of Sheldon's personalities is your favourite, if you think Ruchi would pick Stuart or Raj, and whether you believe Amy will actually have the wedding take place on a cliff!

Catch The Big Bang Theory Monday Nights on CBS.









 
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