CBS’ The Big Bang Theory The Intimacy Acceleration TV Show Review. The Big Bang Theory, Season 8, Episode 16: The Intimacy Acceleration combined success and failure, having some truly good moments with some that were almost totally superfluous, but the good still outweighed the bad.
Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) decide to conduct an experiment that will decide if intimate feelings of love can be achieved by a platonic couple through admissions of inner feelings and emotional responses laid bare. This gives both characters a chance to develop mutually strong comic performances fed by some good lines, also revealing secrets which gives the pair depth and showcases to the viewing audience things about them we didn’t know before.
Penny asks Sheldon for example who he would like over for a dinner guest?
“Euclid (ancient Greek mathematician),” Sheldon responds. “But I can’t stand the sight of sandals.”
During their interplay Penny suddenly admits, “I just felt a wave of affection for you.”
“Are you sure it isn’t the Bible juice (wine)?” Sheldon asks.
On a more serious note Penny, an actress, admits she is envious of the IQ of Sheldon and his scientist friends, while Sheldon ultimately confesses he knows he can be a difficult personality at times.
“I think of you as a sister,” Sheldon confides, one of the series’ more endearing moments.
The other two subplots are less effective in descending order, first, an airport losing the cremated ashes of the mother of Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg). There is also a visit to a game room made up to look like a mad scientist lab in which Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Amy (Mayim Bialik), Raj (Kunal Nayyar) and a rarely seen character, Emily (Laura Spencer), a dermatologist girlfriend of Raj, attempt to solve puzzles.
The frustration all people can identify with airports had potential, but it was largely squandered because the scene revealed little about Howard’s relationship with his late mother. This also happened in the last episode where Helberg underplayed the moment in which he heard about his mother’s death, not his fault as he was given little to work with.
Howard’s peculiar ambivalence would seem to indicate the tenuous bond between he and his mother was dysfunctional, which is fine. More however could have been offered to us to flesh out what seems a bleak history—–in other words figuratively—-“I’m sorry you’re dead, but I can’t cry because we were never very close to begin with.”
There is one moment of brightness in the airport scene. In what was no doubt the funniest moment of the entire show, Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) angrily tells the airport attendant in her squeaky voice, “One way or the other, we’re walking out of this airport with a dead woman.”
The game room scene is a miserable failure and added not only nothing, but ate up precious time that could have been spent explaining more about Howard and his late mother. Max Adler, portraying a zombie in the lab, delivers lines that can barely be understood and gives no indication of his talent.
I have complained before about how the producers of the show often try to do too much in only 30 minutes, which if you subtract the commercials is more like 18 minutes of air time. The game room scene offered nothing and weakened the other two subplots.
Nevertheless, the soul-searching stare-down between Sheldon and Penny was worth the effort.
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