TV Show Review

TV Review: THE BIG BANG THEORY: Season 8, Episode 22: The Graduation Transmission [CBS]

jim parsons simon helberg the big bang theory the graduation transmission

CBS The Big Bang Theory The Graduation Transmission TV Show Review. The Big Bang Theory, Season 8, Episode 22: The Graduation Transmission saw Raj (Kunal Nayyar) get some solid laughs attempting to renew allowance money from his separating parents (via the phone) by playing his father in India (Brian George) off against his mother (Alice Amter), after his father threatened to cut off his allowance.

Raj has bought an expensive toy helicopter drone with his allowance money that he receives from his parents in India who are divorcing. His father gets the bill and threatens to cut Raj off from further payments. This in turn causes Raj to attempt to bribe his father with insincere praise and then when this tactic doesn’t work, he calls his mother with better luck.

The sight of Raj, the ultimate Bombay Yuppie, a grown man speaking in an adoring spoiled child’s voice, “Hello Daddy, I’m so lucky I take after you,” and then in a separate call to his mother, after Raj steels himself and says “I need to act like a man,” feigning mock sympathy for monetary gain and saying, “Hello Mommy, are you happy?”

This scene was grotesquely funny.

Raj is often odd-man out in these episodes and it was good to see him get a little meatier part.

George as Raj’s father has made several appearances in the show and is always effective in the part, while the mother played by Amter is a delight when she caustically tells Raj she can’t believe he turned out as well as he did because, “I can’t believe you came from a poisonous seed (the father).”

Meanwhile Leonard is giving a commencement address to his former high school and when he can’t make it because of an airline cancellation he agrees to talk to the student body over Skype. The highlight here comes when he appears seductively for his girl friend Penny (Kaley Cuoco) wearing very short-shorts under his cap and gown, and gives a chorus girl-style kick to entice her. After telling Penny he would have liked to show her his old stomping grounds (high school), and the place where “They (the school bullies) stomped me,” Leonard delivers a boring speech that has Penny comatose. The students can see her snoozing.

Leonard finally admits to his Skype audience he really hated high school and follows with some poignant anti-peer pressure comments about how not fitting in and seeming weird (as Leonard had) is okay because it’s more important to be the unique person you are than to be merely popular.

“For those of you who are popular in high school……..it’s over!” Leonard says.

The third scenario has Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Howard (Simon Helberg) taking the drone helicopter apart in numerous pieces when the toy machine won’t start which has Howard bragging “I have a Masters in engineering, I wipe my bottom with warranties.” The two are forced to call the technical support number for the toy after ridiculing the idea of tech support with Howard’s jaundiced prediction, “It will probably be some foreign guy reading from a manual.”

After he dials the number, Raj’s cell phone rings.

Raj corrects them he is not the tech support man by saying, “It’s my father you jerks.”

Every time Raj extorts more allowance money from his parents, he promises his science friends bigger and bigger rewards than just a toy helicopter, “Helicopters for everybody,” and then “We can all go to (Las) Vegas in a real helicopter.”

Best moments of the show are often saved for last, and when Sheldon and Howard finally get the drone to start, it runs amok in the apartment knocking everything over to Sheldon’s frantic call, “It’s a robot uprising, call the police!”

This outing had some pretty good dialog and action, but it was Raj’s imitation of a Hindu Shirley Temple that will likely be remembered.

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About the author

John Sammon

John Sammon is a writer whose experience includes newspaper reporting, magazine writing, personality profiles, interviews, celebrity interviews (Clint Eastwood), historical pieces, investigative and crime. He was selected “Most Valuable Reporter” for California’s oldest continually operating newspaper, and covered the weekend crime beat for a daily newspaper in Nevada. If you beat your wife on Friday, he wrote about it and got you in deep trouble on Saturday.

He covered the Nevada brothel beat and did stories on wild horses. The publication of his investigative pieces led to a dishonest political candidate withdrawing from a statewide elective campaign, while another politician unsuccessfully sued him because he didn’t like an article Mr. Sammon produced. His articles led to government reforms, including a school district performing its first-ever financial audit, and a Nevada State Law rolling back home heating oil prices for fixed-income seniors who depended on it.

Mr. Sammon is also a humor writer of the website Sammonsays, a professional script writer, an actor and member of the Screen Actor’s Guild, a film narrator for the California State Parks system, a standup comedian, and the author of three novels and one nonfiction book.

He worked in his spare time with sick and wounded animals at the SPCA.

Mr. Sammon's latest book, "Sammon Says: Exposing American Empire," a compilation of over 100 political opinion columns written over several years and recounting America's involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, was released in October 2013 by Dictus Publishing of Germany.

He is working on a new historical romance novel.

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